Helios FHIR Server Installation Guide

Simple Install (Quick Start)


  1. Java 11 installed
  2. Cassandra installed locally (Cassandra quickstart)

Cassandra Quickstart

Cassandra Prerequisites

  1. Java 8 or Docker installed

Cassandra install (Docker)

The easiest way to get started with Cassandra is by using the Cassandra Docker container. All you have to do is run the following command:

docker run --name cassandra -p 9042:9042 -d cassandra:3.11

The Docker Cassandra installation is not recommended for production; however, it is a fantastic and easy way to start your exploration of the Helios FHIR Server!

Cassandra install (Native)

For a more permanent or performant Cassandra, we recommend you install the application natively.

First, make sure you have Java 8 installed and that it is your current version.

$ java -version
java version "1.8.0_191"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_191-b12)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.191-b12, mixed mode)

From here, you can follow the instructions provided by Apache Cassandra (Stop when you get to the header Installing the Debian packages)

Alternatively, we have reproduced the necessary steps here:

  1. Download the Apache Cassandra distribution

    $ curl -OL https://mirrors.sonic.net/apache/cassandra/3.11.8/apache-cassandra-3.11.8-bin.tar.gz

    Download Link Site

  2. Unpack the Apache Cassandra distribution

    $ tar xzvf apache-cassandra-3.11.8-bin.tar.gz
  3. Start Apache Cassandra

    $ cd apache-cassandra-3.11.8
    $ bin/cassandra
  4. Check the status of Cassandra

    $ bin/nodetool status

    Once the result is UN, which stands for Up/Normal, the Cassandra installation is ready to use with Helios FHIR Server

Installing Helios FHIR Server

  1. Set $JAVA_HOME to point to your Java 11 installation

    $ export JAVA_HOME=`/usr/libexec/java_home -v 11`
  2. Download the current Helios FHIR Server distribution

    $ curl -OL <insert the HFS download link here>

    Download Link Site

  3. Extract the Helios FHIR Server distribution

    $ tar xzvf ${helios-fhir-server-distribution.tar.gz}
  4. Start Helios FHIR Server

    $ cd ${helios-fhir-server-distribution}
    $ bin/karaf

    This starts the Helios FHIR Server and presents you with an interactive shell. Here you can try log:tail or bundle:list to interact with the Helios FHIR Server and see some interesting information about the system.

    • log:tail tails the Helios FHIR Server system log. You can inspect this log for a message that looks like
      12:32:55.471 INFO [features-3-thread-1] Deployment finished. Registering FeatureDeploymentListener
      12:32:55.770 INFO [features-3-thread-1] Done.
      to know when the Helios FHIR Server has completed its startup
    • bundle:list lists all the Bundles that are running in the Helios FHIR Server. This can be an easy way to check if your system is healthy and if the features you want are running.

    See more commands here

  5. Check the health of Helios FHIR Server

    Navigate to http://localhost:8181/fhir/healthcheck in a browser. The JSON response should be []. This indicates that all the desired Bundles are installed and active.


    In certain distributions of the Helios FHIR Server, some bundles and features are deliberately disabled and thus the healthcheck response is not the [] even though the system is healthy. A good secondary check is to execute the command bundle:list | grep -i failure in the Karaf terminal. If that returns empty, your system is healthy.

    In some cases, if the Helios FHIR Server was started too soon after Cassandra was started, the database connection will fail. This will present as a line like

    37 โ”‚ Failure โ”‚ 80 โ”‚ 0.19.0 โ”‚ cassandra-session Bundle

    in the response from bundle:list | grep -i failure. If this happens, simply shutdown the system (shutdown -f), wait a few minutes, and boot it up again using the bin/karaf command.

  6. Log in to the Helios FHIR Server interactive web user interface

    Navigate to http://localhost:8181/ui in a browser. You will be prompted to login, the default credentials are username: admin@heliossoftware.com and password: admin.

    From here, you can check the status of the system at a glance on the landing dashboard, configure the system, enable and disable FHIR Resources and Search Parameters, and manage the Helios FHIR Server users.