CKAN - open-source platform for your datasets. Troubleshooting

July 22, 2018

ckan dataset open-source

CMS for open data?

CKAN is a free & open-source platform to publish and host datasets in your own server. It has great search integration using Solr, API, data visualization and many more features that makes open data discoverable. The full list of features can be found here. In order to install CKAN on your server, you have two options either from source (via GitHub repository) or from the package if you are using Ubuntu. Although official documentation demonstrates on Ubuntu, it works pretty much every Linux distribution, even in Windows. I am going to write about my experience deploying it on Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit server and the problems I faced and the way I solved them.

Issue #1 Nginx

I followed the official documentation on the website, however, I encountered some issues. Installation went smoothly until I reached the point where I have to install nginx sudo apt-get install -y nginx however, the following error returned during the installation

You might want to run 'apt-get -f install' to correct these: The following packages have unmet dependencies:
...

Even though I run apt-get -f install, it didn’t solve the problem. Following query solve it and installed all missing packages sudo apt --fix-broken install

Issue #2 CKAN Configuration and database connection string

Unfortunately, the documentation lacks to mention that you have to modify CKAN config file to be able to connect to the database. Otherwise during the phase : sudo ckan db init You will not be able to initialize the database. In order to config, go to /etc/ckan/default/production.ini directory. Under the Database Settings, modify the value of sqlalchemy.url accordingly, make sure that change parameter pass to your database user’s password. After this modification, you will be able to run the query without any issue.

A few important notes

After the successful installation, you have to create a sysadmin account in order to get admin privileges on the platform. Follow this doc to add an admin user. The admin dashboard is under /ckan-admin directory.

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