Developers often only deploy Dataverse to their Development Environment but it can be useful to deploy Dataverse to cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Deploying Dataverse to Amazon Web Services (AWS)

We have written scripts to deploy Dataverse to Amazon Web Services (AWS) but they require some setup.

Install AWS CLI

First, you need to have AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) installed, which is called aws in your terminal. Launching your terminal and running the following command to print out the version of AWS CLI will tell you if it is installed or not:

aws --version

If you have not yet installed AWS CLI you should install it by following the instructions at

Afterwards, you should re-run the “version” command above to verify that AWS CLI has been properly installed. If “version” still doesn’t work, read on for troubleshooting advice. If “version” works, you can skip down to the “Configure AWS CLI” step.

Troubleshooting “aws: command not found”

Please note that as of this writing the AWS docs are not especially clear about how to fix errors such as aws: command not found. If the AWS CLI cannot be found after you followed the AWS installation docs, it is very likely that the aws program is not in your $PATH. $PATH is an “environment variable” that tells your shell (usually Bash) where to look for programs.

To see what $PATH is set to, run the following command:

echo $PATH

On Mac, to update your $PATH to include the location where the current AWS docs install AWS CLI on the version of Python included with your Mac, run the following command:

export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/Library/Python/2.7/bin

After all this, you can try the “version” command again.

Note that it’s possible to add an export line like the one above to your ~/.bash_profile file so you don’t have to run it yourself when you open a new terminal.

Configure AWS CLI

Next you need to configure AWS CLI.

Create a .aws directory in your home directory (which is called ~) like this:

mkdir ~/.aws

We will be creating two plain text files in the .aws directory and it is important that these files do not end in “.txt” or any other extension. After creating the files, you can verify their names with the following command:

ls ~/.aws

Create a plain text file at ~/.aws/config with the following content:

region = us-east-1

Please note that at this time the region must be set to “us-east-1” but in the future we could improve our scripts to support other regions.

Create a plain text file at ~/.aws/credentials with the following content:

aws_access_key_id = XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Then update the file and replace the values for “aws_access_key_id” and “aws_secret_access_key” with your actual credentials by following the instructions at

If you are having trouble configuring the files manually as described above, see which documents the aws configure command.

Configure ~/.dataverse/ec2.env

In order to publish datasets you must configure a file at ~/.dataverse/ec2.env and contact DataCite at to ask for a test username and password.

Create a .dataverse directory in your home directory like this:

mkdir ~/.dataverse

Download ec2.env and put it in the directory at ~/.dataverse that you just created. From the command line, you can try the command below to move the file into place:

mv ~/Downloads/ec2.env ~/.dataverse

Edit the file at ~/.dataverse/ec2.env and fill in username and password from DataCite into the following fields:

  • dataverse_doi_username
  • dataverse_doi_password

Download and Run the “Create Instance” Script

Once you have done the configuration above, you are ready to try running the “create instance” script to spin up Dataverse in AWS.

Download and put it somewhere reasonable. For the purpose of these instructions we’ll assume it’s in the “Downloads” directory in your home directory.

You need to decide which branch you’d like to deploy to AWS. Select a branch from such as “develop” and pass it to the script with -b as in the following example. (Branches such as “master” and “develop” are described in the Version Control section.)

bash ~/Downloads/ -b develop

You must specify the branch with -b but you can also specify a non-IQSS git repo URL with -r as in the following example.

bash ~/Downloads/ -b develop -r

Now you will need to wait around 15 minutes until the deployment is finished. Eventually, the output should tell you how to access the installation of Dataverse in a web browser or via ssh. It will also provide instructions on how to delete the instance when you are finished with it. Please be aware that AWS charges per minute for a running instance. You can also delete your instance from .


Please note that while the script should work fine on newish branches, older branches that have different dependencies such as an older version of Solr are now expected to yield a working Dataverse installation. Your mileage may vary.

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