Frequently Asked OpenDocMan Questions


How do I install OpenDocMan?

You may refer to our online installation documents or read the /docs folder inside the file archive.

What are the server requirements to install OpenDocMan?

  • PHP 5
  • MySQL 5
  • Apache or IIS

I am having issues with the installation, can you help?

Places to look for installation help:

I got the error “There is a problem with your dataDir”

In order for OpenDocMan to work properly you must make sure that you configure the “dataDir” value with a valid file path. This file path should be outside of the opendocman install folder and must be readable and writeable to the web server. If you are getting this message then you need to check these items.

Does OpenDocMan run on Windows?

OpenDocMan is platform independent. What that means is it will run on any operating system (Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac,etc.) as long as that operating system can run PHP, MySql, and a web server.

Can I install OpenDocMan on an IIS server?

OpenDocMan was created to run on Apache web servers, but we have many users that have successfully installed OpenDocMan on Microsoft IIS servers. Yes.

How can I allow larger files to be uploaded into OpenDocMan?

There are a couple of reasons why a file you are trying to upload is failing due to file size restrictions. OpenDocMan has its own maximum file size setting which you can edit in the Admin->Edit Settings page. There may also be a need to re-configure your PHP server in order to accept larger files.

php.ini settings:

upload_max_filesize = 10M
post_max_size = 10M

Is this program sequel server based?

OpenDocMan DMS was designed to use MySQL.


How do I check-in a document?

In order to check-in a document you must first have checked the document out. Then you may visit the document details page and click on the check-in button.

What types of files does opendocman handle?

Opendocman has the ability to be configured to use any valid file type by utilizing MIME types. For more information visit this site:

What does “Reviewer” mean in the add user page?

A “Reviewer” is able to approve documents for any departments that they are a reviewer for. When you set up a new user and you want them to be able to review documents you simple select the Reviewer checkbox, then select the departments they may review files for.

Can I allow multiple “view-only” checkouts and track all of those check outs?

No, once a file is checked-out, it is not able to be checked out again until it is checked-in. It can be read, but not changed.

Can I prevent “view-only” checkouts when a “check-out-to-change” checkout occurs?

I think what you are asking is, can you prevent the file from being “read” when it is checked out? No. But thats what plug-ins are for. 😉

When a “check-out-to-change” checkout happens, can I notify all “view-only” checkouts that they are viewing an obsolete file?

When the file is checked-in, and it goes through the reviewer, the reviewer can select to email ALL, email department, email specific users.

Can I let people get a copy of a file, but not accept back any changes from them?

You would set them to have “Read” permissions:

View = they see the file in the list but cannot download
Read = they can download it
Modify = they can check-out/check-in the file
Admin = they can modify the file settings

What does the user defined fields option do in the admin panel?

The OpenDocMan User Defined Fields (UDF) feature provides a way of adding custom meta information to your files.

For example, lets say you wanted to categorize each of your files into a color. You would create a new UDF (Select List, Text Field, Radio, Sub-select) which would contain a list of all the colors you want to be able to choose from. Once you create the UDF your new option will appear on the Add File and Edit File forms.

What is the difference between view vs read?

View is a permission level that will allow the user to see the file in their file list, but they will be unable to download the file for viewing.

Read is a permission level that will allow the user to see and download the file.

.docx was not a file type that could be uploaded. Is .docx not supported?

Due to all the differences in the way systems handle mime types in files, you may encounter a mime-type that the default installation does not recognize. You can use the Admin->Edit File Types tool to add a new file type to the system. Look at the message you receive from the upload error, there should be a mime-type listed on that pages (ex. application/pdf). You would need to add that as an allowed file type.

Is there a way to have different file expiration times for each file?

In order to have that functionality you would need to download and install the InExp plugin from our plugins page.

Can more than one person work on a document at the same time?

OpenDocMan was designed specifically to prevent files from being edited at the same time. Once a file has been checked out, that file will be unavailable for checkout until the file is checked in again.


Can you host OpenDocMan for me?

Yes! We offer OpenDocMan hosting through our ODMHosting service.

What type of support do you offer?

We offer email and phone support for all our hosting and annual support clients. Requests are answered within 6 hours but are usually answered within minutes.

What if my site goes overs its bandwidth limit?

Your web site will be temporarily disabled.

What if I need more space or bandwidth?

Upgrades can be easily added to your account through our online account center.

How quickly is my account setup?

Although our systems are capable of instant account creation we do not have this in operation, this is due to the need to manually clear every order to avoid unauthorized orders. This means all accounts are setup once verification has been completed, usually around 24 hours after you place the order. If you order over a weekend it may be that the account is not operational until the Monday morning.

Do I need my own domain name?

No, you can use a sub domain name in the form of To best utilize our hosting service you should either register a new domain name, or transfer your current domain.

How can I make payment?

You can make payment or view your billing history through our full-featured account management site located at . Most customers are set up for automated payments.

Do you offer a money back guarantee?

Yes, we offer a 7-day money back guarantee. This does not include setup or domain fees however.

Paid Services

Can you install OpenDocMan on my server?

You can purchase our Annual Support plan that will provide you with installation, troubleshooting, patches, and minor customization assistance.

I need some changes made to the code.

We can provide you with custom programming for your OpenDocMan installation. Please contact us for a quote.

What type of support do you offer?

We offer email and phone support for all our hosting and annual support clients. Requests are answered within 6 hours but are usually answered within minutes.

15 Responses to “OpenDocMan Questions – User FAQ”

  1. Frank Barcenas February 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    How do I contribute code to the project?

    • Stephen Lawrence February 29, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      You can contribute code to the project by using our Contact Us page. We will respond to your request promptly and arrange for code review.

  2. Carlos Tintaya February 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    There is any translations of the software to spanish or there’s a tutorial to make my own translations?

  3. arun March 9, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    how can i add live search page using ajax in the search box in open docman.for ex.where you get search results while you type. file name should come

  4. David Singer March 28, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Q1. Can I allow multiple “view-only” checkouts and track all of those check outs? (see Q3)

    Q2. Can I prevent “view-only” checkouts when a “check-out-to-change” checkout occurs?

    Q3. When a “check-out-to-change” checkout happens, can I notify all “view-only” checkouts that they are viewing an obsolete file? (see Q1)

    Q4. Can I prevent “view-only” checkouts from file uploading their copy when “checking back in”?

  5. Enea Betté May 3, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    Is there any way to integrate OpenDocMan with other software, e.g. via web services or an apposite API?

  6. Mark Peberdy September 5, 2013 at 7:14 am #


    We’re reviewing ODM and are wondering if there’s anny control over potential duplicate docs. We think their is a risk that a user may check out a doc, edit and re-upload but without doing the check in bit, so we may end up with multiple versions. Can you advise please?

    Many thanks


    • Stephen Lawrence October 19, 2014 at 8:11 am #

      We do not do any file parsing currently so we would not be able to determine duplicates. I guess we could add some logic the check filesize/filename?

  7. Thomas December 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    Can the file list be customized ?
    I am searching for an option to add/remove columns.
    (adding columns to show UDF)

    • Stephen Lawrence December 7, 2013 at 8:34 am #

      Contact us through our Contact Us page and we can discuss.

  8. Ysais February 27, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    When I finished the installation i got this message “Apparently the datadir does not exist”. In order to fix the problem I changed the attibute of the all carpet for read write and execution, now a get the message “500 internal server error”. Can you give me a clue about it

    Best regards

    • Stephen Lawrence October 19, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      You should check your server logs to see what is causing your 500 error.

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