Install Omeka

Omeka is an "Open-source web publishing platforms for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich online exhibits." Most if not all of you have already used Omeka in a prior course. Here our task is not to learn information/knowledge organization, per se, but to learn how to administer the Omeka digital library platform.

The Task

So far we have created our own bare bones OPAC/ILS and we have downloaded, installed, and configured WordPress on our servers. We will use the same basic process to download, install, and configure Omeka.

However, instead of providing comprehensive instructions, your goal is to take what you learned from the bare bones OPAC/ILS and WordPress assignments, and apply them to the Omeka installation and setup. Below are some additional prerequisites that you should complete first. After you've completed them, move on to the General Steps section to remind yourself of the overall process.

You can do it! Be sure to ask and discuss on our chat server.


When we installed WordPress, we installed most of the prerequisites that Omeka needs, but there are a couple of additional things we need to do.

Some prerequisites:

  • Install ImageMagick: this is a suite of utilities to work with photo files. It's used by Omeka to create thumbnail images of any photo uploaded to the digital library. See Imagemagick for more information.
sudo apt install imagemagick
  • Enable Apache mod_rewrite. This is an Apache module used to rewrite URLs. Omeka uses this to create appropriate URLs for items and collections in its digital libraries.
sudo a2enmod rewrite

You should be instructed to restart Apache after enabling rewrite:

sudo systemctl restart apache2

General Steps

You have already completed all the steps below when you created a bare bones OPAC/ILS and installed WordPress. Your task is to apply what you've learned by completing an Omeka installation on your own. (You can work together and discuss on our chat server.)

Note that the process is very similar to what we have already done with our bare bones OPAC/ILS and our WordPress installations. Use this handbook to remind you of the specific commands. In short, you are going to complete the following steps:

  • Create a new user and a new database in MySQL for the Omeka installation (do not re-use the WordPress database, user, or credentials).
  • Use wget from your server to download Omeka Classic as a Zip file and extract it in /var/www/html:
    • unzip it with the unzip command, which you will have to install with the apt command.
    • the extracted directory will be named omeka-3.1. You might want to rename it simply omeka.
  • In the extracted directory, find the db.ini file and add your database credentials, and replace all values containing XXXXXX, with the appropriate information. This is the same thing we did with the login.php file for our bare bones OPAC/ILS and the wp-config.php file for WordPress.
  • Use the chown command like we did with WordPress on the files directory in the omeka directory. The user and owner should again be www-data.
  • Restart Apache2 and MySQL
  • In your web browser, go to http://your-ip-address/omeka/ and complete the setup via the web form, just like you did with WordPress.

The user manual below is helpful, but it does not provide explicit instructions.

Be sure to download Omeka Classic and not Omeka S.