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4.2.9 Deb install on Mint

OSCAR can be installed on many flavours of Linux including Mint. while OSCAR now builds on Java 7 and this is a tested method, most of the community currently uses Sun Java 6 and so there is not much experience using Oracle Java 7


This basic install is adequate for a local install of OSCAR with encrypted backup script and Secure Socket Layer technology. 

Document Version History

  • v1.0 – initial public release to – August 28, 2012

 copyright © 2012-2013 by Peter Hutten-Czapski MD under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License



  1. Preface
    1. Document Version History
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Installing The Infrastructure Packages
  4. Installing OSCAR
  5. Trying It Out
  6. Appendices
    1. Upgrade
    2. Command line use


It is assumed that

  1. You are using suitable hardware.  While the OSCAR server runs on a Raspberry pi ARM with 512MB, for production use we recommend a pair of new $500 desktops with 4GB RAM for 1-3 MD's increasing to server specific designed machines with 16GB for 7+ MD's.
  2. You have installed a Debian based Linux.  Here we display OSCAR install on Mint 13 LTS.  Note that to avoid the (intermittant) Diffie-Hellman key exchange error (a Java 7 bug) that causes the

    SSL: Peer reports it experienced an internal error with Firefox we recommend Tomcat 6.0.33 or newer

  3. You have a basic level of Linux knowledge and you can open a Linux terminal
  4. You can cut and paste EXACTLY the following instructions
NOTE: Firefox will copy with Control+C while a Linux terminal requires Shift+Control+V for paste

Installing The Infrastructure Packages

If you have previously installed OSCAR you have already done this...... so skip to the Installing OSCAR section. 

Java 7 and Tomcat 6

OSCAR is written in the Java programming language. This means that most Java's will work but only sun-java6 and its successor, oracle-java7 are likely to work with all of OSCAR's features.  Oracle-Java7 can be installed using a custom script.  Type (or better paste) the following lines into an open Linux terminal window. 

wget -O --no-check-certificate

Once you have the oab script make it executable and run it thus.

chmod +x
sudo ./ -7

The script packages and creates a local repository for oracle-java7 .  The downloading of the initial packages needed to build might take several minutes.  When it is all done you can install Java with a conventional

sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-jre

You then need to select it as the default java

sudo update-alternatives --config java

This will give you options of java for your system, in this example you would pick 2 for Oracle Java 7

There are 2 choices for the alternative java (providing /usr/bin/java).

Selection Path Priority Status
* 0 /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/java 1061 auto mode
1 /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre-amd64/bin/java 1061 manual mode
2 /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle/jre/bin/java 53 manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 2

Check the version of your new JDK installation to confirm you have the version you want (your version should be 1.7 but may have a newer subversion):

$sudo java -version
java version "1.7.0_21"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_21-b11)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.21-b01, mixed mode)

Now get the other dependencies including Tomcat 6 which is needed to present OSCAR's webpages to your internet browser.

sudo apt-get install tomcat6 libmysql-java curl


Your specific CMS data, profiles, and information will all be stored in the MySQL5.5 database.  You can use the latest version of MySQL obtained with:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

This installation sequence will ask you for a secure password for the database server as below.  Enter it, [tab] to the <Ok> and [enter].

 MySQL password

You will be prompted to enter the password again to verify.  We recommend that you use numbers and letters in the password but do not use any of the symbols "#,!, &,*, (, ), / , \ and $" .

Remember this password as you will need it again later in the installation.

NOTE INTERNATIONAL INSTALLATION: For OSCAR in other languages READ the International Install section before proceeding any further

Installing OSCAR

Download the OSCAR deb package from Sourceforge.  Note that the latest filename or path may be slightly different.  Use the latest one at


 Now simply run the package (try double clicking or the following command) and follow the instructions (Note this should uninstall any previous deb installed OSCAR, but will preserve its database)

sudo dpkg -i oscar_mcmaster12.1-3.1general128.deb

The deb will provide feedback as to what it is doing however if you want more verbose details open another terminal window and invoke

tail -f /usr/share/OscarMcmaster/Oscar12.1install.log

Install OSCAR Step 1

New installs get the following install screens. (for upgrades see Appendix 1 below)

12 Password

Start by providing the MySQL password you assigned when you installed MySQL.

12 Province

 A screen will present and ask for your localization preference for billing.  If you are in BC pick BC and if you are in neither province (or not in Canada) then pick Other. The default is Ontario.

12 Phone Prefix

Optionally supply your particular phone prefix as a convenience for when patients are added to the demographics database.   This prefix can always be easily overwritten by front office staff as needed but saves keystrokes for them and reduces the opportunity for data entry errors.

In urban areas we suggest that you just add the area code, in rural areas it might be longer eg 705-6 for exchanges in Haileybury, New Liskeard, Latchford, Cobalt and Dymond

12_1 fax config

The fax support that this option configures is global and includes signature and some other support.  However to take full advantage of these features

  1. You must use Firefox for the newer Rich Text Letter to work (Chromium is no longer supported in the new RTL with signature and fax support)
  2. You must have OSCAR configured as per Security Hardening including and specifically https on port 8443 for printing or faxing (the deb takes care of this for most cases)
  3. Also Lan Faxing needs to be configured on your server for facsimile transmissions
  4. While you can mouse sign the results are poorer than if you sign on another device (track pad etc)

12 Demo

This window will give you the option to populate the database with a demo patient with which to develop familiarity with OSCAR.  As mentioned you cam remove the demo data later with the  /usr/share/OscarMcmaster/undemo.sql

12_1 Eye form

The Eyeform version is the most developed of the specialist interfaces possible with OSCAR.  The default is no.

12_1 intake

Most people will want access to the intake form.

12_1 contacts

The new contacts interface is optional.

These settings, and more, can be changed manually through editing /usr/share/tomcat6/

Oscar/Tomcat need to restart whenever the properties file is modified to have the settings take effect.

Install OSCAR Step 2

12_1 Console Dialog Oscar Install

Allow for a minute or two for the deb to run.  Once Tomcat restarts and your login credentials are presented you will be given back the prompt.

and once installed don't forget to read the readme!

less /usr/share/OscarMcmaster/README.txt 

Trying It Out

At this point you have a fairly plain install. To test the connection, open your web browser and go to your the web address of your server.  While most browsers will work, for production use we recommend FireFox ESR version.  You should see the OSCAR login page with clicking on one of the following links.

In most cases you will be prompted to reach your SSL secured OSCAR server at https://localhost:8443/Oscar12_1

Rarely if the installer was unable to configure SSL for you, the deb will warn you that your installation may be INSECURE but will work at http://localhost:8080/Oscar12_1

In the latter case, if  you had not already done so please manually secure your Oscar server using instructions for Security Hardening

12_1 Login screen on Mint 13 Cinnamon

 The default login parameters for OSCAR are given at console output at step two above and duplicated below as follows:

User Name: oscardoc
Password: mac2002
2nd Level Passcode: 1117


If you can login then you have successfully installed a plain OSCAR and you can start playing with it.

Appendix 1 Upgrading from older deb installations

Note that this deb will replace (or attempt to replace) any older deb installed program if it can find one

(it will NOT overwrite the previous database, but like upgrading firefox, the previous program itself will be gone)

Please note that any upgrade of production essential systems, requires a prior backup... which is good practice anyway

 12 Upgrade




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