How to Install Wekan on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04

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This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Wekan on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04.

For the uninitiated, Wekan is an open source, Kanban board built with Meteor JavaScript framework. It is one of many alternatives to Trello, providing almost the same features and capabilities.

Kanban board is an agile project management tool designed to help visualize work and help team complete tasks efficiently and collaboratively.

If you’re looking for an open source, Kanban board platform that is easy to use and manage, then Wekan is a great place to start.

For more about Wekan, please check its homepage.

To get started with installing Wekan, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Create Wekan User

Since we want Wekan to run as its own user instead of a root account, run the commands below to create a new user account.

The second command will prompt you to create a new password for the account.

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

When you create a password above, it should display is successful message similar to the one below:

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

That should create a new account that we can use to run the Wekan service.

Step 2: Install Nodejs

Because we want wekan user to run as a service for the app, run the commands below to assume the wekan user account and install Nodejs.

su - wekan
curl -o- | bash

That should get Nodejs installed.

While still running as wekan user, run the commands below to install nvm.

source ~/.bashrc
nvm install v4.8
nvm use node

The above steps will get Nodejs and NVM installed.

Exit from the wekan account.

Step 3: Install MongoDB

In order to get the latest version of MongoDB, you must add its repository to Ubuntu. To do that, run the commands below to add the official repository key.

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv 2930ADAE8CAF5059EE73BB4B58712A2291FA4AD5

After adding the repository key to Ubuntu, run the commands below to add MongoDB repository to your system.

echo "deb [ arch=amd64,arm64 ] xenial/mongodb-org/3.6 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-3.6.list

Now that the repository and key have been added to Ubuntu, run the commands below to install the package.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y mongodb-org

After installing MongoDB, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable MongoDB to automatically startup when the systems boots up.

sudo systemctl stop mongod.service
sudo systemctl start mongod.service
sudo systemctl enable mongod.service

By default, MongoDB listens on port 27017. after installing, the local server should be able to communicate with MongoDB. to verify whether MongoDB is running and active, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl status mongod

You should see something like the lines below:

richard@ubuntu1604:~$ sudo systemctl status mongod
● mongod.service - High-performance, schema-free document-oriented database
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mongod.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Sat 2018-01-27 08:53:42 CST; 13min ago
 Main PID: 2383 (mongod)
    Tasks: 23
   Memory: 60.7M
      CPU: 2.613s
   CGroup: /system.slice/mongod.service
           └─2383 /usr/bin/mongod --config /etc/mongod.conf

Jan 27 08:53:42 ubuntu1604 systemd[1]: Started High-performance, schema-free document-oriented database.
Jan 27 09:05:49 ubuntu1604 systemd[1]: Started High-performance, schema-free document-oriented database.

To connect to MongoDB shell, run the commands below:

mongo --host

After installing MongoDB, you can run the commands below to create a new password for the admin and set a role.

If you want to enable authentication, run the commands to create a new admin user after you’ve logged into MongoDB server.

> use admin

Then run the commands below to create a new admin user

> db.createUser({user:"admin", pwd:"new_password_here", roles:[{role:"root", db:"admin"}]})

You should see a successful admin user created

Successfully added user: {
	"user" : "admin",
	"roles" : [
			"role" : "root",
			"db" : "admin"

Exit and continue below to enable MongoDB logon authentication

After that, exit, then go and configure MongoDB authentication

sudo nano /etc/mongod.conf

Then update the lines

authorization: enabled

Restart MongoDB when one.

sudo systemctl restart mongod

After setting the above configurations, go and create wekan user in the database.

mongo -u admin -p

Then add the wekan user access using the lines below:

use wekan
user: "wekan",
pwd: "new_password_here",
roles: ["readWrite"]

When you’re done, continue below to install Wekan

Step 4: Install Wekan

At this point, all should be setup and ready to install Wekan.

Assume the wekan user account again and install Wekan and download Wekan package.

su - wekan

Download, extract and install Wekan

tar xf wekan-0.63.tar.gz
cd bundle/programs/server
npm install

After that, run the commands below to export Wekan environment variables:

export MONGO_URL='mongodb://wekan:db_password_here@'
export ROOT_URL='http://localhost/'
export MAIL_URL='smtp://'
export MAIL_FROM='' export PORT=8000

After that, change into the bundle directory and run the wekan app.

cd ~/bundle
node main.js

Wekan app should be started and will be listening on post 8000


That should display Wekan login page.

Wekan Install Ubuntu

Wekan is successfully installed and ready to use.

If you want to manage Wekan service via Systemd, then create an environment setting.

To do that, create an environment file in the bundle directory.

nano .env

Then copy the environment settings above and paste into the file.

export MONGO_URL='mongodb://wekan:db_password_here@'
export ROOT_URL='http://localhost/'
export MAIL_URL='smtp://'
export MAIL_FROM='' export PORT=8000

Save the file and exit.

Now create Wekan service file.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/wekan.service

Then copy and paste the lines below into the file and save.

Description=Wekan Server
ExecStart=/home/wekan/.nvm/versions/node/v4.8.7/bin/node bundle/main.js
ExecReload=/bin/kill -USR1 $MAINPID

After that, reload systemd service and start up Wekan.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl start wekan.service
sudo systemctl enable wekan.service

That’s should do it!


This post showed you how to install and configure Wekan server on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report.


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    This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add sudo to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation Wekan on Ubuntu 18.04 server.

  2. Thank you so much! This is very helpful. Could you update it for how to install the new version of Wekan v4.29, because this article is for a very old Wekan version v0.63

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