Customize The Pentaho 5.x Look

To present a Pentaho BI demo to your company or client, you should upload relevant business data, develop reports, maybe OLAP models and MDX queries, even Dashboards. To take it to the next step, you can modify files to show their logo and text above Pentaho’s marketing messages.

What follows is a list of ‘quick and dirty’ tips to make that customization. It’s not the preferred way a programmer o designer go about it, but it works, so:

Login Screen Images

You will need two images:

  • Logo, 360×93 pixels in size. Transparency recommended. Replace at
  • Background, 1255×663 pixels in size. Edit it and add brightness to emulate original effect. Replace at

I have tested it with the Crystal (default) and Emerald (available on 5.2) theme.

Login Screen Text

To modify the text in the screen you can edit a file. I chose to replace the variables by fixed words. The file is:


To change user, password, login button text, copyright, first copy and paste each one of those lines, comment the original and type your text on the new ones, like this:

<!-- ...getString("UI.PUC.LOGIN.COPYRIGHT", ... -->

 Main Page

What I changed in the main page is the center panel text, leaving intact the navigation bar on the left and upper toolbars and menues. So I edited:


Its a regular html file, just check the divs as they are rendered as tabs or categories in case you want to keep them.

For CSS modifications, add rules to one of these:


I installed the new (in 5.2) Emerald Theme and added at the bottom of main.css:

/* Header fonts */
h1.large  { font-size: 2.5em; color: #3BA749; }
.header-navigation-item { font-size: 1.2em; color: #3BA749; }
.content h2 { color: #3BA749; }
/* To avoid Multilist height bug, and jpivot message, I edited  globalEmerald.css */
.parameter-container SELECT { height:auto; }
#deprecatedWarning { display:none; }

For other pages, themes have preference so in bootstrap-namespaced.css I added also at the bottom:

 /* Content width */
.bootstrap .row-fluid .span9  { width:71%; }
.bootstrap .container-fluid { padding-left: 10px; padding-right: 10px; }
 /* Main left sidebar headers */
.bootstrap .well h3 { color: #3BA749; }
/* Browse Files column width */
#fileBrowserFolders { width:28%;  }
#fileBrowserFiles { width:45%; margin-left:0px; }
#fileBrowserButtons { width:22%; margin-left:0px; }
.fileBrowserColumn .header { color: #3BA749; }

To make Tomcat to reload the .css, I had to delete the content of


Then restart the server and clean the browser cache at login screen.

Translation (i18n)

If you like to change words, you need to modify some text files, modify the text to the right of the equal sign and save them with UTF-8 encoding:

  • In 5.0 and 5.1:
    Main app mesages are located at:
  • In 5.0
    To edit the navigation text on the upper left selector, edit:
  • In 5.1:
    – One file contains login, navigation content and tools header text. It’s located at
    – Navigation text and right content of options like browse files are in:
  • Notes:
    – Use unicode, ie, \u00E1 instead of á, or otherwise your system may fail after login.
    – Copy each message file to a new one and add your locale, i.e, for spanish copy to and then edit you translation. You also need to add the line es=Español to the file on the same folder.

Restart your server, clear your browser cache and test it.


Other images were modified in older versions and havent verified if they are used today but they are listed if needed:

  • Logo. 185x50px. pentaho-solutions\system\common-ui\resources\themes\images\logo.png
  • Logo. 52x60px. tomcat\webapps\pentaho\mantle\themes\onyx\images\logo.png
  • Login. 224x94px. tomcat\webapps\pentaho-style\images\login\logo.png

About other text messages files:

  • There is a similar copy of the first file mentioned above but has no effect:
  • There are older translation files that are no longer needed. But they are listed:

Thanks to:

An evaluation post of 5.0 by nextCoder that suggested the login page straight modification in

There is a guide in your Pentaho installation, look into \biserver-ce\tomcat\webapps\pentaho\docs\customizing_pentaho_guide.pdf. I found it updated after making this notes, is consise and complete.

Install The Pentaho 5.0 Suite

Pentaho 5

This post is about installing the tools that were published on november 19th, 2013 on Sourceforge, that is version 5.0 and above. Installing a Database that can hold your data permanently and the Pentaho desktop tools and BI web server.

Future posts will be about creating a replica of the demo data on a permanent database that can hold your data, customize the apperance of web server, add notes on the new repository and articles about each Pentaho tool. They will be added through 2014 and the index of the series will be updated as work is done.

