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Installing DW Spectrum (Ubuntu)

Installing DW Spectrum® (Ubuntu)


Affected Roles:  Owner, Administrator

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum® IPVMS

Complexity:  Low to Medium

Software Version: v4.1 or newer

Last Edit:  February 9, 2021


Creating a New System

DW Spectrum® is composed of two parts:

  • DW Spectrum® Media Server – the Media Server is Spectrum.  The media server is responsible for the recording, contains the database information of your added cameras and user profiles, and is arguably the most important aspect of the DW Spectrum® IPVMS platform.  The Media Server is supposed to be installed on a computer that will be acting as your server.  If you have a DW Blackjack® server, this software is already installed.
  • DW Spectrum® Client – the Client software provides the graphical interface with which users may utilize to interact with the Media Server and allows users to see what the Media Server is doing.  Some features include allowing users to configure settings, view live and recorded video, and manage device connections.  The Client is helpful for accessing the Media Server, but is not required to remain running for the Media Server to do its job.  Instead, it is recommended that users install the DW Spectrum Client software on a separate computer from the DW Spectrum Media Server computer to save on processing.

These two portions of DW Spectrum® IPVMS coordinate to comprise a System.  A System can refer to a group of merged servers or to a single server.

This article will explain how to install DW Spectrum® IPVMS, create a new Server, create a new System, and how to change the System name and password.

**NOTE:  DW Spectrum® IPVMS 4.0 and higher is not supported by Ubuntu 14.04 or lower.

Supported/Affected Devices:

  • DW Blackjack® Series

Installing DW Spectrum® on Ubuntu

  1. To obtain the installation files for DW Spectrum®, open a web browser and visit the DW Spectrum® IPVMS product page on the Digital Watchdog website.
  1. Scroll down and click on the Software tab.  Select the operating system that you will be installing with, then select version of DW Spectrum® that you want to install.

Click on the Download symbol to download an installation file.

**NOTE:  You can install both the DW Spectrum® Server and the DW Spectrum Client on the same computer, but it is also highly recommended to use the DW Spectrum® Client on a different computer than the Server to save on processing resources.

  1. Open your computer’s Downloads folder, then move the DW Spectrum® installation file(s) to the Desktop.

  1. After copying the installation files to the desktop, open the Terminal (CTRL+ALT+T).

**NOTE:  The Ubuntu OS Terminal program is case-sensitive.  Use the following commands exactly as they are written.

  1. Log in as a Super User by using the following command:

sudo su

You will then be asked to enter the system password. The root password will remain invisible as you type. Use the root password of:


**NOTE:  For older DW Blackjack units purchased prior to June 18, 2021, the previously utilized default Linux OS login was "admin/admin".

  1. Next, navigate to the Desktop by using the following commands:

cd Desktop

Next, to list the available files on the desktop and confirm that the installation files appear, use the command:


  1. To install the DW Spectrum® Server, enter the command:

dpkg –i dwspectrum-server-

**NOTE:  You can press the Tab key after partially entering the command (dpkg –i dwspectrum-server) to automatically complete the file name.

  1. A EULA message will appear.  Use the arrow keys to select Yes, then press the Enter key to confirm.  Allow the command to run. 

When finished, the DW Spectrum® Server program will then be installed.

  1. To install the DW Spectrum® Client, enter the command:

dpkg –i dwspectrum-client-

**NOTE:  You can press the Tab key after partially entering the command (dpkg –i dwspectrum-client) to automatically complete the file name.

  1.  Allow the command to run and complete the installation.  When finished, you may close the Terminal.

Creating a New System

1. Launch DW Spectrum® and create a New Server.

  1. As this is a first-time setup for DW Spectrum®, select Setup New System, then name the System.  The System name can be changed at a later time.

  1. Create an Administrator password.  This password will be the login password for the Admin user profile and can be changed at a later time.

**NOTE:  It is recommended to create a password that uses at least eight characters and contains at least two variations of lowercase letters, capitalized letters, numbers, or non-roman symbols.

  1. The System is now created and ready to use.  To log in and begin using the System, use the login ID of “admin” and the password that you created in the previous step.

Changing the Administrator Password and System Name

  1. To change the System Owner/Administrator password, launch DW Spectrum® and connect with the System.

Right-click on the System (house icon) and select Open Web Client.

  1. A browser will open and will attempt to connect with the System.

Enter the Administrator ID and Password to log in.

**NOTE:  An alternate method of accessing this web client is to use the Server IP Address to connect through a web browser.

  1. After logging into the System Web Client, you can change the Administrator password under the Settings > Server menu, located under Change admin password.  This will change the password for the Administrator for your DW Spectrum® Client, the Server, and for the System Web Client.

  1. To change the System name, select the System tab (Settings > System).  Enter the new Name of the System, then select Rename System to rename the System.

It is recommended that keep track of your password.  If the Administrator password is forgotten, a password reset form must be submitted for all DW Blackjack® Series NVRs.

If the DW Spectrum® Server is installed on a custom built server (not a DW Blackjack® Series NVR), a clean reinstallation of the DW Spectrum® Server will be required to reset a forgotten password. 

To learn how to completely uninstall DW Spectrum®, check out DW Spectrum Clean Uninstall.

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  • 17-Jan-2023