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How to Install Superdesk and Superdesk Publisher

A step-by step guide
A step-by step guide

This guide describes the functions of Superdesk Publisher and Superdesk, along with the required steps to run both applications concurrently in a production environment on two different servers. (However, both applications can also work on a single machine.)

What is Superdesk Publisher?

Superdesk Publisher is a next-generation publishing platform for journalists and newsrooms. Made for today’s digital newsrooms, Superdesk Publisher delivers multimedia content through a variety of channels, providing content management and monitoring from a single point of editorial control.

More info can be found at

What is Superdesk?

Superdesk is a state-of-the-art digital newsroom system. It combines headless CMS functionality with powerful workflow features for an end-to-end news creation, production, curation and distribution platform. Built alongside journalists in the newsroom, it has a modular, API-centric design that enables news organisations to add and adapt the functionality most relevant to their business. Superdesk is open-source, web-based, and integrates easily with legacy systems as well as third-party applications.

More info can be found at

How to Install Superdesk?


  • VPS or dedicated server: min 2GB RAM, 4GB Free space
  • Ubuntu 16.04 server version installed

Superdesk can be installed using one command line script which can be found here:

Run command:

sudo apt-get install curl -y && curl -s | sudo bash

Note: If you see the following message:

The virtual environment was not created successfully because ensurepip is not available. On Debian/Ubuntu systems, you need to install the python3-venv
package using the following command.
apt-get install python3-venv
You may need to use sudo with that command. After installing the python3-venv
package, recreate your virtual environment.
Failing command: [‘/opt/superdesk/env/bin/python3’, ‘-Im’, ‘ensurepip’, ‘ — upgrade’, ‘ — default-pip’]


export LC_ALL="en_US.UTF-8"
export LC_CTYPE="en_US.UTF-8"

and then again execute the command:

sudo apt-get install curl -y && curl -s | sudo bash

The above command will install all the required dependencies needed by Superdesk. Once this is done, the Superdesk will run on your server.

You will be able to access it via your browser: http://

The default login credentials will be:

Username: admin
Password: admin

How to Install Superdesk Publisher?


  • VPS or dedicated server: min 2GB RAM, 4GB Free space with Linux system installed, preferably Ubuntu.
  • PHP ≥ 7.1 with all the extensions (See here to read more about all extensions).
  • PostgreSQL ≥ 9.4.
  • Memcached.
  • Composer installed globally.
  • ElasticSearch ≥ 5.4 (version 5.4 or 5.6 preferably).
  • RabbitMQ ≥ 3.5.
  • Apache web server ≥ 2.4 or Nginx.
  • See here to read more about all requirements.

Note: In this guide the Superdesk Publisher will be installed on another server.

Setting up the server/VPS

1. Install ElasticSearch

ElasticSearch v5.6 will be used. Run the following command to install ES:

curl -L -O && sudo dpkg -i elasticsearch-5.6.0.deb && sudo apt-get -y update && sudo apt-get -y install --no-install-recommends openjdk-8-jre-headless && sudo systemctl enable elasticsearch && sudo systemctl restart elasticsearch

The ElasticSearch should be running on port 9200. You can run the command:

curl -s "http://localhost:9200"

to find out if everything is working.

2. Install PostgreSQL

Run command:

sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib -y

The default PostgreSQL user is postgres.

Set the default PostgreSQL user password:

sudo -u postgres psql postgres
\password postgres

Hit enter, and a prompt to type a new password will show up.

Type \q to exit the postgres console, once you type a new password.

3. Install PHP-FPM 7.2

Let’s install PHP-FPM 7.2 with all the required extensions:

sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo LC_ALL=C.UTF-8 add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y php7.2-fpm php7.2-pgsql php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-intl php7.2-zip php7.2-mbstring php7.2-curl php7.2-bcmath

4. Configure PHP-FPM 7.2

Run command:

cd /etc/php/7.2/fpm/pool.d/ && sudo curl -s -O && sudo service php7.2-fpm restart

5. Install Nginx server

Run command:

sudo apt-get -y install nginx

6. Configure Nginx server

Run command

cd /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ && sudo curl -s -O && sudo service nginx restart

7. Install RabbitMQ server

Run command:

sudo apt install -y rabbitmq-server

Completing the Superdesk Publisher installation

The Superdesk Publisher repository can be found on GitHub. From there the source code can be downloaded and the Superdesk Publisher can be installed on your server. Follow the guide below.

