How to make OpenERP work on Ubuntu Server 9.10

Yes, the title of this post is a good question.  At the moment I don’t have the answer, but I sure am trying to find it and hopefully, by the end of this post I will have it.

Update: I’ll save you some time and tell you now that I failed in making OpenERP work on Ubuntu Server 9.10 – but if you have even just a little more knowledge than I do, I’m sure you can make it work. I just know too little. But please, do read on.

I’ve been trying to do it for the last week, but between my limited knowledge of Linux servers and the totally new world of OpenERP, it’s a learning curve so steep I slip 2 steps back for every 1 forward I manage.

The story so far is that I had the Ubuntu Server running flawlessly, I had the OpenERP server running flawlessly, I even made friends with PostgreSQL, but for the life of me I couldn’t get OpenERP web to talk to the servers enough to successfully create a database and then log in to it.

So at this very moment I’m reinstalling Ubuntu Server 9.10 with nothing more than a mail server, an SSH server and the Samba server.  The rest I’m going to do with what is hopefully the magic bullet – the OpenERP self install script.

Step 1: Install Ubuntu Server 9.10 (8.50am)

I’m doing a pretty much Vanilla install of Ubuntu Server 9.10 32-bit on an ex-Vista laptop.  I’ve said yes to a couple of things:

  • automatic security updates,
  • installing an SSH server (I will manage it from my desktop),
  • the Samba file server and
  • a mail server.

This is all because there is a script out there that will supposedly install OpenERP for me if I have it setup like this. Supposedly.

The install took about 30 minutes, with a fast Internet connection / computer it would likely be faster.

Step 2: SSH to the New Server (9.30am)

I’ve setup my server on a fixed IP address on the office router (for demo purposes and let’s say  my username is ‘1earth’.   I launch a Terminal instance and type the following and hit enter:

ssh 1earth@

The system is working as expected and tells me there are some security updates and upgrades to do.  It’s a bit of schlep as this will take at least another 30 minutes on my slow Internet connect, but for the sake of good system administration I type

sudo apt-get upgrade

Oh nice, it will actually take 50 minutes, so I will gather the rest of the info I need for when it’s done.

Step 3: Follow Installation Instructions for Dummies

If you Google “openerp ubuntu server 9.10 installation” you’ll likely hit one of OpenSourceConsulting’s tutorials. There’s a few old ones, left on there for the SEO ranking no doubt, so make sure you follow the newest one and save yourself hours (if not days) in wasted time.

The tutorial I’m going to follow is OpenERP Installation: All In One For Ubuntu With Updates, with fingers double and triple crossed.

If you’re also trying to install OpenERP on Ubuntu Server 9.10, scroll down and find the “Ubuntu Server (for advanced users not interested in having a GUI desktop)” section. I’m not an advanced user, but it doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t bother you.

Day 1

11.01am – Starting the instructions.

11.38am – It’s been downloading and installing like mad.  According to the instructions I should exit SSH and log in again, however I was now asked for my password and when I entered it, it says “OpenERP will now be installed“. Deviation from the plan. I’m worried.

Nevertheless, I continue and it offers me a choice of Stable or Trunk. I don’t know any better, so I select Stable.

Next it asks me if I want to install the Apache Server (ticked), Extra Addons (not ticked) and Firewall (ticked).  I tick the Extra Addons and thus elect to install everything on offer.

Next it asks me which trunk branches to install and offers a list of unticked items: openerp-spain, magentoerpconnect, report-openoffice, openetl.  I have no clue what any of these are. I assume it’s the Extra Addons I ticked.  I won’t install any of them right now, so I just click OK without ticking anything.

Now it tells me “Enter the DNS name of your URL” and offers as a default. Dammit, what does this mean? I don’t have a DNS name for my URL. Is it the URL of my server? I use (which doesn’t exist) and click OK.

Next it offers a list of IP addresses already configured on my Ubuntu system.  The right one is listed. Yay! A feeling of relief. OK to that.

Now it asks for the admin password. Of what? My Ubuntu box or what I want for OpenERP?  I enter one for OpenERP and hit OK.

Ok, now it asks for my SUDO password. I enter it and hit OK.

11.52am Progress bar pops up going left and right and text says “Installing BZR“.  I like the way it’s going so far, it seems positive.

12:01pm OpenERP Server: Downloading latest stable branch from

12:15pmOpenERP Client: Downloading latest stable branch from“.

