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This README applies to DeepaMehta 4. The master branch however represents DeepaMehta 5 (upcoming). For the DeepaMehta 4 codebase switch to the dm4 branch.

DeepaMehta 4

DeepaMehta 4 is a platform for collaboration and knowledge management. The vision of DeepaMehta is a Post-Desktop Metaphor user interface that abolishes applications, windows, files, and folders in favor of stable personal views of contextual content. The goal of DeepaMehta is to provide knowledge workers of all kind a cognitive adequate work environment, right after your desktop computer or laptop has booted up.

Technically DeepaMehta 4 is made of
Server-side: Java, Neo4j, Lucene, Apache Felix (OSGi), Jetty, Jersey, Thymeleaf (optional), Neo4j Spatial (optional), Jetty WebSocket (optional), Karaf (optional), Pax Web (optional).
Client-side: Javascript, jQuery, jQuery-UI, HTML5 Canvas, CKEditor, OpenLayers (optional), D3.js (optional).

DeepaMehta 4 is a rewrite of DeepaMehta 2.
(DeepaMehta 3 was a research & development effort.)

Project website:

Live demo:

Hosted service:


Release notes:


Mailing lists:

Issue tracker:

Source code:

API documentation:

Continuous integration:

Licensing + Copyright

DeepaMehta is available freely under the GNU General Public License, version 3.

All third party components incorporated into the DeepaMehta Software are licensed under the original license provided by the owner of the applicable component.

The copyright of the DeepaMehta software is owned by its authors.


DeepaMehta is under heavy development. While you can do productive work with it, DeepaMehta does not meet professional standards yet. At least there are lacks in a) security, b) robustness, and c) usability. Do not put sensitive data in DeepaMehta, in particular when you setup DeepaMehta for network access. Be aware that data loss may occur when you use DeepaMehta improperly. The DeepaMehta developers assume no liability for lost or compromised data. Please keep this in mind when using this software.

To install and use DeepaMehta follow 5 mandatory steps:

Check requirements

  • Java 1.6 (or newer).

    To find out whether Java is already installed on your computer go to a terminal window and type java -version. For more information about Java go to

    Note: you do not need a Java plugin for your browser. DeepaMehta uses Java only at its backend.

  • A webbrowser.

    DeepaMehta works fine at least with Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari 5 (or newer).
    Doesn't work with IE8. Possibly works with IE9 or IE10 (not tested).

Download (7.2 MB)


Unzip the downloaded file. A folder deepamehta-4.9.2 is created.
You can move that folder to any place you want.

Update note: if you want update an existing DeepaMehta installation continue with "Updating DeepaMehta" now (see below).


Open the deepamehta-4.9.2 folder and use the respective starter script for your platform:         # choose "Run in terminal"
deepamehta-macosx.command   # double-click it
deepamehta-windows.bat      # double-click it

While DeepaMehta starts a terminal window opens and a lot of information is logged.
Then a browser window opens and DeepaMehta is ready to use.

To open the DeepaMehta browser window manually:

Login with admin and empty password. Now you're ready to create content.


Go to the terminal window that opened while startup and press:


This shuts down the web server and puts the database in a consistent state.
You can now close the terminal window.

Auxiliary tasks follow:


You can update from DeepaMehta 4.1 or newer to 4.9.2 while keeping your existing DeepaMehta content:

  1. Install DeepaMehta 4.9.2 (see steps 2. and 3. above).
  2. Stop your previous DeepaMehta installation if running. (Also stop DeepaMehta 4.9.2 if already started.)
  3. Copy the deepamehta-db folder from your previous DeepaMehta installation into the deepamehta-4.9.2 folder. (Replace as necessary.)
  4. Proceed with "Start" (see step 4. above).

IMPORTANT: generally you're not required to install all intermediate versions. However there are certain versions that are mandatory to be installed. These versions comprise:

DeepaMehta 4.5
DeepaMehta 4.7

So, to update e.g. from DeepaMehta 4.3 to 4.9.2 you must install and run these versions consecutively: 4.5, 4.7, 4.9.2.

Updating from DeepaMehta 2 or 3 to DeepaMehta 4 is not supported. Even updating from 4.0.x is not supported. The first updatable DeepaMehta version is 4.1.

