Installing Socialtext

These set of pages document my installation steps getting Socialtext Open running under Ubuntu “Fesity Fawn” 7.04. I installed from the DVD and made sure it was updated with the Update Manager.

All of the main installation steps compile from source. The steps are:

  1. install apache-perl
  2. install PostgreSQL
  3. install CPAN dependencies
  4. install Socialtext


  1. Well if you really want they have also got a 460MB VM you can download with all that pre-installed.

    The actual open wikis are easy to install. Drupal_wiki and jamwiki use mediawiki format native now. Any of these, even competitors like tikiwiki, are quick to download and install because they are Java or LAMP based.

    Socialtext isn’t very competent at coding or packaging and it’s license is listed on sourceforge as “proprietary” (it’s actually the MPL not even the CDDL).

    Why would anyone attempt this install or download a 460MB VM just to use a proprietary data format which has no open content in it?

    Why wouldn’t you just use drupal_wiki, jamwiki or mediawiki itself?

    Comment by A proprietary wiki skeptic — May 14, 2007 @ 12:07 am | Reply

  2. I would imagine that the VM is just for evaluation, I wouldn’t run it in a production environment. Also, Socialtext has some great collaboration features that I wanted to use. As far as the quality of the coding is concerned, it’s a lot better than anything I could ever hope to write and the website admits that the installation isn’t great. I say kudos to taking a product that they developed for their own servers and making it available as source.

    Comment by Allan — May 14, 2007 @ 9:09 pm | Reply

  3. Hey Allan, thanks for your detailed notes on the install! I’ll link up to them from our FAQ. I haven’t tried installing ST on Feisty yet — only on Dapper and on MacosX.

    To the skeptic: our license has been submitted to the OSI, then revised and submitted again, and is awaiting approval. It’s based on the MPL but has an extra attribution clause. Since Sourceforge only lists approved licenses, I had to call ours “proprietary”. That should change soon. Socialtext is sincerely committed to our software being open source, and to being part of open source communities. You can see this if you look at what our developers contribute to other open source projects. As you (skeptic) would know if you bothered to look, the point of the attribution clause is not to put some kind of evil “proprietary” protection on the data contained in the wiki. The point is to make sure that Socialtext and all the developers who have contributed to the code get proper credit for their work.

    As Allan points out, the VMware install is good for taking a quick look at the software. It provides a working version, with administrative control, without having to set up a whole environment with Apache and Postgres and all that. We offer the VMware install as an option, for people’s convenience, but anyone can still download the software from Sourceforge or check out the code from svn.

    Comment by Liz Henry — May 14, 2007 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

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