Open Source Software

You will download and install:

  • Java Development Kit
  • MySql Database and MySql Dashboard
  • Pentaho Tools:
    1. The ETL or Data Integration. A stand alone app that can be used to access data on diferent formats and systems, process and distribute it to the apropiate people. You can schedule its excecution with the web server or use it as a datasource it with the report designer.
    2. Report Designer, a desktop banded report builder that let you ask for parameters and present your reports on web, excel or pdf.
    3. Metadata Editor A desktop modeler tool that lets you build a meta-model of your data to make easier to your users to navigate it and you to control their access to it.
    4. BI Server, a Tomcat Web Server preconfigured with users, demo data and the pentaho integrated projects.

Java SDK Installation

Use the 32 or 64 bit java version that corresponds to your operating system. To find out which OS version is on your computer:

  • On linux: Open a terminal (launcher->Type Terminal, click on it), type on the command prompt:
    uname -m
    If the answer is i686 you have 32 bits.
  • On windows: Click on Start -> Right Click on Equipment. Select properties. Look up the OS information in the window.

ON Linux

If you know how about user administration, create and use a pentaho user and a pentaho group to install the software, if not, your current user will do.

  1. On Ubuntu:
    Open the ‘Ubuntu Software Center’ (type it on unity search). On the search box type:
    Executable java OpenJDK 7
    click on its install button.
  2. On any linux box:
    In a Terminal, type three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer

In version 5.0 the scripts (bat & sh) looks for a PENTAHO_JAVA_HOME variable, so add it yo your profile. Please be carefull this is a configuration file.

  • You need to know the location of the java files.
    If you used the ubuntu center, it must be on
    Confirm this before continuing
  • In a command prompt edit your user .profile or the general profile:
    sudo gedit /etc/environment
    Add at the bottom the variable and the java (the one above the ‘bin’) folder:
    export PENTAHO_JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-i386
    save and exit

You can check your java installation by typing on a terminal:

java -version


Open a web browser and go to:

Download either the 32 bit version: jdk-7u51-windows-i586.exe or the 64 bit file: jdk-7u51-windows-x64.exe and excecute it using administrator privileges (right click on it).

To configure the windows environment variable:

  1. Click Start Button, right-click equipment, select Properties.
  2. On your left, there should be an option: advanced system settings, click on it.
  3. Click on the environment variables button
  4. A dialog will open with two list, in the bottom one, type:
    and then the java files path that should be something like:
    C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_51

You can check java by typing on a console: java -version

MySQL Database


To install MySql :

  1. On Ubuntu:
    Open the ‘Ubuntu Software Center‘ and then type ‘MySql’ to search for it, click on ‘MySQL Server‘ and then the Install button.
    Do the same with ‘MySQL Workbench‘ so you can interact with the database with a graphical tool.
  2. Or you can select other recomended ways for installing your software


This is the main oracle/MySql page. You can select different methods to install it on windows, I prefer to use a MSI installer as it installs and configures the database server to the appropriate access permissions. On your system it can be as simple as running the msi with administration access or exhaustive and detailed port, process and file ownership configuration.

General instructions to download and Install are in this page. The download page is so install the MySQL Community Server and MySQL Workbench. Remember to select your Windows 32-bit OR 64-bit and MSI not zip download button. You will have standard users, configuration and lots of literature to chatch up, but you are ready to go now.

You can start the server doube clicking on <Your path>\bin\mysql.exe. With the Workbench (or the command window) you can run SQL commands or table editing.

ETL aka Pentaho data Integration (PDI)

Now the easy part: to install Pentaho.

Access the Pentaho Project on source forge. Click on the Data Integration folder. The latest version is 5.0.1-stable (as this writing). Download the .zip file

On your computer, It is easier to put al versions of the Pentaho Suite on a folder, so create a Pentaho5 directory under your home directory and unzip the downloaded file in it (right click and select ‘unzip here’). You should now have a /Pentaho5/data-integration directory with the ETL files.

To test the application:

  • On linux:
    Open a terminal window, change to the the app folder, something like
    cd Pentaho5/data-integration
    and then type
  • On Windows:
    Use the File Navigator to get to your ETL files, like C:\Pentaho5\ Double click on spoon.bat.

There are a lot of ETL samples in the directory Pentaho5/data-integration/samples/transformations/ from reading text files, sort group, write to database tables. For example ‘Fixed Input…‘ reads a file ‘Textfile input – fixed length sample data.txt‘. To see it working, select the first icon (Fixed..) and hit the F10 key. You will see its contest if you click on launch.

You can also browse and install plugins if you click on help in the toolbar and select marketplace.

Exit the app.

Pentaho Report Designer

The process is similar for the Report Designer. The sourceforge folder is here. The latest version is 5.0.1-stable. You can download directly.

Download the file and unzip it on your Pentaho5 folder (right click an unzip it). You should now have a /Pentaho5/report-designer directory.

To test the application;

  • On linux:
    Open a terminal window, change to the the app folder, something like
    cd Pentaho5/report-designer
    and then type
  • On Windows:
    Double click on report-designer.bat.

