Etherpad lite


If you are interested in running your own multi user collaboration text editor from a browser, then Etherpad might be the thing for you.

To be more precise: Etherpad lite

Years ago I used to role play on MUCK servers that had this kind of functionality. Asynchronously editing text, their the focus was more role play oriented. Which led me to find Inifiny note which later got renamed to Gobby.

Gobby does the same as Etherpad does, but runs from a hard coded client instead of a browser.

Background info

Currently I’m in the process of implementing Etherpad Lite for a non profit organization I do technical tid bits for.
As such this post will grow as my understanding of the application, its installation and customizations grow.

Most formerly if you want to give Etherpad a try, without installing it I suggest trying either:


Which is run by the Swedish pirate party and is free, but only runs on HTTP.


Which is run by a non profit organization that holds it up from donations. It supports HTTPS secure connection by default.

Both need a little disclaimer as I write this on 25-06-2015, things might change over time. They might even disappear (which would be a shame, but entirely possible).

First impressions

The first try out installation I have been given to try out by the non profit organization is pretty good. Etherpad is quick and does what is advertised. When called in Firefox it springs up within a second and you are up and editing immediately without a hassle.

The interface is mostly intuitive, it has all the bits you a expect from a simple editor, you see others adding text real time and show up in their respective colors.

Installation instructions, settings and plugins look pretty well also. However, I bumped in to problems as soon as I tried installing it on my Raspberry Pi (which is a Model B+ for who might want to know)

Installing stuff from Apt-Get is no trouble at all and pulling the application from git neither. However, if you start it, you first need to bypass the fact you run it in root.
I do not understand this mechanism, but it is probably to discourage using the application under the root user.
Then after a lengthy startup it start spewing all kinds of errors which do not make a lot sense to me.
I must be doing something wrong, however I do not understand what yet. I have retried several times, but I have given up for the time being. I might retry on my full fledged server, which is a Intel Core Duo, which might have an easier time running it.

Their, this is the first part, I hope to add more soon.