Install Specify 6 on Windows

Specify 6 requires Amazon Corretto 11 as a Java Runtime Environment and MariaDB as database management software to operate. This guide will walk you through how to install these to use Specify 6 on Windows 7, 8, or 11.

If you have an older system (8+ years old), please follow the MySQL 5.7 instructions here: Installing MySQL on Legacy Windows for Specify

This installation walkthrough documentation is intended for standalone Windows workstations ‐ desktop computers which are managed by the Specify user and which are not intended to be used as a database server to provide shared collection data access to additional computers running Specify. To install the necessary software, one must have a Windows administrator‐level account or have been granted software installation privileges on the target computer. If your campus or organization’s IT or network services group manages security and accounts for individual workstations, your user account on your PC may not have admin level privileges, which are required to complete this installation. Check with your local IT or network support staff if you need to have your admin level status verified for your PC workstation or laptop.

If your building, administrative unit, or campus manages MySQL or MariaDB for shared access on a server computer, the stand-alone workstation MariaDB installation steps described below are not suitable for your situation. For multi‐user, shared‐server access to a MySQL/MariaDB Specify 6 database, talk to your technical support staff, database or network administrator about MySQL installation and configuration options. Contact the Specify Collections Consortium ( if you would like to know more about institutional installation and configuration options for shared access to Specify collection databases.

This guide was written using Windows 11, however these instructions are valid for any version after Windows 7 currently.

Windows Installation Checklist

  1. Confirm that your account is a member of the Administrators user group.
  2. Install MariaDB (if you are managing your database locally).
  3. Install Amazon Corretto 11.
  4. Reboot.
  5. Download the Specify installer package for Windows from the Specify Collections Consortium web site (Download | Specify Collections Consortium).
  6. Run the Specify Installer.
  7. Run the Specify Collection Setup Wizard.
  8. Run Specify with the Specify user account which was created while running the Setup Wizard.
  9. Modify your SpBackupRestore program to include the proper paths.

Step 1: Install MariaDB

Step 1. Navigate to MariaDB’s website and go to the Downloads tab. Pick MS Windows (64-bit) from the OS selector and download the latest stable version. For this guide, it is 10.6.5-GA.

Click Download.

Step 2. Now double-click or run the downloaded file. In my case, it is called mariadb-10.6.5-winx64.msi. Follow the MariaDB setup guide until completion.

The screenshots on the following pages show the proper installation procedure step-by-step:

Start by clicking Next.

Click Install. You will need to be an administrator on the PC.

Click Next after accepting the terms of the license agreement.

Create the root password. This will be the IT login password for your Specify user. Click Next.

Click Next.

MariaDB will be on TCP port 3306. This is the default port Specify will attempt to access.

Now click Finish. MariaDB is installed on your system!

Step 2: Install Amazon Corretto 11

Specify requires the Java Runtime Environment from Amazon known as Amazon “Corretto”. Amazon Corretto 11 is a 100% compatible JRE package based on the same source code as Oracle’s JRE, and Amazon has committed to licensing Corretto at no cost and to keep it updated, indefinitely.

Navigate to this URL to download the latest version of Corretto 11:

Follow the standard installation path until you are finished. Once it tells you that the installation was successful, you are ready to go.

Step 3: Reboot

Reboot your system! MariaDB will automatically start.

Step 4: Download & Install Specify

Download and run the Specify installer for Windows. See the Specify Software Project web site Download page for the Specify installers and additional documentation:

Step 5: Run the Specify Setup Wizard

Run the Specify Collection Setup Wizard to set up your collection. Put MariaDB root user or “IT User” account credentials in the “IT User” and “IT Password” fields. By default, username and password are “root”. Specify Wizard would use this account to set up an empty Specify database for your collection.

It is very important that you read the Specify Wizard documentation before running the Wizard. There are several options during collection database setup which require informed decisions about how your collection and institution are organized administratively.

See the step‐by‐step guide for using the Specify Wizard is available here:

Use the Specify user account name and password you created in the Setup Wizard, not the MariaDB account credentials. See additional documentation on setting up a Specify account user encryption key using the Specify Master user, account name and password. Please email or call the Specify Project if you get stuck, this is a complex process the first time through, we would be glad to help.

The above screenshot is the correct configuration for my machine.

SpBackupRestore needs to know the location of your mysql and mysqldump executables. For MariaDB version 1.9, these are the paths:


C:\Program Files\MariaDB 10.9\bin\mysqldump.exe


C:\Program Files\MariaDB 10.9\bin\mysql.exe

Now you should be ready to backup and restore your database without issue.