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Perform the Install for Release Q4 2015 and Earlier

If you are a Managed Hosting customer, this topic doesn't apply to you.

This topic discusses the steps to install Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015 or earlier.

After the Get Started, Application Server, Learn Database, and optional configurations have been reviewed, the hardware and software meets the supported requirements and is properly configured, and the pre-install checklist and worksheet have been completed, proceed with installing the Learn Application.


The steps for installation on one application server (one or two server configurations) or the first application server in a load-balanced configuration are the same. For a load-balanced configuration additional installations are necessary. After completing installation on the first server, continue installation following the instructions at the end of this section.

The installer is launched from a command line prompt and may be run using the command line interface or the graphical user interface (GUI). The installer presents a series of questions about the system. In many cases, the installer automatically detects the required settings and provides default values.

Where to find the installer

Blackboard Learn installers are found on Behind the Blackboard (

To request a Behind the Blackboard account, instructions for downloading the installer, a current license file for this release, and any instructions specific to your license, contact your Blackboard Client Representative.

The installation process

Installation of Blackboard Learn requires super-user privileges; thus you must be logged in as the Windows domain user (such as “blackboard”) or Unix root user.

The system super-user must also perform Service startup and shutdown

In this example, the installer is run using the GUI. The command line interface requires the same inputs from the user. The only difference between the command line and the GUI interface is navigation. The GUI interface uses mouse-clicks instead of keystrokes to accept a value and continue. Both the GUI and the command line version of the installer provide a default or anticipated value where possible. In such cases you may either enter a new value or accept the default to proceed.

When using the command-line installer, accepting the default – the value presented in brackets ‘[…]’ is done by pressing Enter.

Blackboard recommends that content management be used only with load-balanced systems.

In a multi-server environment the installer must be run multiple times to set up each application server. After the first application server and the database have been installed using the Full Installation option. To install the rest of the application servers and the optional Collaboration server, run the installer on each additional server using the Appserver-only Installation option.

The installer will prompt for the same information as a Full Installation. The installer will not access the database on an Appserver-only Installation, which means that nodes can be added to a load-balanced configuration while the system is live.

Keep the following points in mind:

  • Blackboard Learn must be installed as the system super-user. Service startup and shutdown must also be performed as the system super-user.
  • Experienced administrators may choose to use the non-interactive installer to setup the second and subsequent application servers.

1. Set up the installer

Place both the installer and the license file in a directory on the application server. The installer will automatically recognize the license file if it is named bb-license.xml and placed in the same directory as the installer. The following steps use the below as examples only - you may use a directory of your choosing (note it cannot be the target Blackboard installation target directory):





2. Login as super user on the server

Blackboard Learn must be installed as the system super-user.


su - root


Switch to system administrator account.

3. Launch the installer

If Xwindows or a similar GUI is running, the installer will launch in GUI mode. You may use the “-text” option to force text mode even if a GUI is running.

Run the following command to launch the installer:


Open a terminal and enter:

java -jar installer_file

To launch the installer command line interface, run the following command:

java –jar installer_file -text

Remember that the rest of these steps assume that the graphical interface is being used. If you are using the command line installer replace ‘Select Next’ with ‘Press Enter’.


On Windows open Command Prompt and enter:

C:\bb_installer>java –jar installer_file

To force-launch the installer command line interface, run the following command:

C:\bb_installer>java –jar installer_file –text

4. Starting the installation

On starting the installer you will be presented with the welcome message shown below. If the installer will not start, see Troubleshooting.

After reading the welcome message, select Next to continue.

Instructions display for navigating through the installer prompts. The installer, in most cases, will provide a default value in brackets. Select (GUI) or press Enter (command-line) to accept the default and continue or enter a different value. Select Next (GUI) or press Enter (command-line) to continue after providing a new value.

5. Provide the directory where Blackboard will be installed

To accept the default value, select Next. Blackboard does not recommend changing this default.

