Having trouble setting up web interface of ODK central

In my workplace I have access to a linux VM which hosted by a data center. I basically have access to a linux shell. There I managed to install ODK central. I can use the ODK command line tools.

Now I wish to deploy ODK survey forms and collect data for a survey. But I am now having trouble on how to set up the web interface for ODK central.

I have a domain name from free dns service. But I am not sure how to connect this domain with ODK central I installed in linux shell.

I have extensively followed the digital ocean guide in ODK site to set up ODK central. But I got lost in the part about setting up the web interface since I am installing in my own server instead of digital ocean droplet.

I will highly appreciate any help.

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Hi @Rushad_Faridi ,

I hope you are doing well. The way you are setting up ODK Central is one of hardest thing.
But i can help you in this because I setup server few times in this way.
There are few things which are must when you are setting up server like this, those are below:

  1. Installed ODK central on Ubuntu.
  2. Purchased IP address from my ISP(Interne Service Provider)
  3. Purchased domain name in your case you alredy have free dns name.
  4. Set up .env file in ODK Central.
  5. Setup domain name with IP address.
  6. Wait for 5-10 minutes and you domain will be up and you will see login page on you domain.

Hope this will help you.


Hello @iamnarendrasingh , thanks a lot for your reply. I highly appreciate your detailed response. I still have few queries though.

In step 2 you mentioned that I need to purchase IP address. Can you please elaborate why this step is necessary? Also in step 5, about setting up domain name with IP address, is there any guide or tutorial available on how to do it?

Thank you.

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Hey @Rushad_Faridi , There are two kinds of IP one is public IP and another one is private IP. If we are working on one system (i.e your laptop like is private IP however when we talk about public IP that is unique for each and every system. Usually this IP we can take this from ISP like Verizon, and A&T in the USA. In India, we have Airtel and Jio, etc. If you are working in government then they do have some registered IP addresses to use in the future.
For more information of Public IP and Private IP visit here. https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/difference-between-private-and-public-ip-addresses/

Now back to your question.
Why step2 is a must?
If you want to access your server from any mobile then you need to get this. otherwise, you are unable to use ODK Central from a mobile phone.

Now for Step5.
You can ask the IT -networking guy who will help you to set up an A- address and DNS for your domain. Or follow this step https://www.godaddy.com/garage/configuring-and-working-with-domains-dns/

Hope these will work for you.


Thank you so much. Sorry for the late reply. I will try to move forward with your suggestions. You have been extremely helpful. Can't thank you enough.

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Hello @iamnarendrasingh ,
You will be glad to know that I was able to set it up finally.

Thank you so much for your help.

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Hey @Rushad_Faridi ,

It's your true efforts that helped to achieve your goal.