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HOW-TO : Install Eprints v3.3.12  on Ubuntu 12.04 With LDAP Authentication

Last modified by Khairilzamrie bin Rosle on 2014/09/12 09:19

 HOW-TO for installation in Ubuntu 14.04 are also available here

This HOW-TO is produced to assist people interested to install Eprints v3.3.12 on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with integration of LDAP Authentication. People interested to just simply install Eprints without LDAP Authentication just need to complete Step 1 of 4.


  • Ubuntu 12.04 64bit
  • Apache 2.2.22 (bundled with Ubuntu 12.04)
  • Perl/v5.14.2 (bundled with Ubuntu 12.04)
  • Eprints v 3.3.12
  • Domain name for eprints server - In this tutorial we will use myeprints.example.my
  • IP Address for eprints server - In this tutorial we will use
  • Ldap v3 server - In this tutorial we will use fictional LDAP server ldap.example.org
  • Port 443 needs to be opened on the EPrints server to allow web access over https (EPrints will switch from HTTP on port 80 to HTTPS on port 443 from the time you log in to the time you log back out again)

Step 1 of 4 : Install Eprints via APT

First, log into your EPrints server via ssh from your PC. If you are using Windows PC, you can use Putty. If you are using a Mac or a Linux PC then open a terminal and issue this command (replace eprintsuser with your own user which has sudo privillege and also replace with your eprints server real IP Address):

ssh eprintsuser@

Once you logged in, add Eprints repository to your Ubuntu /etc/apt/sources.list file :

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Now, add the following at the bottom of the file :

Then, install Eprints via apt-get

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install eprints

Now, create a repository for Eprints. Please follow the on-screen instructions to set up an eprints repository. You will be asked to enter Archive ID during the installation. Please remember the Archive ID you entered as it will be used for the next steps.

sudo su eprints
/usr/share/eprints3/bin/epadmin create

Once your done :

sudo mv /etc/apache2/sites-available/eprints /etc/apache2/sites-available/eprints.conf 
sudo a2ensite eprints
sudo apache2ctl stop
sudo apache2ctl start

You should now have a working installation of eprints in /usr/share/eprints3/.

Step 2 of 4 : Configure HTTPS for Eprints

This is still the same process as the standard HTTPS setup. First, edit /usr/share/eprints3/archives/<YOURARCHIVEID>/cfg/cfg.d/10_core.pl file (where <YOURARCHIVEID> is your Archive ID created above) :

sudo su eprints
nano /usr/share/eprints3/archives/<YOURARCHIVEID>/cfg/cfg.d/10_core.pl

Replace the file content with following lines :

$c->{host} = 'myeprints.example.my';
$c->{port} = 80;
$c->{aliases} = [];

$c->{securehost} = 'myeprints.example.my';
$c->{secureport} = 443;
$c->{securepath} = '/secure';

$c->{http_root} = '';
$c->{https_root} = '';
$c->{http_cgiroot} = '/cgi';
$c->{https_cgiroot} = '/cgi';

Next you need to run the generate_apacheconf command;


EPrints should now be ready for SSL. Now, configure Apache for https.

The first thing you need to do is install the SSL certificate generator if you don't already have it;

sudo apt-get install ssl-cert

Next make a directory for all your SSL certificates in your apache2 directory;

sudo mkdir /etc/apache2/ssl

Now we can generate the certificate;

sudo make-ssl-cert /usr/share/ssl-cert/ssleay.cnf /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.pem

Now enable the module for apache2 which should already be installed as part of the apache2 package;

sudo a2enmod ssl

We now need to create a new virtualhost since EPrints makes some assumptions about the existence of the SSL virtualhost, but it does not exist on Debian/Ubuntu. Create a new file eprints-ssl.conf in /etc/apache2/sites-available/ :

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/eprints-ssl

and in this file you want to put the following :

<VirtualHost *:443>
  SSLEngine on
  SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.pem
  Include /usr/share/eprints3/cfg/apache_ssl.conf

