How to Install Askbot on Ubuntu

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Askbot on Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04.

Askbot is an open source question and answer (Q&A) platform that is built on Python and Django. With Askbot you can create your own Q&A platform similar to SStackOverflow and few others.

You can build an efficient question and answer knowledge forum with best answers being shown first, categorized by tags, user control with reward systems that give users karma for posting good and relevant information.

For individuals and businesses looking to provide Q&A forum, Askbot should come in handy. When you ready to install, follow the steps below.

To get started with install Askbot on Ubuntu, use the guide below.

Install required packages

To install Askbot, these packages will need to be installed on Ubuntu. To install, run the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install python-dev python-setuptools python3-pip python3-psycopg2 libpq-dev

Install PostgreSQL

Now that you’ve installed the packages above, go and install PostgreSQL. To do that, run the commands below.

sudo apt install postgresql postgresql-client

After installing PostgreSQL, the commands below can be used to stop, start, enable and check its status

sudo systemctl stop postgresql.service
sudo systemctl start postgresql.service
sudo systemctl enable postgresql.service
sudo systemctl status postgresql.service

This is what the status command shows

‚óŹ postgresql.service - PostgreSQL RDBMS
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/postgresql.service; enabled; vendor prese
   Active: active (exited) since Wed 2018-10-31 11:58:09 CDT; 12s ago
 Main PID: 7930 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
    Tasks: 0 (limit: 4663)
   CGroup: /system.slice/postgresql.service

Oct 31 11:58:09 ubuntu1804 systemd[1]: Starting PostgreSQL RDBMS...
Oct 31 11:58:09 ubuntu1804 systemd[1]: Started PostgreSQL RDBMS.

Create PostgreSQL Linux User Password

After installing PostgreSQL, it’s a good idea to create / change the default PostgreSQL user password… Run the commands below to create / change the user password in the bash shell and not PostgreSQL interactive shell.

Set password for Linux user (postgres)

sudo passwd postgres

You should be prompted to create a new Linux password for postgres user.

Enter new UNIX password: 
Retype new UNIX password: 
passwd: password updated successfully

After setting a new password, every time you want to access PostgreSQL interactive shell, you’ll be prompted to confirm the password you created after running the commands above.

Create PostgreSQL database

Now that PostgreSQL is installed, use the commands below to connect to its shell console. You’ll be prompted to type the password you entered above.

su - postgres

On the shell console, type the commands below to create a new database called askbot.

create database askbot;

Then create a database user named askbotuser with new password.

create user askbotuser with password 'type_password_here';

Next, grant askbotuser full access to the askbot database and exit

grant all privileges on database askbot to askbotuser;

After creating the database and user above, run the commands below to edit PostgreSQL configuration file and enable md5 authentication.

sudo nano /etc/postgresql/12/main/pg_hba.conf

Then at the end of the file, edit the highlighted lines to reference md5.

"local" is for Unix domain socket connections only
 local   all             all                                     md5 
 IPv4 local connections:
 host    all             all               md5
 IPv6 local connections:
 host    all             all             ::1/128                 md5
 Allow replication connections from localhost, by a user with the

After editing the above file, restart PostgreSQL

sudo systemctl restart postgresql

Install Askbot

To install Askbot, we’ll need to create a dedicated user account. You can do that by running the commands below to create a new account called askbot.

The create a new password for the account.

sudo useradd -m -s /bin/bash askbot 
sudo passwd askbot

Next, make sure the command is can run sudo as root.

sudo usermod -a -G sudo askbot

When you’re done, run the commands below to install Python virtual environment (virtualenv).

sudo pip install virtualenv six

After installing, switch to the askbot account using the commands below. Then create a new virtual environment for Askbot.

su - askbot
virtualenv askbot

Change into the virtual environment and activate it.

cd askbot
source bin/activate

Next, install Askbot, Six, and PostgreSQL modules.

pip install --upgrade pip
pip install six==1.10.0
pip install askbot==0.11.1 psycopg2

Next, create a directory for Askbot and set it up.

mkdir myapp
cd myapp

The setup command will prompt for environment details. Use this guide to answer;

Deploying Askbot - Django Q&A forum application
Problems installing? -> please email [email protected]

To CANCEL - press Ctr-C.

Enter the Root directory path (relative or absolute).
This directory will contain the Django project's file.
Press ENTER to use ./askbot_site.
Enter the Project directory name.
Will be a subdirectory within the Root for the, files.
Press ENTER to use askbot_site.
Select the database engine: 1 - postgresql, 2 - sqlite, 3 - mysql, 4 - oracle.
Type 1/2/3/4, press ENTER to select sqlite
> 1
Enter the database host name
Press ENTER to use empty string (default value).
Enter database name. (required)
> askbot
Enter database password. (required)
> type_password_here
Enter database user name. (required)
> askbotuser
Enter the database port
Press ENTER to use empty string (default value).
Enter email of the site admin (required)
> [email protected]
Enter name of the site admin (required)
> superadmin
Enter the default from email
Press ENTER to use [email protected]
Enter the server email
Press ENTER to use [email protected]

Next, complete the setup by running the commands below:

cd askbot_site/
python collectstatic
python migrate

Start the application

python runserver --insecure

You should now be able to access your app via the URL


Login to the backend as admin


If you can’t login, create a super admin account by running the commands below:

python createsuperuser

That’s it!


This post showed you how to install Askbot on Ubuntu. If you find any error above, please use the form below to report.

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