Getting Started

This page walks you through installing a copy of the OpenSurfaces server on an Ubuntu Linux machine. I have only tested Ubuntu 12.04.

If not using Ubuntu, you can create a virtual machine using VirtualBox and install Ubuntu 12.04.

Installing the server

This script sets up everything you need (installs packages, downloads all data, sets up webserver and database):


The webserver and database will use ~15G of disk space when fully expanded.

Prompts: The installer will automatically ask you to specify some variables the first time. If you want to re-run the installer with different answers, delete scripts/ before running the installer again.

Wait an hour: The installer will take some time to finish, with most of the time spent compiling numpy/scipy and building database indices. Note that you may have to give a sudo password multiple times since the installer takes so long.

Problems: If you have problems with the installation, you can run the entire installer again after fixing any issues. Note that re-running the installer will destroy any existing data, reverting it back to the original dataset. Please tell me about any problems you have by filing a bug report on or by emailing me at (Sean Bell).

Visit the homepage

At this point, the website should be publicly viewable from your machine. You can now visit http://$SERVER_NAME/ in a web browser (SERVER_NAME is defined in scripts/ if you forgot what it is set to; the default is localhost). To help set up things for the first time, DEBUG mode is turned on.

To turn off the public webserver, run


and to turn it back on:


Unfortunately not everything is set up yet – continue to Setup for additional setup information.