Once you have done this enable the site;

sudo a2ensite eprints-ssl

Then restart apache2 :

sudo service apache2 restart 

Now your Eprints ready to be accessed via https

Step 3 of 4 : Enable Eprints Authentication with LDAP

To enable LDAP authentication, first install perl-ldap library :

sudo apt-get install libnet-ldap-perl

It is recommended that certain user rights are removed when using LDAP for login. The user should not be allowed to change their password or their email address. It is also suggested that the user not be allowed to edit their profile, however there are certain fields that we would like the user to edit. To set the rights edit the file (where <YOURARCHIVEID> is your Archive ID created above):

sudo su eprints
nano /usr/share/eprints3/archives/<YOURARCHIVEID>/cfg/cfg.d/user_roles.pl

# User Roles
#  Here you can configure which different types of user are
#  parts of the system they are allowed to use.

$c->{user_roles}->{user} = [qw{
#       set-password
#       change-email

$c->{user_roles}->{editor} = [qw{
#       set-password
#       change-email

$c->{user_roles}->{admin} = [qw{
# Note  nobody has the very powerful "toolbox" or "rest" roles, by default!

# Use this to set public privilages.
$c->{public_roles} = [qw{

#$c->{user_roles}->{minuser} = [qw{
#       general
#       edit-own-record
#       saved-searches
#       set-password
#       lock-username-to-email

# If you want to add additional roles to the system, you can do it here.
# These can be useful to create "hats" which can be given to a user via
# the roles field. You can also override the default roles.
#$c->{roles}->{"approve-hat"} = [
#       "eprint/buffer/view:editor",
#       "eprint/buffer/summary:editor",
#       "eprint/buffer/details:editor",
#       "eprint/buffer/move_archive:editor",

Now we are going to configure Eprints to use LDAP Authentication with On-Demand Creation of Users. This will :

  • allowing LDAP accounts to login, using the "Advanced LDAP Configuration" example
  • allowing the local eprints admin account to login w/ database authentication
  • creating Eprints accounts for all successfully authenticated LDAP users on the fly

* Make sure to only use this over HTTPS!

Edit /usr/share/eprints3/archives/<YOURARCHIVEID>/cfg/cfg.d/user_login.pl (<YOURARCHIVEID> is your Archive ID created above) :

nano /usr/share/eprints3/archives/<YOURARCHIVEID>/cfg/cfg.d/user_login.pl

and replace the whole content with below script. Make sure you replace values for :

  • $ldap_host  - Change to your LDAP server domain name or IP Address
  • $base - Change to your base DN for user tree
  • $groupbase - Change to your base DN for group tree which you want the user to be member of  (this will act as group filter)
  • $dn -  Change to your Proxy account which must exist in your LDAP tree and has appropriate permissions (ACL settings) to search for users and read their uid,givenname,sn,mail attributes
  • $ldappass - Change to your password for the proxy account



# Please see http://wiki.eprints.org/w/User_login.pl
$c->{check_user_password} = sub {

        my( $repo, $password, $username ) = @_;

        return $ok ? $username : undef;


$c->{check_user_password} = sub {
   my( $session, $username, $password ) = @_;

   # LDAP authentication for "user", "editor" and "admin" types (roles)

   use Net::LDAP; # IO::Socket::SSL also required
   use Time::Piece ();

   # LDAP tunables
   my $ldap_host = "ldap.example.org";
   my $base      = "dc=example,dc=org";
   my $groupbase = "cn=Groups,dc=example,dc=org";
   my $dn        = "cn=someProxyAccount";
   my $ldappass   = "someProxyAccountPassword";

   my $ldap      = Net::LDAP->new ( $ldap_host, version => 3 );
   unless( $ldap )
        print STDERR Time::Piece::localtime->strftime('[%a %b %d %H:%M:%S %Y]');
        print STDERR " LDAP error: $@\n";
        return 0;