Assumed our server has IP address. You can change it to your own IP or domain name. But in this guide we will use IP for Superdesk Publisher instance.

Superdesk instance will run using IP address.

1. Install Composer

cd ~/
curl -sS | php
sudo mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

2. Download the source code

The default directory where the Publisher source code will be downloaded can be /var/www/publisher and all console commands need to be executed inside that directory starting from now on.

Run commands in your terminal:

cd /var/www/ && sudo git clone publisher

Install Superdesk Publisher source code dependencies:

HTTPDUSER=$(ps axo user,comm | grep -E '[a]pache|[h]ttpd|[_]www|[w]ww-data|[n]ginx' | grep -v root | head -1 | cut -d\  -f1) && sudo chown -R "$HTTPDUSER":"$HTTPDUSER" publisher/ && cd publisher && sudo -u www-data SYMFONY_ENV=prod composer install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader

All the source code dependencies will start to install. Once it is done, you will be asked to fill the parameters.yml file which needs to be completed before proceeding.

If you don’t know what to set, just simply use default values by hitting “enter” and replace the content of/var/www/publisher/app/config/parameters.yml file with:

To set proper permissions for cache and logs directories, run:

sudo setfacl -dR -m u:"$HTTPDUSER":rwX -m u:$(whoami):rwX app/cache app/logs && sudo setfacl -R -m u:"$HTTPDUSER":rwX -m u:$(whoami):rwX app/cache app/logs

3. Check Requirements

Check if your server meets the requirements by running:

php app/check.php

If everything is in order, you should see this message: Your system is ready to run Symfony projects.

4. Create the Database and Update the Schema

Inside /var/www/publisher directory, run the command to create the database:

SYMFONY_ENV=prod php app/console doctrine:database:create

And populate the database with the schema, run:

SYMFONY_ENV=prod php app/console doctrine:migrations:migrate --no-interaction

5. Create organization:

SYMFONY_ENV=prod php app/console swp:organization:create Publisher

6. Create tenant:

SYMFONY_ENV=prod php app/console swp:tenant:create Testing

Where  is the organization code generated by the previous command and is your IP/domain name which points to the server where Superdesk Publisher is installed. Replace it with your appropriate data.

7. Install theme:

sudo -u www-data SYMFONY_ENV=prod php app/console swp:theme:install  src/SWP/Bundle/FixturesBundle/Resources/themes/DefaultTheme/ -f --activate

 is the Tenant’s code generated by previous command. Replace it with the proper value.

Install theme assets:

sudo -u www-data SYMFONY_ENV=prod php app/console sylius:theme:assets:install

8. Clear the cache

Run command:

SYMFONY_ENV=prod php app/console cache:clear --env=prod

The Superdesk Publisher should be running and be accessible using your remote server IP, in this case.

How to Configure Superdesk Publisher with Superdesk

Now that the Superdesk and Superdesk Publisher applications are installed, it is possible to enable Superdesk Publisher Component inside the Superdesk UI.

Superdesk Publisher Component is a JavaScript component that is a separate dependency and can be included in Superdesk in order to manage Superdesk Publisher application.

The source code of this component can be found at GitHub.

1. Update Configuration File

Login to the server where Superdesk is installed.

Inside /opt/superdesk/client/dist directory on your server open theconfig.js and config..js (e.g.config.23fr4.js) files and override the content with the text as below:

That’s it! Now, when you log in to Superdesk in the left hamburger menu, you will see the Publisher menu item:

2. Configure Subscriber to Publish Content from Superdesk to Superdesk Publisher

You can read more about this here.

Thank you for reading to the end of this post! If you liked what you saw, please give us a pat on the back by starring our project on Github:


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