If you’re working in an Educational institution, probably you’ve heard about Dspace which is used to setup Digital Repository System. Digital Repository is nothing but a Centralized storage place which can be used to store and distribute any digital contents to the client systems, whether it may be a video, audio, document files etc. So, the students of the Institution can be able to browse the contents or download and store them on their local drive for later reference. We can store online lectures, course materials, syllabus, Q&A documents and all kind of contents used for students in the Digital Repository. By this way, the students can access the digital contents either from his/her Laptop, Desktop, or any mobile devices via LAN or WAN.

Dspace is an open source and free application used by 1000+ educational institutions around the world. The MIT Libraries and Hewlett-Packard (HP) originally developed DSpace, but the software is now supported by DuraSpace. Using Dspace, we can setup Digital Repository for any institutions and store thousands of video lectures, books etc. As you may know, many popular Universities like IIT, IIMK, Harverd, MIT etc, has their own digital repository and have stored tons of course materials for their students. You can see the complete list of institutions that are using Dspace here.

Supported Digital contents

DSpace accepts all manner of digital formats.

Documents, such as articles, preprints, working papers, technical reports, conference papers



Data sets

Computer programs

Visualizations, simulations, and other models

Multimedia publications

Administrative records

Published books

Overlay journals

Bibliographic datasets


Audio files

Video files

e-formatted digital library collections

Learning objects

Web pages

Minimum Hardware Requirements

Any modern workstation or server(Preferably Quad core server).

4GB or more RAM

200GB or more Hdd

The storage may vary depending upon the size of the contents that you want to store.

In this brief tutorial, let me teach you how to setup our own Digital Repository using Dspace on Ubuntu 14.04 32bit server. However, the steps provided in this document are same for all Ubuntu based systems.


As I said before, for the purpose of this tutorial, I have a test server running with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 32bit edition. My test box details are given below.

OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 32bit Server

IP Address:

Hostname: server.unixmen.local


Before installing Dsapce, we have to install the following important softwares.

Java (JDK)

Apache Ant, Maven, Tomcat


Before installing the above prerequisites, update your server.

Run the following command to install the above prerequisites all at once.

Now, check the packages are properly installed as shown below.

Check Java:

Sample output:

Check Ant:

Sample output:

Check Postgresql:

Sample output:

Check Tomcat:

Sample output:

Check Maven:

Sample output:

Open up the /etc/postgresql/9.3/main/pg_hba.conf file:

Add the following line shown in red color.

Save and close the file. Restart postgresql service.

Create Dspace user

First, create a system user (normal operating system user) called dspace.

Create database user:

Log in to postgresql:

Next, we will create a database called “dspace” and database user called “dspace” with password “dspace”. Don’t confuse database user with normal user. Both are different.

Create database:

After creating the database and user, type “exit” from the postgresql prompt and return back to normal user.

Download Dspace

Create one new directory called dspace. This is the main directory that will hold the actual dspace application files after compilation. You can choose different directory as your liking.

Download the latest version from the official download link. At the time writing this document, the latest stable version is 4.1.

Extract the downloaded zip file.

The above command will extract the dspace source zip file in the current directory. Change the ownership to the above directories to user “dspace”.

Now, switch to dspace user:

Go the the dspace directory:

Then, Edit file build.properties,

And, change the following values to fit into your organization details.

Save and close the file.

Now, start compiling the dspace. Make sure your server is connected to Internet. It is must to download all the necessary files during compilation.

Run the following command to start compiling from the dspace source directory (dspace-4.1-src-release):

This command will download all necessary files from the Internet. Be patient, It will take a while depending upon the Internet speed.

After completing the build process successfully, you should see the following BUILD SUCCESS message.

Then, go to the build directory,

and enter the following command:

Wait for few minutes to complete. After a successful installation, you should see the “BUILD SUCCESSFUL” message.

The DSpace has been installed. To complete installation, you should do the following:

Get back as normal system user:

Setup your Web servlet container (e.g. Tomcat) to look for your. DSpace web applications in: /dspace/webapps/ directory.

OR, copy any web applications from /dspace/webapps/ to the appropriate place for your servlet container. For example, $CATALINA_HOME/webapps’ for Tomcat.

First set the environment variables to Tomcat server.

Edit file /etc/profile,

Add the following lines at the end:

Save and close the file. Then, run the following command to take effect the environment variables settings.

Now, copy the dspace/webapps directory contents to the tomcat webapps directory.

Create Administrator Account

Now, make an initial administrator account (an e-person) in DSpace:

Enter the email address and password to log in to dspace administrative panel.

Restart Tomcat service.

Access Dspace Home page

Now, You should then be able to access your DSpace home page.

XMLUI interface:



JSPUI Interface:


Congratulations! Dspace is ready now. Start using Dspace. In my next tutorial, I will show you how to upload contents to the Dspace repository. Stay tuned.


Setup Digital Repository For Your Institution Using Dspace On Ubuntu 14.04 Server

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