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Installation Guide for Installing Koha on Debian
Some parts copyright 2010 Chris Nighswonger
Some parts copyright 2011 MJ Ray and
Feedback/bug reports: Koha Developer's List:
This document last modified: 2012-March-20
Installation Instructions
All commands can be performed as a system user with sudo privileges,
as indicated or by running the command directly as root.
1. Prepare System and Install Dependencies
1.1 Install Debian via Business Card CD
1.2 Set up Indexdata apt sources for Yaz and Zebra packages
See the instructions from indexdata at
At the time of writing, you need to create
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/indexdata.list containing the following:
# Index Data
deb squeeze main
deb-src squeeze main
and add their archive signing key to your system:
$ wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -
Finally, update your apt sources:
$ sudo apt-get update
1.3 Get Koha
Choose one of these options:
1.3.1 Option A: Download Koha via Git (optional)
$ sudo apt-get install git-core git-email
$ git clone git:// koha
$ cd koha
$ git checkout -b myinstall origin
Note: for more information about Git, please see the Koha Git Usage Guide:
1.3.2 Option B: Download Koha from
Find the latest Koha stable version on
and download it to your server with something like:
$ wget <URL found on>
1.4 Install additional Debian dependencies
IMPORTANT: You should only use CPAN for Perl dependencies which are NOT
available from the package maintainer. You have been warned!
Installing all necessary Debian packages, MySQL Server,
Zebra and all Debian packaged Perl module required by Koha:
$ sudo dpkg --set-selections < install_misc/debian.packages
$ sudo apt-get dselect-upgrade
1.5 Install Perl dependencies that aren't packaged into Debian
Run the following command:
$ perl -m -u
This will list whether any Perl dependencies are missing or need a
later version and whether they are required. You can then install
them another way. There may be packages on or maybe you can build packages
yourself or maybe you will need to install them locally with a command
similar to
$ sudo cpan Graphics::Magick CHI CHI::Driver::Memcached
Note: you may need to run CPAN initialization if you've not run cpan
before. See
When the configuration is completed CPAN will install the Perl modules.
2. Configuration of dependencies
2.1 Create the Koha database
Create the database and user with associated privileges (information inside <> brackets is
data you assign specifically to your installation. Do not include the <>'s when entering the commands):
$ mysqladmin -uroot -p<password> create <kohadatabasename>
$ mysql -uroot -p<password>
Welcome to the MySQL monitor. Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 22
Server version: 5.0.51a-24 (Debian)
Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the buffer.
mysql> grant all on <kohadatabasename>.* to '<kohadatabaseuser>'@'localhost' identified by '<kohadatabaseuserpassword>';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> flush privileges;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> quit
You may want to document the database name, the database username, and the database password you just set.
Step 3 will require them.
2.2 Test your SAX Parser and correct where necessary
You must be sure you're using the XML::LibXML SAX parser, not Expat or
PurePerl, both of which have outstanding bugs with pre-composed characters.
You can test your SAX parser by running:
$ cd koha
$ misc/
You should see something like:
If you are configured to use PurePerl or Expat, the script will say you have a problem and
you'll need to edit your ini file to correct it.
The file is typically located at:
The correct parser entry will need to be moved to the bottom of the file.
The following is the entry you are looking for:
[XML::LibXML::SAX::Parser] = 1
2.3 Create your Koha system user (if you haven't created one already)
$ sudo adduser koha
You can substitute any username for "koha," just be sure to write it down, you will need to know what it is in step 3.
3. Run the Koha installer
$ perl Makefile.PL
( answer questions )
$ make
$ make test
$ sudo make install
3.1 Export the environment variables
Make install will tell you what the proper path for these environment variables is.
In case you missed it at the end of make install, here are some examples:
Example (for standard install):
$ export KOHA_CONF=/etc/koha/koha-conf.xml
$ export PERL5LIB=/usr/share/koha/lib
Example (for dev install. These paths are set during Makefile.PL.):
$ export KOHA_CONF=/path/to/your/koha-conf.xml
$ export PERL5LIB=/path/to/koha/lib
4. Configure and start Apache
$ sudo ln -s /etc/koha/koha-httpd.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/koha
(note that the path to koha-httpd.conf may be different if you chose a dev install)
Add the following lines to /etc/apache2/ports.conf:
Listen 80
Listen 8080
Run the following commands:
$ sudo a2enmod rewrite deflate
$ sudo a2ensite koha
$ sudo apache2ctl restart
Note: you may still see the usual Apache default site if your VirtualHost
configuration isn't correct. If Koha is the only web application running on the server,
the command "sudo a2dissite default" may be a quick fix. For servers running other sites
alongside Koha, see the Apache HTTPD manual section on virtual hosts for full
instructions (
5. Run the Web Installer, populate the database, initial configuration of settings
Point your browser to http://<servername>:8080/
Note: <servername> is (usually) the IP of your server, or localhost (if you are connecting
from the same machine Koha is installed on. You can verify the location by checking
the VirtualHost settings for both the opac and intranet virtual hosts in koha-httpd.conf
Koha will redirect you to the Web Installer where you can continue the setup. You will be prompted to enter in your DATABASE username and password. It is through this interface
you can install the sample data for libraries, patrons, and much more.
Be aware that removing sample data at a later time (when you may want to take the
server into production) may not be easy, and if your intent is to take this
install from testing to production, go with minimal sample data (no patrons or bibliographic records).
6. Configure and start Zebra
Note: it's recommended that you daemonize the Zebra process and add it to your
startup profile. For a non-production test/development installation, running
Zebra from the command line can be useful. Pick one of the options below (or roll your own).
