I need an up-to-date guide... Project Documentation is a complete disaster.

Platform 2.1.8 and appropriate modules (2.8.0) on Tomcat 8, Ubuntu 18.04

I have been trying to install OpenMRS in a VPS, and it has taken over 3 days for me to finally reach the first login screen, which ended up with nearly 1000 errors.

I have never seen so outdated and unhelpful documentation in an opensource project in my life.

You really need to update your documentation when new software is out, maybe just update it to let users know “Don’t use with Ubuntu 18.04”, Don’t Use with tomcat 8 or 9, Don’t use with latest java"… Am I supposed to imagine what is the correct requirements to run it? Do you have any idea how different is the documentation you offer than the reality? Do you know how many system paths (example: tomcat directories, openmrs settings file directories) have changed since you last updated your documentation?

Why can’t I just install and use OpenMRS? Why do I have to install platform and modules separately? Why don’t you simplify things? I have tried to set up OpenMRS a number of times, and it only went well with Docker.

These are severe drawbacks for any open source software and I’m sure that no one can deny I am right.

And now speaking from my own opinion: stop using java and tomcat, we’re not in the 1990s any more. java is bad news.

Now can anyone help me where can I find the latest possible guide on installing a production instance of OpenMRS? No big talk, no reference applications/platforms taks etc…don’t complexify everything

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Thank you for your feedback.

You can help be part of the community solution by updating any documentation that has worked for you for others to pickup and continue improving.


I’m afraid I don’t have time to contribute on this at this stage of my life… I am just providing feedback that there should be at least ONE accurate guide for end users to install your software, or-else you are just wasting your time…

Can somebody tell me what is the working configuration? Ubuntu versions, java versions, tomcat versions, and is there a recent guide somewhere?

Sorry about this @agk

Did you get a chance to try out the standalone version of our latest reference application 2.8 release? https://sourceforge.net/projects/openmrs/files/releases/OpenMRS_Reference_Application_2.8.0/



Sorry but I know what I am doing… I don’t want the standalone version, I want to install a production environment. People keep asking sorry but no one cares that you can’t install MRS with Ubuntu 16 or 18?? VPS does not let me install 14.04, and they are ■■■■ right. What is the status of the project? Does anyone care if people can install it?

By the way, which documentation link are you trying to follow?

Your “official” guide dates from 2011 :Pages / Home/ Implementer Documentation/ Installing OpenMRS I managed to find other guides from non-official sites, but still no word on compatibility with recent versions of java/tomcat/linux.

I REALLY recommend, someone volunteers to write a 2018 installation guide, and maintain it… If you only had one document of documentation, this should be it…

Please guys stop asking questions, and if you want to help me link me to a guide, or describe with a few words, I’m not that irrelevant with these things. Should it work with Ubuntu 16.04, Tomcat 8, openjdk-8 ?

and if anyone wants to help this is what happened when I ran open mrs (after initial setup steps) with tomcat 8 and java 10 on Ubuntu 18.04:

openmrs disaster.txt (212.5 KB)

Can you switch to java 8 and then run it again?

Right now I am trying with Ubuntu 16.04, java 8 and tomcat 8… Will let you know, thanks.

@agk there is no perfect software world over that is why there is Ubuntu 14LTS ,15 ,16 ,17 and oops 18. windows 95 ,97 ,XP ,7,8,10 e.t.c But we try to reach the Ideal through proven “Best Practices” of the SDLC .

We are all volunteers that is why we ask questions.Questions are meant to guide us to help you.

About outdated Documentation you may forward the links ,someone will do something about it ,depending on priority , but like @dkayiwa quoted there is always New Documentation for every Major Release. And for finished products you have more than enough options to fish from depending on your specs. You may want to look at this https://wiki.openmrs.org/display/docs/OpenMRS+Distributions

Otherwise thanks alot for considering OpenMRS as the best option against other EMRS’s.

