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How to install this project management tool on your home network

If you'd like to keep your data, files, and projects managed within the safety and privacy of your home network, read on and find out how.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Min Shin
Woman working from home
Morsa Images/Getty Images

I started a series of articles with the goal of helping those new to Linux deploy the open-source operating system to a home network. That series started with the most important reason to use Linux at home, followed by the how to install a cloud service with Linux

I'll continue that series with the installation of OpenProject.

What is OpenProject?

OpenProject is a tool you can use to manage projects of all sizes, from simple home projects to very complex business projects (and everything in between). OpenProject includes tools like Gantt charts, kanban, scrum, and sprints, as well as team planners, project portfolios, task management, time tracking, collaboration, roadmaps, and workflows. No matter the type of project, you can manage it with OpenProject.

Also: How project management tools can boost your productivity

Let me show you how to deploy this fantastic (and free) tool to your home network.

How to install OpenProject


The only things you'll need for this are a running instance of Ubuntu Server and a user with sudo (aka admin) privileges. Don't worry, the user you created during the installation of Ubuntu Server will have sudo privileges. 

Before we get started, there are a few commands to run. Don't worry, all you have to do is copy and paste those commands in the terminal window. It's much easier than you think. 

Also: Linux is not just for developers and command line pros

That's it. Let's get to work.

1. Add the official Docker GPG key

We'll be deploying OpenProject as a Docker container. Essentially, a container is a packaged application that includes everything necessary to run. Before we can deploy the container, we must install the tool that allows us to do so. 

The first thing to do is add the official Docker GPG key (so we can install the software). To do that, paste the following command into your terminal window and hit Enter on your keyboard:

curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu/gpg | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg

2. Add the Docker repository

Next, we have to add the Docker repository, so your operating system knows where to find the installable software. 

Also: How to install Ubuntu Linux (It's easy!)

Do that by pasting the following command into your terminal and hitting Enter on your keyboard to run the command (which is necessary every time you paste a command into the terminal):

echo "deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null

3. Install the dependencies

There are a few applications that must be installed, which can be achieved with the command:

sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl gnupg lsb-release git -y

4. Install Docker

You can now update apt and install Docker with the following two commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli containerd.io -y

5. Add your user to the docker group

You now must add your user to the docker group, so you can run the docker command. This is done with the command below. Once you've done that, log out and log back in so the changes take effect.

sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

6. Install Docker Compose

There's one more piece of software to install, which is accomplished with the command:

sudo apt-get install docker-compose -y

How to deploy OpenProject

It's now time to deploy the OpenProject container. I want to show you how to do it with persistent storage. This way, should anything go wrong with the container, your data is still safe.

First, create the necessary directories for the data by pasting and running the following command into your terminal:

sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/openproject/{pgdata,assets}

And now, for the main attraction. Copy and paste this command to deploy the OpenProject container:

docker run -it -p 8080:80 --name openproject -e OPENPROJECT_SECRET_KEY_BASE=secret -e OPENPROJECT_HOST__NAME=IP:8080 -e OPENPROJECT_HTTPS=false -v /var/lib/openproject/pgdata:/var/openproject/pgdata -v /var/lib/openproject/assets:/var/openproject/assets -d openproject/community:12

IP is the IP address of your hosting server (which you can find with the command ip a).

The command will return a long string of characters, which is the ID of the container. Once your terminal prompt is returned, the container should be deployed. You'll want to give it a few minutes for everything to finish up. Note: This can take up to 20 minutes to complete.

How to access OpenProject

Once the container has deployed, open a web browser on your network and point it to http://IP:8080 (where IP is the IP address of your server). You should be greeted by the OpenProject main page. Click Sign In at the upper right corner and, when prompted, type admin for the username and admin as the password.

Also: 10 productivity apps that could transform the way you work 

You'll be immediately prompted to change the admin password. Do that and you'll be asked to set your default language. You can then walk through an introductory wizard to learn more about the software.

The OpenProject main page.

You're almost ready to start managing your projects within the privacy of your own home.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

And that's all there is to deploying a powerful project management tool to your home network. You now have everything you need to manage all of your different projects.

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