Troubleshooting Nominatim Installations

Installation Issues

Can a stopped/killed import process be resumed?

"I accidentally killed the import process after it has been running for many hours. Can it be resumed?"

It is possible if the import already got to the indexing stage. Check the last line of output that was logged before the process was killed. If it looks like this:

Done 844 in 13 @ 64.923080 per second - Rank 26 ETA (seconds): 7.886255

then you can resume with the following command:

./utils/setup.php --index --create-search-indices --create-country-names

If the reported rank is 26 or higher, you can also safely add --index-noanalyse.

PHP "open_basedir restriction in effect" warnings

PHP Warning:  file_get_contents(): open_basedir restriction in effect.

You need to adjust the open_basedir setting in your PHP configuration (php.ini file). By default this setting may look like this:

open_basedir = /srv/http/:/home/:/tmp/:/usr/share/pear/

Either add reported directories to the list or disable this setting temporarily by dding ";" at the beginning of the line. Don't forget to enable this setting again once you are done with the PHP command line operations.

PHP timzeone warnings

The Apache log may contain lots of PHP warnings like this: PHP Warning: date_default_timezone_set() function.

You should set the default time zone as instructed in the warning in your php.ini file. Find the entry about timezone and set it to something like this:

; Defines the default timezone used by the date functions
date.timezone = 'America/Denver'


echo "date.timezone = 'America/Denver'" > /etc/php.d/timezone.ini version mismatch

When running the import you may get a version mismatch: COPY_END for place failed: ERROR: incompatible library "/srv/Nominatim/nominatim/build/module/": version mismatch

pg_config seems to use bad includes sometimes when multiple versions of PostgreSQL are available in the system. Make sure you remove the server development libraries (postgresql-server-dev-9.5 on Ubuntu) and recompile (cmake .. && make).

I see the error "ERROR: permission denied for language c", written in C, is required to be installed on the database server. Some managed database (cloud) services like Amazon RDS do not allow this. There is currently no work-around other than installing a database on a non-managed machine.

I see the error: "function transliteration(text) does not exist"

Reinstall the nominatim functions with setup.php --create--functions and check for any errors, e.g. a missing file.

I see the error: "ERROR: mmap (remap) failed"

This may be a simple out-of-memory error. Try reducing the memory used for --osm2pgsql-cache. Also make sure that overcommitting memory is allowed: cat /proc/sys/vm/overcommit_memory should print 0 or 1.

If you are using a flatnode file, then it may also be that the underlying filesystem does not fully support 'mmap'. A notable candidate is virtualbox's vboxfs.

nominatim UPDATE failed: ERROR: buffer 179261 is not owned by resource owner Portal

Several users reported this during the initial import of the database. It's something PostgreSQL internal Nominatim doesn't control. And PostgreSQL forums suggest it's threading related but definitely some kind of crash of a process. Users reported either rebooting the server, different hardware or just trying the import again worked.

The website shows: "Could not get word tokens"

The server cannot access your database. Add &debug=1 to your URL to get the full error message.

On CentOS the website shows "Could not connect to server"

could not connect to server: No such file or directory

On CentOS v7 the PostgreSQL server is started with systemd. Check if /usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service contains a line PrivateTmp=true. If so then Apache cannot see the /tmp/.s.PGSQL.5432 file. It's a good security feature, so use the preferred solution.

However, you can solve this the quick and dirty way by commenting out that line and then run

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart httpd

"must be an array or an object that implements Countable" warning in /usr/share/pear/DB.php

The warning started with PHP 7.2. Make sure you have at least version 1.9.3 of PEAR DB installed.

Website reports "DB Error: insufficient permissions"

The user the webserver, e.g. Apache, runs under needs to have access to the Nominatim database. You can find the user like this, for default Ubuntu operating system for example it's www-data.

  1. Repeat the createuser step of the installation instructions.

  2. Give the user permission to existing tables

   GRANT usage ON SCHEMA public TO "www-data";

Website reports "Could not load library ""

Example error message

   SELECT make_standard_name('3039 E MEADOWLARK LN') [nativecode=ERROR: could not
   load library "/srv/nominatim/Nominatim-3.1.0/build/module/":
   /srv/nominatim/Nominatim-3.1.0/build/module/ cannot open shared
   object file: Permission denied
   CONTEXT: PL/pgSQL function make_standard_name(text) line 5 at assignment]

The PostgreSQL database, i.e. user postgres, needs to have access to that file.

The permission need to be read & executable by everybody, e.g.

   -rwxr-xr-x 1 nominatim nominatim 297984 build/module/

Try chmod a+r; chmod a+x

When running SELinux, make sure that the context is set up correctly.

Setup.php fails with "DB Error: extension not found"

Make sure you have the PostgreSQL extensions "hstore" and "postgis" installed. See the installation instruction for a full list of required packages.

Setup.php reports "Cannot redeclare getDB()"

Cannot redeclare getDB() (previously declared in /your/path/Nominatim/lib/db.php:4)

The message is a bit misleading as PHP needs to load the file DB.php and instead re-loads Nominatim's db.php. To solve this make sure you have the Pear module 'DB' installed.

sudo pear install DB

I forgot to delete the flatnodes file before starting an import.

That's fine. For each import the flatnodes file get overwritten. See for more information.

Running your own instance

Can I import multiple countries and keep them up to date?

You should use the extracts and updates from For the initial import, download the countries you need and merge them. See OSM Help for examples how to do that. Use the resulting single osm file when running setup.php.

For updates you need to download the change files for each country once per day and apply them separately using

./utils/update.php --import-diff <filename> --index

See this issue for a script that runs the updates using osmosis.

Can I import negative OSM ids into Nominatim?

See this question of Stackoverflow.

Missing XML or text declaration

The website might show: XML Parsing Error: XML or text declaration not at start of entity Location.

Make sure there are no spaces at the beginning of your settings/local.php file.