setting_up_msupply:requirements

2.01. Requirements

Windows and Mac hardware requirements

Hardware requirements vary widely depending on what you want to use mSupply for.

Here's a rough guide:

Version 5.0 and above

Any requirement that has changed between v4.14 and v5.00 is outlined in bold in the table below.

Machine Technical Minimum Recommended
Windows Client machine for use with server 64 bit processor
Windows 10
4 Gb RAM, 50Mb of disk space
64 bit processor
Windows 10
8 Gb RAM, 50Mb of disk space
Mac Client machine for use with server. 64 bit processor
macOS Mojave (10.14) – macOS Big Sur (11)(Latest release of major version is required, such as 10.14.6)
4 Gb RAM, 50Mb of disk space
64 bit processor
Mac OS 10.14.6 or later
8 Gb RAM, 50Mb of disk space
Windows server 64 bit processor
Windows 10 Pro or Win Server 2016
8 Gb RAM
500 GB HDD/SDD volume with daily backups to an external volume
Attached to a Smart UPS (see below)
64 bit processor
Win Server 2016+
16+ Gb RAM
4 x HDD/SDD volumes, 3 configured as RAID1 or RAID5 with hot spare
Daily backups to the fourth volume plus daily off-site backups
Attached to a Smart UPS (see below)
Windows Single-User sync machine 64 bit processor
Windows 10
8 Gb RAM, 500GB HDD/SDD volume with daily backups to an external volume plus daily off-site backups
64 bit processor
Windows 10
16 Gb RAM, 500GB HDD/SDD with daily backups to an external volume plus daily off-site backups
Version 4.14 and below
Machine Technical Minimum Recommended
Windows Client machine for use with server 64 bit processor
Windows 10
4 Gb RAM, 50Mb of disk space
64 bit processor
Windows 10
8 Gb RAM, 50Mb of disk space
Mac Client machine for use with server. 64 bit processor
Mac OS 10.13 or later
4 Gb RAM, 50Mb of disk space
64 bit processor
Mac OS 10.13 or later
8 Gb RAM, 50Mb of disk space
Windows server 64 bit processor
Windows 10 Pro
8 Gb RAM
500 GB HDD/SDD volume with daily backups to an external volume
Attached to a Smart UPS (see below)
64 bit processor
Win Server 2012+
16+ Gb RAM
4 x HDD/SDD volumes, 3 configured as RAID1 or RAID5 with hot spare
Daily backups to the fourth volume plus daily off-site backups
Attached to a Smart UPS (see below)
Windows Single-User sync machine 64 bit processor
Windows 10
8 Gb RAM, 500GB HDD/SDD volume with daily backups to an external volume plus daily off-site backups
64 bit processor
Windows 10
16 Gb RAM, 500GB HDD/SDD with daily backups to an external volume plus daily off-site backups
  • Smart UPS A 'smart' UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) detects when the battery power is about to run out and sends a notification to software on the server which triggers a graceful shut down of the computer. To enable this, there needs to be a cable connection (normally USB) between the UPS and the computer combined with software running on the computer.

In our experience, the primary cause of computer hardware failure is data corruption due to ungraceful shutdowns. This happens when power to the computer is cut instantly, without any notification to the computer to shut down gracefully. If the machine is 'protected' by a normal UPS, then this can still happen when the battery power runs out. Even if the machine is notionally protected by a 'smart' UPS, there are a number of circumstances where this UPS protection fails:

  • Cable connection and software can fail.
    • Cable becomes disconnected
    • Software isn't configured correctly
    • Software doesn't start up
  • UPS batteries degrade (normally within 2 years of installation in environments with regular power cuts) and there is too little capacity to run long enough for the computer to shut down gracefully after receiving the notification from the UPS

Laptop computers tend to be much more resilient to power failure:

  • A laptop's built-in 'smart' UPS is very reliable
  • The internal batteries last much longer than UPS batteries
  • Even if the laptop internal battery degrades, the 'smart' function appears to work much more reliably than a standalone UPS communicating with a 'tower' computer.

There has been some good experience with configuring mSupply servers on higher-powered laptop computers. Please talk to us about these possibilities.

  • A connected printer is not absolutely necessary in every situation, but for most situations it is a requirement. A dot-matrix printer may be used, but an ink-jet or laser is preferable.
  • Buy hardware for which you are able to obtain good support.
  • Buy brands with a reputation for quality (even if it means buying a slower/older machine).
  • We have clients running mSupply on a wide range of hardware. We are happy to discuss hardware options further via email or phone.

Once you start using mSupply, it is of crucial importance that you have a method of backing up your data. mSupply stores all its data in a file that rapidly becomes large. You need, therefore, to have a high capacity removable storage device. We strongly recommend the use of an external hard disk using either firewire (IEEE 1394) or USB2 to facilitate off-site storage of backups.

  • See the section in Preferences that covers mSupply's built-in backup features that allow backup to another disk, and to an internet backup site… you'll find it here: Backup
  • If not using our internet backup service, you need to be able to store backed up data off-site to prevent the risk of loss by fire, theft, etc.

Sustainable Solutions will not be able to help you recover lost data in the event of hardware failure if no backup is available.

Windows based operating systems are particularly prone to malware if precautions are not taken. We recommend the following precautions:

  • Install a reputable anti-virus program, including web protection if the computer has access to the internet. We recommend F-Prot.
  • Disable USB ports - refer to this site for suggested methods.

Ensure that access to passwords to allow exceptions to the above two measures are kept secure.

If you open a data file that was created with a previous version, it will automatically be updated to the new format. Please note that this process may take some time.

Note that if you are using a version earlier than v1.96 you must first upgrade to v1.96 and then to version 2 or 3.

IMPORTANT! Always make a backup of your data file before upgrading, and preferably keep a copy off-site. We will not be able to help you in the event of some unexpected disaster if you haven't followed this advice!



  • Last modified: 2021/02/25 08:15
  • by Gary Willetts