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Revision as of 18:10, 17 October 2008 by Fourstones (talk | contribs) (Administration)
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NOTE: Oct. 16 2008: ccHost 5.0 is being released today and this page is going through edits throughout the day.

ccHost is Creative Commons' open source (GPL licensed) media content management system project that powers ccMixter and is the winner of the Linux Journal LinuxWorldExpo Product Excellence Award for Best Open Source Solution. Read more about ccHost here.


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Current Stable Release

Latest stable build of ccHost 5.0 is available in ZIP archive format.



The easiest way to get going is to start with a web hosting server. Common web hosting services like BrainPulse , Dreamhost and WebsiteSource provide an administration interface for setting up a mysql database. Hosting services also provide some FTP or SFTP mechanism to upload the ccHost installation files as well. 99% of all services provide support for PHP as well. If you have questions about support in this area, check the server requirements below and with your hosting service.

  1. Unzip the ccHost ZIP archive on your local system and copy the files to your server retaining the the directory structure.
  2. Browse to http://where_you_installed/ccadmin and follow all the instructions from then on.


If you have basic knowledge of using FTP and you are comfortable at a terminal command line you can use these steps. Many of these can be filed under "you'll be glad you did" by the time you get to the browser-based installation steps later on.



Later versions of getID3 (starting with 1.7.7) have an issue with RIFF based files (WAV, AVI, etc.) when tagging them and require a manual patch in order to work properly. Remove line #105 in getID3/write.php that looks like:

case 'riff': // maybe not officially, but people do it anyway

Download/Install getID3

ccHost depends on the getID3 library for verifying uploads. Install getID3 (at least 1.7.3) here: before you install ccHost. (It's a simple download-unpack operation.)

For example (on Linux):

tar xzf getid3.tar.gz
cp -a getid3/getid3 /var/www/localhost/htdocs/getid3/

The ccHost installer will 'find' your getID3 installation if it's roughly in the same area of the server, however it is not required that your getID3 be visible on the web and in fact, it's probably more secure if it isn't.

ccHost Terminal Installtion

  • Unzip the ccHost ZIP archive on your local system and copy the files (retaining the directory structure) to your web-server directory.
  • On Linux change the group and permissions of the files so they may be written by the web server (e.g., in the following lines, the web-server account is "apache").

For example:

cp -a cchost-1.0.3 /var/www/localhost/htdocs/cchost
chgrp -R apache /var/www/localhost/htdocs/cchost
chmod g+w /var/www/localhost/htdocs/cchost/
  • Create a new database for ccHost (e.g., named "cchost") and create an administrative user to access it (e.g., "cchostadmin"). For example:
mysql -p -u root
mysql> CREATE DATABASE cchost;

Make sure to change 'YOUR_PASSWORD_HERE' (and maybe 'cchostadmin') to something unique to your site. (Many systems provide phpMyAdmin to take care of these tasks.

  • Create directory /var/log/cchost or other location to store log files. Must be writable by the web-server account (e.g., "apache"). For example:
mkdir /var/log/cchost
chown apache:apache /var/log/cchost

Hacking Apache Conifg Files

There are several suggestions for mod_rewrite and configuration settings here.

Finish with Install

Browse to http://where_you_installed_cchost/ccadmin

Everything else you need to know will be on the screen from that point on, including topics covered above such as suggested php.ini and .htaccess settings, access permissions requirements, etc.


Always make a backup of your mySQL ccHost database and the files you change before you start the upgrade process. Things go wrong. You have been warned.


It is recommended that you do not copy any plugins or custom code that have not been ported to ccHost 5 during the initial upgrade. You should get your site up and running without them using the standard upgrade first, then start migrating your plugins.

Importing phpTAL Templates

None of your previous version skins, pages, etc. work anymore as is. You can try to import your old phpTAL XML templates using:


Many imported templates (like your home page) might "just work" but many will need tweaking, assuming you are familiar with PHP.

Upgrading to 5.0 from 3.1 and Above

  • Make a backup of your database.
  • Unzip the ccHost package on a local machine.
  • Copy the entire tree (including ccadmin) to your installation
  • Browse to http://<your_install_location

Upgrading to 5.0 from 3.0 or Before

Upgrading to 5.0 simply hasn't been tried or tested. (If you have some experience, please feel to share with the rest of the class.) It is therefore not recommended except for the very strong willed.

Instead what you may want to consider (if you don't have a lot of content data) is start new with 5.0.


Known Issues

Please consult our bug tracker for the latest list of unresolved issues.

File Access

By far the most common issue with new installs on Unix based systems involves file access permissions. The recommended way of dealing with this is to set the entire ccHost directory structure as all-access (0777) just while you get things going. If everything else is working then you should follow the ccHost file access guildlines.