   # Start secure connection (not needed if using LDAPS)
   my $ssl = $ldap->start_tls();
   if( $ssl->code() )
       print STDERR Time::Piece::localtime->strftime('[%a %b %d %H:%M:%S %Y]');
       print STDERR " LDAP SSL error: " . $ssl->error() . "\n";
#       return 0;

   # Get password for the search-bind-account
   my $repository = $session->get_repository;
   my $id         = $repository->get_id;
   my $mesg = $ldap->bind( $dn, password=>$ldappass     );
   if( $mesg->code() )
       print STDERR "LDAP Bind error: " . $mesg->error() . "\n";
       return 0;

   # Distinguished name (and attribues needed later on) for this user
   my $result = $ldap->search (
       base    => "$base",
       scope   => "sub",
       filter  => "(&(uid=$username)(objectclass=inetOrgPerson))",
       attrs   =>  ['1.1', 'uid', 'sn', 'mail'],

   my $entr = $result->pop_entry;
   unless( defined $entr )
       # Allow local EPrints authentication for admins (accounts not found in LDAP)
       my $user = EPrints::DataObj::User::user_with_username( $session, $username );
       return 0 unless $user;

       my $user_type = $user->get_type;
       if( $user_type eq "admin" )
           # internal authentication for "admin" type
           return $session->get_database->valid_login( $username, $password );
       return 0;
   my $ldap_dn = $entr->dn;

   #filter the user found based on group (make sure the user is in Staff_grp group in OID)
   my $userGroup = $ldap->search (
       base    => "$groupbase",
       scope   => "sub",
       filter  => "(&(uniquemember=$ldap_dn))",
       attrs   =>  ['cn'],


   my $entrGroup = $userGroup->pop_entry;
   unless( defined $entrGroup )
        # User Not in Staff group - reject login
        print STDERR Time::Piece::localtime->strftime('[%a %b %d %H:%M:%S %Y]');
        print STDERR " NOT AUTHORIZED : User $username is not a staff\n";
        return 0;

   # Check password
   my $mesg = $ldap->bind( $ldap_dn, password => $password );
   if( $mesg->code() )
       return 0;

   # Does account already exist?
   my $user = EPrints::DataObj::User::user_with_username( $session, $username );
   if( !defined $user )
       # New account
       $user = EPrints::DataObj::User::create( $session, "user" );
       $user->set_value( "username", $username );

   # Set metadata
   my $name = {};
   $name->{family} = $entr->get_value( "sn" );
   $name->{given} = $entr->get_value( "given" );
   $user->set_value( "name", $name );
   $user->set_value( "username", $username );
   $user->set_value( "email", $entr->get_value( "mail" ) );

   $ldap->unbind if $ldap;

   return 1;

Things to note

  • This script uses a dedicated proxy account which must exist in your LDAP tree and has appropriate permissions (ACL settings) to search for users and read their uid,givenname,sn,mail attributes.
  • It changes the flow of user_login.pl a little to only check for local admin accounts (no users or editors; we have them all in our LDAP tree) and only when no user is found for ldap authentication. This allows you to have your admins in LDAP (if you want) but still use the local admin for "promoting" other users to admins, among other things (which could also be done with a simple SQL update directly in the RDBMS). If you don't need the local admin, remove those lines and just return 0 since no user was found in LDAP.
  • You could change the default role for generated user accounts from user, if you really wanted.

Now restart your apache

sudo service apache2 restart 

Now your Eprints ready for LDAP authentication!

Step 4 of 4 : Finally, test the installation

On your PC (not your server) set the Eprints server  domain name you just setup in your hosts file. In this tutorial we used myeprints.example.my as the domain name with IP Address for the Eprint server.

In Windows 7 :

Select the Start menu key and locate Notepad. ...
Right click on Notepad. ...
Select Run as administrator.
Using notepad, open C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts

In Linux PC or Mac :

sudo nano /etc/hosts

and add this line at the bottom of the file (Replace with the eprints server IP Address) :       myeprints.example.my

Save and close.

To test it, using your browser go to http://myeprints.example.my . Eprints default page should be displayed if you are successful. 

Enjoy your brand-new shiny Eprints!

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