Note: these installation instructions are also available in executable form for use with vagrant under vagrant/

Installing the Required Software

These instructions expect that you have a freshly installed CentOS version 7. Make sure all packages are up-to-date by running:

sudo yum update -y

The standard CentOS repositories don't contain all the required packages, you need to enable the EPEL repository as well. To enable it on CentOS, install the epel-release RPM by running:

sudo yum install -y epel-release

More repositories for postgresql 11 (CentOS default 'postgresql' is 9.2), postgis and llvm-toolset (

sudo yum install -y
sudo yum install -y centos-release-scl-rh

More repositories for PHP 7 (default is PHP 5.4)

sudo yum install -y
sudo yum-config-manager --enable remi-php72
sudo yum update -y

Now you can install all packages needed for Nominatim:

sudo yum install -y postgresql11-server postgresql11-contrib postgresql11-devel \
                    postgis25_11 postgis25_11-utils \
                    wget git cmake make gcc gcc-c++ libtool policycoreutils-python \
                    devtoolset-7 llvm-toolset-7 \
                    php-pgsql php php-intl libpqxx-devel \
                    proj-epsg bzip2-devel proj-devel boost-devel \
                    python3-pip python3-setuptools python3-devel \
                    expat-devel zlib-devel libicu-dev

pip3 install --user psycopg2 python-dotenv psutil Jinja2 PyICU

System Configuration

The following steps are meant to configure a fresh CentOS installation for use with Nominatim. You may skip some of the steps if you have your OS already configured.

Creating Dedicated User Accounts

Nominatim will run as a global service on your machine. It is therefore best to install it under its own separate user account. In the following we assume this user is called nominatim and the installation will be in /srv/nominatim. To create the user and directory run:

sudo useradd -d /srv/nominatim -s /bin/bash -m nominatim

You may find a more suitable location if you wish.

To be able to copy and paste instructions from this manual, export user name and home directory now like this:

export USERNAME=nominatim
export USERHOME=/srv/nominatim

Never, ever run the installation as a root user. You have been warned.

Make sure that system servers can read from the home directory:

chmod a+x $USERHOME

Setting up PostgreSQL

CentOS does not automatically create a database cluster. Therefore, start with initializing the database, then enable the server to start at boot:

sudo /usr/pgsql-11/bin/postgresql-11-setup initdb
sudo systemctl enable postgresql-11

Next tune the postgresql configuration, which is located in /var/lib/pgsql/data/postgresql.conf. See section Postgres Tuning in the installation page for the parameters to change.

Now start the postgresql service after updating this config file.

sudo systemctl restart postgresql-11

Finally, we need to add two postgres users: one for the user that does the import and another for the webserver which should access the database only for reading:

sudo -u postgres createuser -s $USERNAME
sudo -u postgres createuser apache

Installing Nominatim

Building and Configuration

Get the source for the release and unpack it

tar xf Nominatim-3.7.2.tar.bz2

The code must be built in a separate directory. Create this directory, then configure and build Nominatim in there:

mkdir $USERHOME/build
cd $USERHOME/build
cmake $USERHOME/Nominatim-3.7.2
sudo make install

Setting up the Apache Webserver

The webserver should serve the php scripts from the website directory of your project directory. Therefore set up a project directory and populate the website directory:

mkdir $USERHOME/nominatim-project
cd $USERHOME/nominatim-project
nominatim refresh --website

You need to create an alias to the website directory in your apache configuration. Add a separate nominatim configuration to your webserver:

sudo tee /etc/httpd/conf.d/nominatim.conf << EOFAPACHECONF
<Directory "$USERHOME/nominatim-project/website">
  Options FollowSymLinks MultiViews
  AddType text/html   .php
  DirectoryIndex search.php
  Require all granted

Alias /nominatim $USERHOME/nominatim-project/website

Then reload apache

sudo systemctl enable httpd
sudo systemctl restart httpd

Adding SELinux Security Settings

It is a good idea to leave SELinux enabled and enforcing, particularly with a web server accessible from the Internet. At a minimum the following SELinux labeling should be done for Nominatim:

sudo semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_content_t "/usr/local/nominatim/lib/lib-php(/.*)?"
sudo semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_content_t "$USERHOME/nominatim-project/website(/.*)?"
sudo semanage fcontext -a -t lib_t "$USERHOME/nominatim-project/module/"
sudo restorecon -R -v /usr/local/lib/nominatim
sudo restorecon -R -v $USERHOME/nominatim-project

You need to create a minimal configuration file that tells nominatim the name of your webserver user:

echo NOMINATIM_DATABASE_WEBUSER="apache" | tee .env

Nominatim is now ready to use. Continue with importing a database from OSM data.