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  1. Download Code (to [dspace-angular]): Download the latest dspace-angular release from the DSpace GitHub repository. You can choose to either download the zip or tar.gz file provided by GitHub, or you can use "git" to checkout the appropriate tag (e.g. dspace-7.2) or branch.
    1. NOTE: For the rest of these instructions, we'll refer to the source code location as [dspace-angular].
  2. Install Dependencies: Install all required local dependencies by running the following from within the unzipped [dspace-angular] directory

    Code Block
    # change directory to our repo
    cd [dspace-angular]
    # install the local dependencies
    yarn install
    # NOTE: Some dependencies occasionally get overly strict over exact versions of Node & Yarn.
    # If you are running a supported version of Node & Yarn, but see a message like 
    # `The engine "node" is incompatible with this module.`, you can disregard it using this flag:
    # yarn install --ignore-engines

  3. Build/Compile: Build the User Interface for Production. This builds source code (under [dspace-angular]/src/) to create a compiled version of the User Interface in the [dspace-angular]/dist folder.  This /dist folder is what we will deploy & run to start the UI.

    Code Block
    yarn build:prod

    1. You only need to rebuild the UI application if you change source code (under [dspace-angular]/src/).  Simply changing the configurations (e.g., see below) do not require a rebuild, but only require restarting the UI.
  4. Deployment (to [dspace-ui-deploy]): (Only recommended for Production setups) Choose/Create a directory on your server where you wish to run the compiled User Interface. We'll call this [dspace-ui-deploy].

    title[dspace-ui-deploy] vs [dspace-angular]

    [dspace-angular] is the directory where you've downloaded and built the UI source code (per the instructions above).  For deployment/running the UI, we recommend creating an entirely separate [dspace-ui-deploy] directory. This keeps your running, production User Interface separate from your source code directory and also minimizes downtime when rebuilding your UI.  You may even choose to deploy to a [dspace-ui-deploy] directory on a different server (and copy the /dist directory over via FTP or similar).

    If you are installing the UI for the first time, or just want a simple setup, you can choose to have [dspace-ui-deploy] and [dspace-angular] be the same directory. This would mean you don't have to copy your /dist folder to another location. However, the downside is that your running site will become unresponsive whenever you do a re-build/re-compile (i.e. rerun "yarn build:prod") as this build process will first delete the [dspace-angular]/dist directory before rebuilding it.

    1. Copy the entire [dspace-angular]/dist/ folder to this location. For example:

      Code Block
      cp -r [dspace-angular]/dist [dspace-ui-deploy]


    2. WARNING: At this time, you MUST copy the entire "dist" folder and make sure NOT to rename it.  Therefore, the directory structure should look like this: 

      Code Block
      titleContents of \[dspace-ui-deploy\] folder
             /browser (compiled client-side code)
             /server  (compiled server-side code, including "main.js")
          /config     (Optionally created in the "Configuration" step below)
             / (Optionally created in the "Configuration" step below)

    3. NOTE: the OS account which runs the UI via Node.js (see below) MUST have write privileges to the [dspace-ui-deploy] directory (because on startup, the runtime configuration is written to [dspace-ui-deploy]/dist/browser/assets/config.json)
  5. Configuration: You have two options for User Interface Configuration, Environment Variables or YAML-based configuration (  Choose one!

    1. YAML configuration: Create a "" at [dspace-ui-deploy]/config/  You may wish to use the [dspace-angular]/config/config.example.yml as a starting point. This file can be used to override any of the default configurations listed in the config.example.yml (in that same directory). At a minimum this file MUST include a "rest" section (and may also include a "ui" section),  similar to the following (keep in mind, you only need to include settings that you need to modify).  

      Code Block
      # The "ui" section defines where you want Node.js to run/respond. It often is a *localhost* (non-public) URL, especially if you are using a Proxy.
      # In this example, we are setting up our UI to just use localhost, port 4000. 
      # This is a common setup for when you want to use Apache or Nginx to handle HTTPS and proxy requests to Node on port 4000
        ssl: false
        host: localhost
        port: 4000
        nameSpace: /
      # This example is valid if your Backend is publicly available at
      # The REST settings MUST correspond to the primary/public URL of the backend. Usually, this means they must be kept in sync
      # with the value of "dspace.server.url" in the backend's local.cfg
        ssl: true
        port: 443
        nameSpace: /server

    2. Environment variables: Every configuration in the UI may be specified via an Environment Variable. See Configuration Override in the User Interface Configuration documentation for more details. For example, the below environment variables provide the same setup as the example above.

