A No-nonsense OpenERP Installation Guide

This is a no-nonsense guide to the installation of OpenERP – the popular open source and customizable ERP solution – aimed at the complete newbie. Of course, there has to just a little bit of “nonsense” to get you started. So, here it is: (a) You need to have PostgreSQL installed as the database backend for OpenERP. (b) OpenERP is written in python so you’ll need some packages for that part. (c) There is a server and a client. The server is important – client can be both a desktop client or a web client. (d) We’ll cover all of this except the web client. You don’t need that to get started. (e) We’re using OpenERP on Ubuntu 11.10 but an older version should also work.

Setting up PostgreSQL
This is fairly straight-forward. You need to issue the following commands. (If you’re new to Linux, the (parts of) lines starting with # are comments.)

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
sudo apt-get install postgresql pgadmin3
sudo su postgres # login as postgres user

createuser openerp

Answer y to the following question:

Shall the new role be a superuser? (y/n) y

psql template1
alter role openerp with password ‘postgres’;


Enter Ctrl+D to exit

create database for openerp with owner openerp

createdb -O openerp openerp
exit # to go back to the normal user

Setting up OpenERP Server

First, we need to download the sources:

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
cd ~
mkdir temp
wget http://www.openerp.com/download/stable/source/openerp-server-6.0.3.tar.gz
wget http://www.openerp.com/download/stable/source/openerp-client-6.0.3.tar.gz

Then, we install all the required dependencies:

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
sudo apt-get -y install python-lxml
python-mako python-dateutil python-psycopg2
python-pychart python-pydot python-tz
python-reportlab python-yaml python-vobject python-setuptools

Extract and install the server:

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
cd ~/tmp
tar zxf openerp-server-6.0.3.tar.gz
cd openerp-server-6.0.3
sudo python setup.py install

Create an OS user for openerp to run as:

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
sudo useradd openerp
sudo passwd openerp

give it password ‘postgres’ for simplicity


And finally, start the server:

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
sudo su openerp # we should run openerp as its own user

Using the Client

Leave that terminal running and open up another one. First, we’ll install the dependencies for the client:

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
sudo apt-get -y install python-gtk2
python-glade2 python-matplotlib python-egenix-mxdatetime
python-dateutil python-pydot python-tz python-hippocanvas

The package python-xml (suggested by the official documentation) is deprecated and is no longer available. You don’t need it anyway since you can use the xml support in core python.

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
cd ~/tmp
tar zxf openerp-client-6.0.3.tar.gz
cd openerp-client-6.0.3

To test out that the server is working properly:

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
cd bin

You should now see the login screen similar to this one:

[caption id=”attachment_806” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”OpenERP Client”][/caption]

Login using the following credentials:

username: admin
password: admin

Installation of the client is giving me trouble right now. I’ll post the installation instructions after I sort them out inshaallah.