You will notice the desinger elemnets tools on your left, and all cramped on your right the Structure Tab of your report and its elements in the bottom and Data Tab to add your data sources and parameters.

There are a lot of samples in the directory Pentaho5/report-designer/samples from invoice status, sales sumaries, charts or advanced html. The inventory.prpt on the operational reports folder is a nice example. You can execute them by clicking on the green ‘play’ icon in the toolbar.

Exit the app.

Pentaho Metadata

The process of installation is the same as in the previous examples. The sourceforge folder is here. The latest version is 5.0.1-stable. You can download directly.

Download the file and unzip it on your Pentaho5 folder (right click an unzip it). You should now have a /Pentaho5/metadata-editor directory.

To test the application;

  • On linux:
    Open a terminal window, change to the the app folder, something like
    cd Pentaho5/metadata-editor
    and then type
  • On Windows:
    Double click on metadata-editor.bat.

You can browse the steel wheels fisical (database) model, and how it is used then in the business model for browsing from tools like the WAQR -now deprecated- or report designer.

Exit the app.

Pentaho BI Server

The sourceforge folder is here. The latest version is 5.0.1-stable. You can download directly.

Download the file and unzip it on your Pentaho5 folder (right click an unzip it). You should now have a /Pentaho5/biserver-ce. The ce stands for community edition that is the open source or ‘basic’ version or without the much hyped capabilities on the new marketing and videos. Dont worry its pretty capable software.

You must run the Tomcat server to allow it to ‘deploy’ its web applications. It will uncompress folders and directories and set the server to a ‘localhost’ configuration.

  • On linux:
    Open a terminal window, change to the the app folder, something like
    cd Pentaho5/biserver
    and then type
  • On Windows:
    Double click on start-pentaho.bat.

The startup will take a few minutes. Remember that the server has versions of all the sofware installed, the web server and a database created and running in memory to allow the demo run, so be patient.

To access the login page open your browser (any moder browser is reorted to work ok) and type the URL:


Browse the files, in the public section you’ll find the standar report, olap report and dashboardof the Pentaho Suite.a

You can also add very valuable plugins like saiku o the ctools dashboard web tools (cdf, cde, cda) or waqr using the marketplace option.

To ‘close’ the web server you will need to execute the stop-pentaho script.

Ending comments

Thats it, those are the tools updated by pentaho on 2013. Open source tools like Saiku Reporting are not being ported. Aggregation o Mondrian Schema Editor are being updated. Tools like the Studio Designer are deprecated.
Remember: “Change is good. You go first.” 🙂

Installing the database and the server as services/startup deamons is a nice option it will be addressed on future post (you can access old articles to do that on this blog). The next post will be on customization of the bi server and then on a database (MySql) redirection, notes on the new repository and then a post on program migration, so stay tunned.

You can visit the main Index.

Pentaho Visualizations

[EDIT: So sorry for not checking this out first, but this is not for us.
  Community Edition is not allowed to play. So skip this one.
  I will not delete it. It will be a reminder to look for an alternative on 2013.]

This is just a reminder for you to visit the event-page in which Pentaho is giving away visualization plug-ins for your Pentaho BI Server.

So far they have a ‘sunburst’ tool which is a double level pie graph and a timeline zoom graph.


(click on the image or open the link)

All they ask for is feedback about improvement or additional ideas.

Next one will be on December 19th, 02012

Pentaho CE 4.8 – BI Server Update

[This is the third edit -15th January 2013-on this post I think this is the final version so everything works]

On November 29, Pentaho (dmoran specifically) published on sourceforge the new versión of the Pentaho BI Server 4.8. That is just a few days behind the Enterprise Edition announcement, that is great news for us.

Also was made available the Data Integration, Pentaho Metadata, Report Designer applications that you should be able to update following the Tools Update post.

The most notorious inprovement in the PUC is a toolbar button to install, upgrade or delete the Saiku or C*Tools plug-ins, its called ‘The Pentaho Marketplace’. If you click on it you will see this dialog:


If you’re server is connected to the internet you just need to click on the buttons to upgrade or install plugins!, This is the success dialog:


The following instructions should work from upgrading the 3.5-3.10 server if you installed acording to this series, that’s the installation and MySql-DB post. If you made further modifications or want to do the things the ‘best practice way’ then you should do a ‘diff’ for the configuration files, at least the ones mentioned.

If you need details about the instructions refer to each post where it is explained in detail.

