Quick Start Guide


About the Web Curator Tool

The Web Curator Tool is a tool for managing the selective web harvesting process. It is typically used at national libraries and other collecting institutions to preserve online documentary heritage.

Unlike previous tools, it is enterprise-class software, and is designed for non-technical users like librarians. The software is developed jointly by the National Library of New Zealand and the National Library of the Netherlands, and released as open source software for the benefit of the international collecting community.

About this document

This document describes how to set up the Web Curator Tool on a Linux system in the simplest possible way. Its intended audience are users who want to quickly install and try out the software.

For a proper production set up, see the System Administrator Guide



  • Java 8 or higher
  • MySQL 5.0.95 or newer. PostgreSQL and Oracle are also supported, but in this Quick Start Guide we’ll be using MySQL/MariaDB
  • Heritrix 3.3.0 or newer

Setting up Heritrix 3

We’re assuming that Java and MySQL have already been set up. For Heritrix 3.3.0, we’ll be using a recent stable build of the 3.3.0 branch. The Heritrix 3 Github wiki contains a section detailing the current master builds available https://github.com/internetarchive/heritrix3/wiki#master-builds.

Unzip the archive containing the Heritrix binary, go into the resulting directory and execute the following:

user@host:/usr/local/heritrix-3.3.0-SNAPSHOT$ cd bin
user@host:/usr/local/heritrix-3.3.0-SNAPSHOT/bin$ ./heritrix -a admin

This starts up Heritrix with the password “admin” for the user admin, which is the default set of credentials used by the WCT Harvest Agent. You can also specify the Heritrix jobs directory using the -j parameter. Otherwise the default will be used <HERITRIX_HOME>/jobs.

Creating the database

Download the latest stable binary WCT release from https://github.com/WebCuratorTool/webcurator/releases/. Extract the archive and go into the resulting directory (in our case /tmp/wct). Then, to create the WCT database and its objects, run the script set-up-mysql.sh (found in the db subdirectory):

user@host:/tmp/wct$ cd db
user@host:/tmp/wct/db$ ./set-up-mysql.sh

You’ll need to set the variable $MYSQL_PWD in this script to the correct value for your MySQL installation.

Deploying and configuring the WCT components

To deploy the WCT components, copy the files inside the /tmp/wct/lib/ folder to an appropriate directory for running the application.

user@host:/tmp/wct$ cd lib
user@host:/tmp/wct/lib$ cp * /usr/local/wct


By default WCT assumes the existence of a directory /usr/local/wct, where it stores all its files. If you want to follow this default, make sure that this directory exists and is writable for the user that will run the application.

To use an alternative location, create a file application.properties inside the directory where you’ve copied the war files, with the following content:


where the parent directory (in this case /tmp/wct-files) must exist and be writable for the application. The value of arcDigitalAssetStoreService.baseDir is the directory where the store component will store the harvest data (logs, warc files) and harvestAgent.baseHarvestDirectory is the temporary storage location for the harvest agent.

Note, the harvestAgent.baseHarvestDirectory path cannot match the Heritrix 3 jobs directory. This will cause a conflict within the H3 Harvest Agent.

You can now start WCT by running the following commands, after which you should be able to login at http://localhost:8080/wct, using the user ‘bootstrap’ and password ‘password’.

user@host:/usr/local/wct$ java -jar webcurator-webapp-3.0.0.war
user@host:/usr/local/wct$ java -jar webcurator-store-3.0.0.war
user@host:/usr/local/wct$ java -jar webcurator-harvest-agent-h3-3.0.0.jar

Note, a logs folder will be created automatically in the directory you run the WCT components in, e.g. /usr/local/wct/logs.

You can now create users and roles and configure the system. Refer to the User Manual for more information.


This document only covers the most simple scenario for setting up WCT and will probably not result in a system that meets the production requirements of your organisation. Important topics that have not been covered here: