Installing an Odoo 13 Stack on Ubuntu 18.04

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What is Odoo?

Odoo (formerly known as OpenERP) is a self-hosted suite of over 10,000 open source applications for a variety of business needs, including CRM, eCommerce, accounting, inventory, point of sale, and project management. These applications are all fully integrated and can be installed and accessed through a web interface, making it easy to automate and manage your company’s processes.

For simple installations, Odoo and its dependencies can be installed on a single Linode (see our Install Odoo 10 on Ubuntu 16.04 guide for an example of this). However, this single-server setup is not suited for production deployments. This guide covers how to configure a production Odoo 13 cluster where the Odoo server and PostgreSQL database are hosted on separate Linodes. This configuration gives you more flexibility and scalability while allowing you to use PostgreSQL database replication for added performance and reliability.

System Requirements

The setup in this guide requires the following minimal Linode specifications:

  • A Shared 2GB Linode to install the PostgreSQL 10 database
  • A Shared 1GB Linode (Nanode) to install the Odoo 13 web application

Keep in mind that your implementation may need more nodes or higher-memory plans depending on the number of end-users you want to serve and the number of modules you plan to incorporate.

All examples in this guide are for Ubuntu 18.04. If you plan to use a different operating system, adapt the commands as necessary.

Before You Begin

  1. Familiarize yourself with our Getting Started guide and complete the steps for setting your Linode’s hostname and timezone.

  2. This guide uses sudo wherever possible. Complete the sections of our Securing Your Server to create a standard user account, harden SSH access, and remove unnecessary network services.

  3. Update your systems:

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Configure Firewall Rules for Odoo

If you want to configure a firewall for your Linodes, open the following ports:

NodeOpen TCP Ports
Odoo 13 application22, 6010, 5432, 8069
PostgreSQL database22, 6010, 5432

Ports 22, 80, and 5432 are the defaults for SSH, HTTP, and PostgreSQL communications, respectively. Port 6010 is used for Odoo communications and port 8069 is used by Odoo’s webserver. To open a particular port, use a command similar to the following:

sudo ufw allow 22/tcp

For more detailed information about firewall setup please read our guide How to Configure a Firewall with UFW.

Hostname Assignment

In order to simplify communication between Linodes, set hostnames for each server. You can use private IPs if the Linodes are all in the same data center, or Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs) if available. This guide uses the following FQDN and hostname conventions:

  • PostgreSQL server:

    File: /etc/hosts
    4       localhost   postgresql       odoo
  • Odoo 13 server:

    File: /etc/hosts
    4       localhost       odoo   postgresql

FQDNs are used throughout this guide whenever possible to avoid confusion.

Set up PostgreSQL Database

Configure Odoo’s postgresql database backend Linode. The Ubuntu 18.04 official repository includes PostgreSQL version 10 which offers significant performance improvements as well as database replication compatibility.

Install the PostgreSQL database and developer libraries with the following command:

sudo apt install postgresql-10 postgresql-server-dev-10 -y

Create PostgreSQL User

Odoo requires a separate PostgreSQL user for communications between the web application Linode and the database Linode. Create the database user odoo. This user is in charge of all operations. Use a strong password and save it in a secure location to use later:

sudo -u postgres createuser odoo -U postgres -dP

The options used are described below:

  • -u: Executes the command as the postgres user.
  • -U: Indicates the user name to connect as.
  • -d: Grants the user permission to create databases.
  • -P: Prompts you for the new user’s password.

Configure Host Based Authentication

  1. Stop the PostgreSQL service:

     sudo systemctl stop postgresql
  2. Edit the pg_hba.conf file to allow PostgreSQL Linode to communicate with the Odoo Linode server. Add the following line to the file:

    File: /etc/postgresql/10/main/pg_hba.conf
    host    all             odoo               md5

This line grants the odoo user the rights connect to all databases within this server.

The settings in the pg_hba.conf file are:

  • host: Enables connections using Unix-domain sockets.
  • all: Match all databases on the server. You can provide a comma separated list of specific Odoo database names if you know them beforehand.
  • odoo: The Odoo user responsible for application/database communications.
  • The address of your Odoo server. You should replace this with your FQDN or Ip address.
  • md5: Make use of client-supplied MD5-encrypted passwords for authentication.

