ArsDigita Archives
Previous: Getting Started Next: Installing Red Hat Linux 6.2


ACS Documentation : ACS Installation Guide : Requirements

There are three chief requirements for successfully installing and using the ArsDigita Community System:

  • Adequate hardware
  • Necessary software
  • Experience with UNIX

Hardware Requirements

At a minimum, you need a hardware platform that allows you to run the Oracle RDBMS comfortably. You can do this on a wide variety of hardware platforms. At ArsDigita, we are most familiar with running ACS production servers using Sun and HP hardware. However, the software can also be run comfortably on Linux and even Windows 2000.

The emphasis of this document is on a Linux installation. Installing this software on other UNIX systems, such as Solaris, is much the same, but you will need to substitute commands native to your UNIX system if the Red Hat Linux commands here don't work. For example, there is a standard tool for creating new users under Solaris and Red Hat, useradd. If your system does not support this, you will need to substitute the appropriate command.

Installing the ArsDigita Community System under Windows 2000 is a different matter that this document does not address. Please see the Windows 2000 installation guide for instructions.

Minimum Hardware Requirements for Installing onto Linux

  • A PC with a Pentium processor or better
  • 128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended) with 400 MB swap file
  • 3.5 GB hard drive space
  • A network connection - have your network configuration information (such as IP address) handy when following this guide

Software Requirements

The ArsDigita Community System requires:

  • A UNIX operating system (e.g. Solaris, Linux, HP-UX), or Windows 2000
  • The Oracle 8i RDBMS
  • The open-source AOLServer 3.0 Web Server running with the 8.3 Tcl interpreter (nsd8x)

There are also initiatives to create versions of ACS that work with other databases (see the OpenACS project) and with other web servers (see the mod_aolserver package for Apache). However, this guide presumes a UNIX operating system, specifically Red Hat Linux, with Oracle 8.1.6 and AOLServer 3.0. This information may apply and be useful for other platforms, but please exercise careful judgment in following any of the instructions.

Experience with UNIX

Running a reliable database-backed web server requires experience with the server's environment, in this case UNIX. UNIX is not always an intuitive environment and this guide cannot hope to explain every nuance. You should be comfortable with the following tasks before attempting an installation:

  • Adding users, groups, setting passwords
  • Starting an X server and running an X program remotely
  • Basic file management using cp, rm, mv, and cd
  • Compiling a program using a makefile

If you've never done these things before, consider exploring UNIX in greater depth before installing the ArsDigita Community System. Some useful resources for doing this taken from Philip Greenspun's bookshelf are listed below.

An excellent introduction to the command line tools and basic programs of UNIX is UNIX Power Tools. An excellent online resource is The UNIX Reference Desk . However, you need to read further to get a firm grasp on System Administration.

For System Administration:

For Solaris:

For HP-UX:

For Linux:

Above basic system administration, you need a good text editor. While vi is functional, Emacs offers more features and is arguably more extensive than any other text editor available today. These two books are excellent:

Previous: Getting Started Requirements
part of the ACS Installation Guide
Next: Installing Red Hat Linux 6.2
Last modified: $Id: //websites/developer/prd/packages/acs-core-docs/www/install-guide/requirements.html#1 $