This page contains information about how server is setup/configured. This server is managed jointly by the DSpace Committer Team. Any Committer can request server access.

If major issues occur or something needs to be installed requiring root access, contact Tim Donohue or "sysadmin AT duraspace DOT org"

General Server Setup / Info

Here's an overview of how everything is setup on the '' server:

Base Software

'dspace' user account

Who to Contact

Only a DuraSpace employee can do the following:

Contact or Tim Donohue if you need any of these tasks performed.

Getting SSH access to

This is how you provide a DSpace Committer with command-line access to this server.

  1. Have Committer generate an SSH Key on their computer and send you their PUBLIC Key.
  2. Append their PUBLIC Key on the end of the 'dspace' user's ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file
  3. They should now be able to connect as follows:


Updating / Upgrading DSpace installation

To ensure we are consistently updating DSpace in the same manner, please perform the following steps when updating any configuration
or making any customization to DSpace.

(If you have updates/suggestions, please let us know – we can change these processes, but we just need to make sure we are all consistently following the same general steps)

Make all Configuration/File Changes in '~/dspace-src/' FIRST

The ~/dspace-src/ folder is a Git clone of the DSpace-demo GitHub Repository:

In this local Git repository, we are running off of a branch named "demo". You can see all the branches by running

git branch

Changes that you wish to keep should be committed to this "demo" branch.

At any one time, you can compare this 'demo' branch to any version of DSpace. For example, to compare 'demo' to DSpace 5.5 run:

cd ~/dspace-src
git checkout demo
git diff dspace-5.5

WARNING: If you make direct config edits to ~/dspace/config/ you can expect that they may be overwritten in future (unless you also copy them to ~/dspace-src/dspace/config/)
You have been warned! Again, if your changes don't make it to ~/dspace-src/ then THEY WILL BE LOST during the next update!

Upgrade DSpace Source

If you are upgrading to the next stable version of DSpace, you can use git merge to help you merge all changes.

For Example:

cd ~/dspace-src
# Pull down all latest changes
git checkout master
git pull
# Merge them into our "demo" branch
git checkout demo
git merge dspace-6.0 (or 'git merge master')

NOTE: You should make sure to pay close attention to whether any Conflicts occurred. If so, you will need to resolve them manually.

Resolving Conflicts: Here are some hints on how to resolve / manage conflicts encountered during a merge:

Rebuild DSpace

cd ~/dspace-src
# Build DSpace using Mirage 2 theme
mvn -U clean package -Dmirage2.on=true

Push out Updates

WARNING: this overwrites existing configs in ~/dspace/config/

sudo service tomcat7 stop
cd ~/dspace-src/dspace/target/dspace-installer/
ant update
sudo service tomcat7 start

Double check everything still looks to be working.

Also make sure your changes made it to ~/dspace/ (and that you didn't remove previous settings, especially configs)

An easy way to double check config changes is to do a 'diff' of the latest dspace.cfg with the most recent '.old' one.

Commit your changes to "demo" branch

Assuming your changes are already over in ~/dspace-src/ this is easy...

cd ~/dspace-src/
git commit [file]

# OR, to commit all changed files
git commit -a

# Push those changes up to GitHub!
git push origin demo

DSpace Tweaks (for Demo site)

Disabling the editing of all EPerson Email addresses

In May/June 2015, we ran into several scenarios where users were logging in as a demo Admin account and promptly changing the email address associated with that account.  In order to avoid this, it is HIGHLY recommended to disable editing of email addresses on

Here's how it's done:

Managing Website Content

Website / Splash page

JavaDocs page

Starting / Stopping DSpace (and related services)

The 'dspace' user can easily start/stop PostgreSQL and Tomcat using the corresponding service scripts:

sudo service postgresql start
sudo service tomcat7 start

sudo service tomcat7 stop
sudo service postgresql stop

Important Cron Jobs

Obviously, you can get the latest information on the existing Cron jobs by logging into the server and running:

crontab -l

However, here's a brief overview of a few of the more important Cron jobs.

Reset DSpace Content (based on AIPs) every Saturday

EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT (currently at 23:59 UTC), all existing DSpace content is automatically REMOVED and reset to the AIPs located at ~/AIP-restore/

This is controlled by the ~/bin/reset-dspace-content script (source code in GitHub)

This is a BASH script that essentially does the following:

  1. Stops Tomcat
  2. Backs up current DB & Assetstore to ~/tmp/data-backup (This backup is performed just in case something goes wrong and we
    need to quickly restore DSpace.)
  3. Deletes existing DB & Assetstore
  4. Resets DSpace back to a 'fresh_install' state (by restoring database tables, sequences, registries, and initial Admin user acct)
  5. Imports the AIPs in ~/AIP-restoreinto DSpace as default content (This also autocreates the demo EPeople and Groups)
  6. Refreshes all Indexes (Lucene/DB & Discovery) & Restarts Tomcat
  7. A log of the entire 'reset' process is written to ~/AIP-restore/reset-dspace-content.log

How to update the set of demo AIPs

The set of demo AIPs are all stored in the ~/AIP-restore/ directory.

