Step by step to set up an ERP and CRM for your SME

In the article of Ideas for using free software in your SME we commented on the multiple ways that free software can help improve the productivity of your company, but we also highlighted that with free software SMEs can save a lot of money by having solutions with characteristics very similar to software valued in thousands of dollars. Based on what has been commented in said article, we want to help you give life to that process of implementation of free applications in your SMEs, so in this first article of many, we will share a step by step to set up an ERP and CRM.

The ERP and CRM we have chosen is Odoo which we talk about in the article ODOO: The OpenSource ERP that is giving something to talk about! and that was taken into account in our articles on How to retain customers with free software y How to grow our business with free software. For this practical case we will install Odoo in its V8 version with the help of an OVA of TurnKey Linux, that is, we will use a Debian-based virtual machine that will have the necessary software preconfigured and pre-installed for Odoo to run properly.

Requirements to set up an ERP and CRM for your SME

We can set up an ERP and CRM like Odoo on a machine with few resources as long as the volume of use of the tool is not excessive, for the majority of small SMEs it is enough that we have a team with more than 1 GB of free ram, 20 GB of disk space and connection to a network.

We must have installed VirtualBox on that computer and have the appropriate permissions to configure the firewall and open or close ports. In the best of cases, we can complement our computer with a backup disk and many other features to improve the performance of the ERP and CRM to be installed.

How to install Odoo using a TurkeyLinux OVA?

  • Download the Odoo Ova developed by TurkeyLinux from here.
  • Import the previously downloaded ova from VirtualBox, for this go to File >> Import virtualized service, select the Ova, click on Next, check or modify the virtual machine preference (ram, cpu, name etc) and click on to import. set up an ERP
  • Configure the network of our virtual machine so that it has access to the internet and can also be accessed from the host machine, for this we must right click on the virtual machine that we have imported >> select configuration >> Network >> Adapter 1 >> Enable Network adapter >> Connected to Bridge Adapter >> and we choose our Adapter >> Then accept. In some cases we must also enable Adapter 2 >> Choose Enable Network adapter >> Connected to NAT.
  • We run the virtual machine and begin the initial parameterization process of our Odoo implementation.

Odoo initial parameterization

When the virtual machine is run for the first time, it starts an operating system with Debian to which we must parameterize its root password and we are also asked to parameterize some services necessary for the control and proper operation of Odoo. The detailed steps for this initial Odoo parameterization process are:

  • Login and check Debian Root password.
  • Enter and check the postgresql password that will work as the Odoo database.
  • Enter and check the password for the Odoo database Management Screen Password, which is used by the Odoo Database functions.
  • If you want to use TurnkeyLinux services, enter your API Key or press Skip.
  • Enter an email for system notifications.
  • We install the necessary security updates.
  • In case the security update is high level (like a kernel update) it will ask you to restart to configure the update, we reboot it and wait for the machine to start again.
  • Once the virtual machine is started, we have all the services started and configured so that Odoo works properly, a screen with the services and the IP to access them will be shown. Personally I recommend that we reconfigure the IP that the virtual machine gives us by dhcp for a fixed IP of our network, for this we go to Advanced Menu >> Networking >> eth0 >> StaticIp and enter the corresponding data.

Odoo deployment settings

After having properly executed the services necessary for Odoo to function properly, we proceed to the configuration phase of the Odoo implementation, with the creation of the database, the parameterization of Odoo with the information of our SME and all the related processes . To carry out this procedure, follow the following steps in detail:

  • From the host computer (or from any computer with network access) enter the Odoo IP that was shown in the initial step, in our case a website like the following will open:
  • Create a database for our implementation, choose an access password and a database name, we can also choose that our implementation comes with test data (for the cases where we want to test the tool). To finish this step we give on Create Database
By default, the administrator password is 'admin'
  • With the previous step, we already have our Odoo installed and connected to a Database, we will be shown a page like the following one where we can install Modules to enrich our Odoo implementation, just choose one and click on install.

