CouchDB on an Ubuntu Development VM

Posted Wednesday 29th July, 2009

I’ve recently set-up CouchDB on the Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) virtual machine I use for development. This was a relatively pain-free experience and I thought I’d outline what I did here for the benefit of others (and my future self).

Firstly, I decided to install using the aptitude package, rather than from source. If you’re interested in building the most recent version, I’d recommend taking a look at Isofarro’s handy “Installing CouchDB on JeOS 8.04” post.

To begin, install the package:

$ sudo apt-get install couchdb

Once the package has downloaded and installed, you should check the status to see if it’s running correctly:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb status

If you see the following output, then CouchDB is running successfully:

Apache CouchDB is running as process 32651. Time to relax.

If you don’t see that output, try starting CouchDB manually. I needed to do this:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb start

And then check the status again:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb status
Apache CouchDB is running as process 32651. Time to relax.

If you’re still not getting the correct status, you’ll need to refer to the CouchDB documentation.

Next, you should check that you can access CouchDB over HTTP on the default port of 5984. To do that, I used curl:

$ curl http://localhost:5984/

Which should return the following response:


The final step, to make sure you can access CouchDB externally to your dev VM, is to make sure the CouchDB configuration isn’t bound to the loopback address ( – which it is by default. To do that, you’ll need to edit the couch.ini file:

$ sudo vim /etc/couchdb/couch.ini

And comment out the following line:


You can also change the port that CouchDB is running on in this configuration file if you so desire.

Finally, you’ll need to restart CouchDB:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb stop
$ sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb start

Now you should be able to log into Futon, the browser-based CouchDB admin system, on the following address:



Included in: Apache, CouchDB, Development, HTTP, Linux, REST, Server, Tutorials, UNIX, Virtualisation


  1. Accessibility
  2. Agile
  3. Ajax
  4. Apache
  5. API
  6. Architecture
  7. Books
  8. Browsers
  9. CMS
  10. CouchDB
  11. CSS
  12. Design
  13. Development
  14. Django
  15. Email
  16. Events
  17. Gaming
  18. Grammar
  19. Hardware
  20. HTML
  21. HTTP
  22. Humour
  23. Idea
  24. Information Architecture
  25. JavaScript
  26. jQuery
  27. Lean
  28. Life
  29. Linux
  30. Literature
  31. Mac OS X
  32. Management
  33. Meme
  34. Microformats
  35. Monday
  36. MySQL
  37. Networking
  38. News
  39. Personal
  40. Photoshop
  41. PHP
  42. Process
  43. Python
  44. Reference
  45. REST
  46. Science
  47. SEO
  48. Server
  49. Site
  50. Sitepimp
  51. Social
  52. Spelling
  53. Syndication
  54. Testing
  55. The Future
  56. Thoughts
  57. Tools
  58. Tutorial
  59. Tutorials
  60. Typography
  61. UI
  62. UNIX
  63. Virtualisation
  64. Web
  65. Web Standards
  66. Widgets
  67. Wii
  68. Writing
  69. Xbox
  70. XHTML