Specify Download and Installation
Specify 6 is available for Apple macOS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux. Hardware and software requirements to run Specify are dependent on the type of desktop computer you use. Platform recommendations are available here:
Specify 6 requires prior installation of the MariaDB/MySQL database manager and Java Runtime Environment software (also known as the “Java JRE or Java SDK”).
With the release of Specify 6.8, Specify now reccomends MariaDB as a drop-in replacement for MySQL 5.7. MariaDB and Specify may be installed: (1) on the same workstation for one or more users only on that computer, (2) on a workstation with MariaDB/MySQL and Specify configured for access from users on a few additional computers, or (3) on a dedicated server computer for access from multiple Specify workstations. To consider your institutional options for deploying MariaDB/MySQL and Specify, please review these documents:
- Specify 6 Model for Institutional Organization
- Setting Up Specify to Use a Networked MariaDB/MySQL Server (PDF)
- Setting Up Specify to use a Shared Workstation as a Database Server (PDF)
Beginning with release 6.7.02 (28 March 2019), Specify requires the Java 8 Runtime Environment from Amazon known as Amazon “Corretto”. This is a change from using Oracle’s Java 8 runtime package (JRE) due to changes in Oracle’s licensing terms that make updates and patches no longer free to use for Specify or other non-personal applications. We have provided detailed guidance on this switch from Oracle’s Java JRE to Amazon’s here. Please review that document and consult with your IT systems support group for any strategy your institution may have to respond to Oracle’s new licensing terms for Java. Amazon Corretto 8 is a 100% compatible JRE package based on the same source code as Oracle’s JRE, and Amazon has committed to licensing Corretto at no cost and to keep it updated, indefinitely. Amazon’s JRE package Corretto 8 enables Specify to run identically on Windows, Linux and macOS workstations. Corretto 11 is not yet supported or compatible with Specify (April 2020).
The stable, production version of MariaDB, release 10.6.5, has been fully-tested and is compatible for use with Specify; it is available from https://downloads.mariadb.org/.
Windows users should use this document as a guide for installing Specify 6:
macOS 10.7.3 or later users should use this guide for installing Specify 6:
Debian-based Linux users should use this guide for installing Specify 6:
Note that in these Specify installations when you install MariaDB you will be asked to create a MariaDB “root” user password. In Specify’s documentation we refer to the MariaDB/MySQL “root” user the ‘Specify IT User.” During the Specify installation process, the Specify Setup Wizard program requires the MariaDB/MySQL root account password in order to set up a collection database and create Specify manager and user accounts.
On shared or dedicated MariaDB/MySQL server computers, Specify does not strictly require a MariaDB/MySQL ‘root’ user account with full MariaDB/MySQL server privileges to setup Specify. The Specify ‘IT User’ in that case should be a MariaDB/MySQL account with root-level privileges only for the Specify collection database to be setup and managed.
Download links to Specify installers are below. Once Specify is installed, but before it can be used to manage collection data, there is an additional preparation step–running the Specify Setup Wizard. The Setup Wizard adds Specify’s data tables to the new database and configures the initial database setup in several ways based on information you provide. The Setup Wizard (SpWizard) is included in the Specify 6 installation package and it is put into the Specify program installation “/bin” directory. Before setting up Specify for an actual, production database, read the Specify Setup Wizard step-by-step guide linked below. In it you will find several configuration choices which determine how your collection’s data will be represented within Specify. Those choices require consideration before running the Wizard.
- Specify Wizard step-by-step instructions for creating a new collection database after MariaDB/MySQL and Specify are installed. (PDF)
Some software installation and Setup Wizard options may seem complicated or obscure. If you do not have local technical support for installing software or would just like to confirm your choices, reach out to the Specify Helpdesk at [email protected]. We would be happy to advise on Specify setup options and steps.
Applications in the Specify 6 Installation Packages
|Specify||Specify 6 for 64-bit Windows with 1 GB memory for Java and Specify|
|Specify4GB||Specify 6 allocates 4 GB RAM for Java and Specify, recommended for 64-bit Windows with a minimum of 8 GB of RAM. For large databases (500K-1M records) performance and data exporting should be improved.|
|SpBackupRestore||This is Specify’s database backup and restore tool for site administrators.|
|SpiReport||Specify’s version of iReport for creating and editing label and report formats for printed output|
|SpWizard||The Specify Setup Wizard creates the first new, empty, Specify collection database in MariaDB/MySQL. Additional collection databases can be added later from within Specify.|
|ImportFileSplitter||The Import File Splitter reduces large Microsoft Excel spreadsheet files into separate files of 5,000 record rows or fewer to enable specimen or taxon data import through the Specify WorkBench.|
|DataExporter||The Specify Data Exporter creates a flat database table based on a user’s schema mapping, and then exports that data in various formats for external caches and databases, such as an IPT, DarwinCore compliant cache or a copy for the Specify web portal.|
|ExpCmdLine||This is a command line version of the Specify Data Exporter used for exporting collection data to an external copy or cache. This program can be used to script an automatic export of collection data to update external caches or web servers, including the Specify Web Portal an IPT server cache.|
Installation Packages for Specify 6.8.01
Specify Database Schema Version 2.9 (Updated from v2.7, v2.8 skipped)
Released 16 September 2021
New Specify installations need to first install MariaDB 10.6.5 or Oracle’s MySQL Community Server 5.7.x (not 8.0.x) and Amazon’s Corretto 8 (Java JRE) before installing Specify 6. See installation guides and documentation for more information on preparing a workstation for Specify 6.
Existing installations of Specify 6 will need to have a version of MySQL that is 5.7.x (not 8.0.x), or MariaDB 10.4 or newer for the database to properly update.
|Windows 64 bit||163 MB||Specify_Windows_64.exe|
|macOS 10.7.3+||162 MB||Specify_macos.dmg|
|Linux 64 bit||160 MB||Specify_unix_64.sh|