      Code Block
      titleExample Environment Variables
      # All environment variables MUST 
      # (1) be prefixed with "DSPACE_"
      # (2) use underscores as separators (no dots allowed), and 
      # (3) use all uppercase
      # "ui" section
      DSPACE_UI_SSL = false
      DSPACE_UI_HOST = localhost
      DSPACE_UI_PORT = 4000
      # "rest" section
      DSPACE_REST_SSL = true
      DSPACE_REST_PORT = 443

      1. NOTE: When using PM2, some may find it easier to use Environment variables, as it allows you to specify DSpace UI configs within your PM2 configuration. See PM2 instructions below.

    3. Configuration Hints:
      1. See the User Interface Configuration documentation for a list of all available configurations.
      2. In the "ui" section above, you may wish to start with "ssl: false" and "port: 4000" just to be certain that everything else is working properly before  adding HTTPS support. KEEP IN MIND, we highly recommend always using HTTPS for Production. (See section on HTTPS below)
      3. (Optionally) Test the connection to your REST API from the UI from the command-line.  This is not required, but it can sometimes help you discover immediate configuration issues if the test fails.
        1. If you are using YAML configs, copy your back into your source code folder at [dspace-angular]/config/ 
        2. From [dspace-angular], run yarn test:rest This script will attempt a basic Node.js connection to the REST API that is configured in your "" file and validate the response.
        3. A successful connection should return a 200 Response and all JSON validation checks should return "true"
        4. If you receive a connection error or different response code, you MUST fix your REST API before the UI will be able to work.  See also the "Common Installation Issues" below.  If you receive an SSL error, see "Using a Self-Signed SSL Certificate causes the Frontend to not be able to access the Backend"
  6. Start up the User Interface:  The compiled User Interface only requires Node.js to run.  However, most users may want to use PM2 (or a similar Node.js process manager) in Production to provide easier logging and restart tools.
    1. Quick Start: To quickly startup / test the User Interface, you can just use Node.js.  This is only recommended for quickly testing the UI is working, as no logs are available.

      Code Block
      # You MUST start the UI from within the deployment directory
      cd [dspace-ui-deploy]
      # Run the "server/main.js" file to startup the User Interface
      node ./dist/server/main.js
      # Stop the UI by killing it via Ctrl+C

    2. Run via PM2: Using PM2 (or a different Node.js process manager) is highly recommended for Production scenarios. Here's an example of a Production setup of PM2.
      1. First you need to create a PM2 JSON configuration file which will run the User Interface.  This file can be named anything & placed where ever you like, but you may want to save it to your deployment directory (e.g. [dspace-ui-deploy]/dspace-ui.json). 

        Code Block
            "apps": [
                   "name": "dspace-ui",
                   "cwd": "/full/path/to/dspace-ui-deploy",
                   "script": "dist/server/main.js",
                   "instances": "max",
                   "exec_mode": "cluster",
                   "env": {
                      "NODE_ENV": "production"

        1. NOTE: The "cwd" setting MUST correspond to your [dspace-ui-deploy] folder path.
        2. NOTE #2: The "exec_mode" and "instances" settings are optional but highly recommended.  Setting "exec_mode" to "cluster" enable's PM2's cluster mode. This will provide better performance in production as it allows PM2 to scale your site across multiple CPUs. The "instances" setting tells PM2 how many CPUs to scale across ("max" means all CPUs, but you can also specify a number.)
        3. NOTE #3: If you wanted to configure your UI using Environment Variables, specify those Environment Variables under the "env" section.  For example:  

          Code Block
          titleConfiguration via Environment Variables
          "env": {
             "NODE_ENV": "production",
             "DSPACE_REST_SSL": "true",
             "DSPACE_REST_HOST": "",
             "DSPACE_REST_PORT": "443",
             "DSPACE_REST_NAMESPACE": "/server"

        4. NOTE #4: If you are using Windows, there are two other rules to keep in mind in this JSON configuration. First, all paths must include double backslashes (e.g. "C:\\dspace-ui-deploy").  Second, "cluster" mode is required.  Here's an example configuration for Windows:

          Code Block
          titledspace-ui.json (for Windows)
              "apps": [
                     "name": "dspace-ui",
                     "cwd": "C:\\full\\path\\to\\dspace-ui-deploy",
                     "script": "dist\\server\\main.js",
                     "instances": "max",
                     "exec_mode": "cluster",
                     "env": {
                        "NODE_ENV": "production"

      2. Now, start the application using PM2 using the configuration file you created in the previous step

        Code Block
        # In this example, we are assuming the config is named "dspace-ui.json"
        pm2 start dspace-ui.json
        # To see the logs, you'd run
        # pm2 logs
        # To stop it, you'd run
        # pm2 stop dspace-ui.json
        # If you need to change your PM2 configs, delete the old config and restart
        # pm2 delete dspace-ui.json