Install plugins

You can extend DeepaMehta's functionality by installing plugins.
See the list of available plugins:

Reset the database

Sometimes you might want to restart DeepaMehta with a fresh database:

  1. Stop DeepaMehta.
  2. Delete the deepamehta-db folder.
  3. Start DeepaMehta.

Caution: you will loose all your DeepaMehta content.


  1. Stop DeepaMehta.
  2. Delete the entire deepamehta-4.9.2 folder.

This removes DeepaMehta completely from your computer, including all your DeepaMehta content.

Build from Source

Version History

The version history lists only the highlights of each release.
For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.9.2 -- Sep 3, 2018

4.9.1 -- Feb 3, 2018

  • Bug fix:
    • Webclient starts properly if an "Include in Label" topic is missing
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Extend AccessControlService by createUsername()
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.9 -- Nov 26, 2017

4.8.8 -- Jul 22, 2017

4.8.7 -- May 27, 2017

4.8.6 -- Mar 6, 2017

4.8.5 -- Jan 4, 2017

  • Improvements:
    • Core type instances are searchable by-text
  • Changes:
    • The "Retype Topic" feature is removed
    • Explicit "Create Icon" command
  • Bug fix:
    • Icon topics work for access controlled file repos
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.8.4 -- Nov 14, 2016

  • Improvements:
    • Non-shared type extensions
    • Deleting workspaces
    • Association Duplicate Check
    • WebSockets server is configurable
  • Bug fix:
    • Webclient starts if stale cookies are present
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.8.3 -- Aug 30, 2016

  • Improvement:
    • More robust topicmap rendering.
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Suppress geocoding per code block.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Facets API.
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.8.2 -- Jun 30, 2016

  • New feature:
    • Download files from remote file repository.
  • Improvement:
    • When starting the Webclient the last used topicmap is selected automatically.
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.8.1 -- Jun 21, 2016

  • Improvements:
    • Implicit READ permissions for types.
    • File repo serves index.html by default.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Several bugs are fixed that prevented 3rd-party plugins to run with DM 4.8.
    • Several access control related fixes.
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.8 -- Apr 15, 2016

  • New features:
    • Collaborative authoring in private views.
    • 2 new standard plugins: DM4 Events and DM4 Date/Time.
    • Standard Distribution comes with Plugin Hot Deployment.
    • Association Auto-Typing.
  • Improvements:
    • Meta model: more than one assoc def with the same child type are allowed.
    • Fine granular request filter.
    • Enable/disable workspace sharing modes.
    • Webclient: auto-scale images and videos.
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Configuration-free Plugin Hot Deployment.
    • Semantic markup in the detail panel.
    • Composite renderers.
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.7 -- Oct 23, 2015

  • New features:
    • Access controlled file repositories.
    • Per-user disk quota (for file uploads).
    • Enable/disable user accounts.
    • Webclient works also on touch devices.
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Configuration facility.
    • Webclient support for hierarchical menus.
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.6.1 -- Jul 15, 2015

4.6 -- May 31, 2015

  • New features:
    • Extended meta-model: association definitions with custom association types.
    • Refined Contacts model.
    • Error reporting.
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.5 -- Feb 4, 2015

  • New features:
    • Redesigned Access Control system.
    • 5 Workspace Sharing Modes.
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Service injection for migrations.
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.4.3 -- Jan 25, 2015

4.4.2 -- Jan 20, 2015

4.4.1 -- Nov 22, 2014

  • Changes
    • Support for deploying in an existing Karaf installation.
    • Standard Distribution artifacts are deployed at Maven Central.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fix composite association display. Was broken in DeepaMehta 4.4.
    • Fix composite topic/association label calculation.
    • Fix POST_UPDATE_TOPIC_REQUEST event firing / Modification date bubbling.
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.4 -- Oct 15, 2014

  • New features:
    • Webclient: create Custom Role Types.
    • Felix HTTP is replaced by OPS4J Pax Web.
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Service Injection.
    • Declarative Transactions.
    • 3 global parameters removed: "directives", "clientState", "fetchComposite".
  • Compatible with a new plugin (optional install):
    • DM4 Geospatial.
  • Upgraded 3rd-party software:
    • Jetty 7.6.13 -> Jetty 8.x.x (Servlet API 2.5 -> Servlet API 3.0)
    • Felix 3.2.2 -> Felix 4.4.1 (OSGi 4.2 -> OSGi 5)
  • For more changes and details see the release notes:

4.3 -- May 22, 2014

  • Plugin development framework:
    • More flexible file upload.
    • Adding index modes afterwards.
    • RESTful Facets service.
  • Compatible with 2 new plugins (optional install):
    • DM4 Wikidata browser.
    • DM4 Topicmap Import/Export.
  • More changes are in the release notes:

4.2 -- Feb 18, 2014

  • Compatible with 2 new plugins (optional install):
    • DM4 WebSockets 0.2: allows plugins to push messages and to react on messages received from clients.
    • DM4 D3.js Renderer 0.1: a topicmap renderer based on D3/SVG that utilizes an animated force layout.
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Custom Events: a plugin can define its own specific event types.
  • Updated 3rd-party components:
    • Jetty 6.1.2 -> 7.6.13
    • CKEditor 3.6.2 -> 4.3.2
  • More changes are in the release notes:

4.1.3 -- Dec 10, 2013

  • New features:
    • New topicmap look&feel through the Box Renderer plugin.
    • Support for complex data models, namely "Aggregated Composites".
    • Includes Apache Felix Gogo Shell: install/start/stop plugins without restart.
  • GUI improvements:
    • Topicmap Panel:
      • Create topics directly on the topicmap.
      • Associations are displayed along with their values.
      • The topicmap uses the full window height.
    • Detail Panel's "related topics" list:
      • Redundant topics are suppressed. Still revealable via page panel's upper area.
      • Topics are grouped by Topic Type. Association types are shown beneath the topics.
    • Menus:
      • Long menus have a scrollbar. The mouse wheel can be used for scrolling.
      • Menu items can be selected via 1-click gesture or 2-click gesture.
      • All menus can be controlled via keyboard.
  • Webclient changes:
    • The overall style is flat. No gradients.
    • All menus are based on the jQuery UI Menu widget.
  • Plugin development framework:
    • View Customization Framework for adapting the topicmap rendering.
    • More data binding (automatic sync'ing of DB and topicmap panel).
    • Utilizes Lists instead of Sets.
  • Release notes and full changelog:

4.1.2 -- Sep 7, 2013

4.1.1 -- Sep 1, 2013

  • Timestamps: topics and associations have creation and modification timestamps. Time API.
  • Exploiting the browser cache. Makes use of intrinsic HTTP features for reduced network traffic.
  • Edit conflict detection supports collaborative work. Fights the "lost update" problem.
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Property API for topic/association metadata. Trie-indexing. Range queries.
    • Flexible HTTP response generation in resource methods and event handlers.
  • Various bug fixes, in particular login/logout related issues.
  • See the full changelog in the release notes:

4.1 -- Mar 11, 2013

  • The first version with a data sustainability guarantee.
    • Data entered in DM 4.1 is guaranteed to be transferred to all future DM4 releases automatically.
  • Minor improvements in usability and functionality.
  • Crucial access control related bug fixes and other bug fixes.
  • Plugin development framework:
    • The core class CompositeValue is attached to the DB.
  • See more changes and details in the release notes:

4.0.14 -- Jan 30, 2013

  • Rewritten storage layer:
    • High-speed traversal: Traversal is significantly speed up by the means of a Lucene index for association metadata.
    • Compact architecture: DM-independent MehtaGraph abstraction. The additional bridging layer is dropped.
    • Modular storage layer: 3rd-party developers can implement alternate storage layers.
    • 1st-class associations: Association user data is indexed as well (just like topic user data).
  • Additional performance measures:
    • For DB read operations no transactions are created.
    • Delivering core events involves no runtime reflection.
  • See more changes and details in the release notes:

4.0.13 -- Dec 24, 2012

  • New features:
    • The Geomaps plugin is included: display geo-related topics on an OpenStreetMap.
    • Apache Karaf-based distribution for easy client-server setup and maintenance.
    • Association Type Editor: allows the user to create custom association types.
    • For developers: server-side HTML generation with Thymeleaf templates.
  • GUI improvements:
    • Cluster move: moving an association on the canvas moves the visually connected subnetwork.
    • More informative Page Panel: topics which are already visible on the canvas are displayed distinctively.
    • Differentiated gestures for revealing topics via the Page Panel: "reveal" vs. "reveals and focus".
    • More clearly arranged association listings in the Page Panel: associations are grouped by type.
    • Keyboard shortcut: create associations via shift-drag.
  • Other improvements:
    • Performance: revoke the performance loss introduced in version 4.0.12 in conjunction with Access Control.
    • Updated 3rd-party components, most notably Neo4j 1.2 -> 1.8
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Consume services by Java annotations.
    • A plugin's provided service is automatically picked up.
    • More efficient aggregation update logic and idempotent operations.
    • Client-side load mechanism for auxiliary scripts.
  • See more changes and details in the release notes:

4.0.12 -- Sep 18, 2012

  • New features:
    • Access Control foundation.
    • Backend security.
    • File repository.
  • New use cases:
    • Publishing of fully interactive read-only topicmaps.
    • Fully closed workgroup installations.
  • Improvements:
    • The detail panel lists the topics associated with the selected association.
    • Checkbox Renderer for multiple selection.
    • HTTPS is optional.
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Simplified plugin development (more Convention Over Configuration).
    • Fix: Hot Deployment works as expected.
    • The core service processes update requests where aggreagted composite child topics are involved.
    • For handling core events plugins implement listener interfaces instead of overriding methods.
    • A plugin's client-side main file and the custom renderer implementations are namespaced per URI.
    • New renderer type: Multi Renderer.
  • See more changes and details in the release notes:

4.0.11 -- May 19, 2012

  • Improvements:
    • Implicit Saving: the user must no longer care about saving (#243).
    • Consolidated data model: the "many" cardinality is operational (#76).
    • The graphical type editor is fully functional (#77).
    • Nested detail panel rendering (#104).
  • Fixes:
    • Links in the Associations list are truncated (#247).
    • Invalid association definitions doesn't prevent the Webclient from starting (#253).
  • Plugin development framework:
    • Revised FieldRenderer and PageRenderer APIs lead to more clean plugin code.
    • The core service accepts update requests in 2 formats: canonic and simplified.
  • Compatibility with 3 updated plugins:
    • DM4 Kiezatlas 2.0.1, DM4 Geomaps 0.3, DM4 Facets 0.3
  • See more changes and details in the release notes:

4.0.10 -- Mar 24, 2012

4.0.9 -- Feb 3, 2012

4.0.8 -- Feb 2, 2012

4.0.7 -- Jan 19, 2012

  • Compatibility with 1 new and 2 updated plugins:
    • DM4 Kiezatlas 2.0 (new): a geographical content management system.
    • DM4 Geomaps 0.2 (updated): displays geo-related topics on a geographical map.
    • DM4 Facets 0.2 (updated): introduces multi-typing to the DeepaMehta data model.
  • Improvements:
    • Auto-positioned topics appear near selection.
    • New "search result" icon.
  • Fixes:
    • The topicmap state (translation) is persistent after auto scroll.
    • Deleted associations resulting from combobox value changes are removed from the canvas.
  • See details in the release notes:

4.0.6 -- Nov 27, 2011

  • New feature for plugin developers:
    • Map type extension architecture: plugins can provide additional map types, e.g. a geo map or a time map.
  • Improvements/Fixes:
    • Topicmaps remember their translation.
    • Menus opened within dialog boxes are not constrained to the dialog box dimension.
  • Compatible with 2 new plugins (optional install):
    • DM4 Geomaps: displays topics on a geographical map.
    • DM4 Facets: introduces multi-typing to the DM data model.
  • See details in the release notes:

4.0.5 -- Oct 20, 2011

  • New features:
    • Custom topicmap backgrounds.
    • Functional browser back/forward buttons.
    • Permalinks.
  • Fixes:
    • The file related features work on Windows.
    • The file related features work if DeepaMehta runs behind an Apache reverse proxy.
  • See details in the release notes:

4.0.4 -- Sep 27, 2011

  • New features:
    • File management: View/play your text/image/audio/video/PDF files.
    • GUI customization (user-defined icons and topic labeling rules).
    • Daemon support.
  • Improvements:
    • First support for larger topic amounts
  • See details in the release notes:

4.0.3 -- Aug 22, 2011

  • New features:
    • Webbrowsing: render webpages directly in the content panel or in a separate window/tab.
    • Type search: query all topics of a given type
  • Improvements:
    • More intuitive Create menu
    • Create topics via keyboard
  • See details in the release notes:

4.0.2 -- Aug 2, 2011

  • Bug fix: proper character encoding (when using the binary distribution in a client/server setup)

4.0.1 -- Jul 28, 2011

  • Bug fix: retyping an association does not compromise role types

4.0 -- Jul 24, 2011

  • Complete new property-less data model. All values are represented as reusable semantics-attached topics.