12:20pmOpenERP Client Web: Downloading latest stable branch from“.

12:26pm OpenERP Addons: Downloading latest stable branch from“. Hmmm, I thought I said no to these.

1.00pm Time for lunch. Hopefully the Addons will be done by the time I get back.

1.56pm – Back from lunch and OpenERP Addons were still installing. I thought it hanged, but then saw that my iMac had downloaded and readied for installation nearly 1GB of updates! I got rid of the iMac prompt and at the same time, it could have been coincidence, the progress bar updated with “DON’T PRESS ACCEPT/OK !!. Downloading and installing Python libraries“.

3.03pm – In the Terminal Window, while the progress bar is still swinging back and forth, it said “Extracting templates from packages: 100%” and then asked for my password.  I typed it and hit return. It line-breaked, but nothing else. Progress bar still swings.

3.51pm – Finally clicked “Cancel” which promptly killed the process. 2 hours is simply more than it should take.  Now I’m going to run ./ again and see what happens.

It’s going through the entire process again, but it skips over everything that’s been done already… and zooms straight past the Python libraries and onto “DON’T PRESS ACCEPT/OK !!. Downloading and installing Postgres Database“. Right, maybe it did hang.

4.26pm – “DON’T PRESS ACCEPT/OK !!. Installing OpenERP Software” with non-disruptive warning message before it switched.

4.32pm – “DON’T PRESS ACCEPT/OK !!. Downloading and Installing Apache

4:36pm – “DON’T PRESS ACCEPT/OK !!. Enabling Firewall settings

5.03pm – Patience is running thin and it’s still enabling the Firewall settings. Surely it doesn’t take 30 minutes? I’m clicking cancel.

Cancel didn’t work, so I CTRL+C’ed the terminal window and it escaped. So, running the script again. It says OpenERP is already installed, do I want to upgrade it.  I said no. Fudge. Let’s see if it works.

It says there should be an OpenERP-README.txt file with further instructions.  I can’t find it with ‘sudo find / -name OpenERP-README.txt’ so I’m going to go through the upgrade process and see what happens. Sigh.

Right, upgrade went quick and it said all’s OK.

5.13pm I go to and it loads. I feel nothing, this is as far as I got. The proof is in the pudding, or the database creation.

5.14pm Clicking on the Database button takes me to and that obviously doesn’t work. Is this a bad setting I made somewhere coming to bite me in the ass, or what’s the story?

6.00pm After 45 minutes more of searching and reading I’m nowhere nearer to the answer than I was before.  Everyone in the office are leaving and so am I.  I’m secretly hoping that after a restart it will work thinking that it’s a stuck cache or something somewhere.

Day 2

9:10am I dreamed about this install last night.  First thing I did was check out my hosts file, but all seems OK.  I downloaded HTTPFox for Firefox so that I can see what traffic my browser sends and receives and where it gets told to go to, by OpenERP or what.

Ha! When I click the databases button on OpenERP-Web’s login page, my browser asks for, but then is redirected by OpenERP to  A quick Google now using “OpenERP redirects to” yields this OpenERP Forum thread, which related to OpenERP 5.0.2.  But let’s try their solution and see if it works for OpenERP 5.0.7 as well.

In my /etc/openerp-web.cfg file tools.proxy.on = True already, so I change tools.proxy.base = ‘’, save and restart both the server and web.

9.30am – Right, that seems to take it to the right server ( – which doesn’t exist, but which the install script automatically added to my server’s hosts file and therefore works).

However, now Firefox is adamant that the security certificate is a problem (annoying, but Firefox is just protecting me) and it won’t let me continue, nor add an exception for it here or manually in the settings box.

I’m going to have to create myself a proper certificate that I can import.  Is nothing easy?

12.10 – I give up.

Creating a certificate didn’t work for me, because Firefox still complains about it not being trusted. I also couldn’t access the site using Safari or Chrome, both giving similar but different reasons to Firefox.  I tried taking the server off SSL, but I obviously don’t know how to do that either.

I’ve wasted enough time doing research on how to get this to work. My OpenERP adventure ends here.

Next, lets try OpenBravo.

Published by Yaku

Yaku is a brewer, baker, and semi-retired trouble maker (semi-retired from trouble-making that is). Although he believes anything is possible, he is nevertheless frequently stupefied by his world and the people in it.

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