Introducing BIRT iHub Free Edition: Running the VMware Image

Last week, Actuate released a new, free BIRT server called the BIRT iHub, Free Edition. It incorporates all the functionality of BIRT iHub and is limited only by the capacity of output it can deliver on a daily basis. It is ideal for departmental and smaller scale applications. When BIRT iHub, Free Edition reaches its maximum output capacity, additional capacity can be purchased on a subscription based model.

Some of the key features of BIRT iHub, Free Edition that will help improve your BIRT content applications are:

  • Interactivity – Allow end-users to modify and personalize reports, and answer questions themselves.
  • Scheduling – Automate report generation based on rules and calendar, and then notify users.
  • Sharing – Secure document management and distribution that allows users to only access content/data they are entitled to.
  • Excel Emitter – Export as native Excel (not CSV) with formulas/pivot tables/worksheets/charts.
  • Integration – JavaScript API to embed dynamic reports and visualizations in your web app.

Downloading BIRT iHub, Free Edition

Before we get started with the installation process, we need to download BIRT iHub, Free Edition. There are three downloads available: Windows, Linux, and a VMware image. This blog will cover the installation of the VMware image. If you’re installing either of the other types, you’ll find links to guides for them at the bottom of this blog post.

Once you click on your chosen download, you’ll be asked to register. If you’ve already registered, click the “Click to Login” button. If not, fill out the short registration form to get started.


Next, read and accept the license agreement. Once you’ve done that, click the checkbox, and a link for the download will appear. Click that to start your download. At this point, you should also receive an email with an activation code. Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see it in your inbox.

Running the BIRT iHub, Free Edition VMware Image

After the download is complete, unzip the file to the location of your choice.

If you don’t have VMware Player, now, is a good time to download it.

Open up your VMware Player.


Click on “Open a Virtual Machine”.


Navigate to where you unzipped your download to and select your BIRT iHub, Free Edition .vmx file


You should now see the Actuate BIRT iHub, Free Edition virtual machine in your VMware Player.


Now, select Play Virtual Machine.


The virtual machine will now start up. The operating system on the VM is a Linux one, specifically CentOS 6.5. Once the virtual machine has loaded, you’ll see this screen.


Don’t worry about the login. You won’t need to do anything with that. Your virtual machine is now up and running. Above the login, you’ll see a message telling you where to go to access your BIRT iHub, Free Edition. Enter that URL into your browser’s address bar on your host machine and hit enter.


Find the email that you received when downloading and enter the activation code from it. If you have a valid activation code, you should quickly be told that your code was accepted and the BIRT iHub, Free Edition should start initializing services. When that has completed, you get to the login screen.


As seen in the image, the user name is “administrator” and the password is blank for your first log in. You’ll be able to change this once logged in. Hit “Log In” and you’re done. You’ll now be dropped into a tutorial to help you get started loading your BIRT content and required resources. If you’re already familiar with how to do this, you can bypass the tutorial by hitting the “Exit Tutorial” button at the top right.


Thanks for reading. Now, it’s time to unleash the full power of BIRT into your application. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to use the comments section below or visit the BIRT iHub forum.


For more blogs in the “Introducing BIRT iHub, Free Edition” series, see the list below:

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