  • Improvements for users:

    • new type editor
    • new topic type "Resource" for collecting web resources
    • cleaner display, less clutter
    • new icons
  • Improvements for developers:

    • New core service API. All the domain objects (Topic, Association, ...) are attached to the database. So, the developer must not care about DB-updates.
    • Domain models (type definitions) provided by a plugin can be build upon the domain models provided by other plugins. The dependencies are handled by the framework.

    The version planned as "DeepaMehta 3 v0.5" eventually become "DeepaMehta 4.0".
    From now on DeepaMehta version numbers follow the classic major.minor.bugfix schema.

DeepaMehta 3:

v0.4.5 -- May 1, 2011

  • Under the hood changes to support (new) developers:
    • Complete new build system based on pure Maven and Pax Runner (no shellscripts anymore).
    • Easy from-scratch setup of development environment. No manual Felix installation required.
    • Example plugin project included.
    • Testing support: Prepared test environments for your own tests. Core tests included.
    • Hot deployment: Changes are deployed immediately. No Felix shell interaction required (in most cases).
  • Under the hood core implementation changes:
    • Plugins publish their public API as OSGi service, consumable by other plugins.
    • Plugin and Core services are published at 2 endpoints (HTTP/REST and OSGi) solely by annotation.

v0.4.4 -- Jan 3, 2011

v0.4.3 -- Nov 25, 2010

  • Access Control (early state): configurable access privileges for users and groups.
  • Client starts automatically.
  • GUI improvement: Create topics on-the-spot via canvas context menu.
  • Better search result rendering: Result topics are shown in a dedicated "Search Result" field.
  • Better form layout: Text input/editor fields use the entire detail panel's width.

v0.4.2 -- Oct 26, 2010

  • Bug fix: The fulltext search works.

v0.4.1 -- Oct 16, 2010

  • Main features:
    • File handling: Representing local files as topics. View/play file contents (text, image, audio, video, PDF) right inside DeepaMehta.
    • Folder Canvas plugin (optional installation): Representing a local folder as a synchronizable topicmap.
    • Nautilus plugin (optional installation): Put a folder under DeepaMehta control right from the GNOME desktop.
  • GUI: canvas size is adjustable by the means of a split pane.
  • Bug fixes, e.g. menus are closed when clicked elsewhere.

v0.4 -- Aug 4, 2010

  • Completely new backend architecture:
    • CouchDB is replaced by Neo4j. Storage layer abstraction.
    • Application server in the middle-tier (Java), accessible via REST API.
    • All DeepaMehta modules are OSGi bundles.
    • Plugins can contain both, application logic (server-side Java) and presentation logic (client-side Javascript).
    • DB migration facility.
  • Bulk creation tool.
  • Hot deployment: install and update plugins on a running system.
  • More browsers supported: Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
  • Easy local installation, updating, and deinstallation.

v0.3 -- Mar 6, 2010

  • Persistent topicmaps (plugin DM3 Topicmaps)
  • Type editor (plugin DM3 Type Editor)
  • Icon picker (plugin DM3 Icons)
  • New topic type To Do (plugin DM3 Project)
  • More flexible plugin developer framework

v0.2 -- Dec 1, 2009

  • Framework for plugin developers
  • Autocompletion facility
  • Topics have icons
  • jQuery UI based GUI
  • 7 general purpose plugins (DM3 Time, DM3 Workspaces, DM3 Contacts, DM3 Email, DM3 Import, DM3 Accounts, DM3 Typing) and 1 custom application (Poemspace) available

v0.1 -- Sep 15, 2009

  • Basic functionality (Creating notes, edit, delete. Relate notes to other notes, navigate alongside relations. Attach files to notes. Fulltext searching in notes, also in attachments. Graphical network display of related notes.)

Version history of DeepaMehta 1 and DeepaMehta 2:

Jörg Richter
Sep 3, 2018