Managing your CouchDB in Lucid Lynx

I have just recently completed install of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and I really find it snazzy. I’m quite happy with the default desktop that I decided to keep it as is. Since it was a fresh install, I had to restore all the applications that I was using on Jaunty. No big deal for me really. And I have a perfectly good reason to test out the new Ubuntu Software Center.

One of the new applications that I decided to try out (since it’s in Lucid by default) is Gwibber. Install was seamless, adding an account and posting to Twitter was nonchalant at most. But I found that Ping.fm support was not included by default. As I was exploring for a way to squeeze in Ping.fm I was able to discover that Gwibber was using CouchDB via Desktop-Couch in Lucid.

No Couch Potato

wiresharkIt is apparent that Lucid is now leveraging CouchDB for use by most of the applications and settings. It also appeared that the details in CouchDB will also be included in synchronization should you enable Ubuntu One syncing.

With my tinkering trying to find a way to put Ping.fm support into Gwibber, I found that it uses CouchDB. Before I knew this fact, I had to know which port CouchDB is using on my local machine. So I fired up the following command:

dbus-send –session –dest=org.desktopcouch.CouchDB –print-reply –type=method_call / org.desktopcouch.CouchDB.getPort

I then got the following output:

topcouch.CouchDB.getPort
method return sender=:1.86 -> dest=:1.222 reply_serial=2

int32 48932

Note though that the port is random, and differs for every machine. I pulled up wireshark to see what’s data is being exchanged on that port. And sure enough, I confirmed that Gwibber is indeed using CouchDB.

Easier than what it seems

I really thought that I may have to resort to brute forcing my way into CouchDB because when I tried to access http://127.0.0.1:<port> , I was prompted by a login prompt. I never realized that Ubuntu already had a management page to directly allow your Ubuntu user account to manage CouchDB! Ubuntu’s CouchDB management page uses uses Futon , which pretty much works like what PHPMyAdmin is to MySQL.

After scouring the Ubuntu Forums, I found this post pointing me in the right direction. So there I was, opening another tab and opening the page:

file:///home
/USERNAME/.local/share/desktop-couch/couchdb.html

Just replace USERNAME with your Ubuntu username. The page will login to CouchDB using a pre-generated username and password hash. After that, it’s game over :) . You can manage your CouchDB databases via Futon.

As for me, it’s back to the drawing board and find a way still to squeeze in Ping.fm to my current version of Gwibber, or wait it out until Gwibber 3.0.

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