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These instructions are relevant only if you are installing the server code from the source tree. If you have installed the server code from a package, or if it is already installed, read the document doc/

Generally speaking, we are moving toward distributions using Docker images (first choice) and Debian packages. Installations from source should only be used if you are collaborating with us on the base system.

These steps assume you are building and installing the code from the source tree. If you are using a Debian package, see the instructions with it and skip to the next section.

Installing Step by Step

  • Run the script adm/ to set up your system so that the source code can be compilied. In particular, this installs all the third party packages you should need.
  • Create /usr/local/etc/ or /etc/ if you want to override any of the defaults.
  • Run the script adm/ from the root of the GDP source tree. This creates the gdp user, creates the system directories, etc. Note that this has certain dependencies on Berkeley. See below for details.
  • Compile the source tree using make from the source root. Details can be found in
  • Install the header files, libraries, and binaries using make install. You will probably need to be root for this to work. If you changed the setting for GDP_ROOT in you will also have to set LOCAL_ROOT on the command line, e.g., if you have set GDP_ROOT to /usr/local/gdp, use:

    make install LOCAL_ROOT=/usr/local/gdp


Changing Defaults

If you want to change defaults, create /usr/local/etc/ or /etc/ This is read as a shell file, and should consist of NAME=value definitions. There are several parameters that can be changed, the most useful of which is GDP_ROOT.

There are three cases for GDP_ROOT:

  • GDP_ROOT = /usr means that everything will be installed in the "normal" system directories: /usr/bin, /usr/sbin, /var/log, and /etc/gdp. Note that files in /etc are in a subdirectory. This is the default.
  • GDP_ROOT = /usr/local or /opt/local means that everything will be installed in subdirectories of GDP_ROOT with the exception of configuration files, which will be stored in GDP_ROOT/etc/gdp.
  • Otherwise everything is installed in subdirectories of the indicated directory. For example, if GDP_ROOT is /home/gdp then all installation will go into that directory instead of the system directories, i.e., /home/gdp/bin, /home/gdp/etc, etc.

Other locations can be set explicitly (rather that deriving from GDP_ROOT):

  • GDP_ETC: the location for configuration files.
  • GDP_LOG_DIR: where system logs are stored.

Initializing the Server

The script adm/ should do most of the steps necessary for initializing a server. This:

  • Creates a user and group named gdp:gdp if it doesn not exist.
  • Creates directories needed by the GDP. See below for details.
  • Creates initial parameter files.

This script does have some Berkeley dependencies that may require editing some files after you have run the script. These will be located in the directory $GDP_ETC/params.

The parameter swarm.gdp.routers (file gdp) is set to the list of hosts to search to find a GDP router. This will be initialized with the names of routers at Berkeley. If you are running your own router you will probably want to change this.

The parameter swarm.gdplogd.gdpname (file gdplogd) assumes that your domain name is "". You should change this to match your domain. The convention is to use the reversed domain name of the host running gdplogd with .gdplogd appended. For example, if your gdplogd server is named, the value of that parameter should be

Next Steps

Proceed to the documenet doc/ for details about post-install operation.