There are a few things you need to figure out to install RAMADDA:
  1. How are you going to run RAMADDA?
    RAMADDA can run stand alone or under a servlet container like Tomcat.

  2. Where is RAMADDA going to store files?
    RAMADDA needs a home directory on your server to store files, databases, etc. When RAMADDA first starts up it will create a number of directories and files in this home directory.

  3. What database are you going to use?
    RAMADDA comes with its own built-in database (Java Derby) but can be easily configured to use other databases.

  4. Configure https (SSL) access.

  5. Do the final configuration steps through the browser

  6. Do further site configuration.

  7. During the installation process you can install a common set of plugins to RAMADDA that provide additional functionality. There are other plugins available as well.
Running in a Linux Cloud
We have developed an installer script that does a complete installation of Postgres and RAMADDA. Right now this has just been tested for an Amazon AWS Linux AMI. See aws.html for further details.
Running on Windows
RAMADDA can run on Windows. However the RAMADDA development team does not have ready access to a Windows machine to test on so there may be some rough edges. There have been problems reported running under Tomcat so we would suggest running standalone.

To run on Windows you will need to first install Java. Once you have Java installed consult the section on Windows in the README in the RAMADDA standalone zip file. The standalone release contains a ramadda.bat. As described in the ramadda.bat file you set up the JAVA_HOME, RAMADDA_HOME and RAMADDA_PORT environment variables.

Try running the .bat from the command line. If it all works then you can just fire up RAMADDA by running the .bat when you want to. If you want to add the .bat as a service so that RAMADDA is always running you can use the NSSM application to install and run the .bat as a service-
Running Standalone
You can run RAMADDA stand-alone from the command line. This requires Java 8 or greater. First you should set up a ramaddainstall directory, e.g.:
mkdir  ramaddainstall
Change directory into the ramaddainstall directory and download the file from the The file download URL to use is:
Once downloaded unzip the file:
This creates a ramaddaserver directory that has everything that is needed to run RAMADDA. You can consult the README. You shouldn't have to change anything in this directory so when updating RAMADDA simply shut down your RAMADDA server, delete the ramaddaserver directory and repeat the download/unzip steps above.

Copy the file from ramaddaserver into the parent directory (ramaddainstall). This file gets sourced by ramaddaserver/ and defines where your RAMADDA home is, what port RAMADDA should run on and where Java is found.
cp ramaddaserver/ .
Edit this file and set the following environment variables:
export RAMADDA_HOME=/path/to/ramaddahome
export RAMADDA_PORT=80
export JAVA=/usr/bin/java
Note: Running with port 80 requires the RAMADDA process to be run as the root user. If you do not want to run it as root for security reasons you can set the port to a higher port (e.g., 8080). If you do this and also have SSL enabled (as described below) the SSL port should also be set to a high port, e.g. 8443
The minimal thing you have to do is to determine where you want the RAMADDA home directory to be. The default is <your home dir>/.ramadda. To run RAMADDA there must be a home directory already created. When RAMADDA first runs it writes an file in the home directory that contains an install password as below. This needs to be entered in your browser for the final configuration.
ramadda.install.password=<some password> 
To run RAMADDA just run the script:
sh ramaddaserver/
If not configured in ramadda.env you can specify the home directory and port as command line arguments:
sh ramaddaserver/ -home </your/ramadda/home/dir> -port <8080>
You can also specify the install password with
sh ramaddaserver/ -home </your/ramadda/home/dir> -installpassword <password>
This runs with the built-in Java Derby database which work just fine. To use an external database (e.g., Postgres, MySQL) consult the documentation.

The rest of the RAMADDA configuration is done through the web at http://localhost:8080/repository.
Running under Tomcat
This assumes you have Tomcat or some other servlet (e.g., Glassfish) container already installed.
  1. First, download the repository.war from the downloads site at
  2. Specify the location of the RAMADDA home directory by setting the property:
    Either set this as an environmental or Java run time variable as a property in a in the ${CATALINA_HOME}/conf directory.
  3. To run under Tomcat just place the repository.war in the tomcat webapps directory.
  4. Go to the /repository page in your browser to continue the installation process, e.g.: http://<server>/repository
  5. By default the repository is accessed at /repository on the web server. With Tomcat the top-level path can only be a single level and corresponds to the name of the war file. If you change the top-level path for Tomcat then you also need to tell RAMADDA what this path is. You do that in a properties file (see below) with:
  6. If you get a memory error - something like "Permgen ..." then you need to increase the memory allocation. in your Tomcat start up script. Add or modify the following arguments of the JAVA_OPTS environment variable in the catalina start script ( or catalina.bat):
    to set the memory and permgen size. Consult the Tomcat documentation for more information.
RAMADDA Home Directory
RAMADDA uses a local home directory on the server. This is where RAMADDA looks for properties files and other resources, where the Java derby database is stored (if its used) and where any uploaded data files are stored, etc.
Note: the home directory needs to be owned or writable by the process that the server is running under. If you are running Tomcat then the home directory should be owned by the Tomcat process.

By default ramadda will use:

<server process home directory>/.ramadda
i.e., the home directory of the process that is running the server (.e.g., "~", "tomcat").

