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The primary goal of Xerxes is to provide a fully customizable and extendable interface to:

  1. Commercial library discovery systems, including Summon, Primo, and Ebsco Discovery
  2. No-cost web services, such as the Ebsco Integration Toolkit and the Worldcat API
  3. Federated search systems, including Metalib and Pazpar2
  4. Open source search engines like Solr

Installation Instructions

The following instructions provide some basic notes on getting started with Xerxes.

1. Server requirements

You'll need a relatively recent version of Linux with Git, Apache, PHP, and MySQL installed.

You'll also need the optional PHP XML and PDO modules installed. On RHEL/CentOS you can use yum to install these:

sudo yum install php-xml php-pdo php-mysql

Don't forget to restart Apache after that.

2. Download and install Xerxes

The simplest way to do this is to use Git. First create a project directory. You'll want to create this outside of the Apache DocumentRoot, otherwise you'll be exposing sensitive files over the web! Once you've created the folder, move into it:

cd my/project/dir

Next, clone the Xerxes repository:

git clone git://

Move into that directory and use composer to install the third-party libraries:

cd xerxes
php composer.phar install --optimize-autoloader

3. Set-up the database

First, move to the data/sql directory within the Xerxes install.

cd data/sql

Now, fire up MySQL and login as root:

mysql -u root -p

Create a specific database for Xerxes:

create database xerxes;

And now use it:

use xerxes;

You can now issue the following command to create the basic tables:

source create.sql

When that's done, create a user to access the database. Change the username and password here to something else, and keep note of these, as we'll enter them into the main config file in the next step.

GRANT SELECT, INSERT, DELETE, UPDATE ON xerxes.* TO 'xerxes'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

4. Edit your Xerxes configuration files

The configuration files are located in instances/instance/config.

You'll need to enter the database username and password into config.xml:

<config name="database_connection">mysql:host=localhost;dbname=xerxes</config>
<config name="database_username">xerxes</config>
<config name="database_password">password</config>

To get the Summon search engine working, you'll need to add the Summon ID and key in summon.xml. You can ask Proquest for these.

<config name="summon_id">your-id</config>
<config name="summon_key">some-really-long-summon-key-goes-here</config>

5. Create alias and rewrite rules in Apache

Finally, we'll now expose only the instances/instance/public directory to the web by configuring that in Apache.

You can do that directly in the main httpd.conf file, or by creating a second config file and dropping that in your Linux disto's directory for Apache config files. In RHEL/CentOS that's in /etc/httpd/config.d.

Something like this should work:

<IfModule alias_module>

 	Alias /xerxes /my/project/dir/xerxes/instances/instance/public


<Directory "/my/project/dir/xerxes/instances/instance/public">

	AllowOverride All
	Options All
	Order allow,deny
	Allow from all

	SetEnv APPLICATION_ENV production
	RewriteEngine On
	RewriteBase /xerxes/

	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -s [OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -l [OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
	RewriteRule ^.*$ - [NC,L]
	RewriteRule ^.*$ index.php [NC,L]


Restart Apache, and Xerxes should now be available at the alias you defined above.


An interface application to library discovery systems




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