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Once you have your capsule running, you may find it useful to open this guide in an internet browser in your capsule so you can copy and paste commands. The short link for this page is:

  1. Register for an HTRC account if you do not already have one. Read the guide for extended directions, or follow the steps in the link below.

     Sign up for and sign in to the HTRC

    Sign Up

    Go to HTRC Analytics  (
    On the top right of the webpage, click on the "Sign Up" button. 

    On the Sign Up page, enter requested information together with username you intend to use and password. The password must meet these requirements:                                    
    • Password must be more than 15 characters long.
    • Password must contain characters from three of the following five categories:
      • Uppercase characters of European languages (A through Z, with diacritic marks, Greek and Cyrillic characters)
      • Lowercase characters of European languages (a through z, sharp-s, with diacritic marks, Greek and Cyrillic characters)
      • Base 10 digits (0 through 9)
      • Nonalphanumeric characters
      • Any Unicode character that is categorized as an alphabetic character but is not uppercase or lowercase. This includes Unicode characters from Asian languages.
    • Password must not contain any white spaces.
    • Password must not contain your user ID.

    Trouble shooting: if you can't successfully sign up

    You need to have an academic email to sign up. We maintain a growing list of allowed email domains, e.g. emails ending with .edu or or I you find you can't successfully sign up with your academic email then it's probably your email domain is not on the list. In this situation, please submit an account request by clicking on the request an account button within the error message on the page.

    Sign In

    You will receive an email in the email that you registered. Go to your email box, and follow the activation link in the email to activate your account.
    Now you have created an HTRC Analytics account, you can sign in. On the top right of the page, sign in with your username and password.


  2. From the Analytics homepage, create a capsule by clicking on Capsule  on the top menu. You will be asked to provide information about the capsule you would like to create.

     Create a capsule

    Navigate to the Capsule Creation Page

    Navigate to "Data Capsules" on the top menu of HTRC Analytics.

    Submit Capsule Creation Request

    You will be directed to the capsule creation page where you will fill in the form.

    Choose a capsule image, either the image with preloaded sample volume, or without. 

    Choose the VCPUs, between 2-4.

    Choose the Memory, between 4-16 GB.

    Hit the Create Capsule button. The capsule creation procedure usually takes about 1 minute to complete. Refresh your screen to see if it has finished.

    Check Capsule Status

    After creating a capsule, you will be taken back to the Capsules page. By default the capsule you just created is not running. 



  3. Start the capsule you created by clicking the Start Capsule button on the Capsules page.

     Start the capsule

    On the Capsules page (found under Capsule on the top menu), click on the Start Capsule button.


  4. Interact with the capsule either via Remote Desktop viewer or Terminal viewer. 

     Use your capsule

    To get the details of your capsule so that you can log in to it, click on Data Capsule ID link on the Capsules page.

    You will see the details for your capusle. From this page, you can start, stop, or delete your capsule. You can also click to connect via Terminal (command line interface) or Remote Desktop (to see your capsule's Ubuntu desktop). 

    If you choose connect via Terminal, you will be take to a page showing a command line interface to interact with your capsule. (Note: This option available in Maintenance Mode only.)

    If you choose to connect via Remote Desktop, you will be taken to a page from which you can interact with your capsule's desktop. (Note: This option is available in either Maintenance or Secure Mode.)

    If you wanted to interact with your capsule via SSH from your personal machine, you can follow the directions to set up that access. 



  5. Alternatively, you can SSH into your capsule when it is in maintenance mode only. 

     SSH access in maintenance mode

    First, you will need a public key. Click "Advanced Features" in the blue box to establish your public key at the bottom of your Capsules page.

    You will be prompted for a key. If you do not yet have a public key set up, then entering one will establish your key. If you already have a key, resubmitting a response in this box with change your key.

    You'll find the command to SSH into your capsule in the blue "Advanced Features" box on each capsule's status page.

  6. Switch between maintenance and secure mode.

     Switch capsule modes

    HTRC Data Capsules have two modes: Maintenance Mode and Secure Mode. In Maintenance Mode, the capsule can access the network (i.e. the internet) so that you can set up your capsule as you like, such as installing software or importing additional, non-HathiTrust data. In Secure Mode, the capsule can access HathiTrust Data. 

