CouchDB is a distrbuted document store which can be manipulated using HTTP. A more detailed introduction is available on the CouchDB site.

Some assembly required

Since CouchDB is still a fairly young project there are no packages available to install it on Ubuntu. There are rumblings which seem to indicate that Intrepid Ibis will have a package, but until then here's a quick-n-dirty way to get CouchDB running on Ubuntu 8.04.

sudo apt-get install automake autoconf libtool subversion-tools help2man 
sudo apt-get install build-essential erlang libicu38 libicu-dev
sudo apt-get install libreadline5-dev checkinstall libmozjs-dev wget
tar -xzvf apache-couchdb-0.8.0-incubating.tar.gz
cd apache-couchdb-0.8.0-incubating
make && sudo make install
sudo adduser couchdb
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/var/lib/couchdb
sudo chown -R couchdb /usr/local/var/lib/couchdb
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/var/log/couchdb
sudo chown -R couchdb /usr/local/var/log/couchdb
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/var/run
sudo chown -R couchdb /usr/local/var/run
sudo update-rc.d couchdb defaults
sudo cp /usr/local/etc/init.d/couchdb /etc/init.d/
sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb start

Let others REST on your Couch

By default CouchDB listens only for connections from the local host. To change that edit /usr/local/etc/couchdb/couch.ini and restart CouchDB.

If you're running a firewall (you should be) then open the correct port.

sudo iptables -I INPUT 3 -p tcp --dport 5984 -j ACCEPT

Testing that it all works

Since CouchDB talks HTTP we can use any HTTP client to check that it's running. Our web browser, for example. Fire it up and hit the IP address of the server on port 5984. If it's running and you can access it you should get back some details about the server.


More CouchDB?

This is just one of several CouchDB articles on my blog, and there are plenty more on the way. Check out the other articles tagged CouchDB and check back often for new articles.

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If you've found this article useful I'd appreciate recommendations at Working With Rails.

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