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[openrailwaymap] OpenRailwayMap on your own server

Rolf Eike Beer eike at
Sat Nov 7 16:47:41 MET 2015

[No German version, I'm too lazy.]

You may know it or not, I have been quite busy in the last month hacking on 
OpenRailwayMap code. I have introduced automated testcases to spot syntax 
errors and dangling icon references and much stuff like this. In fact, also the 
automation to build the new JavaScript stylesheets from the MapCSS ones was 
done by me.

I've also done a lot of things to improve the stylesheets, as well as the 
underlying software that drives them. Which usually resulted in me begging 
Alexander to put that stuff on the server so I can actually see if it works. 
Testing on a live system isn't a good idea anyway, and given the fact that 
every update has to go through another person doesn't make this solution scale 

So once I sat down and tried to set up a local server, but not a full-featured 
database one. I have only the frontend rendering code on my machines, happily 
using the vector tiles of the "real" server. This resulted in me fixing even 
more stuff. Since the important parts of that are already merged I'll now write 
down how to get there so you can hack on your own stuff.

My machines use openSUSE, so I will stick to those package names. And I don't 
list the dependencies explicitely here to keep things short. So, let's start 

zypper in git-core apache2-mod_php5 php5-ctype php5-gettext python-ply python-
rsvg python-cairo libxml2-tools zip

Now get the actual code

git clone
cd OpenRailwayMap
git submodule init renderer

Now build the JavaScript stylesheets

cd styles

That's pretty much it. Now tell your webserver where your OpenRailwayMap 
directory is and that it should be served, or put the whole directory in your 
~/public_html. Put "php5" and maybe also "userdir" (if you use ~/public_html) 
in your /etc/sysconfig/apache2 in the APACHE_MODULES line, (re)start apache:

 systemctl start apache2.service

You may want to make canvas.php the directory index, otherwise you always have 
to type it. The bitmap layer is of course also taken from the "real" instance, 
so you can't change how that looks.

And you should basically be done. Now you can e.g. hack on styles/*.mapcss to 
get different styling, just "make -C styles" afterwards and reload the page.

I hope some cool new pull requests will come in now, e.g. for signalling 
systems outside of central Europe. In case I have forgotten some thing just 
ask either on this list or in #OpenRailwayMap on



P.S.: want to have a proof that this works?, this 
usually runs a combination of most of my own branches that are waiting for 
upstream integration. I may or may not pick other peoples branches there, too, 
this is more or less random if I have an interest in them.
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