6. Select the type of installation

Full Installation installs both the Learn application and the Learn database

This option is required for single or two server configurations, and the FIRST server in a load-balanced configuration.

Appserver-only installs only the Learn application

This option is required for additional application server installations in a load-balanced configuration.

7. License agreement

After reading the License Agreement, select Accept and select Next to continue the installation.

Not accepting the terms of the agreement will close the installer.

8. License file

Provide the location and name of the license file.

  • To auto discover the license file place a copy named bb-license.xml in the same directory as the installer .jar file.
  • To accept the default value, select Next.
  • To search for the license file, select Browse and then select Next.

9. Provide the location of the JDK

To accept the default value, select Next. To search for the JDK, select Browse and then select Next.

10. Provide the location of the Shared Content Directory

The Shared Content Directory is used to store the content files associated with Courses, images uploaded to the system, and all other files added to the system.

The location can be a share on one of the application servers or on the database server, or it can be a SAN (storage area network) or NAS (network-attached storage) on a separate file server.

In a load-balanced configuration, this location must be accessible by all of the application servers.
To learn more about using a separate file server, see Set Up File System Storage.

Press Enter to accept the default value:




c:\blackboard\content, press Enter.

Blackboard Client Support recommends that you change this value to a location outside of the <blackboard_home> directory.

11. Provide frontend details for the Learn environment

  • Provide the machine hostname. The installer detects the machine name of the server it runs on and uses that to populate the default value.
  • Provide the Frontend port number for the application server. This is the port that the application uses for communication. The default value is 8443.
  • Provide the Frontend protocol. The default value is https.

Blackboard Learn 9.1 April 2014 is operable only in a Secure TLS configuration, thus ports and protocol must be configured in support of server TLS operation. Changing the defaults is not recommended.

12. Provide webserver configuration information

  • Application server machine name
  • Application server domain
  • Application server HTTP port number – default 8080 (in SP 14 or earlier, this value is 80)
  • Application server HTTS port number – default 8443 (in SP 14 or earlier, this value is 443)

13. Database server Information

Remember that single server installations use the same machine as both the application server and the database server.

  • Provide the database server hostname.
  • The default value is the current machine. This is the correct value for single server installations. If installing on two servers or a load-balanced configuration, enter a value for the separate database machine.
  • Keep in mind that the hostname is represented by machine_name.domain_name.
  • Provide the database instance. In most cases, the default instance, which has no name, is used.
    • For Oracle use the database SID value
  • Provide the database port

After completing all of the fields on the page, select Next. The next page asks for the database passwords.

14. Database passwords

  • Provide the admin password for your SQL Server or Oracle database administrator password. This is the password associated with the sa (SQL Server) or sys (Oracle) login.
  • Provide the Blackboard database user password. This database login is used by the application to access the database.
  • Provide the Blackboard database report user password. This database login is used by the application to access the reporting database.

After completing all of the fields on the page, select Next. The next page asks where to store the database data files and the database log files.

15. Provide database instance identifier

It is recommended that you accept the default value of BBLEARN.

Note that you may support multiple inclusive Learn environments in an single database (database multi-tenancy) by providing unique database identifiers per instance installation.

16. Provide location for database files

This is the directory where Learn Database files will be stored and accessed by the database

  • This directory must be on the database server or on a storage device with a dedicated, high-bandwidth connection to the database server.
  • This directory will not store application data or content.
  • This directory must be in a directory where the database has read/write/execute privileges.
  • Make sure that the directory has space to accommodate database growth.
  • This directory must be created before installing Blackboard Learn.


Provide the location for the Learn database index files
This directory must be in a directory where Oracle has read/write/execute privileges. If possible, this directory should be separate from the data directory.

SQL Server

Provide the location for the Learn database log files
This directory must be on the database server or on a storage device with a dedicated, high-bandwidth connection to the database server. On a single server installation, the default value is C:\blackboard\mssql\data\

This is the directory where the data files (.mdf) will be stored.

