Please note: The main Blacklight website is projectblacklight.org
Some background information
Blacklight is open source discovery software. Libraries (or anyone else) can use Blacklight to enable searching and browsing of their collections online. Blacklight uses the Apache SOLR ( lucene.apache.org/solr ) search engine to index and search full text and/or metadata, and Blacklight has a highly configurable Ruby on Rails front-end. Currently, Blacklight can index, search, and provide faceted browsing for MaRC records and EAD XML files, and support is planned for Dublin Core and MODS as well. Blacklight was originally developed at the University of Virginia Library and is made public under an Apache 2.0 license. As of version 2.3.0 (released July 31, 2009), Blacklight is distributed as a rails engines plugin and also as a demo rails application that uses an engines Blacklight plugin.
Which one should I install?
There are two ways of installing Blacklight. You can either install a pre-configured demo app, which already has the Blacklight plugin installed and integrated, or you can install the plugin into an existing rails application.
If you're just getting started with Blacklight and want to get something up and running relatively quickly, start by installing the demo app. This will give you a good introduction to the pieces of the Blacklight system before you start customizing your own installation.
If you want to integrate Blacklight search and discovery into another rails app, or if you already have a customized copy of Blacklight and you only want to upgrade the plugin, you'll want the plugin installation instructions.
Whichever method you choose for installation, be sure you have all the pre-requisites in place. You can find these detailed in PRE-REQUISITES.rdoc
Installing Blacklight 2.4 (recommended):
rails ./blacklight-app -m http://github.com/projectblacklight/blacklight/raw/v2.4.1/template.rb
Installing the “trunk”, or master branch:
rails ./blacklight-app -m http://github.com/projectblacklight/blacklight/raw/master/template.rb
After the installation process, make note of the instructions for starting Solr and indexing data. Blacklight depends on Solr so be sure it is running. Start Solr
The template will give you instructions on how to start Solr, copied here for convenience:
cd jetty java -jar start.jar
This starts an instance of jetty with Solr running on port 8983. If you want to start on another port, use Java's -D argument:
java -Djetty.port=8888 -jar start.jar
Once you start it you can run your Rails app and it will use this SOLR index (expected on port 8983).
Now navigate to localhost:3000 and you should have a working demo blacklight application with the test data set!