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This wiki page details the installation of MediaGoblin on an Ubuntu 12.04 server.

This basic installation method is suitable for small deployments.

Install an Ubuntu 12.04 Server

Install a normal Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 bit server. During the installation when prompted select to install the OpenSSH server

Make sure that you prepare enough disk space for all the media you will be hosting.

Also prepare for a hostname/domainname/URL to use.

Also ensure the server has access to the internet in order to be able download software during the installation.

After the Ubuntu server is installed, remotely login using SSH and become the root user, using the "sudo" method by typing sudo -i after logging in..

Step 1 - Pre-requisites

  • Build dependencies
apt-get install mc git-core python python-dev python-lxml python-imaging python-virtualenv
  • Web server dependencies
apt-get install apache2-mpm-worker libapache2-mod-fastcgi apache2-suexec
  • Enable web server modules
a2enmod fastcgi rewrite suexec
  • Mail server dependencies
apt-get install postfix mailutils

Setup postfix as a smarthost relay and use your institutional outgoing email server ( as the smarthost relay.

Step 2 - Install MediaGoblin

  • Type the following:
 cd /opt
 git clone git://
 cd mediagoblin
 git submodule init && git submodule update
  • And set up the in-package virtualenv:
cd /opt/mediagoblin
(virtualenv --python=python2 --system-site-packages . || virtualenv --python=python22 .) && ./bin/python develop
  • Assuming you are going to deploy with FastCGI, you should also install flup:
cd /opt/mediagoblin
./bin/easy_install flup

Step 3 - Deploy MediaGoblin

  • Create local config file:
cd /opt/mediagoblin
cp mediagoblin.ini mediagoblin_local.ini
  • Set mediagoblin operating parameters.
nano mediagoblin_local.ini

Under [mediagoblin]

  1. Set email_sender_address to the address you wish to be used as the sender for system-generated emails
  2. Set email_debug_mode = false

Save the file and exit.

  • Setup web server default host:
cd /etc/apache2/sites-available
rm default
nano default

Copy and paste the following into the editor:

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin xxxx@yyyy
DocumentRoot /var/www/

# Serve static and media files via alias
Alias /mgoblin_static/ /opt/mediagoblin/mediagoblin/static/
Alias /mgoblin_media/ /opt/mediagoblin/mediagoblin/user_dev/media/public/

# Rewrite all URLs to fcgi, except for static and media urls
RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^(mgoblin_static|mgoblin_media)($|/) - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ /mg.fcgi/$1 [QSA,L]

# Allow access to static and media directories
<Directory /opt/mediagoblin/mediagoblin/static>
  Order allow,deny
  Allow from all
<Directory /opt/mediagoblin/mediagoblin/user_dev/media/public>
  Order allow,deny
  Allow from all

# Connect to fcgi server
FastCGIExternalServer /var/www/mg.fcgi -host

Save and exit the file.

  • Populate the DB:
cd /opt/mediagoblin
./bin/gmg dbupdate
  • Restart the web server.
service apache2 restart

Step 4 - Launch the media service

Type the following to test:

cd /opt/mediagoblin/
./ --server-name=fcgi fcgi_host= fcgi_port=26543

Press CTL+c to end the process.

If it works then add the following to the /etc/rc.local file using the "nano" editor:

cd /opt/mediagoblin/
./ --server-name=fcgi fcgi_host= fcgi_port=26543

See example below.

#!/bin/sh -e
# rc.local
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
# By default this script does nothing.

cd /opt/mediagoblin
./ --server-name=fcgi fcgi_host= fcgi_port=26543

exit 0

Last Step

Setup for production by putting Celery into asynchronous mode.

Reboot the server.


Enable Media Types

The default installation above only allows viewing of image files.

To enable an additional media type, add the the media type under the [plugins] section of your /opt/mediagoblin/mediagoblin_local.ini file.

Type the following as the root user.

nano /opt/mediagoblin/mediagoblin_local.ini

Copy and paste the following into the file underneath the [plugins] section.


Save the file.

Install dependant open source software.

apt-get install poppler-utils unoconv python-pyexiv2 libsndfile1-dev libasound2-dev python-gst0.10 python-numpy python-scipy
apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-{base,bad,good,ugly} gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg blender ubuntu-restricted-extras

Install dependant python software.

cd /opt/mediagoblin
./bin/pip install scikits.audiolab
./bin/easy_install chardet

Install pdf.js dependencies

cd /opt/mediagoblin
git submodule init
git submodule update

Update the database.

cd /opt/mediagoblin
./bin/gmg dbupdate

Run tests.

cd /opt/mediagoblin

If there are no errors then reboot.