Alternative: *nix-based systems

From commandline and after having changed directory to your local cchost path, run bin/

Outputting Debug Messages

Debug messages are special messages that help ccHost developers troublshoot your site when there is a problem. The option to turn on debug message output is on by default in 5.0 installations and upgrades. The file that controls this option is <your_local_files>/lib/DEBUG.php. You can remove this file (or changing the extension to something other than .php) will turn the option off for your production site.


So you've got your ccHost up and running. now what?

Check out the new official ccHost 5.0 Administrator's Guide.


Preparing for ccHost 5.0

ccHost 5.0 is currently in development and skin developers should be aware of preparations you need to make. Read more here

Source Code & Documentation

  • How to Check Out Code -- Specifically for ccHost:
    • Log in as administrator on your ccHost installation
    • Then do your svn update
    • Browse to http://your_installation?update=1


The source for ccHost has moved from SourceForge. For existing clients: you must perform the svn 'relocate' command to switch over. To do this, change directory to the root of your ccHost svn project, then perform the following command:

 svn switch --relocate



The mailing list is the best way to get our attention. That and other methods are listed below:

Submitting Code

Before going too far down this road you definitely want to hop on the dev mailing list. If you are shy ask to speak with Victor or Jon in private.

Submit Patches

Bugs and Feature Requests

Make sure to use the 'ccHost' category when filing bugs. Also, please use a real email so that we can followup on any bugs posted. Be descriptive when posting and commenting on bugs (every bit counts).



The goal of this project is to spread media content that is licensed under Creative Commons throughout the web in much the same way that weblogs spread CC licensed text.

Short Description

"Web-based System Supporting Remixing and Collaboration on Media"

Slightly Longer Description

ccHost is an open source (GPL licensed) project that provides web-based infrastructure to support collaboration, sharing, and storage of multi-media using the Creative Commons licenses and metadata. It is the codebase used by ccMixter and other sites.

Besides its focus on sharing content, ccHost differentiates itself from other multi-media hosting programs by emphasizing the reuse (a.k.a. remixing) of content between artists, not only between artists on any given installation of ccHost, but between all installations across the web and any web site that implements the Creative Commons Sample Pool API, including non-ccHost sites such as the freesound project.


Release Notes

Press Releases

Sound Bites

  • "ccHost enables you to 'run your own flickr or youtube while having an infrastructure for legally sharing audio, video, text, and other media." Jon Phillips 22:50, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Please add your own sound bite...

Usage Examples

Appendix A: Compatibility


Tested on: Firefox 1.0+ Mac/PC/Linux, IE 7+ PC, Safari Mac

Cookies must be enabled.

Most skins (the ones people will want to use) require Javascript enabled.


Primary development is done on Windows XP and up-to-date Linux development systems using Apache, mySQL, and PHP.


ccHost on Apache (2.0.49 up to at least apache-2.0.55-r1) on Linux,

One should be able to easily install mySQL, PHP, and Apache (if they are not already available) through their distributions packaging system.

Windows IIS Server

Windows users with their installation disks may install optionally the Windows IIS Web Server. This option has been tested. However, there might still be issues with it, and if so, please file a bug.

Even if you using Apache on Windows you may need to have IIS installed if you plan to use mail contact functions.

Windows Apache

There are many good tutorials for setting up a Windows/Apache/MySQL/PHP site (Google search) and all three subsystems now come with Windows installers making the job of installing relatively straightforward.


Windows installations without Apache, mySQL and PHP already installed should consider using XAMPP for Windows, which provides an easy install of Apache web server, MySQL database server, and PHP and perl programming languages. This is an easy way to get up and running, with the underlying technology necessary to use ccHost.

Follow the instructions for installation of XAMPP to know where to put the uncompressed ccHost package to properly work with your local setup.

Mac OS X

NOTE: This setup is similar to Linux.


  • OS X 10.4.6
  • default OS X MySQL build, 4.0.26
  • GetID3 1.7.7
  • default Apache/PHP

Appendix B: Redistribution

HOWTO Tag a Release

Really, each major release needs to be tagged, but this 2.0.1 is the first SVN release, and we did it post CVS -> SVN migration. In the future, this is the proper way to tag and branch.

svn copy \ \
-m "Tagging 2.0.1 bugfix release"

Here is more about SVN merging/branching.


Sign Package

You should do this for all packages (RPM, tar.gz, zip, tar.bz2, etc)

gpg --detach-sign --armor cchost-VERSION.tar.gz

Verify Package

gpg --verify cchost-VERSION.tar.gz.asc