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This customisation relates to the technical details involved in the customisation of features available with DSpace, not the customisation required when performing operational management of the research archive. For example, the creation of communities and collections is for the repository director/manager to determine. See: for an example of a communities and collections hierarchy.

Please consult the OPERATIONAL GUIDE for recommendations regarding the operational management of a digital research archive using DSpace software.


If the feature customisation is to be preserved on the repository system for the long term, then adequate resources must be provided to ensure continuity of the customisation during system upgrades. Depending on the amount of customisation, this could turn out to be VERY EXPENSIVE for the institution if using an external service provider and if upgrades are done on a yearly basis. Therefore, the rule of thumb, for resource scarce institutions that do not have the system capacity, is to keep customisation to the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM or acquire the resources to build adequate system capacity locally in-house.

README FIRST - Advanced Feature Customisation (Modules Overlay Method)

Please read about advanced customisation before starting any customisation work, as it is the basis for most of the customisation tasks.

The idea is to put all your customised code into the folder:


The source code is copied from the folder:


*** What is this $HOME thing ***

This allows you to keep the source code intact and to keep your modifications in one separate place. Using this method also helps greatly during upgrades.

Also please note, that to apply these customisations you will usually have to rebuild DSpace.

See the official explanation below:


All of the feature customisation and system administration documentation assumes:

  1. That DSpace has been installed according to:
  2. That you are working as the "dspace" user, which was created during the installation of the Ubuntu server software.

Now that you have a working repository, you will probably want to make it your own using a proper change management system.

Below are links to help pages with detailed information on how to customise your repository, to make it fit for the purpose for which it was created.

For more information consult the official DSpace documentation and subscribe to the DSpace help mailing lists (see bottom of page below) so that you can ask the experts for help.

Before beginning customization using this guide, please familiarize yourself with command line editor, nano. See below for brief instructions.

NANO Editor Help
CTL+O = Save the file and then press Enter
CTL+X = Exit "nano"
CTL+K = Delete line
CTL+U = Undelete line
CTL+W = Search for %%string%%
CTL+\ = Search for %%string%% and replace with $$string$$
CTL+C = Show line numbers

More info =



  1. Browse and Search Indexes
  2. Web Analytics
  3. Theme
  4. Licences
  5. Language
  6. Email Templates


  1. Submission System
  2. Usage Statistics
  3. Media Filters (Item full text search and thumbnails)
  4. Digital Object Checksums
  5. Digital Object Identifier's
  6. Open Search
  7. RSS Feeds



  1. Researcher Authorisation (LDAP Server)
  2. Researcher Identification (ORCID Server)


  1. Curation
  2. Export and Import
  3. Versioning
  4. PDF Cover Page


  1. Harvest Remote Collections (OAI Consumer)
  2. Allow Remote Harvesters (OAI Producer)
  3. Allow Remote Deposits (SWORD interface)

Mailing Lists

International DSpace Support

Before posting a request, please see: first.

African Repository Support


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DSpace References