Alfresco Community Edition- install, configure & secure on CentOS

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Alfresco Community Edition is an open source Enterprise Content Management software for managing the contents of an enterprise. It is one of the software products of Alfresco. It is developed for two operating systems i.e Windows and Unix. It is an Enterprise Content Management(ECM) system and a version of Alfresco Content Services. It is written in Java whereas, PostgreSQL is used for storing its database. It is used within an enterprise for managing its various systems and digital assets like videos, documents, images, web, record, and many others. WebDAV, CIMS, SMB, and FTP can be used for accessing the file repository of hosted Alfresco. The Alfresco Engineering provides the stable and periodic releases of this Community Edition, along with the latest functionalities.

When talking about availability and scalability, it have some limitations. For instance, it does not support clustering. The quality assurance and the bug fixes are also limited. However, it provides enterprises of different levels with ease of managing their content and non-critical business process. It provides the users with ease-of-use, so that no one finds any difficulty in understanding the working of Alfresco and its various features. The source code of the Community Edition is publicly available. With it, many enterprise challenges can be addressed. Challenges like, multiple human errors, excessive manual work, displaying important information at one place, keeping track of employee performance, company saving up a long documentation since ever, transformation of a hard copy into an e-doc, and many others. These challenges are easily addressed and solved by using the Alfresco solutions.

It is widely used by the enterprises of any level, for the accomplishment of their content, and for researching the new features. For getting the advantage of development that is community-driven, it could be the best option.

IT does not restrict its installation to any specific operating system (OS). You can use any operating system (OS) of your choice; however, the installation steps would vary according to the choice of operating system.

Alfresco Prerequisites:

  1. VPS must have at least 4GB RAM and 2 Core processor.
  2. A registered domain name.
  3. You should setup your VPS’s hostname.
  4. Login as root user and create user with root privileges.

Installation of the required dependencies

The installer package is already provided by the Alfresco, which is ready to install. The package is easily available on their official website. This installer package by Alfresco contains all the programs required to execute Alfresco Community Edition on your Operating System. The LibreOffice plugin require some dependencies, needed to be installed for supporting it.

Let’s install fontconfig

# sudo yum -y install fontconfig

Let’s install libSM

# sudo yum -y install libSM

Let’s install libICE

# sudo yum -y install libICE

Let’s install cups-libs

# sudo yum -y install cups-libs

Let’s install libGLU, cairo, mesa-libGL-devel

# sudo yum -y install libGLU cairo mesa-libGL-devel

For the removal of Postfix or MTA from the machine:

# sudo yum -y remove postfix

Let’s install Nano Editor

Nano editor is used to edit different files. It helps you in editing files easily. We will be using this editor for editing a few files, so downloading it on prior basis makes it easy for us to continue with the configurations and editing processes. Here’s the command to install the editor.

# sudo yum install nano

After we are done installing the dependencies and the essential things, we’ll now get back towards installing the Alfresco.

Install Alfresco Community Edition

Here are the next steps for installing Alfresco Community on your server. The official page of Alfresco always provide the latest installer package that is ready to download.  The next step is to download the latest installer via its official page. It is recommended to use the installer that is provided by the official website, as it will not get you in trouble due to bugs or other errors during or after installation of Alfresco.

# wget https://download.alfresco.com/release/community/201707-build-00028/alfresco-community-installer-201707-linux-x64.bin

This downloading process would just take a while, and after it is saved, it will generate a message of saving the installer package. Now this installer package needs some execution permissions. The following command is going to provide it with the permissions.

# sudo chmod +x alfresco-community-installer-201707-linux-x64.bin

Now the permissions have been granted. We are easy to install the Alfresco Community Edition now. Executing the following command will start the installation process.

# sudo ./alfresco-community-installer-201707-linux-x64.bin

The next it asks you to select an installation language. Select the installation language by passing the respective number. After the language selection, it asks you to select the installation type. For installing the application with default configurations, you must select Easy Install method.

alfresco

The third thing it asks you is to select a folder to install it. Select /opt/alfresco-community which is the default location, for installing it. Continue with the default folder by pressing an Enter key.

The next you need to specify a password for the Alfresco Content Services administrator account. These are going to be the credentials which you will be using for accessing the Alfresco services, after they are installed, by using the administrative ID and password. After setting up a password, select ‘Y’ for installing it as a service. It asks you if you want to continue. Select ‘y’. The installation process must begin afterwards.

Right after the it is installed, it asks View Readme File? Select ‘y’ for Readme. The server would be started immediately showing you the following output.

alfresco

You can also get your application started now, as the installer has already provided the startup service.

# sudo systemctl start alfresco

You need to get the Alfresco service enabled for starting it automatically at boot time. Now we will be enabling the Alfresco services.

# sudo systemctl enable alfresco

By default, the Tomcat server starts on port 8080. For checking the working status of Alfresco server, the port 8080 needs to be allowed through the system firewall. This will be done by the firewall settings mentioned with details at the end of this tutorial.

Go to a browser and log on to http://47.90.214.177:8080/share/ where 47.90.214.177 is my public IP. Remember to replace it with yours. On loading this, you will be shown Alfresco’s landing page.

Configure Reverse Proxy

By default, Tomcat server runs on port 8080. Here we are going to use Nginx as a reverse proxy for the application to be easily accessible through the standard HTTP and HTTPS ports. We will also be configuring Nginx for using an SSL generated with Let’s Encrypt free SSL.

Now, install Nginx server.

# sudo yum -y install nginx

Now, we will be starting the web server along with enabling it to automatically start at the boot time.

# sudo systemctl start nginx
# sudo systemctl enable nginx

Next Thing you need to do is configuration of reverse proxy. All we need to do is that we will be creating a new block file.

# sudo nano /etc/nginx/conf.d/softpedia.xyz.conf

Here softpedia.xyz is the public domain name, replace it with yours. The next thing is that we shall be populating this file with the following code.

server {

listen 80;

server_name softpedia.xyz;

location / {

root /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/webapps/ROOT;

proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;

proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

proxy_set_header Host $http_host;

proxy_http_version 1.1;

proxy_pass http://localhost:8080;

proxy_redirect default;

}

location /share/ {

root /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/webapps/share/;

proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;

proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

proxy_set_header Host $http_host;

proxy_http_version 1.1;

proxy_pass http://localhost:8080/share/;

}

location /alfresco/ {

root /opt/alfresco-community/tomcat/webapps/alfresco/;

proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;

proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

proxy_set_header Host $http_host;

proxy_http_version 1.1;

proxy_pass http://localhost:8080/alfresco/;

}

}

 

Save the modified changes and close the file. Now we are done with the necessary changes made for the configuration.

The next thing is restarting the server for getting the changes saved.

# sudo systemctl restart nginx alfresco

This will restart your server and get your changes saved.

Now go to http://softpedia.xyz/share/page/ and access the various services of Alfresco Community Edition. Use credentials you already gave during the installation process of Alfresco.

Here you go…!! Now it is accessible through the domain name, easily. You can now use the amazing services provided by this application by giving the authenticated administrative credentials.

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