77.1 CSS Install


To install a Solid server we will use a cloud virtual machine on Linode running Ubuntu 22.04 with ssh, http, and https enabled as described in Section 4.9. A Caddy web server can be installed as described in Section 91.3. We can then install the Community Solid Server (CSS) from the github repository with the instructions below for Ubuntu 22.04.

The community solid server is implemented using Node.js and the node package manager npm is used to install node packages. However, the default version in Ubuntu 22.04 at this time (20220604) is 12.22.9. The Community Solid Server requires at least version 14.2. So instead of using the system npm we will locally install the latest via the node version manager nvm. Create a solid user account to manage and run the server.

sudo useradd -G sudo -m -d /opt/solid solid

Change the current user to be that solid user.

sudo -su solid

Install nvm as the solid user. This comes from https://github.com/nvm-sh/nvm and the latest release was v0.39.1 (18 Dec 2021) as of the date last checked (20220915).

cd ~
curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/nvm-sh/nvm/v0.39.1/install.sh | bash
source .bashrc
nvm install --lts

The community solid server can then be installed by the solid user:

npm install -g @solid/community-server

As of 20220915 this installed Version 5.0.0 of the Community Solid Server released 8 Aug 2022:

npm list -g
├── @solid/community-server@5.0.0
├── corepack@0.12.1
└── npm@8.19.2

To start the solid server on the local host listening on port 3000 (the default) with data stored in-memory we simply run the community-solid-server command as the solid user:


Now visit http://localhost:3000 in a local browser to be greeted by the Solid Server login page.

Type Ctrl-C in the terminal to terminate the server and then Ctrl-D to log out of the solid user.

To access the server through your own domain name, something like https://solid.example.org, see Section 77.2. To configure systemd for auto startup on reboot see Sections 77.3 and 77.4.

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