      3. For more PM2 commands see
      4. HINT: You may also want to install/configure pm2-logrotate to ensure that PM2's log folder doesn't fill up over time.
      5. Did PM2 not work or throw an immediate error? It's likely that something in your UI installation or configuration is incorrect.  Check the PM2 logs ("pm2 logs") first for errors. If the problem is not obvious, try to see if you can run the UI using the "Quick Start" method (using just Node.js) instead. Once "Quick Start" is working, try PM2 again.
  7. Test it out: At this point, the User Interface should be available at the URL you configured!
    1. For an example of what the default frontend looks like, visit the Demo Frontend: 
    2. If the UI fails to start or throws errors, it's likely a configuration issue.  See Commons Installation Issues below for common error messages you may see and how to resolve them.
    3. If you have an especially difficult issue to debug, you may wish to stop PM2. Instead, try running the UI via the "Quick Start" method (using just Node.js).  This command might provide a more specific error message to you, if PM2 is not giving enough information back.
  8. Add HTTPS support: For HTTPS (port 443) support, you have two options
    1. (Recommended) Install either Apache HTTPD or Nginx to act as a "proxy" for the frontend (and backend).  This allows you to manage HTTPS (SSL certificates) in either Apache HTTPD or Nginx, and proxy all requests to the frontend (running on port 4000) and backend (running on port 8080). This is our current recommended approach.  These instructions are specific to Apache, but a similar setup can be achieved with Nginx.
      1. If you already have Apache / Nginx installed for the backend, you can use the same Apache / Nginx.  You can also choose to install a separate one (either approach is fine).
        1. Install Apache HTTPD, e.g. sudo apt install apache2
        2. Install the mod_proxy and mod_proxy_http modules, e.g. sudo a2enmod proxy; sudo a2enmod proxy_http
        3. Restart Apache to enable
        4. Obtain an SSL certificate for HTTPS support. If you don't have one yet, you can use Let's Encrypt (for free) using the "certbot" tool:
      2. Now, setup a new VirtualHost for your UI site (preferably using HTTPS / port 443) which proxies all requests to PM2 running on port 4000.

        Code Block
        <VirtualHost _default_:443>
            # Add your domain here. We've added "" as an example
            .. setup your host how you want, including log settings...
            # These SSL settings are identical to those for the backend installation (see above)
            # If you already have the backend running HTTPS, just add the new Proxy settings below.
            SSLEngine on
            SSLCertificateFile [full-path-to-PEM-cert]
            SSLCertificateKeyFile [full-path-to-cert-KEY]
            # LetsEncrypt certificates (and possibly others) may require a chain file be specified
            # in order for the UI / Node.js to validate the HTTPS connection.
            #SSLCertificateChainFile [full-path-to-chain-file]
            # These Proxy settings are for the backend. They are described in the backend installation (see above)
            # If you already have the backend running HTTPS, just append the new Proxy settings below.
            # Proxy all HTTPS requests to "/server" from Apache to Tomcat via AJP connector
            # (In this example: will display the REST API)
            ProxyPass /server ajp://localhost:8009/server
            ProxyPassReverse /server ajp://localhost:8009/server
            # Proxy all HTTPS requests from Apache to PM2 on localhost, port 4000
            # NOTE that this proxy URL must match the "ui" settings in your
            # (In this example: will display the User Interface)
            ProxyPass / http://localhost:4000/
            ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:4000/

      3. HINT#1: Because you are using a proxy for HTTPS support, in your User Interface Configuration, your "ui" settings will still have "ssl: false" and "port: 4000".  This is perfectly OK!
      4. HINT#2: to force the UI to connect to the backend using HTTPS, you should verify your "rest" settings in your User Interface Configuration match the "dspace.server.url" in your backend's "local.cfg" and both use the HTTPS URL.  So, if your backend (REST API) is proxied to, both those settings should specify that HTTPS URL.
      5. HINT#3: to force the backend to recognize the HTTPS UI, make sure to update your "dspace.ui.url" in your backend's "local.cfg" is updated to use the new HTTPS UI URL (e.g.
    2. (Alternatively) You can use the basic HTTPS support built into our UI and Node server.  (This may currently be better for non-Production environments as it has not been well tested) 
      1. Create a [dspace-ui-deploy]/config/ssl/ folder and add a key.pem and cert.pem to that folder (they must have those exact names)
      2. In your User Interface Configuration, go back and update the following:
        1. Set "ui > ssl" to true
        2. Update "ui > port" to be 443
          1. In order to run Node/PM2 on port 443, you also will likely need to provide node with special permissions, like in this example.
      3. Restart the UI
      4. Keep in mind, while this setup is simple, you may not have the same level of detailed, Production logs as you would with Apache HTTPD or Nginx