Google has a great set of services available for general consumers, and even offers it for a reasonable rate for businesses. But if you’re the paranoid type, or just like to do things yourself, there’s a way you can create something like Google Docs that you install and host on any Ubuntu box you might have (although accessing this if it’s on a machine at your home is a different issue).
Preparing your Ubuntu Server for Feng Office
1. Make sure you have a web server running on your Ubuntu box. If you don’t have a web server such as Apache running already, you can follow the instructions here. Although this article shows you how to log in and install this remotely, you can use the same commands on your local machine running Ubuntu.
2. The default web server install on Ubuntu won’t include one module you’ll need. The following command will take care of that:
sudo apt-get install php5-gd
3. We’ll need to create a database for FengOffice to use. The easiest way to do this is to install “phpMyAdmin”:
sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin
4. Once it’s installed, you can go to phpMyAdmin at the following URL in http://localhost/phpmyadmin/ your browser.
5. We’ll need to create a database user for the FengOffice webapplication. To do this, go to the “Privileges” tab, and click the “Add a new user” link beneath the list.
6. On the next screen, give this user a name and password. Make sure you also set the “Host” pull-down to “Local” (this means the “fengoffice” user can only connect when directly on the server, not remotely).
7. Next, we’ll need to create a database for this user, and assign them rights to use it. Good news! There’s an easy way to do just that on this very screen! Scroll down to the “Database for user” section, and click on the “Create database with same name and grant all privileges” radio button. Click “Create User” to finalize, and we’re ready to go.
8. Finally, you’ll need to restart Apache to make sure all the above updates are loaded:
sudo service apache2 restart
Downloading and Installing FengOffice
1. Download the latest version of FengOffice Community Edition from its SourceForge page.
2. Unpack the zip file, and move the resulting folder (called fengoffice) to the root of your web server, or a sub-directory (/var/www is the standard directory for web content on Ubuntu, and I’m using the fengtest/subdirectory for this):
sudo mv fengoffice /var/www/fengtest
3. Open a browser, and go to the following URL “http://localhost/fengtest/public/install/” to start the install process.
4. The first screen is a welcome message to the install – click “Next” here to continue to the second screen. If there are any missing components to your web server, they’ll be marked in red here, but with the installation of the php5-gd package above, these should show all green.
5. The next screen will ask for some details on the database where it should store it’s data. The first two fields should be “MySQL” for the “Database Type” and “localhost” for the “Host name.” Remember that user, password, and database we created in MySQL? Fill those in the next three fields. The last two can remain as is. Finally, there are some “Other Settings” below that you should be able to leave as-is. Click “Next.”
6. The last screen is a confirmation screen. If you see a big “Success!,” FengOffice has been installed correctly. You can click on the link provided to go to your new FengOffice installation.
Logging in to FengOffice
When you go to FengOffice for the first time, it will prompt you to create an admin user. When you’ve done so, you can log in as that user. Once you log in, you’ll see a screen like the one below. You’ll see tabs for an Overview, Tasks, Notes, and Documents. Click on “Documents.” You’ll get a screen like the one below.
FengOffice includes the ability to create text documents and presentations out of the box… click on “New -> Document” to display a familiar word processor-like interface. You can use a large portion of the tools you’re used to in Google Drive (cut/copy/paste, bold/italics/underline, numbering/italics, tables, etc…). You can even save and (from the Documents list screen) download the result as HTML.
There you have it, your very own Google Drive.