Factory Manual: Setting up your account

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If you want to run a factory then you will first need to create an account on the CentralServer and set it up properly. You can register yourself at the website. Once you have done so you can either login using the login form or you can use an SSL client certificate and use the secure website. After your registration you will need to contact the staff and tell them that you want to run a factory. They will probably ask you a couple of questions to verify a few things and then enable your account to use factories.

About SSL certificates

SSL certificates are optional for using the central website but mandatory if you want to use the XML-RPC API. requires your SSL certificate's Common Name to contain the same e-mail address as you have used to register your account with. If necessary you can change your account's e-mail address to match the one on your certificate.

Due to a bug in Apache mod_gnutls the development server currently only accepts client certificates that are signed by CACert. See the next section for how to obtain one of these certificates for free.

In the future the capability to use a client SSL certificate signed by any well known Certificate Authority will be restored. It is also under consideration to allow Officeshots to create self signed certificates for all users for express use on the factories. Using self signed certificates will releive the user from having to obtain any SSL certificates themselves as Officeshots will already be able to offer each user their own certificate for use in running a factory.

Get an SSL Certificate from CACert

If you do not have an SSL client certificate then you can easily get one for free from CACert. Go to the website of CACert and register for an account. When you have an account, login and in the menu go to Client Certificates. Create a new certificate and make sure you add your e-mail address to it. When CACert has created a certificate for you then you can import it in your browser by clicking a link.

Your certificate is now in your browser. If you want, you can use it to automatically login to the officeshots website. To do that, visit

Export your SSL Certificate from your browser

If you want to run a factory then you need to export your certificate from your browser and convert it into PEM format which our factory understands. In Firefox, go to Preferences => Advanced => View Certificates => Your Certificates. Click on your certificate and click Backup. You will be asked to create a password to protect your certificate. Thawte has instructions for Internet Explorer.

You now have a .p12 or a .pfx file with your certificate. The last step is to convert this to PEM format. You can do this with OpenSSL. Linux systems usually have this installed. Windows users will need to install OpenSSL themselves or ask a friend who uses Linux to convert the certificate for them. The command to convert the certificate is:

$> openssl pkcs12 -in certificate.p12 -out certificate.pem -clcerts

You will be asked to enter your backup password to read the .p12 or .pfx file and create a new password to encrypt the PEM file. Alternatively, if you do not want to encrypt the PEM file then you can use the following command.

$> openssl pkcs12 -in certificate.p12 -out certificate.pem -clcerts -nodes

Using an unencrypted PEM file is not as safe. Depending on which library you are using to connect with the Officeshots server you might need to type in your certificate password each time you restart your factory.

Configuring your factory

After the staff have enabled your account for factory usage you can add factories to your account. A factory is a single computer that you have that participates in If you want to supply a Windows XP machine, an OSX, a Linux machine, and a smartphone then you would create four factories. To create a new factory, go to the Officeshots website and in the menu click Factories and then Add another factory. Then pick a name for it and fill in the hardware and operating system fields.

It can be convenient to think of a factory as a single machine. Each factory can allow access to many office applications, for example, Microsoft Word and LibreOffice? can be installed and made available on a single Windows machine. Or perhaps Google Docs, Abiword, and LibreOffice? on a single OSX machine. Sometimes on this site a specific version of an application that can be accessed from a factory is called a Worker. It is possible on Linux to expose both LibreOffice? 4.3 and 5.x to Officeshots on the same factory.

You can also choose which document formats you want to support. For example, for you can choose to only accept OpenDocument Text and Spreadsheet files, omitting Presentations. Not all applications support all document types. When you choose an application, the document types that are not available will be greyed out.

As of mid 2015 a new python script has been introduced to help setup the Officeshots configuration for your local office applications, see the Quickstart for more inforomation. This script will also help you upload your local factory configuration to the Officeshots server so it knows which applications you have available and can direct supported jobs to your factory for processing.

For every worker you can also opt to participate in generating the ODF testsuites. Officeshots has several ODF testsuites imported. If you choose to participate then your factory will be given the files for these test suites. This only happens after you factory has been running stable (zero downtime) for 24 hours.

The ODF test suites are large. Several hundreds of documents and probably up to one thousand in the future. If you participate with multiple workers in the test suites then you factory could get many thousands of documents to process. Make sure you have the processing power and bandwidth to handle this!

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Last modified 19 months ago Last modified on 08/19/15 04:30:24