CentOS 5.6 is available

I’m still waiting for the full overhaul of CentOS to version 6. RedHat released ES 6 months ago but the CentOS team still hasn’t pulled everything over yet.

As I mentioned in a my earlier post on Setting up OpenERP on CentOS 5.5, the older version of a number of software components within version 5.5 made it difficult to install the latest version of OpenERP so I had to “downgrade”. CentOS 5.5 is DATED!

Rather than speed up pushing CensOS 6 out the door, the dev team seems to be taking its time – no doubt to get it perfectly right the first time. In the mean time, they’ve quietly released an update which is CentOS 5.6. 

From www.centos.org, we can see one important improvement to the OS for web-based application implementation – PHP 5.3. No doubt this will make life a lot easier for those installing other apps such as vTiger CRM and a slew of others.

Still looking forward to CentOS 6 though!

–Ravind

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Setting up OpenERP on CentOS 5.5

I recently had to install and evaluate OpenERP. The current version available at www.openerp.com is 5.0.15. My test server is running on CentOS 5.5 – I installed it with Server-GUI and have a Gnome interface.

Here are a few observations I made:

1. OpenERP 5.0.15 requires Python 2.6

2. A fully updated CentOS 5.5 using standard and EPEL repositories only has version 2.4 (bummer!)

Clearly we don’t meet the minimum requirements. Upon further investigation, it turns out that simply forcing an update of Python to version 2.6 could break some functions within CentOS 5.5 that specifically require Python 2.4 (bummer, yet again!). So basically, if I wanted to keep CentOS running fine, it’s not a great idea to update Python.

One other option which I was toying around with was to install Python 2.6 to run side-by-side with 2.4. While this is totally possible to achieve, I wasn’t comfortable with it. Knowing my luck, I was probably setting myself up for a royal screw up in the future.

My final decision was to simply use a slightly older version of OpenERP that would work with Python 2.4 so, working backwards from 5.0.15, I finally found that 5.0.10 was best suited – it started up and shutdown correctly (version 5.0.11 and 5.0.12, if I remember correctly, started up without any issue but wouldn’t shut down cleanly).

Here’s what I had to do to successfully get OpenERP 5.0.10 (server and web) up and running on my CentOS 5.5 box. (Note: This was a test environment so security measures aren’t a priority – Getting the darn thing working as quickly and painlessly as possible was. Also, I’m logged in as root – gasp!).

1. Make sure to have the EPEL repo set up. If you don’t, run this:

#rpm -Uvh http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/epel/5/x86_64/epel-release-5-4.noarch.rpm

2. Install PostgreSQL if it’s not already installed:

#yum install postgresql-server

This will add the client and other dependencies for Postgres automatically (phew!). Once complete, start up PostgreSQL.

#service postgresql start

Create a user in Postgres. It’s important to note that the user should be the person starting up OpenERP (which in my case was root – gasp again!). Of course you need to su into the postgres user first. Caution: This creates a DB superuser!

#su – postgres -c “createuser -s root”

3. Install all other Python dependencies:

#yum -y install postgresql-python python-imaging python-psycopg2 pydot pychart python-setuptools python-lxml pytz python-devel

#easy_install reportlab

Note: reportlab had to be installed using easy_install (from setuptools).

4. Create an openerp directory in /root (yeah, yeah, I know, not exactly the best place to be doing this blah, blah, blah…) and cd into it.

5. Download and install the OpenERP server and web packages:

#wget http://www.openerp.com/download/stable/source/openerp-server-5.0.10.tar.gz

#wget http://www.openerp.com/download/stable/source/openerp-web-5.0.10.tar.gz

#tar xfz openerp-server-5.0.10.tar.gz

#tar xfz openerp-web-5.0.10.tar.gz

#cd openerp-server-5.0.10

#python setup.py install

#cd ../openerp-web-5.0.10

#easy_install http://cheeseshop.python.org/packages/source/p/pyparsing/pyparsing-1.5.5.tar.gz

#easy_install-U openerp-web

6. If all went well and you didn’t come across any errors, you can now start OpenERP and OpenERP-web by issuing the following commands in 2 different terminals (or just send them to the background – I use 2 terms so that I can see the server messages):

#openerp-server

#openerp-web

That’s it! To sample the fruits of your labour, fire up a browser and point it to http://<your-server-name-or-IP&gt;:8080/. Of course you can change the port number to whatever you want. To do this, look for the file openerp-web.cfg and change the port number there (HINT: Look for “8080” in the file).

If you want to install the Linux desktop client for OpenERP do this:

#yum -y install python-matplotlib

#cd /root/openerp

#wget http://www.openerp.com/download/stable/source/openerp-client-5.0.10.tar.gz

#tar xfz openerp-client-5.0.10.tar.gz

#cd openerp-client-5.0.10

#python setup.py install

That will download the package and unpack it in /root/openerp/ and then install it. To run the client software:

#cd /root/openerp/openerp-client-5.0.10/bin

#openerp-client

Hope this was helpful. Good luck!

If you’re feeling a bit lazy and trust my work, then use this script I wrote which pretty much automates all the steps mentioned above right up to installing the client software. Feel free to read through it. I’ve added as many comments as possible along the way. Download it here.

–Ravind

P.S. I’m really looking forward to CentOS 6 being released. 5.5 is sooooooo dated.

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