To update these AIPs, you must use the DSpace AIP Backup & Restore tools as described at:
AIP Backup and Restore

You can regenerate / update these AIPs by doing the following:

  1. Install a fresh (empty) copy of DSpace on your local server.
  2. Configure it to have the same handle prefix as (handle prefix: 10673) & setup an initial administrative user (ideally '' which is the Demo Administrator on
  3. Download the existing AIPs from this directory, e.g.

    scp* .

  4. Use the downloaded AIPs to "restore" content to your local server's empty DSpace, e.g.

    \[dspace\]/bin/dspace packager -r -a -f -t AIP -e [admin-email] -i 10673/0 /full/path/to/

  5. Update your DSpace's content as you see fit (adding/removing/changing objects)
  6. Export a fresh set of AIPs, by performing a full SITE export e.g.

    \[dspace\]/bin/dspace packager -d -a -t AIP -e [admin-email] -i 10673/0 -o includeBundles=ORIGINAL,LICENSE -o passwords=true
  7. Upload those newly updated AIPs to, e.g.

    scp .

Reset "News" sections every night

Since the "News" sections are editable via the JSPUI, there is a cron job that automatically resets them each night.

It's a rather simple cron job that just copies the original "news-*" files from the ~/dspace-src/ directory:

05 0 * * * cp $HOME/dspace-src/dspace/config/news-* $HOME/dspace/config/ > /dev/null

Reset Demo User Passwords every hour

Since people have been known to change our demo user passwords on this server, we now reset them to the default password every hour.

This functionality is just a simple set of SQL UPDATE commands that are run via the ~/bin/reset-demo-passwords script.

kompewter IRC bot

The kompewter IRC bot is on the server at ~/kompewter.

It's source code is managed in GitHub at

Starting / Stopping kompewter

To start kompewter just run:

cd ~/kompewter
nohup ./jenni > kompewter.log &

(NOTE: The "nohup" command ensures that kompewter will keep running even after you log off the server.)

Java Profiling using YourKit

Full instructions available at:

In order to locate potential memory issues in DSpace, we've installed YourKit on at ~/yjp/.

It can be accessed remotely so that we can perform various Java profiling tasks.

On your local computer:

Let's Encrypt free DV X.509 certificate

TODO: add to puppet scripts (install package, pull configuration from S3, create cron file)

First-time installation will validate domain ownership and generate a private key. Any subsequent certificate requests will reuse the private key. The /etc/letsencrypt directory should be backed up in private S3 storage (TODO).

The certificate is issued for 3 months.  The script that checks for renewals needed is running twice a day on a random minute from /etc/cron.d/certbot.

sudo apt-get install python-letsencrypt-apache
# register and request first certificate, but do not change Apache configuration (we'll do it manually)
sudo letsencrypt --apache certonly

Enter email address (used for urgent notices and lost key recovery)

Which names would you like to activate HTTPS for?

 - If you lose your account credentials, you can recover through
   e-mails sent to
 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/ Your cert will
   expire on 2017-01-04. To obtain a new version of the certificate in
   the future, simply run Let's Encrypt again.
 - Your account credentials have been saved in your Let's Encrypt
   configuration directory at /etc/letsencrypt. You should make a
   secure backup of this folder now. This configuration directory will
   also contain certificates and private keys obtained by Let's
   Encrypt so making regular backups of this folder is ideal.
# replace self-signed certificates with Let's Encrypt certificates
sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/
  ## SSL directives
  SSLEngine on
#  SSLCertificateFile      "/etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem"
#  SSLCertificateKeyFile   "/etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key"
#  SSLCACertificatePath    "/etc/ssl/certs"
  SSLCertificateFile    /etc/letsencrypt/live/
  SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
  SSLCACertificateFile  /etc/letsencrypt/live/
# test renewal (dry run)
sudo letsencrypt renew --dry-run --agree-tos
# set up renewal from cron
sudo vim /etc/cron.d/certbot
# /etc/cron.d/certbot: crontab entries for the certbot package
# Upstream recommends attempting renewal twice a day
# Eventually, this will be an opportunity to validate certificates
# haven't been revoked, etc.  Renewal will only occur if expiration
# is within 30 days.
0 */12 * * * root test -x /usr/bin/letsencrypt && perl -e 'sleep int(rand(3600))' && letsencrypt -n renew --agree-tos