Development Environment

These instructions are purposefully opinionated and terse to help you get your development environment up and running as quickly as possible! Please note that familiarity with running commands from the terminal is assumed.

Quick Start

The quickest way to get Dataverse running is to use Vagrant as described in the Tools section, but for day to day development work, we recommended the following setup.

Set Up Dependencies

Supported Operating Systems

Mac OS X or Linux is required because the setup scripts assume the presence of standard Unix utilities.

Windows is not well supported, unfortunately, but Vagrant and Minishift environments are described in the Windows Development section.

Install Java

Dataverse requires Java 8.

On Mac, we recommend Oracle’s version of the JDK, which can be downloaded from

On Linux, you are welcome to use the OpenJDK available from package managers.

Install Netbeans or Maven

NetBeans IDE (Java EE bundle) is recommended, and can be downloaded from . Developers may use any editor or IDE. We recommend NetBeans because it is free, works cross platform, has good support for Java EE projects, and includes a required build tool, Maven.

Below we describe how to build the Dataverse war file with Netbeans but if you prefer to use only Maven, you can find installation instructions in the Tools section.

Install Homebrew (Mac Only)

On Mac, install Homebrew to simplify the steps below:

Clone the Dataverse Git Repo

Fork and then clone your fork like this:

git clone[YOUR GITHUB USERNAME]/dataverse.git

Build the Dataverse War File

Launch Netbeans and click “File” and then “Open Project”. Navigate to where you put the Dataverse code and double-click “dataverse” to open the project. Click “Run” in the menu and then “Build Project (dataverse)”. The first time you build the war file, it will take a few minutes while dependencies are downloaded from Maven Central. Feel free to move on to other steps but check back for “BUILD SUCCESS” at the end.

If you installed Maven instead of Netbeans, run mvn package.

NOTE: Do you use a locale different than en_US.UTF-8 on your development machine? Are you in a different timezone than Harvard (Eastern Time)? You might experience issues while running tests that were written with these settings in mind. The Maven pom.xml tries to handle this for you by setting the locale to en_US.UTF-8 and timezone UTC, but more, not yet discovered building or testing problems might lurk in the shadows.

Install jq

On Mac, run this command:

brew install jq

On Linux, install jq from your package manager or download a binary from

Install Glassfish

Glassfish 4.1 is required.

To install Glassfish, run the following commands:

cd /usr/local

sudo curl -O

sudo unzip

sudo chown -R $USER /usr/local/glassfish4

Install PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL 9.6 is recommended to match the version in the Installation Guide.

On Mac, go to and choose “Interactive installer by EnterpriseDB” option. We’ve tested version 9.6.9. When prompted to set a password for the “database superuser (postgres)” just enter “password”.

After installation is complete, make a backup of the pg_hba.conf file like this:

sudo cp /Library/PostgreSQL/9.6/data/pg_hba.conf /Library/PostgreSQL/9.6/data/pg_hba.conf.orig

Then edit pg_hba.conf with an editor such as vi:

sudo vi /Library/PostgreSQL/9.6/data/pg_hba.conf

In the “METHOD” column, change all instances of “md5” to “trust”.

In the Finder, click “Applications” then “PostgreSQL 9.6” and launch the “Reload Configuration” app. Click “OK” after you see “server signaled”.

Next, launch the “pgAdmin” application from the same folder. Under “Browser”, expand “Servers” and double click “PostgreSQL 9.6”. When you are prompted for a password, leave it blank and click “OK”. If you have successfully edited “pg_hba.conf”, you can get in without a password.

On Linux, you should just install PostgreSQL from your package manager without worrying about the version as long as it’s 9.x. Find pg_hba.conf and set the authentication method to “trust” and restart PostgreSQL.

Install Solr

Solr 7.3.0 is required.

To install Solr, execute the following commands:

sudo mkdir /usr/local/solr

sudo chown $USER /usr/local/solr

cd /usr/local/solr

curl -O

tar xvfz solr-7.3.0.tgz

cd solr-7.3.0/server/solr

cp -r configsets/_default collection1

curl -O

mv schema.xml collection1/conf

curl -O

mv solrconfig.xml collection1/conf/solrconfig.xml

cd /usr/local/solr/solr-7.3.0

bin/solr start

bin/solr create_core -c collection1 -d server/solr/collection1/conf

Run the Dataverse Installer Script

Navigate to the directory where you cloned the Dataverse git repo and run these commands:

cd scripts/installer


It’s fine to accept the default values.

After a while you will see Enter admin user name [Enter to accept default]> and you can just hit Enter.

Verify Dataverse is Running

After the script has finished, you should be able to log into Dataverse with the following credentials:

Next Steps

If you can log in to Dataverse, great! If not, please see the Troubleshooting section. For further assitance, please see “Getting Help” in the Introduction section.

You’re almost ready to start hacking on code. Now that the installer script has you up and running, you need to continue on to the Tips section to get set up to deploy code from your IDE or the command line.

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