Installing VuFind and Blacklight

On the virtual machine environment

To test out both VuFind and Blacklight, we started off with a virtual machine setup. A VMWare Fusion 2.02 (on OS X 10.5.8) virtual machine created with dual logical processor, each 2.4GHz, 1024MB RAM, 4GB logical SCSI drive, VGA graphics and a 100Mbps NAT-ed network connection. The guest operating system was Debian 5 i386 installed from a business card image.

We tested both VuFind 1.0RC2 and Blacklight 2.4 installations.

VuFind 1.0RC2

We found the installation instructions for VuFind 1.0RC2 to be very straightforward, from However, Debian’s update-rc.d was not so happy with configuring the VuFind script at /usr/local/vufind/ for automatic start. We experimented with importing data from a large MARC file from which 170,594 records were imported. There were some errors but detailed error reports were unavailable. We are still investigating if those errors are caused by bugs in VuFind and SolrMARC or bugs in the Talis-exported MARC files from our existing system.

Blacklight 2.4

We found the instructions for installation of Blacklight not very straightforward. The Ruby-on-Rails platform installation faced some problems, but eventually succeeded. Some version compatibility issues were faced with Ruby, Gems, Rails, Rake, etc. Once we had the standalone installation of Blacklight 2.4 up and running, we tried to import 170,594 MARC records on top of an example 30. Occasional error messages were encountered. We will be investigating if those errors were caused by bugs in Blacklight and SolrMARC  or bugs in the Talis-exported MARC files.

On a Dell Optiplex

Due to eventual resource constraints arising on the virtual machine and its host, we decided to have both VuFind and Blacklight installed on a dedicated machine: a Dell Optiplex 780 with 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM and 160GB hard drive. This machine is connected to the University network with certain ports opened through the firewall. Thus we can now demonstrate our test installation outside the campus network.

Initially, an environment similar to the one on the virtual machine was planned on the Optiplex. However, due to its newer network interface card, installing Debian 5 proved difficult. We then chose to install Ubuntu 10.0.4. After installing VuFind 1.0RC2 and Blacklight 2.4 (with few problems on Ubuntu), we tested them using 600,000+ MARC records. There were some errors but it seems like, at least for VuFind, records are imported despite the errors. VuFind 1.0 final has been released. We removed the 1.0RC2 and installed the newer version, which is what we are testing now. We shall soon be testing Blacklight elaborately.

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