Tag Archives: Linux

Unit 6 – DSpace Install notes and comments

I was able to install and configure DSpace with no problems;  we followed these steps:

We set up a new virtual machine, and built, not a LAMP stack, but a LTPJ stack: Linux-Tomcat-PostgreSQL-Java. Once those programs were installed, we needed to create all the structure for DSpace: we used sudo to create linux directories and users for DSpace, set their permissions, and then set up a related user and space in PostgreSQL. Then we set up a DSpace database and directories in Tomcat.

Once those structures were ready, then we downloaded the DSpace source code and set up a configuration file, then used maven to actually “build” the installation according to the configuration we specified. I’m guessing that means maven compiled all the code using the modules and settings we specified in the configuration files. The we used ant to do a “fresh install” – I guess it installed the compiled binary code that maven created.

The we had to create a DSpace administrator/user  at the linux command line and edit some configuration files to give that user privileges; then we rebooted the system and were then able to access DSpace from the browser and set up our collection.


The alternate instructions Bruce suggests at




look like they would be followable; although the comments on those instructions show there is some room for error in interpretation.  The details of the steps are different than what Bruce gave us, but they seem to follow the same general outline. I’m not sure I could follow them without technical support. Bruce’s step-by-step commands are probably best if you are going to try to do this without support; but the screenshots in the second link are probably helpful; and I like the clear delineation of steps in the first link.

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Filed under dSPace, Operating systems, SIRLS 675

Unit 11: Course Retrospective

This (SIRLS 672) was my first course in the DigIn certificate program, so I did not quite know what to expect of myself or of the program, especially because I do not have professional experience in a library or with collections, except as a frequent user. Although I have a technical background, I had not worked as a programmer or database administrator in years. I discovered that although the course was more technical than I had anticipated, it was still within my capabilities. The examples of digital collections and the library-specific assignments were enlightening as to the scope of the kinds of projects involved and the kinds of skills needed to manage digital collections in a library or archival environment. 

I have learned new technical concepts and skills in this course that will form the basis of a new and expanded conceptualization of digital collections. For example, I knew little about the inner workings of the internet before taking this class; now I understand the various data protocols and standards used, and the procedures used to get data from one node to another. I also did not know anything about the component parts underlying a digital collection (except a little about databases): now I understand, using the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack as an example, the basic relations between the operating system, the web server, the database management system, and the scripting language underlying a digital collection. I already knew some HTML but I learned a little more, and I learned about XML as a way of describing and structuring data, which was completely new to me. I had professional experience with the concepts underlying relational databases and database design, but it was a good review; and I was introduced to the specifics of MySQL and the scripting language PHP.

In addition to the technical aspects of the course, I learned about the controversies and issues surrounding digital information, such as the argument for open-source software, and the advantages/disadvantages of various system interfaces, such as the CLI  (command line) versus a GUI (graphical user interface). I especially appreciated the opportunity to try tasks using a variety of methods and interfaces so that I could come to my own conclusions about my preferences.  I also learned skills and methods related to project management, the importance of a technology plan, and a little about how technology projects are funded, especially through the e-rate program.  Through the examples and the discussions, I learned about how all of these issues affect libraries, and the issues surrounding the creation and maintenance of digital collections in a library or archival setting. I have also learned about some of the initiatives in the digital humanities.

I especially have a new appreciation for the technical aspects underlying digital collections, and the prodigious amount of work that goes into designing, creating, and maintaining such collections. This knowledge gives a counterweight to the arguments in favor of free access for digital collections: while I agree that access should be as free as possible, I realize that digital collections do not come into being without a large price tag in terms of people-hours and expertise. I think that librarians will have a increasingly large role to play in creating and maintaining these collections, especially in this era of financial constraints.