Part I: BI Server Demo Install

Just like in the first post:

  1. Download biserver-ce-4.8.0-stable.tar.gz [445.6.5 MB]
  2. Stop your server.
  3. Make a bakup of your /Pentaho/biserver-ce folder, a zip or gzip file should do it.
  4. Rename the folder to /Pentaho/biserver-ce-old.
  5. Move the dowloaded file into \Pentaho
    untar/gzip the two folders:  tar -zxvf biserver-ce-4.8.0-stable.tar.gz
  6. Change the .sh to exetutables [I didn’t have to do this but in case you need it]
    Antonio suggested (on first post comments) to use:
    find Pentaho/ -type f -name ‘*.sh’ -exec chmod +x {} \;
  7. Add the java variable to the start and stop .sh files, including the ones in the administration console folders:
    export JAVA_HOME=”/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk”
    [or java-7-openjdk]
  8. Start the Server and login with joe/password to check the demo at:
    Be patient it may take a few minutes

Part II: Update Plugins

[Edit: JP -in the comments- posted that this step avoids an error on dropdown parameters that happens on some systems. As it works, I suggest you follow his advice.]

If your server is without internet access, follow the C*Tools and Saiku manual install instrucctions.

  1. Click on the marketplace icon on the toolbar.
    Locate the Comunity Dashboard Framework line and click on the view details button. Click on uninstall. Close the dialog.
  2. Restart you server.
  3. Reload the settings on the browser using the menu ->Tools -> Refresh and execute all the options. Clear your browser’s cache.
  4. Click again on view details button from the CDF option, but this time Install the ‘stable’ version not the TRUNK).
  5. Go ahead click on upgrade Saiku Analytics, CDA, CDE.
  6. You need to install the Saiku Reporting add-in manually (as described on Post 3): download it and unpack it into Pentaho/biserver-ce/pentaho-solutions/system.
  7. Reboot the server.
    I hope that in the next version of the marketplace they use use checkboxes and let the thing reiterate so you don’t have to click and waif for each one.
  8. You can check that after the procedure, the plugin-samples->CDF->CDF-> Samples->Charts samples->Chart Samples: works!

Part III: Upgrade your DB and Connections

Lets update the database config files (the same ones that we modified on post 2). Open a file explorer with the biserver-ce-old and the biserver-ce, as we will be copying files from the first one to the second, here is the list.Be carefull not to overwrite the wrong ones.

  1. Shut down the server.
  2. Copy the Hibernate and Quartz DB config files:
  3. Copy the Hibernate security files:
  4. Copy the Datasources:
  5. Copy your drivers (files not in the new lib folder) from:
    In my case: mysql-connector-java-5.1.17.jar, ojdbc14.jar, orai18n.jar
  6. Disable the In Memory database from the demo, edit:
    search for: BEGIN HSQLDB in two places, and remove some coment so it will look like this:
    <context-param> <param-name>hsqldb-databases</param-name> <param-value>sampledata@../../data/hsqldb/sampledata,hibernate@../../data/hsqldb/hibernate,quartz@../../data/hsqldb/quartz</param-value> </context-param>
    and :
    <listener> <listener-class>org.pentaho.platform.web.http.context.HsqldbStartupListener</listener-class> </listener>
  7. If you jave generated metadata using tools or dowloading samples you shoud check
    and copy your ‘agile’ file to your new folder.

The following modifications may vary and are optional, they were mentioned in Post 5 – Your Server:

  1. Copy company logo, repace these files from your biserver-ce-old folder:
  2. Avoid tip on ‘demo users’ at login screen, edit:
    Set these properties to false:
  3. Increase Timeout, edit two files:
    Search for session-timeout and change it from 30 to the seconds you prefer:
    While you are editing you can add these at the bottom, just after:
    <!– insert additional resource-refs –>
       <description>security role</description>
    Its removes a warning on logs at startup, but there a re too many now.
  4. Add your publishing password. Edit:
    Set the property to your password
  5. Remove Jpivot and waqr warnings.
    Those tool are deprecated, you should be using the Saiku tools, but If you have reports running on those tool, its not nice for your clients, so get to:
    add at the bottom of these files: jpivot.css and jpivotIE6.css :
    #deprecatedWarning { display: none; }
    And add to (in the same folder): adhoc.css :
    #waqrDeprecatedAlert { display: none; }
  6. On a production system, I hide the .CDA files, its no use to the end user to see the datasource in the treeview so edit:
    And comment the lines between:

  7. If you need advanced guidelines on changing http server name and port, connection pools, config for database on other machine, modify the messages, email account setup, and automatic startup, pool connection, etc. Check Post 5 for config notes.

Part IV: Copy your Solution Folders

  1. Check for your work (solutions) in the old
    and copy them to your new folder. I have two solutions and a samples from old bi server installations.
  2. If you have kept your .xmi and other configuration files to each solution folder you can upgrade this easily.

That’s it, start your server, you’re on 4.8 now. Now you’ll need to use your own user-password.

PD. Remember to reload the settings on the browser with the menu ->Tools -> Refresh and execute all the options, and clean your browser cache.