Install via Script using the Repository

Installing Opencast can be complex, so we have built a set of Ansible scripts to handle the installation and configuration. These scripts should handle most common installation setups, and are ideal for someone wishing to quickly and easily set up Opencast for testing. These scripts are also a good base upon which to build your own, local configuration management scripts.

The Ansible scripts are tested on long term stable releases of Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS. Currently this is Debian 8, Ubuntu 16.04, and 18.04, and CentOS 7. Other releases, and distributions should work, but are untested.


These scripts use Ansible, which allows you to easily and automatically manage large numbers of machines via SSH. Install Ansible before continuing with this guide.

The scripts can be found here. If you are familiar with git make a local clone, otherwise download a zip file of the scripts. Read through the documentation, which contains additional setup steps.


Before you can install Opencast you need to get an account for the repository. You will need the credentials that you get by mail after the registration to successfully complete this manual. The placeholders [your_username] and [your_password] are used in this manual wherever the credentials are needed.

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Host Setup

All of the machines defined in your hosts file must have a user (by default here, named ansible) who matches all of the following conditions

  • Accepts your SSH key. You should be able to run ssh ansible@$hostname and be logged in without a password.
  • Has sudo access, and has the same password on each machine.

Each host must also have Python installed. This is an Ansible requirement, but on some variants (Ubuntu) it is missing for some installs.

Authentication Setup

Open group_vars/all.yml in your favorite text editor, and fill in the repo_username and repo_password fields with your credentials for the package repository. Ensure the ansible_user value matches the username for the user you configured above. The rest of the keys are pre-populated with the common passwords used by default with Opencast. For testing purposes these are fine, but you are encouraged to change them anyway. Once you have changed them use Ansible Vault to protect the authentication data! The most basic way is to run ansible-vault encrypt group_vars/all.yml. It will prompt you for a password which will be required to decrypt this data for use at runtime. To avoid the prompt for the vault password please consult the Ansible Vault documentation, and modify the ansible-playbook command below accordingly.

Deploying Opencast

To deploy Opencast after protecting your authentication data with Ansible Vault run ansible-playbook -K -i hosts --vault-id @prompt opencast.yml. This will prompt you for the sudo password for the cluster, and the vault password for your authentication data.

Alternatively, if you want to just start testing without protecting your credentials, or changing the default logins you can skip the Authentication Setup section above and instead run ansible-playbook -K -i hosts opencast.yml --extra-vars "repo_username=[your_username] repo_password=[your_password]" instead. This will deploy Opencast with the default credentials, using your repository username and password. This method runs the risk of exposing your repository credentials on a multi-user system however, so it is not recommended.

Reconfiguring Opencast

If you successfully install Opencast, but notice you have made a mistake in your configuration you can use the config advanced option. Read the script documentation for more detail.

Production Use

Similar to testing, you need to read the documentation and perform the additional installation steps. The only differences between testing and production use are:

  • Setting different passwords for all password options in group_vars/all.yml. These scripts default to the common passwords used by default by Opencast. You do not want to use these passwords in production. Remember to use ansible-vault, or some other secret management system to protect your authorization data!
  • Changing install_mariadb to false. These scripts install MariaDB from your distribution's package manager by default, but some institutions may want to use an institution-wide MariaDB instance. If this is true for you, set this value to false to prevent installation of MariaDB. The database tables will still be imported, although you may need to create the schema itself manually.
  • Changing handle_network_mounts to false. These scripts install NFS from your distribution's package manager by default, but some institutions may want to use an appliance, or want to manage NFS themselves. If this is true for you, set this value to false to prevent installation of NFS on the fileserver, and the creation of mounts on the Opencast nodes.
  • Reconfiguring most things (ie, using the config advanced option) aside from the authentication data will likely break your install. These playbooks target basic installation rather than major changes. Test first, then transition to a new instance for production.

Upgrading Major Versions

These scripts do not attempt to intelligently update your Opencast installation across major versions. They will however upgrade your installation to the newest minor version. For example, if you have Opencast 3.6 installed, these scripts will upgrade you to 3.7, but not 4.0. To upgrade major versions, follow the upgrade steps listed in the RPM or Deb instructions, depending on your installed distribution.