As I write this I am impressed with how much I have learned, yet I feel a little trepidation because I’m afraid I may have learned just enough to be dangerous.  I realize how far I am from being really proficient in any of these areas; but since the course description states that “this is not a course in network administration, web development or programming!” I feel a little better. I feel that I have achieved the stated goal, which is to learn “about server technology supporting digital collections in libraries, archives, cultural heritage organizations and other institutions.”  I think I have indeed “gain[ed] confidence in [my] ability to learn new technologies as they are developed” and I have come to “understand basic information management architecture.”  I hope and expect that this course will prove to be a firm foundation to build upon as I pursue my future in the digital humanities.

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Filed under Digital Humanities, LAMP architecture, Library science, Project Management, SIRLS 672, Ubuntu Linux

Unit 2 – tutorials and the command line!

Working through the tutorials was fairly easy – I remember many of the concepts from DOS and from working on the old DEC-10 mainframes here at the UA back in the late 70s-early 80s.  The hierarchical file structure of the directories is the same, so navigating was not a problem. Manipulating files was also familiar, since the wildcards work very similarly to what I remember.  I/O redirection also worked much as I had remembered, including the pipes and filters. That part was really fun, trying new combinations in order to get just what I wanted — I had forgotten how powerful they can be!  The file/directory permission commands were new to me; they make sense, but the codes are going to be difficult to remember, especially since I don’t read binary. I seem to recall an alternate method being shown in one of the online video tutorials, but I will have to go back and check. Job control was also fairly straightforward.

The main problem I had was getting stuck without a command prompt. Several times this happened with variations on the cat command; I couldn’t figure out how to quit; I tried ctrl-c and quit and exit, but nothing worked. I had to close the terminal window to kill the process. I read on someone else’s blog that ctrl-z will get the prompt back (and this was also mentioned in the kill section of the tutorial – which I came to AFTER I had the problem). I’m still not sure exactly how the cat command works; I think you need to indicate a file name, or it just ends up echoing back what you type in – which makes sense, since it expects the standard input to be the keyboard and the standard output to the the terminal. I guess I could pipe the output to a file; but then I wouldn’t be able to see what I was typing (I’m guessing). The script command described in one of the other tutorials seems better for this – but anyway I’ll have to experiment.

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Filed under Operating systems, SIRLS 672, Ubuntu Linux

ubuntuforums.org: How to find help and searching the site

In our introduction to Ubuntu Linux, this forum was helpful. The “Asking For Help” thread by ugm6hr was especially useful, especially the posts “How to ask the question to get the right answer” and “ZabiGG’s How-to search or ask for help.”

How to ask the question to get the right answer
ZabiGG’s How-to search or ask for help

Second, somewhere in the forums I found a suggestion to use, not only the search box provided on the site (upper right hand corner of the screen), but also Google to search the site, using the terms followed by the search terms, e.g.  site:ubuntuforums.org “How to Ask for Help”

A comparison of the two ways to search:

  • The Google search returned hits from several different threads, these are the top two:

How to ask for help – Ubuntu Forums

2 posts – 2 authors – Last post: 20 Jul 2006

How to ask for help Desktop Environments. These Aren’t Roasted! bensexson’s Avatar. Join Date: Mar 2005. Beans: 189. How to ask for help
ubuntuforums.org › … › Desktop EnvironmentsCached

How to ask for help – Ubuntu Forums

5 posts – 3 authors – Last post: 20 Jul 2006

How to ask for help General Help. These Aren’t Roasted! bensexson’s Avatar. Join Date: Mar 2005. Beans: 189. Re: How to ask for help
ubuntuforums.org › … › Main Support CategoriesGeneral HelpCached

  •  The search “How to Ask for Help” in the searchbox on the ubuntoforums.org site failed to return any results, whether the search string was placed in quotes or not. It seems the search box on the forums site is probably expecting keywords, even though ZabiGG suggested using strings in quotes in the searchbox.

Posts in the forum also suggested two search engines that search ubuntu sites that may prove useful:


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Filed under SIRLS 672, Ubuntu Linux