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Evergreen and Koha, sitting on a server …

June 14th, 2011 by

As part of preparing for our trip to ALA Annual this year in New Orleans (come visit us at booth 550!), we’re setting up our demo server to run both Evergreen and Koha.  Why run two open source ILSs on one server?  We’re doing so in part because we proudly support both ILSs, in part as an experiment to suss out any incompatibilities, and in part … because we can.

And the result?  Yes, you can indeed run both Koha and Evergreen on a single server, and you don’t need to set up virtual machines to do so.  As it turns out, if you are following the installation instructions for Evergreen 2.1 beta and the instructions for Koha’s current development version on Debian, you need do only two things differently to get both of them running:

  1. Make sure that you update Evergreen’s and Koha’s Apache configuration files to specify distinct virtual hosts.
  2. After you install the software, make sure that you are running the mpm-prefork build of Apache.  E.g., do the following before trying to restart Apache:
    sudo apt-get install apache2-mpm-prefork

The last step matters because OpenSRF is not thread-safe, so you can’t use apache2-mpm-worker, which is installed by default by the script install_misc/ run during the Koha installation. If you forget to do this, there is a very good chance that Apache will segfault if the Evergreen Apache site configuration is enabled.

If instead of installing Koha from source you use the Debian package for Koha, you may not even need to change back to apache2-mpm-prefork. This is because the Debian package uses apache2-mpm-itk, which functions like mpm-prefork but lets Apache run each virtual host with a separate UID and GID. For the purpose of a demo database, Evergreen will likely run OK using apache2-mpm-itk, although I wouldn’t recommend it for production servers at this point (and see this discussion from #evergreen).

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