Setting Up Etherpad Lite on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for Real-Time Collaboration

In this guide, we delve into the smooth installation and setup process of Etherpad Lite, a collaborative text editing platform, on a server running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Streamline your remote cooperation with an Etherpad server, set up to include reliable databases and a web server for easy access. We’ll ensure that all the latest technologies, such as the latest stable versions of MariaDB, Node.js, and Nginx, are used to keep your Etherpad Lite up to date and securely functioning.

Before You Start

  • Ensure you have a server running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, ideally with SSD for optimal performance.
  • Secure access to an account with root privileges for seamless setups and configurations.

Installation and Configuration Guide

Step 1: Server Login and Package Update

Access your Ubuntu server with SSH. Execute the following to update system packages:

ssh root@your_server_ip

apt update && apt upgrade

Make sure to authenticate with your server’s actual IP address.

Step 2: Dependency Setup

Install all necessary dependencies for running Etherpad Lite:

apt install -y nodejs npm mariadb-server nginx git

Step 3: MariaDB Configuration

MariaDB is essential for Etherpad Lite’s data storage. Install and set up your database:

apt install mariadb-server -y


mysql -uroot -p

CREATE DATABASE etherpad_lite_db;

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON etherpad_lite_db.* TO ‘etherpad_user’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘ChangeMeToASecurePassword’;



Step 4: Deploying Etherpad Lite

Create an Etherpad user and clone the Etherpad Lite repository into their home directory:

adduser etherpad

su – etherpad

git clone

Next, configure Etherpad with MariaDB’s details by editing ‘settings.json’ within your cloned directory.

Step 5: Systemd Service Creation

Enhance automatic management of your Etherpad service by setting up a systemd file:


nano /etc/systemd/system/etherpad.service

Populate the service file with appropriate directives, then enable and start your Etherpad service:

systemctl enable –now etherpad

Step 6: Nginx Reverse Proxy Setup

Configure Nginx to act as a reverse proxy, streamlining Etherpad Lite’s network accessibility:

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

Here, input server block details including a server_name pointing to your Etherpad’s domain. Enable the new site configuration:

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

nginx -t && systemctl reload nginx

Step 7: Access and Collaborate

You can now access your real-time collaborative platform at the domain specified in your Nginx configuration.

Wrapping Up

Enjoy collaborative editing and take advantage of the flexibility Etherpad Lite offers. For further customization, explore the Etherpad ecosystem’s plugins that can enhance your experience.


Q: What should I do if I encounter an error during the MariaDB setup?

A: Check for syntax errors in the commands you’ve entered. Ensure the MariaDB service is running and that you’ve used an appropriately secure password.

Q: How can I secure my Etherpad Lite installation?

A: Beyond a secure database password, consider setting up an SSL certificate for encrypted connections and adjusting firewall settings to restrict access to necessary ports.

Ensure your article remains easy to follow by keeping your language clear and by laying out the installation process in a logical, step-by-step manner. Remember to replace placeholder text with actual information, like the MariaDB setup snippet or the Nginx configuration, for readability and accuracy.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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