11.1. Installing CamCOPS on the server

11.1.1. Hardware and operating system requirements

The CamCOPS server is cross-platform software written in Python. It’s been tested primarily under Linux with MySQL.

11.1.3. Installing CamCOPS

See Linux flavours for a reminder of some common differences between Linux operating systems. Ubuntu installation from Debian package

To install CRATE and all its dependencies, download the Debian package and use gdebi:

$ sudo gdebi camcops-VERSION.deb

where VERSION is the CamCOPS version you’re installing. (If you don’t have gdebi, install it with sudo apt-get install gdebi.)

CamCOPS will now be installed in /usr/share/camcops.

You should be able to type camcops and see something relevant. CentOS installation from RPM

First, to get Centos 6.5 to a basic standard, see here. Then:

sudo yum install camcops_VERSION.noarch.rpm

# Or, for more verbosity and to say yes to everything, use this command instead:
# sudo yum --assumeyes --verbose --rpmverbosity=debug install camcops_VERSION.noarch.rpm
# ... but, curiously, yum temporarily swallows the output from the post-install
#     scripts and only spits it out at the end. This makes it look like the
#     installation has got stuck (because packages like numpy are very slow
#     to install); use "watch pstree" or "top" to reassure yourself
#     that progress is indeed happening.

You should be able to type camcops and see something relevant. Generic installation for any OS

  • Create and activate a Python 3.5+ virtual environment:

    export CAMCOPS_VENV=~/dev/camcops_venv
    python3 -m venv $CAMCOPS_VENV
    . $CAMCOPS_VENV/bin/activate
    pip install --upgrade pip  # just in case you have an old version of pip
  • Install the CamCOPS server package:

    pip install camcops-server


sort out MySQL dependencies and/or provide database driver advice


implement Windows service

11.1.4. Installing other prerequisites

For example, you might be running Ubuntu and want to use Apache as your front-end web server and MySQL as your database:

sudo apt-get install apache2 mysql-client mysql-server

See also the more detailed MySQL configuration tips.

11.2. Specimen installations

11.2.1. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS


write Ubuntu specimen installation

Starting with a bare Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installation (which comes with Python 3.6), you will need:

sudo apt install gcc  # or x86_64-linux-gnu-gcc will be missing
sudo apt install python3-dev  # or <Python.h> will be missing

You may also want MySQL, e.g.

wget -c https://dev.mysql.com/get/mysql-apt-config_0.8.10-1_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i mysql-apt-config_0.8.10-1_all.deb  # and follow on-screen instructions
sudo apt update
sudo apt install mysql-server  # and enter a root password when prompted

11.2.2. Windows 10

  • Install Python (see Installing Python for Windows).

  • Install ImageMagick (see Installing ImageMagick for Windows).

  • Install a database package, create a database, and create an ODBC connection to that database.

  • Install the CamCOPS server and a suitable database driver.

    REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM Make and activate a Python virtual environment
    REM (Note that old versions of pip may fail, so upgrade just in case.)
    REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \python36\python.exe -m venv \some_path\camcops_venv
    python -m pip install --upgrade pip
    REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM Install the CamCOPS server
    REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM pip install camcops_server
    REM or install from a cloned git repository:
    cd \some_path
    git clone <REPOSITORY_URL>
    cd camcops\server
    pip install -e .
    REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM Install suitable database drivers
    REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    pip install pyodbc
    REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM Create/edit a default config file
    REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    camcops_server demo_camcops_config > \some_path\my_camcops_config.ini


    If you get the error ImportError: No module named 'tkinter', then you probably said no to installing tk/tkinter when installing Python. Run the installer again and say yes (e.g. Python 3.6.7 (64-bit) Setup ‣ Modify ‣ [✓] tcl/tk and IDLE: Installs tkinter and the IDLE development environment ‣ Next ‣ Install).


    If you get the error TypeError: descriptor '__subclasses__' of 'type' object needs an argument, using Python 3.5, then this is a Python bug; upgrade to Python 3.5.3+ as per https://github.com/python/typing/issues/266.

  • Edit the configuration file. In particular, as an absolute minimum you must set:

    • DB_URL
  • Create the database structure:

    camcops_server upgrade_db --config \some_path\my_camcops_config.ini

    You should specify this filename as an absolute path (Alembic does some directory changing that makes relative filenames fail!).


    Current Windows problems: SQL DELETE taking forever during upgrade_db. Probably to do with constraints/triggers. Temporary workaround: use create_db instead. (However, the reindex command works fine.)

  • Create a superuser

    camcops_server make_superuser
  • Create a dummy (“snake oil”) SSL certificate and key, with some variation on this theme:

    openssl req ^
        -nodes ^
        -new ^
        -x509 ^
        -keyout dummy_ssl_private_key.key ^
        -out dummy_ssl_certificate.cert ^
        -subj "/C=UK/ST=my_state/L=my_location/O=CamCOPS testing/CN=Forename Surname"
    REM Note that the country code (in this case "UK") must be 2 characters max.
  • Launch a test server like this (directly or via a batch file):

    @echo off
    set IP_ADDR=
    set PORT=8088
    set SSL_CERTIFICATE=C:\some_path\dummy_ssl_certificate.cert
    set SSL_KEY=C:\some_path\dummy_ssl_private_key.key
    set CAMCOPS_CONFIG_FILE=C:\some_path\test_camcops_config.ini
    REM Config location will be read directly from environment variable.
    REM Could also specify it with --config.
    camcops_server serve_cherrypy ^
        --host %IP_ADDR% ^
        --port %PORT% ^
        --debug_toolbar ^
        --verbose ^
        --ssl_certificate %SSL_CERTIFICATE% ^
        --ssl_private_key %SSL_KEY%
  • Browse to to test it.

  • Create some ID number definitions, and a group. Ensure you have a user that is uploading to that group.

  • Install the CamCOPS client. Configure and register it. Test settings:

    • Server address:
    • Server port: 8088
    • Path on server: database
    • Validate HTTPS certificates? No