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The software is offered under GNU LGPL. It has been tailored for the Virginia Tech community. Therefore you may have to do a number of changes to adapt it to your needs. Because of our limited resources we cannot give any support for the installation of required middleware or the VTFileman software itself. However, you could try the discussion forum or if you find bugs or have recommendations for improvements please use our bug reporting tool or feature tracker.


Since VTFileman requires the integration with an LDAP server to handle authentication and with a web server (e.g., Apache) to handle document download, its installation is not trivial and requires some knowledge of Java, application servers (e.g., Tomcat), web servers (e.g., Apache) and LDAP. Please do not attempt to install VTFileman if you don't feel comfortable with these technologies as it is likely not to work and perhaps cause security vulnerabilities.


VTFileman is a java web application and needs a java web server such as Tomcat in order to run. Also, VTFileman is typically used in conjunction with a web server (e.g. Apache) that can deliver the documents stored in the users' home directories. You can either just have one web server serving documents in cleartext via HTTP or you can have a second web server that enables document transfer via an encrypted connection, i.e. HTTPS.

Furthermore, you can give your users an alternative way to upload and manage files by providing a WebDAV server. This may be useful if your users regularly have to upload many files at once (VTFileman only supports the upload of a few files at a time).

The permission feature in VTFileman will generate access control files in the Apache .htaccess syntax for all three servers. By default those files are called ".htaccess", ".htaccess.ssl", ".davaccess".

An LDAP server is used for authenticating users' logins. The figure below shows the system architecture for using VTFileman.


Installation Instructions for VTFileman

VTFileman is a pretty flexible and customizable application. However, we strongly recommend that you closely follow the installation instructions using the defaults shown below. After the application is up and running you can adapt the installation to your needs.

Step 1: Install Java application server

VTFileman is a 100%-Java compliant application and should work with any Java application server that supports JDK 1.4 (JDK 1.3 does not suffice since it does not support regular expressions which are heavily used in VTFileman). If you don't have one yet, we recommend to install the free Apache Tomcat server. The Tomcat server is a Java application itself. Therefore you may have to install Sun's JDK 1.4 before you can run Tomcat.

In the following we assume that you don't have anything installed yet. Otherwise just jump steps as appropriate.

Microsoft Windows

  • Download and install Sun's Java 2 Standard Edition, SDK 1.4 (J2SE SDK), Version: "Windows (all languages, including English)" (install in folder e.g. "C:\j2sdk1.4.2_08", use defaults)
  • set the JAVA_HOME environment variable to the folder that you installed Java in, e.g. "set JAVA_HOME=c:\j2sdk1.4.2_08"; You should make this a permanent setting by adding JAVA_HOME as an environment variable; e.g.: in Windows XP through Control Panel/(Performance and Maintenance/)System/Advanced/
    Environment Variables/
    System Variables/New
    " (do not have a trailing backslash or semicolon at the end)
  • Download and install Tomcat (e.g. jakarta-tomcat-4.1.31.exe); if the previous link does not work check out the offical Tomcat website: (install Tomcat into a folder called "\usr\local\tomcat\")

Unix (Linux, Solaris, etc.)

  • Download and install Sun's Java 2 Standard Edition, SDK 1.4 (J2SE SDK) for your platform (use defaults)
  • set the JAVA_HOME variable to the folder that your Java installation is located in
  • Download and install Tomcat (e.g. jakarta-tomcat-4.1.31.tar.gz); if the previous link does not work check out the offical Tomcat website: (install Tomcat into a directory called "/usr/local/tomcat/")

Step 2: Download and unpack VTFileman

Step 3: Setup file system

Step 4: Start & Test

Step 5: Tailor VTFileman to your needs


Installation Instructions for Apache (Document file servers non-SSL and SSL, WebDAV server)

Note that these servers are optional and not required to run VTFileman.

Step 1: Setup Apache as a document file server (non-SSL)

Step 2: Setup Apache as a document file server (SSL)

Step 3: Setup Apache as a WebDAV file server

If you have questions or comments please use the discussion forum.

Last modified: June 6, 2005

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