Configure PostgreSQL listening address

Edit postgresql.conf to allow the database server listening to remote connections:

File: /etc/postgresql/10/main/postgresql.conf
listen_addresses = '*'

These settings are:

  • listen_addresses: What IP addresses to listen on. The '*' means that the server listens to all IP addresses. You can limit this to only include the IP addresses that you consider safe.

Enable PostgreSQL on Startup

Now that you finished PostgreSQL configuration you can start the postgresql service and enable it on startup:

sudo systemctl start postgresql && sudo systemctl enable postgresql

Odoo 13 Setup

Configure your Odoo 13 web application to work with the PostgreSQL database backend.

Odoo 13 uses Python 3.6+ instead of Python 3.5. If your server is running an older Ubuntu release, for instance 16.04, you will need to compile a newer Python version to meet this requirement.

Prepare Linode for Odoo 13 Installation

  1. In order to separate Odoo from other services, create a new Odoo system user to run its processes:

     sudo adduser --system --home=/opt/odoo --group odoo
  2. Install system dependencies that are needed during Odoo 13 set up:

     sudo apt-get install python3 python3-pip python3-suds python3-all-dev python3-venv \
     python3-dev python3-setuptools python3-tk libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libevent-dev \
     libsasl2-dev libldap2-dev pkg-config libtiff5-dev libjpeg8-dev libjpeg-dev \
     zlib1g-dev libfreetype6-dev liblcms2-dev liblcms2-utils libwebp-dev tcl8.6-dev \
     tk8.6-dev libyaml-dev fontconfig xfonts-75dpi xfonts-base xfonts-encodings xfonts-utils -y
  3. Use Git to clone the Odoo files onto your server:

     sudo git clone --depth 1 \
     --branch 13.0 --single-branch /opt/odoo
  4. Enforce the use of POSIX locale to prevent possible errors during installation (this has nothing to do with the Odoo language):

     export LC_ALL=C
  5. Install Less CSS via Node.js and npm:

     sudo curl -sL | sudo -E bash - \
     && sudo apt install -y nodejs \
     && sudo npm install -g less less-plugin-clean-css
  6. Download wkhtmltopdf version 0.12.5 which is the recommended version for Odoo 13. For more information regarding wkhtmltopdf recommended versions, visit Odoo wiki

     cd /tmp
  7. Install the package:

     sudo dpkg -i wkhtmltox_0.12.5-1.bionic_amd64.deb
  8. To ensure that wkhtmltopdf functions properly, copy the binaries to a location in your executable path and give them the necessary permission for execution:

     sudo cp /usr/local/bin/wkhtmlto* /usr/bin/ \
     && sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/wk*

Set Up Virtualenv

It’s considered a best practice to isolate Odoo’s Python modules from the modules included as part of the operating system to prevent unforeseen conflicts in the long run, especially after periodic OS updates. For that reason using virtualenv is highly recommended.

  1. Create a new virtualenv environment for Odoo 13 application:

     python3 -m venv /home/<user>/odoo-env
  2. Activate the odoo-env virtual environment you created in the previous step:

     source /home/<user>/odoo-env/bin/activate
  3. Update pip3 using the following command:

     pip3 install --upgrade pip
  4. Install Python’s wheel in the virtual environment:

     pip3 install wheel

Let’s review the virtual environment creation:

  • python3 -m venv: Runs venv module using Python 3, this module is in charge of creating the virtual environment.
  • /home/<user>/odoo-env: Indicates the path used for the virtual Python environment. For the purpose of this guide, home directory of the current user was used but you can change it to any location that suits your needs as long as you remember to grant the odoo user with proper permissions afterward.

Install Odoo’s Python modules

  1. Install the dependencies required by Odoo in the Python 3 environment:

     pip3 install -r /opt/odoo/doc/requirements.txt
     pip3 install -r /opt/odoo/requirements.txt
  2. Check that all requirements are properly installed in your virtual environment:

     pip3 list
  3. Exit from the Python virtual environment by issuing the command:


Configure the Odoo Server

  1. Copy the included configuration file to /etc/ and change its name to odoo-server.conf

     sudo cp /opt/odoo/debian/odoo.conf /etc/odoo-server.conf
  2. Modify the configuration file. The complete file should look similar to the following, depending on your deployment needs:

    File: /etc/odoo-server.conf
    admin_passwd = admin
    db_host =
    db_port = False
    db_user = odoo
    db_password = odoo_password
    addons_path = /opt/odoo/addons
    xmlrpc_port = 8069
  • admin_passwd: The password that allows administrative operations within Odoo GUI. Be sure to change admin to something more secure.
  • db_host: The postgresql FQDN.
  • db_port: Odoo uses PostgreSQL’s default port 5432, change this only if you’re using custom PostgreSQL settings.
  • db_user: Name of the PostgreSQL database user.
  • db_password: Use the PostgreSQL odoo user password you created previously.
  • addons_path: Default addons path. You can add custom paths separating them with commas: </path/to/custom/modules>
  • xmlrpc_port: Port that Odoo listens on.

