Superdesk version/branch for a production installation
  • Hi, 

    what would be the most stable version for Superdesk, for a production installation? 

    Should I use master branch of or the 1.0 tag (that is used on the fireq install script -

    Thanks and regards,

  • 9 Comments sorted by
  • Hi, 

    I think a reply to this is crucial for other people as well. There's not much documentation as to which is the most stable version, and then how an upgrade process looks like. 

    I want to setup a production installation, so need a stable version, however I see that version 1.0 is at least 1 year ago (last commits on github). Apparently I don't want to miss all latest development so would prefer something newer. I can use the master branch, provided that I know it is stable, and provided that I have documented the procedure to update the installation. 

    Any advice is highly appreciated

  • Markos, you'll find appeals to the greater good fall on deaf ears with Sourcefabric.

    A simple question I asked last week about how to ingest content from Newscoop (the cms before Superdesk which was abandoned by the developers this year - despite misleading claims the year before about providing regular future updates which they must have known to be untrue), still remains unanswered.

    Indeed, their interpretation of an 'open-source' community seems to be one they can milk to identify defects in projects, without giving anything back...unless you're a paying client, of course!
  • Vote Up0Vote Down Samuel CanteroSamuel Cantero
    Posts: 4Member, Administrator, Sourcefabric Team
    Hi Markos!

    what would be the most stable version for Superdesk, for a production installation?

    1.0 branch is our stable branch.

    > I see that version 1.0 is at least 1 year ago (last commits on github)

    Yes, there has not been more releases, but you can constantly deploy using 1.0 branch. Devs are doing their best to keep it as stable as possible. 
    Post edited by Samuel Cantero at 2017-11-28 07:09:34
  • Hi all,

    Said, I can feel you frustration! On the same time I think most of the information is available, it's just that it is not on a single place. I haven't evaluated other products by Sourcefabric, so can't tell what is happening there, but things aren't that bad for Superdesk, after the initial shock you experience by the large number of github repositories, the lack of detailed steps on how to install/deploy and support your Superdesk installation. An Administrator's manual would be very welcome, same as the User manual for Superdesk.

    Superdesk will greatly be profited by any efforts to improve documentation, and also if they can put some resources to support the community. Greater documentation + user support will increase organizations installing + evaluating the software and thus the user base. The real profit will be for organizations/teams that are wiling to use it but don't have people familiar with the Superdesk stack (python web app + MongoDB + Elasticsearch).

    Now regarding my case, I feel confident to go on with the master branch, since I don't want to miss latest advancements, or be locked on a past branch that is hard to update. I got myself familiar with server + client updates, using the instructions on

    This gives me the advantage to be able to update any time in future, should new features are released or bug fixes for open issues.


  • Sourcefabric documentation sucks. It is lacking, often contradictory, scattered in many places and almost always outdated. I've used Newscoop, and it's maybe gotten marginally better with Superdesk? Probably they just need a few years to build outdated documentation.

    Roadmaps - in fact pretty much any kind of plan, is sorely lacking as well. And these forums are absolutely horrible to use.

    Having translated Newscoop a few years ago, I was contacted by Sourcefabric. They wanted to improved community relationship and asked me what I needed/wanted. A roadmap for Newscoop was my answer (at that point it was unclear if it would be abandoned for Superdesk). I got a T-shirt instead... The gesture was nice, but I can get a T-shirt in a store. I can't get Superdesk documentation in a store. Was Newscoop ever officially cancelled?

    Superdesk is in desperate need of a centralized, canonical, updated documentation repository. One where community members can easily contribute information (something like "if you're doing the fireq install on Ubuntu 16.04, it has to be a fresh not updated install or the script will fail. You can update after the install").

    A wiki seems obvious, but I'm not holding my breath. Or rather, if they make a wiki I expect it to be abandoned within a year.

    It's a shame, because the software is great, you just spend an eternity on stupid shit because you're guessing what to do half the time.

    I posted pretty much the exact same thing over two years ago:
    No replies :/
    Post edited by Jonas Ørting at 2017-12-04 20:50:58
  • Dear Jonas,
    as you are  Newscoop expert and longtime user,
    I have a great request for you!

    Do you have any hint
    or advice
    how to migrate web news portal (newscoop version 4.4.7) from old (ubuntu 14.04)server  to a new Ubuntu 16.04 server (php 5.6.32 and mysql 5.7?
    I have problems with the last step of fresh instalation Newscoop 4.4.7 on ubuntu 16.04 server.

    After command

    php composer.phar install  --no-dev
    an error occurs
    Could not scan for classes inside "template_engine" which does not appear to be a file nor a folder

    I will be glad of any information...

  • Oh I'm no Newscoop expert. The short answer is "I can't help you".

    In fact we ended up using Wordpress for my NGOs newssite. Partly because we got it running well on cheaper hardware, partly because importing ~10k articles from a mess of static HTML was easier to figure out with Wordpress, and partly because it wasn't viable to use a system where if I ever stepped away, no one else would have a chance to admin it (and I couldn't justify spending the time to do the documentation myself).

    I'm following Superdesk mostly out of interest - it seems like a genuinely great piece of software, and the newsmedia needs professional tools that are accessible to independent media without big budgets. Having done volunteer work for non-profit media for decades, much of it in collaboration with non-profit media in 'emerging democracies', I really do support the Sourcefabric mission.
    But while it makes great sense to do partnerships with AAP and NTB, those are wellfunded established media in stable democracies. For those without the means to have dedicated IT staff, Sourcefabric has a long way to go.

    For me, a translation is a fun and quick way to contribute. I did the entire Danish translation for Superdesk in ~10 days as a hobby project.
    It also removes an obstacle to implementing it in my organisation, but to seriously consider switching from Wordpress we'd need 1) a more mature Publisher plugin (switching just the backend would be too much work for too little gain) and 2) better documentation.
  • Jonas,
    Thank you very much...

  • Markos,

    Thank you for your for the show of solidarity/empathy/sympathy!

    I'm well used to Sourcefabric documentation been scattered all over the place - as well as being out of date and/or missing critical implementation steps. However, there's absolutely nothing on migrating data from Newscop to Superdesk.

    The above shortcomings, together with the company's over-marketing (which is designed to attract corporate clients but creates a false impression their software is stable); combined with several version releases that had critical errors and should never have been released, meant it took us 2 years to implement an (almost) fully-functioning version of Newscoop.

    At the end of the day, any software developer that is going to make statements and promises that are not accurate, should recognise other people are relying on their validity. There have always been alternative choices, including Typo3 and WordPress (which dozens of other publishers have now abandoned Newscoop for), and we wouldn't have bothered investing out time, energy, emotions and money to work with Newscoop if we had known it was going to be abandoned.

    Notwithstanding, Superdesk's interface does look good, although the issue we have with Sourcefabric at the moment is one of trust - let's face it, they're not even answering questions that are being posted on the forum that is dedicated to their brand new news management platform.

    Jonas - I couldn't agree more with what you write about Roadmaps - they were meaningless with Newscoop and Superdesk is ten times more complex.

    In answer to your question, there's an official announcement in Newscoop's support forum that it is not longer being officially supported.

    RobertB - I think you will find your MySQL version is too high (the Newscoop.  Ubantu 16.4 incompatibilities are not just with php7 but, I'm pretty sure, also with recent versions of MySQL - so trying MySQL 5.5 or 5.6 may work - alternatively running Newscoop in a separate Ubantu 14 Docker container on Ubantu 16 will definitely work).