Setting up UK Web Archive's Shine on OS X

Shawn Dickinson and Ian Milligan (Web Archives for Historical Research Group)
Tested by David Hussey

Do you have a lot of WARCs that you want to discover? The UK Web Archive's Shine browser is a "Prototype SOLR-powered web archive exploration UI." It's perfect for what historians might want to do with WARCs. This is an attempt at an easy-to-understand walkthrough to harness the power of Shine for your own collections. If you have any questions, don't hestiate to contact us via Ian at

Check out Shine in action below:

Shine in action

Step One: Setting up WebArchive-Discovery

Adapted from

Dependencies: - Brew (follow the link to install brew, a hpandy package manager for OS X) - Java 1.7 or higher - Maven (brew install maven) - Git (brew install git)

Clone webarchive-discovery

In the directory where you want to install it, use:

git clone

Recursively cloning makes sure it includes submodules, such as bootstrap.


cd webarchive-discovery/warc-solr-test-server

mvn jetty:run-exploded

This will initialize the solr test server. Keep it running.

Set up the WARC Ingestor

You will need to download the JAR, suggested by the wiki and available here and place it in the correct folder. We downloaded warc-indexer-2.0.1-SNAPSHOT-jar-with-dependencies.jar. Direct link for curl/wget is:

For example data: Run the below command, replacing SNAPSHOT with the correct snapshot id from the file that was downloaded.

java -jar warc-indexer-2.0.1-SNAPSHOT-jar-with-dependencies.jar  -s http://localhost:8080/discovery -t warc-indexer/src/test/resources/wikipedia-mona-lisa/flashfrozen-jwat-recompressed.warc.gz

For own data: you can point it to whatever directory your warc.gz or arc.gz files are, a la:

java -jar warc-indexer-2.0.1-20150116.110435-2-jar-with-dependencies.jar -s http://localhost:8080/discovery -t /Users/ianmilligan1/dropbox/sample-WARCs/*.warc.gz

This may throw lots of errors, as ill-formed HTML causes issues - i.e. "img" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "". when using wild web data, this causes trouble. You can monitor progress in both this widow, as well as the previous one you have running the solr-test server. You'll see some interesting artefacts.

If you're ingesting a lot of ARCs/WARCs, you may want to run a quick bash script a la (you will of course need to change the directory where you have the indexer-jar):

# run in directory with WARCs on local node, headless prevents focus stealing (will drive you crazy)

for f in *.warc.gz # if using arcs change to *.arc.gz or if both *.gz
    echo "Processing $f"
    java -Djava.awt.headless=true -jar /volumes/WAHR-SolrTest/webarchive-discovery/warc-indexer-2.0.1-20150116.110435-2-jar-with-dependencies.jar -s http://localhost:8080/discovery -t $f

Step Two: Setting up shine

Dependencies: - Typesafe Activator (brew install typesafe-activator) - Postgres (brew install postgres)

First, clone the shine repo with the following command:

git clone --recursive

Play framework

Note that the play framework was replaced with typesafe-activator. From here on replace any play commands that you might find in other documentation with activator.

Initialize shine by cd shine/shine and activator run

On the default installation, the "random results" on the Trend page won't work. If you change line 180 of /shine/shine/app/controllers/ from random_12 to the actual field name of id, the issue will work. The new code block shoudl look like in part:

// Grab the baseline data:
params.put("sort",Arrays.asList(new String[] { "id" } ));
params.put("", Arrays.asList(new String[] { year } ));
Query sample = new Query(query,params);
// Do the search:
sample =,100);


Initialize the Postgres server by running pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres -l /usr/local/var/postgres/server.log start. You can also manually stop the server at any time with pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres stop -s -m fast.

If you want to monitor activity, the command postgres -D /usr/local/var/postgres will let you. This should run in the background (you will need to open a new terminal window as this will continue).

When starting this for the first time, you will also have to use the following commands:

createuser -P shine and enter a password for the user (this creates a db user with the name "shine" and your given password). Note that if you use a special character (such as !) in your password, you will need to enclose it with double quotation marks.

createdb -O shine shine (this creates a db named "shine" with the user "shine" as its owner).

In shine/shine/conf/application.conf make the following changes. Comment out line 92 and uncomment line 93, so the host section looks like:

#host = "",
#host = "",
#host = "",
#host = "",
host = "http://localhost:8080/discovery/",
#host = ""

On line 47, replace the default password with the password you previously created for the db user. The code block should look like:


Where yourpassword is the password you generated with the createuser command.

Opening shine in the browser (http://localhost:9000), you should have a button to "Apply this script now!" -- click it and run the setup SQL scripts

Step Three: Use Shine

Navigate to http://localhost:9000/shine to begin using. Note that simply using http://localhost:9000/ will lead to errors.

If in the future, you want to re-active it, you can use this collection of easy-to-use scripts here: Simply download the files, give them privileges with chmod +x and chmod +x and then run It will launch two terminal windows for the application to run.


Solr Indexing Heap Space Issues

If the Solr index grows too large (mine is about 80GB), you may need to pass some more memory parameters to get it running on some machines. On a laptop with 16GB of memory, this command did the trick when initializing the server:

MAVEN_OPTS='-Xmx12g -Xms1g -XX:+UseParNewGC -XX:+CMSParallelRemarkEnabled -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC -XX:ParallelGCThreads=4' mvn jetty:run-exploded

Thanks to @ruebot, @anjackson, @tokee.

Default Search Query

By default, the query will be "big data" between 1996 and 2010. You might want to change that for your collections. To do so, open: shine/shine/target/scala-2.10/src_managed/main/routes_routing.scala and change the default query on line 280. i.e. mine now reads:

// @LINE:28
case controllers_Search_plot_graph10(params) => {
   call(params.fromQuery[String]("query", Some("recession,depression")), params.fromQuery[String]("year_start", Some("2005")), params.fromQuery[String]("year_end", Some("2015"))) { (query, year_start, year_end) =>
        invokeHandler(controllers.Search.plot_graph(query, year_start, year_end), HandlerDef(this, "controllers.Search", "plot_graph", Seq(classOf[String], classOf[String], classOf[String]),"GET", """""", Routes.prefix + """graph"""))


If you run into any questions, please let us know. You can contact Ian Milligan at, or fork and submit a pull request.