Create an Odoo Service

Create a systemd unit called odoo-server to allow your application to behave as a service. Create a new file at /lib/systemd/system/odoo-server.service and add the following, replace /home/<user> with the directory where you setup your virtual Python environment:

File: /lib/systemd/system/odoo-server.service
Description=Odoo Open Source ERP and CRM

ExecStart=/home/<user>/odoo-env/bin/python3 /opt/odoo/odoo-bin --config=/etc/odoo-server.conf --addons-path=/opt/odoo/addons/


Change File Ownership and Permissions

  1. Change the odoo-server service permissions and ownership so only root can write to it, while the odoo user can only read and execute on it:

    sudo chmod 755 /lib/systemd/system/odoo-server.service \
    && sudo chown root: /lib/systemd/system/odoo-server.service
  2. Since the odoo user runs the application, change its ownership accordingly. Replace /home/<user> with the directory where you setup your virtual Python environment:

    sudo chown -R odoo: /opt/odoo/ && sudo chown -R odoo: /home/<user>/odoo-env
  3. Protect the server configuration file. Change its ownership and permissions so no other non-root user can access it:

    sudo chown odoo: /etc/odoo-server.conf \
    && sudo chmod 640 /etc/odoo-server.conf

Test your Odoo Stack

Confirm that everything is working as expected.

  1. Start the Odoo server:

    sudo systemctl start odoo-server
  2. Confirm that odoo-server is running:

    sudo systemctl status odoo-server
  3. In a browser, navigate to or http://<your_Linode_IP_address>:8069. If your proxy and your DNS configuration are working properly you are presented with Odoo’s database creation screen:

    Odoo 13 Database Screen

  4. Fill in all the fields, check the Demo data box to populate your database with sample data, and then click on Create database button.

    Odoo 13 Create Database

  5. In the browser, you should see a list of available apps, indicating that database creation was successful:

    The first time you create a database, Odoo may take several minutes to load all of its add-ons. Do not reload the page during this process.

Enable the Odoo Service

  1. Enable the odoo-server service to start automatically on reboot:

    sudo systemctl enable odoo-server
  2. Reboot your Linode from the Linode Manager.

  3. Check the Odoo logs to verify that the Odoo server is running without errors:

    sudo journalctl -u odoo-server

Back Up Odoo Databases

If all components of the Odoo stack are running on a single server, it is simple to back up your databases using the Odoo web interface. However, this does not work with the configuration in this guide, since PostgreSQL was not installed on the Odoo Linode server.

You have two options to backup your production database:

  1. You can install PostgreSQL 10 on the Odoo server using the procedure described on this guide. This installs pg_dump and other utilities, allowing you to use the Odoo GUI as before. Since Odoo configuration is explicit about database connection you do not have to worry about anything else. This method restores the database to the PostgreSQL server rather than Odoo.

  2. You can also use a procedure similar to the one described in our guide How to Back Up Your PostgreSQL Database from the backend PostgreSQL server.

Update Odoo Modules

Once you have backed up your production database you can update Odoo modules.

From your Odoo server restart the Odoo service using the following flags to instruct the system to search for updates and apply any changes to modules:

sudo service odoo-server restart -u all -d <production_database_name>
From Odoo version 12 forward it is suggested that you update modules using Odoo’s web interface whatever possible.

Update your System

If all your tests pass, you can safely update your installation.

  1. From your Linode, download the new code from source:

    cd /opt/odoo \
    && sudo git fetch origin 13.0
  2. Apply the changes to your repository:

    sudo git reset --hard origin/13.0
Do not confuse the Odoo system update with an Odoo version upgrade. With the method explained above, you are updating your Odoo application within the same version rather than upgrading to a newer Odoo version. Migrating from one version to another often requires several tests and manual modifications on the PostgreSQL database which are highly dependent on the version of Odoo you are upgrading from.

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

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