Sufia Version Build Status Dependency Status

What is Sufia?

Sufia is a component that adds self-deposit institutional repository features to a Rails app. Sufia is created with Ruby on Rails and builds on the Hydra Framework.

Sufia has the following features:

  • Multiple file, or folder, upload
  • Flexible user- and group-based access controls
  • Transcoding of audio and video files
  • Generation and validation of identifiers
  • Fixity checking
  • Version control
  • Characterization of uploaded files
  • Forms for batch editing metadata
  • Faceted search and browse
  • Social media interaction
  • User profiles
  • User dashboard for file management
  • Highlighted files on profile
  • Sharing w/ groups and users
  • User notifications
  • Activity streams
  • Background jobs
  • Single-use links
  • Google Analytics for usage statistics
  • Integration w/ cloud storage providers
  • Google Scholar-specific metadata embedding
  • microdata, Open Graph meta tags, and Twitter cards for rich snippets
  • User-managed collections for grouping files
  • Full-text indexing & searching
  • Responsive, fluid, Bootstrap 3-based UI
  • Dynamically configurable featured works and researchers on homepage
  • Proxy deposit and transfers of ownership


Sufia is available under the Apache 2.0 license.


We'd love to accept your contributions. Please see our guide to contributing to Sufia.

Sufia needs the following software to work:

  1. Solr
  2. Fedora Commons digital repository
  3. A SQL RDBMS (MySQL, SQLite)
  4. Redis key-value store
  5. ImageMagick
  6. Ruby

!! Ensure that you have all of the above components installed before you continue. !!

Need Help?

If you have questions or need help, please email the Hydra community development list.

Creating an application

Generate base Rails install

rails new my_app

Add gems to Gemfile

gem 'sufia', '~> 4.0.0'
gem 'kaminari', github: 'harai/kaminari', branch: 'route_prefix_prototype'  # required to handle pagination properly in dashboard. See

Then bundle install

Run the sufia generator

rails generate sufia:install -f

Run the migrations

rake db:migrate

Get a copy of jetty (Solr and Fedora)

rake jetty:clean
rake sufia:jetty:config
rake jetty:start

To use the CSS and JavaScript and other assets that ship with Sufia...

Modify app/assets/stylesheets/application.css

Add this line:

 *= require sufia

Remove this line: *= require_tree .

Removing the require_tree from application.css will ensure you're not loading the blacklight.css. This is because blacklight's css styling does not mix well with sufia's default styling.

Modify app/assets/javascripts/application.js

Add this line at the bottom of the file:

//= require sufia

Remove this line, if present (typically, when using Rails 4):

//= require turbolinks

Turbolinks does not mix well with Blacklight.

Install Notes


The line with kaminari listed as a dependency in Gemfile is a temporary fix to address a problem in the current release of kaminari. Technically you should not have to list kaminari, which is a dependency of blacklight and sufia.


Users have reported problems with the initial bundle install command, seeing an error such as:

Bundler could not find compatible versions for gem "bootstrap-sass":
  In Gemfile:
    sufia (~> 4.0.0) ruby depends on
      bootstrap-sass (< 3.2) ruby

    sufia (~> 4.0.0) ruby depends on
      bootstrap-sass (

The solution is to update your bundler gem to the latest version.

Proxies and Transfers

To add proxies and transfers to your Sufia 4-based app, run the 'sufia:models:proxies' generator and then run 'rake db:migrate'.


Sufia provides support for capturing usage information via Google Analytics and for displaying usage stats in the UI.

Capturing usage

To enable the Google Analytics javascript snippet, make sure that config.google_analytics_id is set in your app within the config/initializers/sufia.rb file. A Google Analytics ID typically looks like UA-99999999-1.

Displaying usage

To display data from Google Analytics in the UI, first head to the Google Developers Console and create a new project:

Let's assume for now Google assigns it a project ID of foo-bar-123. It may take a few seconds for this to complete (watch the Activities bar near the bottom of the browser). Once it's complete, enable the Google+ and Google Analytics APIs here (note: this is an example URL -- you'll have to change the project ID to match yours):

Finally, head to this URL (note: this is an example URL -- you'll have to change the project ID to match yours):

And create a new OAuth client ID. When prompted for the type, use the "Service Account" type. This will give you the OAuth client ID, a client email address, a private key file, a private key secret/password, which you will need in the next step.

