Backup with time stamp and automatic deletion of old files

Scheduling Koha backup can save the time of the library staff. Know the backup date and time from the filename (e.g. koha_library-25-04-2017-20.08.sql.gz) is very convenient. Entry to delete old files remove backup files older than stated days (e.g. 5 days) and avoid the heap of files in the computer/cloud storage.

Cron is a utility available in Linux Operating system, which helpful to schedule various tasks (e.g. Backup Koha database in a particular time). User has to record the desired tasks in Crontab file with time to execute.

Install Koha on Ubuntu 16.04

Install Ubuntu 16.04 and update
Koha can install on various Ubuntu flavors like Ubuntu MATE/Xubuntu/Lubuntu. Xubuntu and Lubuntu are lightweight (fast performance) Ubuntu flavors. Download Linux iso file from the Ubuntu MATE/Xubuntu/Lubuntu websites. Burn in a DVD or pen drive. Install the Linux operating system. 

Open Terminal and get ready for installation
Open Applications > System Tools > Terminal and execute commands one by one mentioned in this page.

Update Ubuntu
This process will update the Linux operating system latest by downloading new packages.

sudo su
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

Install Leafpad text editor
Leafpad is a lightweight text editor, which require to open configuration files while the installation process of Koha.

apt-get install leafpad

Data entry in regional languages using Google Chrome Input Tools extension

Google Input Tool is helpful to type various languages without any hassle. Google Input Tool now has Chrome browser extension. User can type regional languages without leaving Chrome browser. 

The Google Input Tools extension provides virtual keyboards for over 90 languages, full IMEs or direct transliteration for over 30 different scripts, and handwriting input for over 40 languages.

Use of borrowers-force-messaging-defaults script

This script create messaging preferences for all existing borrowers and set them to default values defined for the category they belong to. Otherwise staff user has to modify the messaging preferences of each patron one by one. Follow the instructions to run the borrowers-force-messaging-defaults script.

Load environment variables

sudo su
export PERL5LIB="/usr/share/koha/lib"
export KOHA_CONF="/etc/koha/sites/library/koha-conf.xml"

Run borrowers-force-messaging-defaults script.

cd /usr/share/koha/bin/maintenance
perl borrowers-force-messaging-defaults --doit

The script was useful when SMS notifications enabled.  After the installation SMS driver, new empty SMS notification option appeared in patron messaging prerences. The script can copy default messaging preferences of Patron categories to all patrons profiles.

Copy all mobile numbers from "phone" to "smsalertnumber".

Often mobile number of patron entered in the "phone" field in "borrowers" table. Koha users need SMS notifications have to install driver. After the installation of SMS driver, an additonal field "smsalertnumber" will generate. The field does not contain phone number. Where we have to enter the mobile number. Its tedious task to copy each mobile number from the field "phone" to "smsalertnumber". 

Here is an easy method to copy all mobile number from "phone" field to "smsalertnumber". Apply following SQL query:

sudo su
mysql -uroot -p

use koha_library;
UPDATE `borrowers` SET smsalertnumber=phone;


Koha on Debian: a vanilla experience

A few days back I downloaded Debian 8 (Jessies) with XFCE desktop. My aim was to install and experience the performance of Koha on Debian Jessie. I used to install Koha on Lubuntu / Xubuntu (LXDE and XFCE desktop on Ubuntu). Both Linux flavours considered as lightweight desktops;  it means they do not consume much computer resources (RAM, Processor) while working. Unity desktop is the default desktop of Ubuntu. Unity considered as resource hungry due to its graphics and visual effects (gimmicks!!). Lubuntu and Xubuntu available with toppings (user-friendly modifications and beautifications) on LXDE and XFCE desktop. In certain extend, Lubuntu and Xubuntu can offer friendly experience to new Linux users. Lubuntu/Xubuntu toppings eat little more computer resources than vanilla XFCE and LXDE.

Missing libgd-perl

If you see following message while execute Koha installation command,

sudo apt-get install koha-common 

"The following packages have unmet dependencies:koha-common : Depends: libgd-perl but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages."

Don't worry, it means user has to install libgd-perl package.
Solution is that install the missing package using the following command,

sudo apt-get install libgd-perl