UniTime Installation


For simplified step by step installation notes, see

Prerequisites

Java Development Kit

  • If you do not have Java SE (Standard Edition) Development Kit 6.0 or later already installed, you will need to download and install it from Java SE Downloads first.

Apache Tomcat

MySQL

  • Download MySQL from MySQL Downloads
    • MySQL version 5.5 and Oracle version 11g are currently being used in development and testing.
  • Install MySQL
  • Install MySQL JDBC driver
    • New: due to the license change for UniTime 4.x, the MySQL JDBC driver can no longer be included in the UniTime distribution.
    • The driver can be downloaded from the Download Connector/J page.
    • Unzip the downloaded driver if needed and place the mysql-connector-java-5.x-bin.jar under the Tomcat/lib folder.

Installation

  • Download the latest UniTime 4.1 distribution from UniTime Downloads
    • All distributions are platform independent, distributed in either .zip or .tar.gz format
    • Alternatively, you can download the most recent nightly build from UniTime Nightly Builds
  • Unzip the archive
tar -xvzf unitime-4.1_bld1.tar.gz
  • Install timetable database
    • MySQL installation scripts are located in doc/mysql folder of the distribution
    • File schema.sql contains the database schema, file woebegon-data.sql contains test data (Woebegon College Test Suite, see Online Demo for more details).
      • If you want to change the default user name / password, edit the file schema.sql first. The user is created at the very beginning of the script.
    • Timetable database can be created and populated using the mysql command line tool
      • After running "schema.sql", you need to populate the database either using "woebegon-data.sql" or "blank-data.sql" file
        • When woebegon-data are used, you will be able to login into the application using the same credentials as described on our online demo page
        • When blank-data are used, there is only administrator account created. Both username and password are admin.
mysql -uroot -p -f <schema.sql
mysql -uroot -p <woebegon-data.sql
  • Deploy UniTime application
    • Copy web/UniTime.war to Tomcat/webapps, where Tomcat is the folder where Tomcat is installed.
    • On unix based systems (including Mac OS X), java virtual machine that is running tomcat needs to be switched to headless mode. You can do that using JAVA_OPTS environment variable prior to starting tomcat:
export JAVA_OPTS="${JAVA_OPTS} -Djava.awt.headless=true"
    • Also, you might need to give Tomcat more memory to work with by changing the upper limit on the memory that it can allocate (especially if you are planning not to run any remote solver servers -- see below; default is 64MB). You can do that using JAVA_OPTS environment variable as well:
export JAVA_OPTS="${JAVA_OPTS} -Xmx1024m"
  • Start tomcat
  • Tip: If you have installed Tomcat on a Linux based machine from a package (e.g., by running apt-get install tomcat7), you will need to make sure that there is a data folder available within the tomcat directory and that the Tomcat has enough permissions to write files in there. This can be accomplished with something like:
mkdir /var/lib/tomcat7/data
chown tomcat7 /var/lib/tomcat7/data
    • Tomcat configuration (including the  JAVA_OPTS variable) is located in the /etc/default/tomcat7 file in this case.

    Upgrade

    • To upgrade an existing UniTime installation, only the new UniTime.war file should be placed in the Tomcat/webapps folder instead of the existing one. All the necessary changes to the database are done automatically during the first deployment. The most safe way to do so is as follows:
      1. Stop tomcat
      2. Backup the existing database (e.g., using mysqldump on MySQL or exp on Oracle)
      3. In Tomcat/webapps, remove UniTime folder and replace the existing UniTime.war with the new one
      4. Delete the content of Tomcat/work folder.
      5. Start the tomcat
    • If you are using remove solver servers, the appropriate JARs needs to be updated as well.
    • If upgrading from UniTime 3.3
      • If you are using LDAP for authentication, some configuration properties will need to be changed. See LDAP Authentication / Lookup page for details.
    • If upgrading from UniTime 3.4
      • If you are using remote solver servers and/or multiple tomcats, see below how to setup a cluster.
    • If upgrading from UniTime 3.5
      • If you are using MySQL, place the MySQL JDBC driver in the Tomcat/lib folder (the driver can be downloaded from the Download Connector/J page, see above).
    • See UniTime 4.1 release notes for other changes.

    Customization

    • Custom Properties
      • There are a lot of properties that are defined in file application.properties that is located in timetable.jar that is located in UniTime.war at WEB-INF/lib. These properties can be changed in one of the following ways:
        1. By providing custom property file, this file should be named custom.properties and located in UniTime.war at WEB-INF/classes.
          • Alternatively, custom property file can be located somewhere else, with system property tmtbl.custom.properties pointing to it.
        2. By adding and/or changing the appropriate properties directly in the UniTime application -- see Administration / Defaults / Configuration menu item when logged in as administrator.
        3. By adding these properties in Tomcat/conf/catalina.properties
        4. By providing JVM that is running tomcat with the appropriate system properties, for instance:
    export JAVA_OPTS="${JAVA_OPTS} -Dtmtbl.title=Timetabling Demo"
    export JAVA_OPTS="${JAVA_OPTS} -Dtmtbl.custom.properties=~/my.properties
      • Tip: Name the custom properties file Tomcat/conf/unitime.properties and put all the properties you need in there. For UniTime to use the file, add the following line to Tomcat/conf/catalina.properties
    tmtbl.custom.properties=${catalina.base}/conf/unitime.properties
      • If the same property is defined on multiple places, the first one from the following order will be taken:
        1. UniTime Configuration (Administration / Defaults / Configuration menu item)
        2. System property (-Dproperty=value, or defined in Tomcat/conf/catalina.properties)
        3. File custom.properties (UniTime.war/WEB-INF/classes/custom.properties or as defined by tmtbl.custom.properties system property)
        4. File application.properties (UniTime.war/WEB-INF/lib/timetable.jar/application.properties)
    • Database Connection
      • The database connection can be changed using custom properties. However, please note that these properties cannot be defined using the UniTime application (Administration / Defaults / Configuration menu item) since the database connection needs to be configured before the database can be accessed. For instance, custom.properties file can contain:
    # MySQL Configuration Example
    connection.url=jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/timetable
    connection.username=timetable
    connection.password=unitime
    connection.driver_class=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
    dialect=org.hibernate.dialect.MySQLInnoDBDialect
    tmtbl.uniqueid.generator=org.hibernate.id.TableHiLoGenerator
    default_schema=timetable

    Remote Solver Server(s)

    • By default, all timetabling problems are solved within the application (using the same Java Virtual Machine), however, especially for bigger institutions, it might be desired to solve the timetabling problems by one or more separate solver servers.
    • All the necessary libraries are in the solver folder of the distribution except the JDBC driver. For MySQL download mysql-connector-java-5.1.36.jar , for Oracle download ojdbc7.jar and name it ojdbc7-12.1.0.2.jar.
    • Place the JDBC driver in the solver directory (same location as the timetable.jar), for instance:
    curl http://central.maven.org/maven2/mysql/mysql-connector-java/5.1.36/mysql-connector-java-5.1.36.jar --output solver/mysql-connector-java-5.1.36.jar
    • To run a remote solver, do:
    java -Xmx2g -Dtmtbl.custom.properties=custom.properties -jar solver/timetable.jar
    • File custom.properties should contain all the custom parameters needed for the starting up the server (e.g., database connection properties, if different from the defaults). It is usually the same as the one used on the Tomcat, except the jgroups.tcp.address property (see below). The load is automatically and seamlessly balanced between the remote solvers. The remote solver server also automatically reconnects itself when the web server is restarted. When the remote solver is shut down, all active timetabling instances are backed up and restored when the solver server is started again. The following properties need to be set in the custom.properties file. Please note that all these properties need to be set on the Tomcat side as well.
    jgroups.tcp.address=127.0.0.1
    IP address of the machine that is using this configuration file. This property should be different on each machine, the ramining properties are usually the same for all the UniTime instances (Tomcats as well as remote solver servers). If the property is set to 127.0.0.1 or localhost, the server will not be able to accept remote connections -- use only if all the instances are running on the same machine!
    unitime.solver.cluster=true
    This property enables the Solver cluster. This cluster is used for RPCs between the Tomcat(s) and the remote solver server(s). Communication between UniTime instances is done using JGroups.
    unitime.solver.port=7800
    Default communication port for the Solver cluster. If the given port is taken (e.g., there are running multiple remote solver server(s) on the same machine), the next one available will be used instead.
    unitime.solver.initial_hosts=127.0.0.1[7800]
    By default, TCP ping discovery is used to form a cluster. The above parameter defines a comma separated list of machines (and their communication ports) on which a UniTime instance may be running. It does not necessary need to have all the possible IP addresses, usually it is set to the IP addresses of the Tomcat server(s) running UniTime.
    unitime.solver.jgroups.config=solver-jgroups-tcp.xml
    An alternative JGroups configuration file can be provided with this property. The default configuration file is available here.

    unitime.enrollment.server.replicated=false

    This property enables replication of online student scheduling servers. If enabled, there is an additional Enrollment cluster is formed and the same instance (academic session) of an online student scheduling server can be spawn by each of the servers (with the data replicated among them). By default, one of them will be elected as master and handle all the updates, while the others will assist in no-updating queries (e.g., computation of a student's schedule or suggestions) and step in in case of a failover. It is also possible to direct particular academic sessions to a particular UniTime instances (Tomcats or remote solver servers) using the unitime.enrollment.term, unitime.enrollment.year, unitime.enrollment.campus properties (containing a regular expression which has to match against academic session term, year and initiative respectively).

    unitime.enrollment.port=7866
    If online student scheduling server replication is enabled, additional Enrollment cluster is formed. It is used to replicate data between online student scheduling instances. This is the communication port for the Enrollment cluster.
    unitime.enrollment.initial_hosts=127.0.0.1[7866]
    List of initial hosts for the Enrollment cluster.
    unitime.enrollment.jgroups.config=sectioning-jgroups-tcp.xml
    An alternative JGroups configuration file can be provided with this property. The default configuration file is available here.
    • The remote solvers can be managed in the UniTime application, see Administration > Solver > Manage Solvers menu item when logged in as an administrator.
    • Tip:  If you use a different version of the JDBC driver, it needs to be added to the classpath. For example:

    java -Xmx2g -Dtmtbl.custom.properties=custom.properties -cp solver/timetable.jar:solver/mysql-connector-java-5.1.46.jar org.unitime.timetable.solver.jgroups.SolverServerImplementation

    Having Multiple Tomcats (Clustering)

    With UniTime 4.0, it is possible to run multiple instances of UniTime on a cluster of Tomcats and/or remote solver servers. Besides of the Solver cluster and Enrollment cluster, it is also possible to form a Hibernate cluster that is used to replicate Hibernate L2 cache. The following properties can be used to configure the Hibernate cluster.

    unitime.hibernate.cluster=true
    This property enables the Hibernate cluster. This cluster is used for replication of Hibernate second level cache between multiple UniTime instances.
    unitime.hibernate.port=7833
    Default communication port for the Hibernate cluster. If the given port is taken (e.g., there are running multiple remote solver server(s) on the same machine), the next one available will be used instead.
    unitime.hibernate.initial_hosts=127.0.0.1[7833]
    By default, TCP ping discovery is used to form a cluster. The above parameter defines a comma separated list of machines (and their communication ports) on which a UniTime instance may be running. It does not necessary need to have all the possible IP addresses, usually it is set to the IP addresses of the Tomcat server(s) running UniTime.
    unitime.hibernate.jgroups.config=hibernate-jgroups-tcp.xml
    An alternative JGroups configuration file can be provided with this property. The default configuration file is available here.
    Please note that Hibernate cluster is only needed when there are two or more Tomcats running UniTime. Remote solver servers have the L2 cache disabled and hence no need to connect to the Hibernate cluster.

    Using Oracle Database

    Here are some notes about using Oracle Database

    • The following custom properties need to be set (connection url, username, password may vary)
    # Oracle Configuration Example
    connection.url=jdbc:oracle:thin:@localhost:1521:xe
    connection.username=timetable
    connection.password=unitime
    connection.driver_class=oracle.jdbc.driver.OracleDriver
    dialect=org.hibernate.dialect.Oracle10gDialect
    tmtbl.uniqueid.generator=org.hibernate.id.SequenceGenerator
    • If the schema is different to timetable, the default_schema property needs to be changed as well
    default_schema=timetable
    • File ojdbc7.jar (or later) needs to be copied either to Tomcat/lib or to Tomcat/webapps/UniTime/WEB-INF/lib. This file can be downloaded, e.g., from Oracle JDBC Drivers
    • Oracle installation scripts are located in doc/oracle folder of the distribution
      • Alternatively, the database can be imported using imp tool and the woebegon.dat from the GitHub.
    imp timetable/###### file=woebegon.dat full=y
        • User timetable needs to be created first, e.g., using sqlplus
      sqlplus system
      create user timetable identified by ######; grant dba to timetable; exit

      Notes

      • The UniTime application can be deployed on JBoss Application Server or, in theory, on any other J2EE server
      • Here are the UniTime 4.1 Installation Notes on Linux
      • Here are the UniTime 4.1 Installation Notes on Windows