Then run this generator:

rails g sufia:models:usagestats

The generator will create a configuration file at config/analytics.yml. Edit that file to reflect the information that the Google Developer Console gave you earlier, namely you'll need to provide it:

  • The path to the private key
  • The password/secret for the privatekey
  • The OAuth client email
  • An application name (you can make this up)
  • An application version (you can make this up)

Lastly, you will need to set = true in config/initializers/sufia.rb and ensure that the OAuth client email has the proper access within your Google Analyics account. To do so, go to the Admin tab for your Google Analytics account. Click on User Management, in the Account column, and add "Read & Analyze" permissions for the OAuth client email address.

To use browse-everything

Sufia provides built-in support for the browse-everything gem, which provides a consolidated file picker experience for selecting files from DropBox, Skydrive, Google Drive, Box, and a server-side directory share.

To activate browse-everything in your sufia app, run the browse-everything config generator

rails g browse_everything:config

This will generate a file at config/browse_everything_providers.yml. Open that file and enter the API keys for the providers that you want to support in your app. For more info on configuring browse-everything, go to the project page on github.

After running the browse-everything config generator and setting the API keys for the desired providers, an extra tab will appear in your app's Upload page allowing users to pick files from those providers and submit them into your app's repository.

Note: If you want to use the built-in browse-everything support, you need to include the browse-everything css and javascript files. If you already included the sufia css and javascript (see above), then you don't need to do anything. Otherwise, follow the instructions in the browse-everything README page

If your config/initializers/sufia.rb was generated with sufia 3.7.2 or older, then you need to add this line to an initializer (probably _config/initializers/sufia.rb _):

config.browse_everything = BrowseEverything.config


  1. Go to and download a copy of fits & unpack it somewhere on your machine. You can also install fits on OSX with homebrew brew install fits (you may also have to create a symlink from -> fits in the next step).
  2. Give your system access to fits
    1. By adding the path to to your excutable PATH. (ex. in your .bashrc)
      • OR
    2. By adding/changing config/initializers/sufia.rb to point to your fits location: config.fits_path = "/<your full path>/"
  3. You may additionally need to chmod the (chmod a+x
  4. You may need to restart your shell to pick up the changes to your path
  5. You should be able to run "" from the command line and see a help message

Start background workers

Note: Resque relies on the redis key-value store. You must install redis on your system and have redis running in order for this command to work. To start redis, you usually want to call the redis-server command.

QUEUE=* rake environment resque:work

For production you may want to set up a config/resque-pool.yml and run resque pool in daemon mode

resque-pool --daemon --environment development start

See for more options

If you want to enable transcoding of video, install ffmpeg version 1.0+

On a mac

Use homebrew:

brew install ffmpeg --with-fdk-aac --with-libvpx --with-libvorbis

Tag Cloud

Sufia provides a tag cloud on the home page. To change which field is displayed in that cloud, change the value of config.tag_cloud_field_name in the blacklight_config section of your CatalogController. For example:

configure_blacklight do |config|

  # Specify which field to use in the tag cloud on the homepage.
  # To disable the tag cloud, comment out this line.
  config.tag_cloud_field_name = Solrizer.solr_name("desc_metadata__tag", :facetable)

If your CatalogController was generated by a version of sufia older than 3.7.3 you need to add that line to the blacklight configuration in order to make the tag cloud appear.

The contents of the cloud are retrieved as JSON from Blacklight's CatalogController#facet method. If you need to change how that content is returned (ie. if you need to limit the number of results), override the render_facet_list_as_json method in your CatalogController.

On Ubuntu Linux



This information is for people who want to modify the engine itself, not an application that uses the engine:

run the tests

rake clean spec

Change validation behavior

To change what happens to files that fail validation add an after_validation hook

    after_validation :dump_infected_files

    def dump_infected_files
      if Array(errors.get(:content)).any? { |msg| msg =~ /A virus was found/ }
        content.content = errors.get(:content)


This software has been developed by and is brought to you by the Hydra community. Learn more at the Project Hydra website

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