How to Install Alfresco Community Edition on Ubuntu 16.04

Published on: Fri, Aug 3, 2018 at 11:17 am EST
Business CMS Linux Guides Server Apps Ubuntu

Alfresco Community Edition is an open source version of the Alfresco Content Services. It is written in Java and uses PostgreSQL to store its database. Alfresco is an enterprise content management system for many types of digital assets such as documents, records, web, images, videos and more. It is also used for collaborative content development. The file repository of your hosted Alfresco can be accessed using SMB, WebDAV, FTP and CIMS. Searching through the files is powered by Apache Solr.

Prerequisites

  • A Vultr Ubuntu 16.04 server instance with at least 4GB RAM.
  • A sudo user.
  • A domain name pointed towards the server.

For this tutorial, we will use 192.168.0.1 as the public IP address and share.example.com as the domain name pointed towards the Vultr instance. Please make sure to replace all occurrences of the example domain name and public IP address with the actual one.

Update your base system using the guide How to Update Ubuntu 16.04. Once your system has been updated, proceed to install the dependencies.

Install Dependencies

Alfresco provides a ready to install binary installer package which contains all the software required to run the application. However, we need to install a few dependencies to support the LibreOffice plugin.

sudo apt -y install fontconfig libsm-dev libice-dev libxt-dev libxrender-dev libxext-dev cups libglu1-mesa-dev libcairo2-dev libgl-dev
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa/libGL.so.1 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libGL.so.1

Install Alfresco

Download the installer package from the Alfresco website. You can always find the link to the latest installer on the Alfresco download page.

wget https://download.alfresco.com/release/community/201707-build-00028/alfresco-community-installer-201707-linux-x64.bin

Provide execution permissions to the installer file.

sudo chmod +x alfresco-community-installer-201707-linux-x64.bin

Start the installation.

sudo ./alfresco-community-installer-201707-linux-x64.bin

Select the language of the installation. For the installation type, you can choose the first one which says "Easy install". This will install the application with the default configuration.

Choose the default location, /opt/alfresco-community, for the installation of the application.

Specify the administrator password and choose "Y" for the installation as a service. This will create a startup service to easily start and manage the application process.

Note: Alfresco recommends at least 2 CPUs and 4GB RAM. If your system does not have the recommended configuration, you might get a warning saying the environment is not configured optimally for Alfresco Content Services. You can, however, still proceed with the installation.

The installation of the application should start now. Once the application is installed, you will be asked if you want to launch Alfresco Community server. If you choose "Y", the application will start the server immediately and you will see the following output.

Launch Alfresco Community [Y/n]: y

waiting for server to start.... done
server started
/opt/alfresco-community/postgresql/scripts/ctl.sh : postgresql  started at port 5432
Using CATALINA_BASE:   /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat
Using CATALINA_HOME:   /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/temp
Using JRE_HOME:        /opt/alfresco-community/java
Using CLASSPATH:       /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/bin/bootstrap.jar:/opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/bin/tomcat-juli.jar
Using CATALINA_PID:    /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/temp/catalina.pid
Tomcat started.
/opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/scripts/ctl.sh : tomcat started

Since the installer also added a startup service, you can also start the application.

sudo systemctl start alfresco

By default, Alfresco starts the Tomcat web server to serve the application on the port 8080. Open your favorite browser and go to http://192.168.0.1:8080/share, you will see the Alfresco landing page.

Configure Reverse Proxy

By default, Alfresco's Tomcat server listens to the port 8080. In this tutorial, we will use Nginx as the reverse proxy so that the application can be accessed via the standard HTTP and HTTPS ports. We will also configure Nginx to use an SSL generated with Let's Encrypt.

Install Nginx.

sudo apt -y install nginx

Start Nginx and enable it to automatically start at boot time.

sudo systemctl start nginx
sudo systemctl enable nginx

Add the Certbot repository.

sudo add-apt-repository --yes ppa:certbot/certbot
sudo apt-get update

Install Certbot, which is the client application for Let's Encrypt CA.

sudo apt -y install certbot

Note: To obtain certificates from Let's Encrypt CA, the domain for which the certificates are to be generated must be pointed towards the server. If not, make the necessary changes to the DNS records of the domain and wait for the DNS to propagate before making the certificate request again. Certbot checks the domain authority before providing the certificates.