After completing all of the fields on the page, select Next.

17. (Optional) Content Collection users: Content Management settings

This step is not required if you don't license Content Management

  • Provide the storage database user password
  • Provide the content management storage directory

After completing all of the fields on the page, select Next.

18. (Optional) Collaboration Server users: Collaboration Server settings

This step is not necessary if you are not using the Collaboration Server

  • Provide Collaboration Server hostname

In a one or two server environment, the default value is the application server. In a load-balanced environment, select one of the existing application servers to also act as the Collaboration server. Though not typically required, a separate server may be dedicated as the Collaboration server exclusively. To learn more, see Set Up a Collaboration Server. The collaboration server runs Virtual Classroom and chat sessions.

  • Provide the TCP port number for the Collaboration server.

The Collaboration server uses TCP/IP as the preferred communication method for performance reasons. The default port number is 8010.

  • Provide the HTTP port number for the Collaboration server.

The Collaboration server uses HTTP as a backup method of communication if TCP/IP is not available. The default port number is 8011.

After completing all of the fields on the page, select Next.

19.Provide the hostname of the SMTP server

The SMTP server is used to send out email communications. Enter the hostname as machine_name.domain_name. After completing all of the fields on the page, select Next.

20. Provide the Learn passwords

  • Provide the Blackboard Learn Administrator password.

The Administrator account has full privileges.

  • Provide the Blackboard Integration password.

The integration user is used only to facilitate Snapshot operations. This account cannot be used to log in through the GUI nor does it appear in any lists of users in the user interface. To change the password for this account, on the Administrator Panel, under Building Blocks, select Integration Password.

  • Provide the Blackboard root administrator password.

The root administrator account has full administrative privileges including the management of Virtual Installations through the Administrator Panel. When the root administrator account user views the Administrator Panel, the Manage Virtual Installations link appears at the top of the panel. The root administrator can log in to any Virtual Installation and access the Virtual Installation management features from this link. While it is necessary to enter a password for this account, it is very rare that a system with Virtual Installations will be run on one server or two servers.

After completing all of the fields on the page, select Next.

21. Provide licensee/institution information

Provide the following information about your institution:

  • Provide the Name and email address of the administrator

Primary point of contact for your Learn installation

  • Provide the Name ​of Institution
  • Provide the type of Institution. The value must be one of the following:

K-12, Higher Education, Continuing Education, Corporate, Professional Association, or Hobby

  • Provide City, State, Country, and ZIP Code of the institution's address

After completing all of the fields on the page, select Next.

22. Select the server type

This is information is used for better management of centralized services.

Properly categorize each server when running the installer. Like servers should share the same categorization in a load-balanced configuration. For example: all servers in a load-balanced production environment should be installed with a Production categorization.

Options include:

Production, Staging, Test, and Development.


Production: The instance of Learn your Faculty and Students will use on a daily basis

Staging: The instance of Learn that mirrors your production system – used for upgrade/performance/integration/data analysis

Test: The instance of Learn that is used for testing code and integrations

Development: An instance of Learn that is limited in scale and used only for purposes of developing integrations and extensions.

After completing all of the fields on the page, select Next.

23. Install the software

Select Next again to install the software and the installer progress window will open.

DO NOT CLOSE THIS WINDOW until progress indicated the installation is completed and the CLOSE button is presented. If the installer was launched from the command line, do not close the command line window or cancel the installation while in progress.

The average installation time for a Full Installation is forty minutes.

Installation success

The installer will display a success message and you may open your browser and log into Learn.

Installation failure

If the installer failed, as indicated in the installer results, check the installer log and see Troubleshooting to diagnose and fix the problem.

After the installer has completed Learn will be available of the following ports by default.


Before continuing with the post configuration steps confirm Blackboard Learn is available on the server by accessing the application from those URLs.

Start and stop Blackboard Learn

Starting, stopping, and restarting Learn is managed using the ServiceController tool located in the admin tools directory. Learn more about using the ServiceController.