The Greenstone Server

The server is what allows your Greenstone library to be viewed in a web browser. As the server included with Greenstone is ready to run out of the box you will likely have little reason to worry about it while you are building and customizing your Greenstone library.

The server will start automatically when you run the GLI, allowing you to view collections after you build them, and as you modify them. You can also start the server individually, as well (on Windows, from Start → All Programs → Greenstone → Greenstone Server). This can be done whether the GLI is running or not, and is useful as it:

  • provides access to the server settings, and
  • allows you to easily restart the server (which is necessary if you make changes to certain files in your installation),

making this option helpful during customization. The server can also be started by running gs2-server.sh/bat or gs3-server.sh/bat from the main greenstone installation folder.

Greenstone relies on a web browser that supports tables, Javascript, CSS, and in some places, frames. Any reasonably modern browser will do, e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera.

If you find that your favorite web browser does not work with Greenstone, please contact us via the mailing list.

The rest of this page provides some basic information about the servers packaged with Greenstone; more technical information is available on the Developer's server page.

The web server

Both Greenstone 2 and 3 use an external webserver, Apache for Greenstone2, Tomcat for Greenstone3. These come packaged with Greenstone in its installers, so should be set up ready to go once you have installed the software.

Making Greenstone accessible from the Internet

In order to make your Greenstone library accessible from the internet, you need a computer that is permanently connected to the internet. If your organization does not have this kind of computer, you can pay a web hosting company to host Greenstone for you. See below.

Once you have access to this computer you need to install Greenstone on it. If you are using Greenstone2 on Windows, make sure that you use the web library, not the local library.

Lastly, copy your collections into this Greenstone installation and check that everything is now accessible from the web.

Using a web hosting service

Answer contributed to the mailing list by Diego Spano.

How easy it is to install Greenstone (GS) will depend a lot on your internet hosting company. There are some companies, like the following, that provide hosting for Greenstone libraries:

Otherwise, you will need to find one that will install Greenstone for you (or allow you to install it yourself) and allow CGI executables to run. Some hosting companies (particuarly cheap ones) do not provide these services.

To install Greenstone on a web server yourself, you need terminal access to your hosting company through ssh. When you want to acquire a domain, the company will offer you a variety of options but you have to take in account that you need a dedicated server (aka Virtual private server). A dedicated server allows you to manage what to install and have the freedom of configuring it as you want because you have root access.

You will need to install Greenstone on the server"

  • Connect via ssh to the server
  • Download Greenstone into the server with wget command or just download it in your computer and upload the installer with FTP or WINSCP.
  • Install GS the same way you install in your computer. It is the same installer for local computer and for remote one. You can install in text only mode, see here.
  • Once you have Greenstone installed and running, then you can copy over your collections and any modifications.

Additional Resources