Generate the SSL certificates.

sudo certbot certonly --webroot -w /var/www/html -d share.example.com

The generated certificates are likely to be stored in /etc/letsencrypt/live/share.example.com/. Let's Encrypt certificates expire in 90 days, hence it is recommended to set up auto-renewal of the certificates using Cron jobs.

Open the cron job file.

sudo crontab -e

Add the following line at the end of the file.

30 5 * * * /usr/bin/certbot renew --quiet

The above cron job will run every day at 5:30 AM. If the certificate is due for expiration, it will automatically be renewed.

Edit Alfresco's Tomcat server configuration file.

sudo nano /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/conf/server.xml

Find the following lines.

<Connector port="8080" URIEncoding="UTF-8" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
               connectionTimeout="20000"
               redirectPort="8443" maxHttpHeaderSize="32768" />

Add the line proxyPort="443" scheme="https" in the above configuration block so that it looks like the block shown below.

<Connector port="8080" URIEncoding="UTF-8" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
               connectionTimeout="20000"
               redirectPort="8443" maxHttpHeaderSize="32768" 
               proxyPort="443" scheme="https" />

Open the Alfresco default configuration file.

sudo nano /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/shared/classes/alfresco-global.properties

Find the following lines.

alfresco.context=alfresco
alfresco.host=127.0.0.1
alfresco.port=8080
alfresco.protocol=http

share.context=share
share.host=127.0.0.1
share.port=8080
share.protocol=http

...

system.serverMode=UNKNOWN

Change the above lines according to your system. It should look like what is shown below.

alfresco.context=alfresco
alfresco.host=share.example.com
alfresco.port=443
alfresco.protocol=https

share.context=share
share.host=share.example.com
share.port=443
share.protocol=https

...

system.serverMode=PRODUCTION

Create a new server block file for Alfresco.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/alfresco

Populate the file.

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name share.example.com;
    return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
}

server {
    listen 443;
    server_name share.example.com;

    ssl_certificate           /etc/letsencrypt/live/share.example.com/fullchain.pem;
    ssl_certificate_key       /etc/letsencrypt/live/share.example.com/privkey.pem;

    ssl on;
    ssl_session_cache  builtin:1000  shared:SSL:10m;
    ssl_protocols  TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
    ssl_ciphers HIGH:!aNULL:!eNULL:!EXPORT:!CAMELLIA:!DES:!MD5:!PSK:!RC4;
    ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

    access_log            /var/log/nginx/alfresco.access.log;
    location / {

           root /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/webapps/ROOT;
           proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
           proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
           proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
           proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
           proxy_http_version 1.1;
           proxy_pass http://localhost:8080;
           proxy_redirect default;
    }

    location /share/ {
           root /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/webapps/share/;
           proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
           proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
           proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
           proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
           proxy_http_version 1.1;
           proxy_pass http://localhost:8080/share/;
           proxy_redirect http:// https://;
    }

    location /alfresco/ {
           root /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/webapps/alfresco/;
           proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
           proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
           proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
           proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
           proxy_http_version 1.1;
           proxy_pass http://localhost:8080/alfresco/;
           proxy_redirect http:// https://;
    }
}

Activate the configuration file.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/alfresco /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/alfresco

Restart the web server and Alfresco so that the changes in the configuration can take effect.

sudo systemctl restart nginx alfresco

Alfresco is now installed and configured on your server. You can access the Alfresco modules at the following address.

https://share.example.com/alfresco

To access the Alfresco share services, visit the following address.

https://share.example.com/share

Log in using the initial administrator account, admin and the password you have chosen during installation.

Congratulations, Alfresco community edition is now installed on your server.

Want to contribute ?

You could earn up to $300 by adding new articles