You can override this by setting a ramadda_home property. You can do this in a number of ways:

  1. When running stand-alone just pass the home directory as a command line argument:
        sh -Dramadda_home=<home dir>
        sh -home <home dir>
  2. As a process environment variable.
    Environment variables can be set for the tomcat process Just define:
  3. As a Java environment variable
    Wherever you define the arguments that are passed to java when starting Tomcat include:
        java -Xmx1024m   -Dramadda_home=/home/dir
  4. RAMADDA looks for a file under the Tomcat "conf" directory. It looks for any of the environment variables CATALINA_HOME (or CATALINA_BASE, catalina.base, catalina.home) and looks for a file under them, e.g.:
    if found then RAMADDA looks for the property:
Browser Configuration
Once installed and running the last steps of the configuration process are done through your browser. Go to:
If you are running on your local machine you go to:
To ensure only authenticated users can do this final configuration step RAMADDA will prompt for an install password. You can find the install password on your server in:
    <RAMADDA home directory>/
RAMADDA Property Files
For other configuration options RAMADDA looks in its home directory for any .properties files. While most of the RAMADDA configuration is accomplished through the web ADMIN interface there are a number of configuration options that can be placed in a properties file, e.g. database configuration, ssl options, etc.

When loading properties files the first one that is loaded (if it exists) is "". RAMADDA will then load any other .properties file in the home directory. It then loads any properties files found in the plugins directory.

To configure RAMADDA copy this example and rename it

For an additional layer of system security RAMADDA can be configured to require the user's password before a site administration change or password change. You can enable this behavior by setting the following property in your file

Directory Structure
Under the home directory RAMADDA will create the following subdirectories:
  • htdocs
    This is where RAMADDA will first look for any static web content that it is serving. If it cannot find the file here it looks in its internal system area. So, if you want to change the system style sheet, the logo.png file or any other web content just place it here.

    Note: Files here are relative to the top-level repository path. For example, if you have a URL:
    Then RAMADDA will strip off the "repository" prefix and look for a file in the RAMADDA home dir:
    If you had a URL:
    Then RAMADDA looks in:
  • logs
    Holds the log files.
  • plugins
    RAMADDA has a plugin mechanism and it looks in this directory for the plugins.
  • resources
    This is where RAMADDA will first look for any internal resources (e.g., html template files, etc.)
  • storage
    This is where the uploaded files are stored. The directory strucuture is:
    y<the year>/m<the month>/d<the day>/the files
    There is also an upload directory that holds any anonymously uploaded files.
  • entries
    This is where any attachments or any other file associated with an entry (except for the actual entry file) is held.
  • tmp
    A temporary file space. RAMADDA manages the scouring ,etc., of old files.
  • derby
    If you are running with the Derby database this directory holds the database
Site Administration
RAMADDA for the most part can be configured through the Admin pages. When you are logged in to RAMADDA as an administrator there should be a "Admin" on the left side of the page.

Common tasks include:

Changing the Main Page

To change the presentation of the main entry page (the top-level RAMADDA page) you simply change the name and description for the Entry. You do this with the Edit->Edit Entry menu.

Configuring SSL under Tomcat
If you have your Tomcat server configured for SSL access all you need to do is to tell RAMADDA what port it is running under. Add the property:
ramadda.ssl.port=<the ssl port>
to a properties file in the RAMADDA home directory (See above).

Note: When you define an SSL port then RAMADDA will automatically redirect all login and admin requests to that port. If your Tomcat server is not really configured for SSL then you will not be able to access RAMADDA. See the FAQ for how to fix this.
Configuring SSL when running standalone
To configure secure SSL access to a stand-alone version of RAMADDA you need to generate a keystore file from a certificate or generate a self-signed certificate. If using a self-signed certificate when you first access your RAMADDA via https your browser will alert you to a security warning which you need to accept. Both of these methods use Java's keytool program which comes with the standard Java install.

To generate a self-signed certificate from the command line run:
keytool -genkey -keyalg RSA -keystore keystore.jks
This will prompt you for some information and a password. There is more information here. If you have an existing certificate you need both the keytool and openssl installed. Consult web documentation on how to generate the keystore.jks file from your existing certificate.

Once you have your keystore.jks file generated copy it to the RAMADDA home directory then specify the below configuration options in the file in your RAMADDA home directory.
ramadda.ssl.password=<the password>
ramadda.ssl.keypassword=<the keystore password>

#You can override the location of the keystore. The default is:
#<repository dir>/keystore.jks
#ramadda.ssl.keystore=alternative path to keystore

#If you want to disable ssl set this to true

Using to create a certificate

If you want to have a valid signed certificate you can use to create free self-signed certificate. This requires you to have a domain name for your server's IP address and the following packages installed: Once you have a hostname and your RAMADDA running you can run a script provided by RAMADDA on your server to automate the certificate/keystore generation process and install the keystore on your RAMADDA. Copy the script to your server and run to see the command line options.
sh -help
The only downside to using a certificate from letsencrypt is that you need to update it every 3 months.

Building RAMADDA from source

It is easy to build and run RAMADDA from Github. The RAMADDA Gihub site is at To build RAMADDA you need to have GIT, ANT and a Java compiler (1.7 or greater) installed on your machine.

To build RAMADDA:

  • Check out RAMADDA from Github:
    git clone
  • Build RAMADDA. This creates a stand-alone version in dist/ramaddaserver
    cd ramadda
  • Run ramadda. This creates a ramadda home directory in: ~/.ramadda.
    cd dist/ramaddaserver
  • Note: when you first run RAMADDA it will prompt you to add a installation password into a local .properties file in the RAMADDA home directory (~/.ramadda). This is for security purposes to disallow someone else from finishing the installation process on a publicly available server.
  • Go to http://localhost:8080/repository to finish the RAMADDA install
  • Once configured shutdown the ramadda server (just kill the run)