Note: it's also recommended that you create a Koha system user, which you will
have specified during the install process. Alternatively, Zebra can be
configured to run as the root user.
Option 1: run the Zebra processes from the command line (manual indexing):
6.1.1 Zebra Search Server
This process send responses to search requests sent by Koha or
Z39.50/SRU/SRW clients.
$ sudo -u <kohauser> zebrasrv -f /etc/koha/koha-conf.xml
(note that the path to koha-conf.xml may be different if you chose a dev install, and that
<kohauser> refers to the user you set up in step 2.3)
Note: the user you run Zebra as will be the only user with write permission
on the Zebra index; in development mode, you may wish to use your
system user.
6.1.2 Zebra Indexer
Added/updated/deleted records in Koha MySQL database must be indexed
into Zebra. A specific script must be launched each time a bibliographic
or an authority record is edited.
$ sudo -u <kohauser> misc/migration_tools/ -z -b -a
Note: This script should be run as the kohauser (the default is 'koha', but
this is the user you set up in step 2.3).
Option 2: run the Zebra process as a daemon (automatic indexing):
Note: References to <script_dir> refer to the directory where
Koha's command-line scripts are installed, the path
is /usr/share/koha/bin/ by default in a standard install.
6.2.1 Zebra Search Server
$ sudo ln -s <script_dir>/ /etc/init.d/koha-zebra-daemon
(Note: <script_dir> is /usr/share/koha/bin/ by default in a standard install)
$ sudo update-rc.d koha-zebra-daemon defaults
$ sudo <script_dir>/ start
(Note: <script_dir> is /usr/share/koha/bin/ by default in a standard install)
6.2.2 Zebra Indexer
Add an entry in Koha user crontab to process scheduled added/updated/deleted records
indexing by Zebra. <script_dir>cronjobs/crontab.example contains examples for these cron jobs (and many more).
NOTE: The cronjobs should be setup under the kohauser (the default is 'koha', but
this is the user you set up in step 2.3).
Edit the crontab for the koha user by running
$ sudo -u <kohauser> crontab -e
For Zebra indexing, you are looking for the example that begins with
# ZEBRA INDEX UPDATES with -z option, incremental index updates throughout the day
# for both authorities and bibs
It may be easiest to copy/paste the example into your own crontab and modify as necessary.
You can also configure zebra-indexing as an background daemon, see
7. What next?
Once the installer has completed, you can import and index MARC records from the
command line thusly (Note: you can also use the 'Stage MARC records for import' from
the Tools area of Koha's Staff Client to import a batch of MARC records):
$ export KOHA_CONF=/usr/share/koha/etc/koha-conf.xml
(note: use the correct path to your koha-conf.xml)
7.1 Import:
Bibliographic data in MARC21 format
$ misc/migration_tools/ -file /path/to/marc.iso2709
Authority data in MARC21 format
$ misc/migration_tools/ -a -file /path/to/auth.iso2709
7.2 Fast Index:
$ misc/migration_tools/ -b -w
Once the indexing has completed, you will be able to search for records in your system.
NOTE: This script should be run as the kohauser (the default is 'koha', this is the user we set up in step 2.3).
7.3 Schedule regular index updates with cron ,or configure zebra indexing as a background daemon
You need to run -b -a -z as a regular cron job in orde to pick up new bibs
and items as you add them. Check misc/cronjobs/crontab.example for usage examples. See 7.0 above.
NOTE: This job should be setup under the kohauser (the default is 'koha', this is the user we set up in step 2.3).
To setup indexing in background see 6.2.2
7.4 To enable public Z39.50/SRU servers, you'll need to edit your koha-conf.xml and
change the <listen> options to listen on a TCP port; then restart the zebra daemon.
If you are running in another language other than english, please
switch to english before doing the upgrade, the templating system has
changed and the templates will need to be regenerated.
Once you have upgraded, please regenerate your templates in your
chosen languages.
If you are upgrading from a previous installation of Koha 3.x, you can
use the following:
./ -u -m # to identify new Perl dependencies
Install any missing modules
IMPORTANT: Koha 3.6.x uses Template::Toolkit, this must be installed
before the webinstaller can run
sudo apt-get install libtemplate-perl
perl Makefile.PL --prev-install-log /path/to/koha-install-log
make test
sudo make upgrade
Koha 3.4.x or later no longer stores items in biblio records so
if you upgrading from an old version as part of the
upgrade you will need to do the following two steps, they can take a
long time (several hours) to complete for large databases
misc/maintenance/ --run
misc/migration_tools/ -b -r
Uninstall Instructions
1) Stop Services:
$ sudo a2dissite koha
$ sudo rm /etc/apache2/sites-available/koha
$ sudo apache2ctl restart
$ sudo update-rc.d koha-zebra-daemon remove
$ sudo rm /etc/init.d/koha-zebra-daemon
2) Remove Database and Indexes
$ mysql -u<kohauser> -p<kohapassword>
> drop database koha;
# Zebra Indexes
$ zebraidx -c <prefix>/etc/zebradb/zebra-biblios.cfg -g iso2709 -d biblios init
$ zebraidx -c <prefix>/etc/zebradb/zebra-authorities.cfg -g iso2709 -d authorities init
3) Remove Koha Install Directories and Configuration Files
Don't forget about any crontab entries
Tested on the following operating environments
- Debian Lenny 5.0
- Debian Squeeze 6.0
Other Notes
This file is part of Koha
Koha is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the
terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later
Koha is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR
A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with
Koha; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place,
Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA