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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 Ubuntu 22.04.

Make sure all packages are up-to-date by running:

sudo apt-get update -qq

Now you can install all packages needed for Nominatim:

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential cmake g++ libboost-dev libboost-system-dev \
                    libboost-filesystem-dev libexpat1-dev zlib1g-dev \
                    libbz2-dev libpq-dev liblua5.3-dev lua5.3 lua-dkjson \
                    nlohmann-json3-dev postgresql-14-postgis-3 \
                    postgresql-contrib-14 postgresql-14-postgis-3-scripts \
                    libicu-dev python3-dotenv \
                    python3-psycopg2 python3-psutil python3-jinja2 \
                    python3-sqlalchemy python3-asyncpg \
                    python3-icu python3-datrie python3-yaml git

System Configuration

The following steps are meant to configure a fresh Ubuntu 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.

The following instructions assume you are logged in as this user. You can also switch to the user with:

sudo -u nominatim bash

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

Tune the postgresql configuration, which is located in /etc/postgresql/14/main/postgresql.conf. See section Tuning the PostgreSQL database in the installation page for the parameters to change.

Restart the postgresql service after updating this config file.

sudo systemctl restart postgresql

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 for reading only:

sudo -u postgres createuser -s $USERNAME
sudo -u postgres createuser www-data

Installing Nominatim

Building and Configuration

Get the source code from Github and change into the source directory

git clone --recursive
cd Nominatim

When installing the latest source from github, you also need to download the country grid:

wget -O data/country_osm_grid.sql.gz

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
sudo make install

Nominatim is now ready to use. You can continue with importing a database from OSM data. If you want to set up the API frontend first, continue reading.

Setting up the Python frontend

Some of the Python packages in Ubuntu are too old. Therefore run the frontend from a Python virtualenv with current packages.

To set up the virtualenv, run:

sudo apt-get install -y virtualenv
virtualenv $USERHOME/nominatim-venv
$USERHOME/nominatim-venv/bin/pip install SQLAlchemy PyICU psycopg[binary] \
              psycopg2-binary python-dotenv PyYAML falcon uvicorn gunicorn

Next you need to create a systemd job that runs Nominatim on gunicorn. First create a systemd job that manages the socket file:

sudo tee /etc/systemd/system/nominatim.socket << EOFSOCKETSYSTEMD
Description=Gunicorn socket for Nominatim



Then create the service for Nominatim itself.

sudo tee /etc/systemd/system/nominatim.service << EOFNOMINATIMSYSTEMD
Description=Nominatim running as a gunicorn application

ExecStart=$USERHOME/nominatim-venv/bin/gunicorn -b unix:/run/nominatim.sock -w 4 -k uvicorn.workers.UvicornWorker nominatim_api.server.falcon.server:run_wsgi
ExecReload=/bin/kill -s HUP \$MAINPID


Activate the services:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable nominatim.socket
sudo systemctl start nominatim.socket
sudo systemctl enable nominatim.service

Setting up a webserver

The webserver is only needed as a proxy between the public interface and the gunicorn service.

The frontend will need configuration information from the project directory, which will be populated later during the import process Already create the project directory itself now:

mkdir $USERHOME/nominatim-project

Option 1: Using Apache

First install apache itself and enable the proxy module:

sudo apt-get install -y apache2
sudo a2enmod proxy_http

To set up proxying for Apache add the following configuration:

sudo tee /etc/apache2/conf-available/nominatim.conf << EOFAPACHECONF

ProxyPass /nominatim "unix:/run/nominatim.sock|http://localhost/"

Then enable the configuration and restart apache

sudo a2enconf nominatim
sudo systemctl restart apache2

The Nominatim API is now available at http://localhost/nominatim/.

Option 2: Using nginx

First install nginx itself:

sudo apt-get install -y nginx

Then create a Nginx configuration to forward http requests to that socket.

sudo tee /etc/nginx/sites-available/default << EOF_NGINX_CONF
server {
    listen 80 default_server;
    listen [::]:80 default_server;

    root $USERHOME/nominatim-project/website;
    index /search;

    location /nominatim/ {
            proxy_set_header Host \$http_host;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For \$proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto \$scheme;
            proxy_redirect off;
            proxy_pass http://unix:/run/nominatim.sock:/;

Enable the configuration and restart Nginx

sudo systemctl restart nginx

The Nominatim API is now available at http://localhost/nominatim/.