Linux Install Guide


This guide describes how to install OpenVPMS on your veterinary clinic.

The guide is intentionally brief and describes the most typical installation for OpenVPMS.  After completing the installation, you will be ready to start using OpenVPMS for your veterinary clinic.

Installation checklist

OpenVPMS will run on most standard Sun JavaEE environments with an additional component of OpenOffice (used for document generation). You will need to make sure your einvornment includes:

  • Java Development Kit
  • Java Application Server
  • Relational database with a type 4 database driver
  • OpenOffice (headless version)

We have tested the following Sun JavaEE environments

  • Apache Tomcat with mySQL
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server Community Edition with mySQL and mySQL Connector/J

Note: Sun JavaEE applications like OpenVPMS can run on many different type of operating systems like Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and more!

If you need help installing the prerequiste software, please see the Install Guide for those products.

Download and Install OpenVPMS

To perform the installation you will need to download and unpack the OpenVPMS installation files.

Download the latest installation archive from:

After downloading, unpack the ZIP file in a directory - <openvpms_tmp>.

Install the OpenVPMS database schema

Configures the database to store data using UTF8 (to support english and double-byte characters like Chinese). By default, mysql uses latin1 instead of UTF8 to store data.  You need to add a configuration setting into your database so that the server and client does everything by UTF8.

MySQL Configuration - Linux (my.cnf) or Windows (my.ini):


This populates the database with the database structure.

cd <openvpms_tmp>
cd db
mysql -u root -p
mysql> drop database openvpms;
mysql> source createdb.sql;
mysql> use openvpms;
mysql> source db.sql;
mysql> quit;

Note: This will create a database "openvpms" with username of "openvpms" and password of "openvpms".

Load default OpenVPMS data

This will load the database with the initial data needed for the application.   It will setup a one vet veterinary clinic in Australia.

cd <openvpms_tmp>
cd bin
./ setup

cd <openvpms_tmp>
cd bin setup

Note: This will create an administrator user account with username of "admin" and password of "admin".   Retain this information for later when we first login to the system.

Configure the Java Application Server to support JasperSoft Reporting

JasperSoft needs to be configured to run in a headless mode for it to generate reports like invoices.

	Linux with IBM WebSphere Application Server Community Edition:
export GERONIMO_OPTS=-Djava.awt.headless=true

Linux with Apache Tomcat:
export CATALINA_OPTS=-Djava.awt.headless=true

Note: Suggested to put environmental settings in your shell startup so that you do not need to execute the command at each time before Java Application Server startup.

Start the OpenOffice daemon

OpenVPMS uses OpenOffice for form generation.   As a result, we have to run OpenOffice in a headless mode so that when we generate form slike vaccinations certificates.

soffice.bin -headless -nofirststartwizard -accept="socket,port=8100;urp;" &

Note for Linux: It may help that you add soffice.bin in your path and make the OpenOffice daemon a startup service.

Start the OpenVPMS Document Import daemon

OpenVPMS has the ability to automatically import customer and patient records and patient investigations into the system.   This daemon uses the automatic scheduling utility ("at" in Microsoft Windows or "cron" in Linux) provided by the operating system.

mkdir <openvpms-tmp>/docimport <openvpms-tmp>/docarchive

Within your automatic scheduling utility, set the OpenVPMS document import daemon to run.

echo "cd <openvpms-tmp>/bin/" > /etc/cron.hourly/
echo "./ --byid --source <openvpms-tmp>/docimport --dest <openvpms-tmp>/docarchive --verbose" >> /etc/cron.hourly/
chmod 755 /etc/cron.hourly/

Install the Database type 4 driver

A database type 4 driver is used to connect the Java Application Server to the database.  

Download and copy the mySQL connector/j jar file to <java_home>/jre/lib/ext.   This will allow you to skip manually modifying your Java classpath.

Start the Java Application Server daemon

Follow the startup instructions in your Java Application Server.

Install the OpenVPMS Sun JavaEE Web Application Archive (WAR)

Follow the instructions in your Java Application Server to install WARs.

Start the OpenVPMS Sun JavaEE application

Follow the instructions in your Java Application Server to start WARs.

Configure the OpenVPMS

You're almost done.   You'll need to setup Scheduling and Work List and once you're done, you'll have a fully working veterinary practice management software system.

Logging in for the first time

By default, the application would be available at http://localhost:8080/openvpms/.   Use the username of "admin" and password of "admin" to first login to the system. 

Setting up Scheduling

Navigate to "Administration" -> "Organization". Modify the "Main Appointment Schedule" and "Main Surgery Schedule" with start and end hours.  Create a new "Schedule View" called "Schedule View". Add the "Main Appointment Schedule" and "Main Surgery Schedule".  Click "Ok".  Navigate back to "Administration" -> "Organization" and find "Main Clinic".  Edit the "Main Clinic" and in the "Scheduling Views", add the "Schedule View" you just created.   Save, logout and then re-login and you should be able to navigate to "Scheduling" and be able to add, modify and remove appointments.

Setting up Work List

Navigate to "Administration" -> "Organization". Create a new "Work List View" called "Work List View". Add the "Main Hospital List" and "Main WaitingList".  Click "Ok".  Navigate back to "Administration" -> "Organization" and find "Main Clinic".  Edit the "Main Clinic" and in the "Work List Views", add the "Work List View" you just created.   Save, logout and then re-login and you should be able to navigate to "Work List" and be able to add, modify and remove customers/clients on and off lists.


Note: Stock/Inventory Management module is not enabled by default.


Your veterinary practice management software is now installed!  

From this point, here are some other things you might need to customize before "production" use. 

  • Load customers
  • Load patients
  • Load products
  • Documents templates
  • And more!





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