I am attempting to build CartoDB from source on an Amazon VM for the first time in my life. For purposes of sanity, I want to use the same instance/database of postgres for both CartoDB and all of my other application data. After looking at the readme on github, I noticed that the dependencies were ridiculously out of date; consequently, I will need to make the following changes in dependencies:

Ubuntu 10.04 --> Ubuntu 13.10
Postgres 9.1.x --> Postgres 9.3.x
GEOS 3.3.4 --> GEOS 3.4.x
GDAL 1.9.0 --> GDAL 1.10.x
PostGIS 2.0.x --> PostGIS 2.2.x

If I am to do the switch, what special configurations will be necessary to get my setup to work. I plan to build all of the replacements from source.

Why can I not just use the dependencies stated in the readme?

  • Excessive amount of invalid topology errors when performing heavy geoprocessing on large multipolygon datasets. If I was just performing simple st_intersects() operations and using high quality data, (like TIGER) this would not be an issue. For me though, this is unfortunately not the case. I am processing ArcGIS-created data, produced by local government entities. To make matters worse,I am performing invalidTopologyError-spewing operations like st_intersection() and st_union(). Local GIS data often contains massive amounts of error -which is ignorned because ArcGIS operations are still able to be performed without consequence. Furthermore, the datasets I am working with are massive and so I cannot just manually fix individual polygons -even if postgis operations did let you know which features produced errors.
  • In my experience, st_makevalid() before 3.4.x actually produces geometry that is "worse" than the issues one intends to fix by running the function!
  • The entire Postgis ecosystem is under rapid development and has many bugs that directly affect my ability to perform certain operations on my data. With each release, it seems I am usually able to do something new that radically simplifies my GIS processing workflow.
  • I want to drastically reduce the chances that an invalidTopologyError will wreak havoc on a "live" database/map.
  • Ubuntu 10.04 is just excessively old -I wasn't even a programmer when this was first released!
  • I just like to keep things as current as possible to avoid "well we fixed this in later versions, just upgrade!" issues.

Any links wikis/blogs or fabric scripts for similar installations would be much appreciated!


If you don't want to build from source we have a public repository of packages for CartoDB for both lucid and precise. Maybe precise packages will work in 13.xx.



I can't speak to all the packages, but I have installed on Ubuntu 12 before, and I did not have any out of the ordinary problems during the install. I wouldn't think you would have any issues with 13.

If you want to install CartoDB from the repositories you probably won't be able to get away with the updated Postgres, GDAL, GEOS, etc packages you want. So you'll likely have to install CartoDB manually. You may run into some missing package issues along the way. I have built CartoDB for RHEL 6, and put together a write up here: RHEL CartoDB Install. I did this awhile ago, and some of it may not be as relevant to you, but it may help you with the extra packages you'll want to have installed before building CartoDB.

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