    HathiTrust data you import and/or work with in Secure Mode must be stored on the capsule's Secure Volume, a storage location available in Secure Mode only, in order to persist in a capsule when it's modes are switched or when it is turned off and back on. Data transferred or generated in the capsule in Secure Mode that is not saved to the Secure Volume will be deleted when the capsule switches modes or is turned off and on, for security reasons. 

    When viewing your capsule, you will see a blue button to either "Switch to Secure Mode" or "Switch to Maintenance Mode." 

    Click the button to switch. You'll see the capsule's state change.

    Once it has switched, you'll see that you can click the blue button again to switch modes back. 


  7. Bring text data into your capsule.

     Get data

    Optional method

    Researchers can use the HTRC Data API to bring text data into their capsule, and can refer to the HTRC Data API guide for more details.

    Preferred method

    HTRC has also developed a Python library for loading volumes into the Data Capsule environment that may be of use: HTRC Workset Toolkit. The Toolkit is standard in all capsules created after March 18, 2018. If you have an earlier-created capsule then you will need to install or update the Toolkit. 

    Make sure you are in secure mode in order to prepare to fetch content into your Data Capsule; it won't work in maintenance mode for security reasons.

    You can use the Workset Toolkit's "htrc download" command to transfer the volumes of interest. For example, running the command below will transfer the OCR text data for the volumes in the generic htrc-id list that comes with the Workset Toolkit to a directory called "output." 

    htrc download htrc-id

    To customize the volumes you transfer to your capsule, create a file containing a volume id list that you're interested in, with one ID per line. Run the above command replacing htrc-id with your file. For example, if you had a file called myvolumes.txt, you would run the following command.

    • To customize your volume ID list, you will need to search in HathiTrust or using other metadata sources, including HathiFiles.

    htrc download myvolumes.txt

    In the above examples, output is the destination folder for the fetched OCR content. If you do not provide an output - by omitting both the -o and directory name - then the files will go to the default directory (/media/secure_volume/workset). You can call the destination folder anything you like by replacing "output" with the name of your choice. 

    Other options

    You can also use a volume ID, collection URL, or catalog record ID to import volumes. Additionally, you have the option to concatenate files and to remove folders. 

    For more examples, see the detailed guide.

    For the technical documentation, see:

  8. Perform your analysis. You can follow the Use Case guides for examples of how to perform text analysis in the capsule. 

  9. If you will need more than one session to complete your research, save your interim data.

     Save data to Secure Volume

    Save data to the Secure Volume

    Make sure your capsule is in secure mode (see directions above if needed).

    Open a terminal window in the capsule and navigate to the secure volume by typing:

    cd /media/secure_volume

    Suppose the file you'd like to release is at /home/demouser/demo/r/Rplots.pdf

    You can prepare the result data for release by adding it, which is done by typing the command:   

    releaseresults add /home/demouser/demo/r/Rplots.pdf

    Repeat using this command if you have other files to add.

  10. Between sessions, stop the capsule via the HTRC using the web browser on your personal desktop. The next time you log in, you can restart the same capsule and continue your work.

  11. When you are finished with your research, request to export your non-consumptive data.

     Export non-consumptive results

    (This is the same as Release results)

    If you'd like to export results out of the capsule, you must release them from your virtual machine.

    First, switch the VM to secure mode in the Portal interface. 

    Second, open a terminal in the capsule, navigate to the secure volume by typing:

    cd /media/secure_volume

    Suppose the file you'd like to release is at /home/demouser/demo/r/Rplots.pdf

    You can prepare the result data for release by first adding it the the release list: 

    releaseresults add /home/demouser/demo/r/Rplots.pdf

    Repeat using this command if you have other files to add.

    Finally, to complete the release of your data, type: 

    releaseresults done

    The files will be delivered via email. You will receive them in the email that you registered for the HTRC Analytics account. The email link will be live for 12 hours.

    Shut Down the VM

    Go back to  HTRC Analytics, go to "Data Capsules" and click on the "Stop Capsule" button to shut down the VM you'd like to shut.

    Delete the VM

    If you do not need the capsule any more, you can delete it. On HTRC Analytics, navigate to "Data Capsules", click on the "Delete Capsule" button next to the virtual machine you want to delete.



  12. When you no longer need it, delete your capsule via the HTRC. 


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