How to handle teams of volunteers settting up services from home to run off single PC at church

Hi there,

I'm a huge fan of OpenLP and I'm testing it out as a possible upgrade to our current setup: MS PowerPoint. I'm just trying to wrap my head around a couple of teething problems we may encounter - the first is the issue of how can a team of volunteers set up services, themes, songs, etc. from their homes and then run their work on Sunday from the PC in the tech booth at church? It would be inconvenient to have to come into the church during the week and do the work there for Sunday rather than from our own homes.

I had in mind putting the Data Folder on Dropbox (which is currently shared to all who need it already) or each volunteer work off OpenLP portable on USB. How would a centralised database for songs, etc. be controlled if everyone is using OpenLP portable?

Has anybody else had this issue and found a solution for it?

Thanks in advance!


  • There are several posts about this. We use Dropbox but there are reports of some folks having issues with the rapid updates that openlp has to do to the database. You could just save the service files to Dropbox...
  • edited January 2016
    I have the same situation/requirement - how to have multiple people maintain different parts of OpenLP like the song database, images (someone creates background slides), service files etc.

    I tried using Dropbox = problem of maintaining file integrity because if you allocate multiple people to have edit rights then it is almost impossible to maintain versions, controlling people overwriting files etc. Also you can't get the management features unless you get Dropbox Pro which costs.

    Then I tried Google Drive - ugh. Like many Google services someone at Google gets a 'cool' idea and Google releases it half-baked and then doesn't maintain it. Unless something is making advertising revenue for Google they get bored.

    My solution, which works very well for us, is I setup a Git server. I made it as a virtual machine (VM) running on Oracle VirtualBox. The easiest (best) is either a Linux or Unix virtual machine - I made a FreeBSD VM.

    Mac OS X supports Git out of the box (so do Linux machines), for Windows I installed a Git client. Then I wrote a small script for the normal users (musicians, pastor etc.) which syncs the computers to the Git server.

    I maintain the OpenLP song master database (best if one person does that) the music leader gives me final verse text and I update OpenLP.

    People just launch the script and bang their OpenLP is updated. I have two OpenLP Git folders:

    • OpenLP System - the OpenLP application folder which is usually hidden
    • OpenLP User - I make this convention myself because OpenLP does not have an official,standard location, user data folder. This is for things like service files, images and so on.

    It works smoothly and automatically. You can have people who have read/write permissions and others who only have read permissions. Granted it takes a little to setup, but it is not that hard for anyone reasonably technical. If you are interested happy to share more technical info with you (to whatever detail level you want).
  • I would be interested in learning about how you use Git and a local script to accomplish this.
  • Our solution was to purchase a laptop which the volunteers take home a few days before the weekend. They do the preparation at home, and bring back the laptop which is then the computer used to present the services.

  • In our church, we basically just stick the service file in Dropbox. Our church "secretary" creates the initial service, then the music team picks up the service from there and adds their songs, and then I just grab the service on the Saturday evening, make sure everything looks OK, and take my laptop to church.
  • I've chosen to use the portable version of OpenLP and load everything onto a USB Memory device.  All edits and projection is done using the usb drive on whatever computer in use.  A lot easier than carrying a laptop, easy to maintain a backup of the usb drive as well.
  • Just wanted to mention that our church meets in the auditorium of a local college, hence why I take my laptop.
  • Thanks everyone, for now I've been using JimT's solution and seems to be working fine for now.
Sign In or Register to comment.