How to Run Etherpad Lite on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – BollyInside

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Etherpad is a web-based, real-time online editor that allows authors to edit a text document and monitor all edits in real time. It is open source, adjustable and with the ability to display each creator’s text in their own color. It also provides an HTTP API that you can coordinate with your applications to manage users and groups. It offers some plugins that help you coordinate email notifications, file uploads, and video calls on Etherpad. In this instructional exercise, we will tell you the best way to install Etherpad web-based editor on Ubuntu 20.04 server.


  • An Ubuntu 20.04 VPS (we will use our SSD 2 VPS plan)
  • Access to the root user account (or access to an administrator account with root privileges)

Login to the server and update the server operating system packages

First, login to your Ubuntu 20.04 server via SSH as root user:

ssh root @ IP_address -p Port_number

You will need to replace ‘IP_Address’ and ‘Port_number’ with the respective IP address and SSH port number of your server. Also, replace ‘root’ with the username of the administrator account if necessary.

Before you begin, you need to make sure that all Ubuntu operating system packages installed on the server are up to date. You can do this by running the following commands:

apt-get update -yapt-get upgrade -y

Install the necessary packages

First, you will need to install all the necessary dependencies to install Etherpad on your server. You can install them all with the following command:

apt-get install libssl-dev pkg-config git gcc g ++ make build-essential gnupg2 -y

Once all the packages are installed, you will need to install Node.js on your system. At the time of writing this tutorial, the latest version of Node.js is 14.15.0. By default, Node.js is not available in the standard Ubuntu 20.04 repository. So you will need to install the Node.js repository on your system. You can add the Node.js repository with the following command:

curl -sL -o nodesource_setup.shbash

Once the repository is added, install Node.js with the following command:

apt-get install nodejs -y

After installing Node.js, check the installed version of Node.js with the following command:

node -v

You should get the following output:


Install and configure the MariaDB database

Etherpad uses MySQL / MariaDB to store its data. Therefore, the MariaDB server must be installed on your server. If it is not installed, you can install it with the following command:

apt-get install mariadb-server -y

Once installed, log into the MariaDB console with the following command:


Once you log in, create a database and user with the following command:

MariaDB [(none)]> create etherpaddb database; MariaDB [(none)]> grant all privileges on

etherpaddb. * to etherpad @ localhost identified by ‘strong password’;

Then remove the privileges and exit MariaDB with the following command:

MariaDB [(none)]> download privileges; MariaDB [(none)]> exit;

Install and configure Etherpad

First, create a separate user to run Etherpad:

adduser –home / opt / etherpad –shell / bin / bash etherpad

Next, provide the appropriate permissions for the Etherpad home directory with the following command:

install -d -m 755 -o etherpad -g etherpad / opt / etherpad

Next, login with the Etherpad user and check the Node.js version as the Etherpad user with the following command:

su – etherpadnode -v



Next, download the latest version of Etherpad from the Git repository using the following command:

git clone –branch master

Next, change directory to the downloaded directory and run Etherpad using the following command:

cd etherpad-litebin /

After the Etherpad server has started successfully, press CTRL + C to stop the server.

Next, edit the settings.json file and make some changes:

nano settings.json

Delete the following lines:

“DbType”: “dirty”, “dbSettings”: {“filename”: “var / dirty.db”},

Change the MySQL configuration as shown below:

“DbType”: “mysql”, “dbSettings”: {“user”: “etherpad”, “host”: “localhost”, “port”: 3306, “password”: “strong password”, “database”: “etherpaddb”, “character set”: “utf8mb4”},

Change the trustProxy line to true:

“TrustProxy”: true,

Define a password for the administrator user:

“Users”: {“admin”: {“password”: “secure password”, “is_admin”: true},

Save and close the file, then install the required dependencies with the following command:


Then exit the Etherpad user with the following command:


Create a Systemd service file for Etherpad

Next, you will need to create a systemd service file to manage the Etherpad service.

nano /etc/systemd/system/etherpad.service

Add the following lines:

[Unit]Description = Etherpad-lite, the collaborative editor. After =

[Service]Type = simpleUser = etherpadGroup = etherpadWorkingDirectory = / opt / etherpad / etherpad-liteEnvironment = NODE_ENV = production

ExecStart = / usr / bin / node /opt/etherpad/etherpad-lite/src/node/server.js

Restart = always

[Install]WantedBy =

Save and close the file, then reload the systemd daemon to apply the changes:

systemctl daemon-reload

Next, start the Etherpad service and enable it to start on system reboot with the following command:

systemctl start etherpad systemctl enable etherpad

At this point, Etherpad starts up and listens on port 9001. You can verify this with the following command:

ss -plntu | grep 9001


tcp LISTEN 0511* users: ((“node”, pid = 14889, fd = 27))

Configure Nginx as a reverse proxy

Next, you will need to install and configure Nginx as a reverse proxy to access the Etherpad.

First, install Nginx with the following command:

apt-get install nginx -y

Once installed, create a new Nginx virtual host configuration file:

nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/etherpad.conf

Add the following lines:

upstream etherpad {server localhost: 9001; keepalive 32;}

server {listen 80; server_name;

location / {client_max_body_size 50M; proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $ remote_addr; proxy_http_version 1.1; proxy_pass http: // etherpad;}}

Save and close the file, then activate the Nginx virtual host configuration file with the following command:

ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/etherpad.conf / etc / nginx / sites-enabled /

Then restart the Nginx service to apply the changes:

systemctl restart nginx

Access Etherpad

Now open your web browser and access the Etherpad web interface using the URL You will be redirected to the Etherpad panel: provide your pad name and click the OK button. You will be redirected to the Etherpad editor as shown below:

Congratulations! You have successfully installed and configured Etherpad with Nginx as a reverse proxy on Ubuntu 20.04. Of course, you don’t have to install and configure Etherpad on Ubuntu 20.04, if you use one of our Ubuntu Managed Hosting solutions, in which case you can simply ask our expert Linux administrators to install and configure Etherpad on Ubuntu 18.20 for you. . They are available 24 × 7 and will attend to your request immediately.

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