Blacklight Quick Start

Aaron Harder edited this page Jan 4, 2017 · 5 revisions

Required Dependencies

  1. Node.js (
  2. GIT (
  3. ImageMagick (
  4. Valid credentials and permissions for Gitlab ( and FS Stage AEM instance (
  5. An SSH key configured in your Gitlab account (


Blacklight is a Content Management System (CMS) and web server that runs on the Node.js platform and works with Apache Sling-based content repositories for data storage.


Below are the basic steps to get a new Blacklight instance up and running in your environment.

Install Node.js and Blacklight

  • If you haven't already, install the latest LTS version of Node.js
  • If you haven't already, install the Blacklight cli tool with the following command:
> npm install -g blacklight-cli
> bl --help  ## To confirm successful install
  • Add the blcd helper command to your .bash_profile or .bashrc file.
    Note: This step is optional, but recommended because the blcd command can greatly expedite navigation of Blacklight's directory structure from a command shell.
## Add this to .bash_profile or .bashrc:
    cd `bl module folder $1`

Download and Start Sling

Apache Sling comes as a standalone .jar file. You can download the latest version of the Apache Sling .jar file via your web browser from the Sling homepage (look for "Downloads" in the left-hand nav bar).

Alternately, you can download the Sling version 8 .jar file from the command line:

> cd ~  ## Or some other folder, if you prefer
> mkdir sling && cd sling
> wget

Once the .jar file is downloaded, run it with the following command:

> java -Xmx512M -jar -p 4500 &  ## Assumes Sling version 8

Then navigate to the Sling homepage to confirm it is working:

Initialize and Configure a New Blacklight Instance

Create a new, empty Blacklight website by running the following command. Answer the prompts as outlined below.

> cd ~  ## Or some other folder, if you prefer
> bl init my-site
  • Git URL -- can be any Git URL you like, including the fake sample URL,
  • Sling url -- The Sling instance you initiated above is running at
  • Sling username -- Is admin and password is also admin.
  • Website domain name -- Is not important for this test installation of Blacklight. Put in any domain you like.
  • Asset path and App path should be left as their default values (just hit enter)
  • Email address to receive errors can be left blank

Install a Sample Site Module

To get things going, use the bl command line tool to install a simple example Blacklight site moudle:

> cd my-site
> bl module install example.doodad --url=
> bl example.doodad make-sample-content  ## This command adds `doodad` sample content to Sling
> node index.js  ##Start up the Blacklight server

Now navigate to the sample page:

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