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 the Dataverse Software 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

The Dataverse Software requires Java 11.

We suggest downloading OpenJDK from

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

Install Netbeans or Maven

NetBeans IDE 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 Jakarta EE projects, and includes a required build tool, Maven.

Below we describe how to build the Dataverse Software 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 Software Git Repo

Fork and then clone your fork like this:

git clone[YOUR GITHUB USERNAME]/dataverse.git

Build the Dataverse Software War File

If you installed Netbeans, follow these steps:

  • Launch Netbeans and click “File” and then “Open Project”. Navigate to where you put the Dataverse Software code and double-click “Dataverse” to open the project.

  • If you see “resolve project problems,” go ahead and let Netbeans try to resolve them. This will probably including downloading dependencies, which can take a while.

  • Allow Netbeans to install nb-javac (required for Java 8 and below).

  • Select “Dataverse” under Projects and click “Run” in the menu and then “Build Project (Dataverse)”. Check back for “BUILD SUCCESS” at the end.

If you installed Maven instead of Netbeans, run mvn package. Check for “BUILD SUCCESS” at the end.

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 Payara

Payara 5.201 or higher is required.

To install Payara, run the following commands:

cd /usr/local

sudo curl -O -L

sudo unzip

sudo chown -R $USER /usr/local/payara5

Install PostgreSQL

For the past few release cycles much of the development has been done under PostgreSQL 9.6. While that version is known to be very stable, it is nearing its end-of-life (in Nov. 2021). The Dataverse Software has now been tested with versions up to 13 (13.2 is the latest released version as of writing this).

On Mac, go to and choose “Interactive installer by EDB” option. Note that version 9.6 is used in the command line examples below, but the process will be identical for any version up to 13. 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”. This will make it so PostgreSQL doesn’t require a password.

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

Next, to confirm the edit worked, 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 using your favorite package manager, such as yum. (Consult the PostgreSQL section of Prerequisites in the main Installation guide for more info and command line examples). Find pg_hba.conf and set the authentication method to “trust” and restart PostgreSQL.

Install Solr

Solr 8.8.1 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-8.8.1.tgz

cd solr-8.8.1/server/solr

cp -r configsets/_default collection1

curl -O

curl -O

mv schema*.xml collection1/conf

curl -O

mv solrconfig.xml collection1/conf/solrconfig.xml

cd /usr/local/solr/solr-8.8.1

(Please note that the extra jetty argument below is a security measure to limit connections to Solr to only your computer. For extra security, run a firewall.)

bin/solr start -j ""

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

Run the Dataverse Software Installer Script

Navigate to the directory where you cloned the Dataverse Software git repo change directories to the scripts/installer directory like this:

cd scripts/installer

Create a Python virtual environment, activate it, then install dependencies:

python3 -m venv venv

source venv/bin/activate

pip install psycopg2-binary

The installer will try to connect to the SMTP server you tell it to use. If you don’t have a mail server handy you can run nc -l 25 in another terminal and choose “localhost” (the default) to get past this check.

Finally, run the installer (see also README_python.txt if necessary):


Verify the Dataverse Software is Running

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

Configure Your Development Environment for Publishing

Run the following command:

curl http://localhost:8080/api/admin/settings/:DoiProvider -X PUT -d FAKE

This will disable DOI registration by using a fake (in-code) DOI provider. Please note that this feature is only available in Dataverse Software 4.10+ and that at present, the UI will give no indication that the DOIs thus minted are fake.

Configure Your Development Environment for GUI Edits

Out of the box, a JSF setting is configured for production use and prevents edits to the GUI (xhtml files) from being visible unless you do a full deployment.

It is recommended that you run the following command so that simply saving the xhtml file in Netbeans is enough for the change to show up.

asadmin create-system-properties "dataverse.jsf.refresh-period=1"

For more on JSF settings like this, see Java Server Faces (JSF) Configuration Options.

Next Steps

If you can log in to the Dataverse installation, great! If not, please see the Troubleshooting section. For further assistance, 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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