Greenstone Digital Library Software

So I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to familiarize myself with the most common open source digital repository software tools. The thing is, I’m going to spend the next 2 years of my life researching on current existing digital libraries software architectures… and eventually (hopefully) prove that a much simpler architecture can work just as well as the current complex software stacks.

Greenstone is a legend! It’s probably because it was one of the first digital repository software package to be implemented. The other reason why it is popular is because it is developed and distributed in corporation with UNESCO.

The Linux distribution basically comes with statically linked binaries (see output below). The installation package also comes bundled with all the necessary tools(ImageMagick with JPEG200 support and Apache web server)  required for Greenstone to function appropriately.

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phiri@PHRLIG001:~/Downloads$ file Greenstone-2.84-linux
Greenstone-2.84-linux: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), statically linked, for GNU/Linux 2.0.0, not stripped
phiri@PHRLIG001:~/Downloads$

The installation process was a nightmare; I initially wanted to make use of the preexisting Apache web server on my Ubuntu distro, but the installation process got messed up. I immediately tried to uninstall and later install a fresh copy, but check out what I get as output…. and thats after I got a “Greenstone successfully installed” message.

phiri@PHRLIG001:~$ sudo /usr/local/Greenstone/uninstall/Uninstall.sh
Couldn’t find setup.bash. This copy of Greenstone appears to be corrupt.
To manually uninstall, please delete the entire Greenstone home folder.
phiri@PHRLIG001:~$

………….. Fine, so I’ll follow the instructions.

I finally got the bloody thing to work eventually, after about 3 hours of troubleshooting…….

STEP 1:
Download Greenstone from here

STEP 2: Change permissions so the download is executable

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phiri@PHRLIG001:~/Downloads$ chmod +x Greenstone-2.84-linux
phiri@PHRLIG001:~/Downloads$

STEP 3:

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phiri@PHRLIG001:~/Downloads$ sudo ./Greenstone-2.84-linux
[sudo] password for phiri:
Creating temp directory...
Extracting installer jar...
Preparing Greenstone installer...
Launching Installer ...

STEP 4: Configure environment
So the remainder of the steps involve easy to follow instructions using a GUI; just make sure you choose all components.

Moral of the story is, the installation process is not that straight forward; it definitely requires an individual with a fair amount of technical expertise.