IRLS 675 Unit 6: DSpace Installation

This week I installed DSpace. The process for DSpace installation is different than a Drupal installation and our particular installation of DSpace used a Tomcat server. The general steps to do the install are outlined in the graphic and the install was completed using Unbuntu Linux commands.


DSpace Installation Process

The only difficulty I had was when installing the Java Development Kit or using the command $ sudo aptitude install openjdk-7-jdk I got a Build Failure message and found out that another classmate was experiencing the same difficulty as the classmate posted in the discussion forum. This happened at step four. I then tried installing the previous version by using $ sudo aptitude install openjdk-6-jdk However, this did not work and I reverted to a snapshot in my virtual machine which did not have the openjdk-7-jdk install. Running the install with just the openjdk-6-jdk version worked. Apparently, getting the correct JDK is vital to the installation process. See for another report of a similar DSpace installation.  The experiment was worth trying as it may have saved me some time. The Maven build process took a surprising 18 minutes.

The installation instructions we used prepared by Bruce Fulton were comprehensive and much better than the instructions at These instructions do not cover the addition of a dspace user giving the user a password dspace, making a dspace directory and giving ownership of the directory to the dspace user: and other tasks I needed to complete for the installation.

Addition of a dspace User

$ sudo useradd -m dspace

$ sudo passwd dspace

$ sudo mkdir /dspace

$ sudo chown dspace /dspace

(From the DSpace Installation Guide by Bruce Fulton, University of Arizona)

Installation Changes
It is always a good idea with open source to continually review installation options and other options used in configuring the software as there may be frequent changes depending on the development activity in the open source community. The instructions at seem to be more compatible with my installation of Dspace but not complelty compatible.

Installation options can change in DSpace as can be seen in the section on the Overview of Install Options at
which discusses the options installers have with the “advent of a new Apache Maven 2 based build architecture.”  The Overview of DSpace Directories at the same website would be a good addition to our installation instructions.

Maven Build Process
The Maven build process is described very well at as is the Ant install. The screenshots of the Maven and Ant process are helpful especially if the installer is not familiar with DSpace. A stated previsously, I was surprised at the time Maven took to complete the build and it may also be helpful to point this out to beginners.

Finally, I think that I would need help from a systems specialist to figure out the instructions for installing DSpace. Having a background in Linux is very helpful as I can recognize the Linux commands but the documentation on DSpace is not well-developed and could be confusing to beginners without a strong systems background. Most open source software communities do not have official documentation and it takes some time to figure out something like an installation process  or how the open source software works. Drupal’s documentation has improved over time and hopefully DSpace’s docuemntation will also as this is a crucial step in attracting more users. Make the installation easy!

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