The simplest way to get CouchDB running on Ubuntu is to install the package from the repository using aptitude. But I decided to install CouchDB from the sources in my home directory, so that I could play with the configuration without interfering with the CouchDB that comes with the OS and might be used by other software packages. Even the installation from the souces is pretty simple, just follow one of the examples given here: http://wiki.apache.org/couchdb/Installing_on_Ubuntu .
After the installation everything looked good at first: I could start CouchDB with couchdb -b and stop it with couchdb -d. I changed the http port in the local.ini file. After that futon came up on the new address: http://localhost:5994/_utils/index.html. The creation of a new database went well and I pushed a new application, generated with couchapp, into it. So far so good. But when I tried to call my first view, curl didn’t come back because CouchDB did not answer. A look into the logfiles showed the following error:
libmozjs.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
Fortunately google found me the answer to this problem. If I had only read the whole page about installing CouchDB on Ubuntu: http://wiki.apache.org/couchdb/Installing_on_Ubuntu. There the issue is analyzed and a fix is proposed. A xulrunner configuration file must be created. When done as recommended, and after a restart of CouchDB the logfile didn’t show no errors anymore, and the request of the view brought back the expected response. Everything’s fine. Once again: RTM – read the fucking manual.