Install Open Journal Systems (OJS) 3.3 on Ubuntu 22.04: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Install Open Journal Systems (OJS) 3.3 on Ubuntu 22.04: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Open Journal Systems (OJS) stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of academic publishing. Developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), OJS is an open-source software designed to facilitate the management and publication of scholarly journals. This platform has gained widespread recognition for its role in democratizing access to research and streamlining the editorial process.

Before the advent of OJS, academic publishing was often characterized by cumbersome workflows, limited accessibility, and high costs. Traditional publishing models restricted access to valuable research, hindering the dissemination of knowledge. Recognizing the need for a more inclusive and efficient system, PKP introduced OJS in 2001, aiming to empower academic institutions, scholars, and publishers.

Key Features
OJS offers a range of features that make it a powerful tool for journal management and publication. These include:

  1. User-Friendly Interface: OJS provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface for authors, editors, and reviewers. This accessibility enhances collaboration and ensures a seamless workflow.
  2. Editorial Workflow Management: The system facilitates a structured editorial workflow, from submission and peer review to final publication. Editors can easily manage submissions, assign reviewers, and make informed decisions based on the feedback received.
  3. Open Access Support: OJS is a champion of the open access movement, allowing journals to provide free and unrestricted access to their content. This fosters a more equitable distribution of knowledge, benefiting researchers and the public alike.
  4. Customization and Flexibility: Journals using OJS have the flexibility to customize their website’s appearance and functionalities. This adaptability ensures that the platform can cater to the unique needs of different journals and disciplines.
  5. Indexing and Archiving: OJS supports indexing services, ensuring that published content is discoverable through major academic databases. Additionally, the system facilitates long-term archiving, preserving scholarly work for future generations.

Impact on Academic Publishing
The adoption of OJS has led to a transformative shift in academic publishing. Journals using this system have experienced increased efficiency in managing submissions and conducting peer review processes. Moreover, the open-access model supported by OJS has contributed to a broader dissemination of knowledge, fostering a more collaborative and interconnected global research community.

About this tutorial

If you’re looking to set up OJS 3.3 on Ubuntu 22.04, this step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the installation process. Follow these instructions to ensure a smooth installation and get your academic journal up and running.

Tutorial Environment

  • Vultr Cloud Server: 1 CPU, 1 GB RAM, 32 GB Storage
  • Operating System: Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
  • Subdomain:
  • SSL: Let’s Encrypt
  • Web Server: Apache
  • PHP: PHP v8.1
  • Database: MariaDB v10.6
  • OJS: OJS v3.3.0–16

Note: Register here to get $100 free credit from Vultr.

Step 1: Update system packages

Connect to your server and ensure your system packages are up-to-date:

Note: This tutorial uses the root user.

Step 2: Install dependencies

Install the required dependencies for OJS, Apache web server, PHP, and MariaDB database:

Step 3: Create a Database

Login to MariaDB:

Creating a database for OJS:

Step 4: Download OJS

Download OJS v3.3 from

Extract ojs-3.3.0–16.tar.gz:

Move the ojs-3.3.0–16 directory to /var/www/

Change user-group and permissions for the directory:

Step 5: Configure Virtual Host

Create a virtual host configuration for the subdomain

Insert the following virtual host configuration:

Enable the rewrite module, virtual host, and restart Apache:

Check the status of the UFW firewall:

If UFW is active, allow HTTP and HTTPS ports:

Browse the subdomain to test whether OJS is accessible:

OJS with HTTP protocol
OJS with HTTP protocol

Step 6: Configure HTTPS using Let’s Encrypt SSL

Install certbot:

Requesting an SSL certificate for the subdomain:

Example message displayed when the SSL certificate request is successful:

Browse the subdomain to test the results of the HTTPS configuration:

OJS with HTTPS protocol
OJS with HTTPS protocol

Step 7: Web installation

Continue the installation in the web browser.

Create an administrator account. Enter Username, Password, and Email.

Directory for uploads, enter /var/www/

Database settings, Database driver select MySQLi, enter Username, Password, and Database name.

Finally click Install Open Journal Systems:

OJS installation
OJS installation

Installation of OJS has completed successfully:

Installation of OJS has completed successfully
Installation of OJS has completed successfully
OJS dashboard
OJS dashboard

Congratulations! We have successfully installed Open Journal Systems 3.3 on Ubuntu 22.04. We can now start using OJS to manage our scholarly journal, streamline editorial workflows, and contribute to the open-access movement in academic publishing.

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