Remember that in addition to Odoo, the Turnkey Linux Ova gives us access to a Web Shell to manage the distro from the console, the popular Webmin panel, Adminer as postgresql database manager and SSH and SFTP access. The default users to access these applications are the following, the password is the one you entered in the parameterization

  • Webmin, SSH: user root
  • PostgreSQL, Adminer: user postgres
  • Odoo Master Account: admin

This simple and fast procedure will result in an implementation of Odoo v8 on a Debian distro, optimized and configured to work in an optimal way. In the future we will do tutorials that will allow us to put our ERP Odoo in tune and we will learn how to configure it to adapt it to our SME.

Please tell us what you think of this type of content and what you want us to cover in our next tutorial. Thank you very much and we continue !!

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  1.   Deibis Contreras said

    Hello, good afternoon, how are you?
    I really love your very good page.
    I am new to free software and I would like to know if you can upload an article on how to create a free website with domain and SEO to increase Rating in google, I do not know if that is possible.

    Greetings and thank you very much
    ATT: Deibis Contreras

  2.   Joseph said

    very good support, it would be very interesting to see the continuation of this topic, configure it and see some examples already launched, thanks for the information

  3.   Tomeu said

    Hello, very good information.

    I was wondering if this software is free, and if the modules that can be activated and that make up the ERC are free.

    For future tutorials, I wonder if it can be implemented for online access, that is, practical use from different offices connecting remotely using the web browser, implementation costs, module costs, what type of companies it can be adapted to , application security in its use.

    Thank you very much for your work and God bless you.

    1.    lizard said

      The Erp is free and open source, there are free and free modules but there are also proprietary modules, there are also forums with documentation and consultants that advise you (most charge for their fees) ... We are going to try to delve deeper into the things we can do With the erp, from my own experience I believe that this ERP can be adapted to any type of company, as long as the necessary modules are implemented, what I mean by this is that small SMEs will need very few modules and for example the metallurgical industries a little more.

      1.    Tomeu said

        Thank you very much for your time and for your dedication.

        God bless you.

  4.   elmerfoo said

    Comment: I've been looking for an ERP + CRM for my office for a long time. but I think my PC is very low-resource for virtualization (P4 2,8 single core ram 3gb) I should see instructions on how to install it. Regards.

    1.    lizard said

      Dear you can also download an ISO image from this link and install it as if it were a Linux distro ... You will not have any problem, only in that case it is not virtualized but is installed in the traditional way. The steps are similar except that in the first part it will ask you the partition where you want to install it .. Any questions let me know

    2.    Gregory ros said

      To that I can answer you, I am / we are Odoo users, we have several computers running it. Odoo runs from Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser, therefore any machine that can access the web is capable. It is independent of the operating system. The normal thing is to have it installed on a web server, which in small companies is more practical and economical to hire it.
      Let me make you notice something that can hinder the final result. It is normal, at least in our case, that in the end you end up opening a zillion tabs, each one with an Odoo screen (Orders, customers, delivery notes, etc.). Bear in mind that in this situation the browsers are gluttons of memory RAM. I think it would be interesting to expand the memory, in our case we have machines from 2GB ram, but we ask for the new PCs all with 8 or 16GB, it is appreciated.

      1.    Erie said

        Hi Gregorio, you can also take advantage of the new features of firefox.

  5.   Bill said

    Free everything cannot exist because they have to eat something, in cases like Google, video creators for YouTube, etc. they can charge the bill on advertising and the user is free. But in business applications the logical thing is to pay sooner or later (modules, functionalities, customizations, installation, consulting, ...).
    I think Odoo is very good but complex for a small SME that does not need so much, for that case a simpler one to install may be better: invoicescripts.
    In any case, you have to study well what each application offers totally free, what the necessary modules cost to work well in your company and the implementation costs (installation and parameterization on the one hand and another very important: training).

  6.   Alfonso Perez said

    It is very well explained.
    A howto for dolibarr would also be nice.

  7.   Gregory ros said

    A very interesting article. In my particular case there is something big left, I recognize that every time I try to configure a server I screw it up and the situation throws me back, although I admit that as you put it it seems easy.
    At work we have it installed, it will last three years with it, and we are very happy and amazed with its power and adaptability. Needless to say, we recommend it without hesitation. Our company is agricultural and carries the part of production, processing and marketing, this also includes a store, online orders, etc. Let's not limit ourselves to a tpv without more. We have PCs with both Windows and Linux. Point out that I see it logical to turn to an expert on the subject to install, configure and maintain the system, the installation, as you put it, seems easy, but for most (at least for us) everything that goes more is great Beyond reinstalling and configuring the OS. For a small store or business, a normal installation may be more than enough, but when you get into somewhat more complicated processes it turns out that there are thousands of modules, just discovering what each one does and which one is the most appropriate can be overwhelming for the user. neophile. Also note that in any case, if a company has its own computer technicians or hires them, Odoo is a "Very Important" saving for anyone, the program does not cost you anything, there are no licenses, only if you do not work as a computer technician (our case) you will have to hire someone to keep it for you (it is free, not altruistic), it allows you to adapt it to any need, extensions, etc, etc. Let no one make the mistake of thinking that because it is free it will be more limited than another commercial solution.
    A greeting.

  8.   Mario J. Castaño H. said

    Good evening and greetings from cold Bogotá.
    I thank you immensely for this tutorial, which I personally consider very important and quite understandable for lay people like me.
    I look forward to the second and why not several more tutorials on this topic.
    After reading the material, I was left with a lot of doubts, concerns and gaps. I hope I can clear them up once the next part comes out.
    Thank you.

  9.   NPV said

    Good Night

    I am very grateful if you can provide me with Link or tutorials on how to configure and use Odoo
    excellent contribution

  10.   CP said

    Dear Lizard, what a good contribution !!!!, two years ago I have installed Odoo 8 in my company (Pharmacy) and with a lot of effort I have been able to configure it to work, it is a tremendously adaptable software and it is not so difficult to configure.
    This morning I downloaded the iso and installed it on an old PC according to the instructions explained here, everything worked perfectly. With this operating system with Odoo pre-installed it will be much easier to back up my database.
    Just one question: can you install a desktop like xfce, gnome, etc? or the idea is that it works only as a server?
    Thank you very much.

    1.    lizard said

      You could install a desktop environment, but it is recommended that it be left without a desktop environment and that you do remote access, in this way you consume fewer resources and have a cleaner installation.

  11.   CP said

    I am trying to generate a new database and I get the following message:
    Odoo Server Error
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "/opt/openerp/odoo/openerp/", line 539, in _handle_exception
    return super (JsonRequest, self) ._ handle_exception (exception)
    File "/opt/openerp/odoo/openerp/", line 576, in dispatch
    result = self._call_function (** self.params)
    File "/opt/openerp/odoo/openerp/", line 313, in _call_function
    return self.endpoint (* args, ** kwargs)
    File "/opt/openerp/odoo/openerp/", line 805, in __call__
    return self.method (* args, ** kw)
    File "/opt/openerp/odoo/openerp/", line 405, in response_wrap
    response = f (* args, ** kw)
    File "/opt/openerp/odoo/addons/web/controllers/", line 703, in create
    params ['create_admin_pwd'])
    File "/opt/openerp/odoo/openerp/", line 881, in proxy_method
    result = dispatch_rpc (self.service_name, method, args)
    File "/opt/openerp/odoo/openerp/", line 115, in dispatch_rpc
    result = dispatch (method, params)
    File "/opt/openerp/odoo/openerp/service/", line 65, in dispatch
    security.check_super (passwd)
    File "/opt/openerp/odoo/openerp/service/", line 32, in check_super
    raise openerp.exceptions.AccessDenied ()
    AccessDenied: Access denied.

    Any idea???

  12.   CP said

    Haha, my mistake, out of habit I wrote "admin" as the master password, then it occurred to me to put the password I assigned for odoo in the system installation and everything went perfectly. Anyway thank you very much.

  13.   Fede said

    Good! Excellent guide, thank you very much for taking the time. I have a problem: when the installation is finished, it remains in the terminal and does not lift the graphical environment. I tried installing xorg, but it doesn't start it either. How am I supposed to get in?

    Sorry for the ignorance.