Use of borrowers-force-messaging-defaults script

This script create messaging preferences for all existing borrowers and set them to default values defined for the category they belong to. Otherwise staff user has to modify the messaging preferences of each patron one by one. Follow the instructions to run the borrowers-force-messaging-defaults script.

Load environment variables

sudo su
export PERL5LIB="/usr/share/koha/lib"
export KOHA_CONF="/etc/koha/sites/library/koha-conf.xml"

Run borrowers-force-messaging-defaults script.

cd /usr/share/koha/bin/maintenance
perl borrowers-force-messaging-defaults --doit

The script was useful when SMS notifications enabled.  After the installation SMS driver, new empty SMS notification option appeared in patron messaging prerences. The script can copy default messaging preferences of Patron categories to all patrons profiles.

Copy all mobile numbers from "phone" to "smsalertnumber".

Often mobile number of patron entered in the "phone" field in "borrowers" table. Koha users need SMS notifications have to install driver. After the installation of SMS driver, an additonal field "smsalertnumber" will generate. The field does not contain phone number. Where we have to enter the mobile number. Its tedious task to copy each mobile number from the field "phone" to "smsalertnumber". 

Here is an easy method to copy all mobile number from "phone" field to "smsalertnumber". Apply following SQL query:

sudo su
mysql -uroot -p

use koha_library;
UPDATE `borrowers` SET smsalertnumber=phone;


Koha on Debian: a vanilla experience

A few days back I downloaded Debian 8 (Jessies) with XFCE desktop. My aim was to install and experience the performance of Koha on Debian Jessie. I used to install Koha on Lubuntu / Xubuntu (LXDE and XFCE desktop on Ubuntu). Both Linux flavours considered as lightweight desktops;  it means they do not consume much computer resources (RAM, Processor) while working. Unity desktop is the default desktop of Ubuntu. Unity considered as resource hungry due to its graphics and visual effects (gimmicks!!). Lubuntu and Xubuntu available with toppings (user-friendly modifications and beautifications) on LXDE and XFCE desktop. In certain extend, Lubuntu and Xubuntu can offer friendly experience to new Linux users. Lubuntu/Xubuntu toppings eat little more computer resources than vanilla XFCE and LXDE.

Missing libgd-perl

If you see following message while execute Koha installation command,

sudo apt-get install koha-common 

"The following packages have unmet dependencies:koha-common : Depends: libgd-perl but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages."

Don't worry, it means user has to install libgd-perl package.
Solution is that install the missing package using the following command,

sudo apt-get install libgd-perl

Import MARC records into Koha using graphical interface

Prepare MARC file. 
Check item information (tag number 952); branch code, accession number, item type etc. If number of MARC records goes beyond 1000, split into small batches (1000 records per batch). Otherwise, it will take a long time to import records and chance for time out and can't know the progress. Command line method is good for importing bulk records.

A sample MAR record

Customize email notices

Koha has the option to send email notices to users in various occasions like over due, Check-in, check-out, renewal etc. Sample notices are available with Koha. Library staff can customize the subject line and content of the emails.

First of all a mail server need to install and add email credentials. Check the tutorial on How to configure Gmail with Postfix.

Here is a customized notice from my library.

Customize email notices
Sample messages can be find at Tools > Notices&Slips
Let see how can we customize a notice send from Koha when a user check out book. 

Click on Edit button against the CHECKOUT notice.

Koha 16.05.05 Live DVD released

Koha 16.05.05 Live DVD now available for download.
Following are features of Koha Live DVD:

    Configured for ready to use
    Zebra server enabled
    Customized MARC fields in cataloging
    Automated database backup
    Build on Ubuntu MATE 14.04 LTS
    Sample reports
    Easy installation
    Detailed Read Me file.

Download links,

User would like to install Koha manually, please visit,