Friday, February 18, 2011

Koha LiveCD 10

The new Koha liveCD based on ubuntu 10.10 is out so we decide to give it a try. Our first boot on a dell gx280 failed and then we realized this livecd is a 64 bit version and the dell's bios does not support 64 os. We then live booted on our trusty dell precision 470, a dual xeon pc.

The new version has icons on the desktop for the koha opac and for the admin page. Our first goal is to install this on a bootable USB stick.

First we plug in the stick and it is mounted. This is a 4 gig stick running the older version of koha we installed using the liveCD created by Professor Prasad. Next we double-click the install koha live icon and choose english as the language.

The install requirements are 3.6 gig free drive space, internet connection and power.

ODD - when we click the release notes hyperlink it goes to and displays the remastersys backup utility page1

The next dialog box offers a chance to download update while installing and a forward button. The problem is that the installer does not seem to offer a choosable location, it detects your hard drive and offers to unmount it. Will it later allow you to choose a location? For safety we decide to shut down, unplug the hard drive and try again.

The liveCD boots and we plug in the usb stick.

Option - start the installer instead of booting the live system. It notes that dev/sda is mounted and offers to unmount it. We choose YES to unmount.

The next dialog box called install offers to erase and use the entire disk or to manually set up the partition map. We go with the entire disk so our maxell 4 gig flash drive will be used.

We click INSTALL NOW and say we are in Toronto with a US keyboard and setup a username of seyler with a password of seyler and log in automatically setting. This is the standard ubuntu install routine.

Now we wait while it copies files and when it finished we click restart and remove the cd. It reboots to the USB stick.

We now double-click the Koha Admin desktop icon which presents a login page prefilled with the default username of kohaadmin and password of kohalivecd. We click LOGIN and the web installer page is displayed.

Koha Setup

First is to choose a language, we choose en for english, assuming that later it can be changed to German. The default mysql database settings are displayed:

database: koha
host: localhost
port: 3306
user: kohaadmin

At the web installer step 3 we select MARC 21 as our 'flavor' with the following options:

- select matching rules for bibliographic records including ISBN and ISSN
- fast add for ILL or on the fly cataloging
- simple for common types like cd's, dvds, cassettes, kits etc

Under Optional we select

- basic default values for dept, item lost status etc
- coded valies for holdings statements
- a sampling of z39.50 servers for copy cataloging
- sample patron types and categories
- sample label and patron card data
- sample holidays
- default item types (material types and collection codes)
= sample libraries and categories, new items and default messages
- sample patrons and default message transports for sending overdues, notices etc by email

Then we click IMPORT button at the bottom of this very long page. We note a couple of errors:

- table 'systempreferences' is full
- table 'marc_subfield_structure' is full

Indexing Engine

We choose the nozebra option as this will be a small library and click CHOOSE and FINISH and are redirected to the staff login page.

We click LOGIN This returns an error message, 'the format your asked for is unrecognized'. We click the back button and choose springfield library this time. same error.

We try http://localhost/opac and the library catalog page is displayed. We try http://localhost/koaadmin to display the admin page. The login notes that our session has timed out. We try logging in to my library but the same error message. I think we will re-do the koha setup and leave out the other libraries optional data.

First we have to delete all the tables from the mysql koha database. We goto http://localhost/phpmydmin and login as user root with password mqr but that does not work. And firefox has crashed so we kill it. The release notes seem wrong. We could start all the way over. So we restart.

Ok. Ready to go again. The problem could be the usb stick only has 28 mb free after install. We decide to limit the optional data installs.

we leave out
- code value for holdings statements
- sample label and patron data
- sample holidays
- sample libraries and library categories
- sample news items
- defined message transports
- sample patrons

and we click IMPORT. If this doesn't work will we use the hard disk portable usb. Only one error this time - 'table marc_subfield_structure' is full.

We try the admin page and the staff client page is displayed successfully. So the problem sees to be space related. Although the staff page doesn't look quite right. So will have to use the portable.



Mizst said...


I've just discovered your post today by chance, and would like to explain some of the things you've encountered during your test, although belatedly.

First of all, installing Ubuntu into a USB drive via the regular installer is not a supported procedure for Ubuntu (not just the Koha live cd). In vanilla Ubuntu desktop, it ships with a separate USB installer and this tool does things quite differently when it's installed on a USB flash drive compared to a HDD. In Koha Live CD, this tool is absent, so installing Koha in this fashion is not supported.

You may have better luck with another USB tool called unetbootin but it does not have disk persistence. (acts exactly like a live cd)

Secondly, all the symptoms you've described is consistent with free space problem. (especially "table is full") Not only Koha/mysql/apache, but the Linux OS as a whole requires free space not to mention swapping space, without which the system will start to fail mysteriously. This is another area where the specialized USB installer does things differently.

Thirdly, the 3.6GB space requirement is announced by Ubuntu's installer (ubiquity) and it is not aware of Koha in the system. The actual requirement is estimated to be 5.5GB minimum.

I'll be happy to provide further support as you require.


Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas said...

Thanks to your blog as well as the response by Mizst. I am just going to try installing Koha on an external HDD (long story as to why that...will omit). Since space on the external hdd is not a problem, it should work, right? Because, I have seen that Ubuntu supports external hdd running. ANyways, thanks for sharing your experience...