FWIW, as a response to your advice, i have edited the platform and reference application release notes to explicitly state that they require Java 8



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@tendormart There is no perfect software but there is LATEST software, and security-wise everyone should honor this. It’s not a matter of choice, you can’t force a hospital to use Ubuntu 12 just because you haven’t updated your project. I am really trying to help here, sorry if I appear rude.

@dkaylwa Thanks for editing the release notes.

My biggest advise as someone who has used hundreds of projects is to maintain a “sticky” Complete Implementation Guide, always taking into account environment changes. For example when new ubuntu or new java is released, you should indicate clearly what is to be used and what not. In addition, older packages usually can’t be easily installed (“no installation candidate” error), making guides useless. Having an open source project without proper documentation makes your work go to waste, and causes inconvenience and frustration to possible users (who may also be possible contributors)

I would also recommend you have a look at OpenEMR documentation, see how they do it.

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@agk Thanks for the observation i think OpenMRS is progressing to swagger Documentation which beautifully solves that problem,but like i indicated OpenMRS heavily relies on volunteerism ,and it’s the only various implementations which get funding to make it work.But your concern has been noted ,however there is Dirty Jobs so it may be considered sometime in the future. Do you however want to address that on DESIGN CALLS ?

Hi @agk My name is Cynthia and I have just joined (exactly 1 week) as the Technical Project Manager for this platform. I have taken your comments under advisement and I will prioritise this matter working with the volunteers to resolve this issue over the next few weeks.

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FYI - we have an Implementers Guide (om.rs/guide) and a Developer Manual (om.rs/devmanual) as GitBooks stored in GitHub repositories. And then, of course, we have the wiki.

The GitBooks are intended to be the reference book (can be browsed/searched online or downloaded as a PDF and, if we had them up to date, are prepared for translating).

The wiki is better for living documentation (i.e., documentation that changes more quickly), notes, how-tos, etc.

Java API documentation is generated to api.openmrs.org. Our REST API documentation is currently auto-generated within the legacy reference application and doesn’t include any narrative documentation (e.g., explanations, tips on best practices, etc.).

We could take these a different direction (take a different approach), but this is the current state of what we have.

One week has passed, I ditched 2-3 more installations… and still, OpenMRS is impossible to work… come on guys, write a guide…

Now tomcat won’t start Open MRS because this: One or more listeners failed to start. Full details will be found in the appropriate container log file

Using Ubuntu 16.04, Java 7, Tomcat 7

Update: Probably has to do with using Java 7… now trying to resolve

Difficult to know without seeing the logs, but yes Java 8 would be required from OpenMRS Core 2.x.

Out of curiosity, at this stage, is there any reason for you not to use the SDK?

Hi there, first, I apologize to bring this topic alive, but it reflects part of what I feel about OpenMRS.

Tried to install this platform on Ubuntu Server 18.0.4, but after many tries, I just gave up. I must agree with @agk about the, at least, outdated documentation.

The most recent attempt at trying to solve this from the community was this post from 2016 v2.0 Implementation Documentation and this very thread. Replies in the wiki are usually older. There are sections about implementing with Docker, or using Jetty instead of apache, just to find that there is no further guide about it, or a message at the end that says “this is not working now”.

Even this “implementing” sub forum has many flags about what is going on with modern OS and tools that are not working with OpenMRS openmrs-runtime.properties file not being created

I don’t mean to be rude here, I see a supportive community, people interested in doing good work and support others, especially in this times of pandemic. Personally I’m not even close in understanding the inner workings of a project like this, not even try to build one.

Finally, I must thanks again to the author of this thread, I proposed to try OpenEMR to my institution instead and got it working in 1 hour or less. I don’t know if it is a better product, but it is very well documented, and that, for a sysadmin, makes a lot of difference.

Thanks again for your time in reading this, I’m looking forward to try OpenMRS in the future.

Thanks for your response. Kindly help me point out the outdated document you were following. Its my kind request whenever you come across something which is not working, reach out to the community for more clarification and by doing so, you will be helping us to know where the is a loophole. Otherwise, thanks for choosing openmrs platform.