Open source document management system with ocr


Papermerge – Document Management System for Digital Archives

Papermerge is an open source document management system (DMS) primarilydesigned for archiving and retrieving your digital documents.

Instead of having piles of paper documents all over your desk, office ordrawers – you can quickly scan them and configure your scanner to directlyupload to Papermerge DMS. Papermerge DMS on its turn willOCR thedocument and index it. You will be able to quickly find any (scanned!)document using full text search capabilities.

Papermerge’s main use case is long term storage of digital archives.

Papermerge DMS is actively developed.

This is web-based software. This means there is no executable file (aka no.exe files), and it must be run on a web server and accessed through a webbrowser.

Currently there are two main versions 2.0 and 2.1.Version 2.1 is almost a complete rewrite of 2.0 and thus is incompatible with it (for details see last section).Screenshot of Papermerge 2.1:

Papermerge 2.1

Screenshot of Papermerge 2.0:

Papermerge 2.0


This repository is meta-repository – which means that source code of theapplication is not here. This repository is used to track project’s existence,status and its issues. As the application grew it was necessary to split itinto multiple repositories and in same time move new repositories underPapermerge Github Organization.

RepositoryDescriptionciur/papermergeMeta-repository which keeps track the project existence, status, and its issues.papermerge/papermerge-coreSource code for REST API Backend server. The heart of the project.papermerge/papermerge.jsSource code for Frontend – desktop like modern user interface.papermerge/documentationSource code for the documentation.papermerge/helm-chartHelm Chart for deploying Papermerge in Kubernetes cluster.

Other Resources

Right Tool For You?

To be efficient you always need to choose right tool for the problem. BecauseDocument Management term is too wide – I think that a definition of what is aDocument in context of Papermerge software is needed.

For Papermerge a document is anything which is a good candidate forarchiving – some piece of information which is not editable but you need tostore it for future reference. For example receipts are good examples -you don’t need to read receipts everyday, but eventually you will need themfor your tax declaration. In this sense – scanned documents, which areusually in PDF or TIFF format, are perfect match.

Within Papermerge context terms document, scanned document, pdf document,and digital archive are used interchangeable and mean the same thing.

Papermerge shines when it comes to storing documents for long term, in other wordsPapermerge’s main use case is long term storage of digital archives.

Out of scope are Office documents (ODT, DOCX….), text files (notes) whichusually are editable.

Papermerge is simply not designed to store books. Yes, you can scan a book andimport it in Papermerge, but again – this is not what Papermerge was intended for.

Features Highlight

  • Documents of pdf, jpg, png, tiff formats are supported
  • Desktop like user interface
  • OCR – used to extract text for documents indexing
  • Full text search
  • Document Versioning (all operations on the documents are non destructive)
  • User defined metadata per folder/document/page
  • Tags – assign colored tags to documents or folders
  • Documents and Folders – users can organize documents in folders
  • Multi-User (Groups, Roles)
  • User permissions management
  • Document permissions management
  • Page Management – delete, reorder, rotate and extract pages
  • Basic automation

See last section for details on feature set in Papermerge 2.0 and Papermerge 2.1

Donations, Fundraising, Your Support

For donations, you can use PayPal and GitHub Sponsorship:


We welcome contributions! In general, if change is very small, like fixing adocumentation typo, remove unused variable or minor adjustments of dockerrelated files – you can create a pull request right away. If your change issmall and reasonable it will be (very likely) almost immediately accepted.

For bigger changes, like a new feature or even change/add/remove ofwhole paragraph in documentation – please first discuss thechange you wish to make via GitHub issue, pull request or email.

For more information, see thecontributingfile.

Papermerge 2.1 Vs Papermerge 2.0

In general rewriting application from scratch is dubious adventure. However,because Papermerge 2.0 had too many design flaws – maintenance of which, inshort and long term is a serious pain – we’ve decided, for good or ill, torewrite it.

As result Papermerge 2.1 was born. Although they looksimilar, Papermerge 2.0 and Papermerge 2.1 are entirely different andincompatible applications.

Because rewriting of Papermerge took by far more time than planned, manyof the 2.0 features still did not made it to Papermerge 2.1. Keep in mind,that in long term, almost all features of Papermerge 2.0 will be “portedback” to subsequent versions (e.g. Automates, Metadata).

Here is a table of features comparisons of both versions:

FeaturePapermerge 2.0Papermerge 2.1RemarksPDF format✔️✔️png format✔️❌Will be ported in future versionsjpeg format✔️❌Will be ported in future versionstiff format✔️❌Depending on request, may be ported in future versionsDesktop like UI✔️✔️in 2.1 UI is reactiveDual Panel❌✔️Realtime OCR feedback❌✔️OCR✔️✔️in 2.1 uses OCRmyPDFDownload document with OCRed text layer❌✔️in 2.1 uses OCRmyPDFFull Text Search✔️✔️in 2.1 you can choose between multiple search backendsDocument Versioning❌✔️Actually 2.0 has some very limited and hacky support for document versionsUser defined metadata per folder/document/page✔️❌Will be ported in future versionsAutomates✔️❌Will be ported in future versionsTags – assign colored tags to documents or folders✔️✔️Documents and Folders✔️✔️Multi-User (Groups, Roles)✔️✔️User permissions management✔️✔️Document permissions management✔️❌Will be ported in future versionsREST API✔️✔️Page Delete/Reorder/Move✔️✔️Page Rotation❌✔️Documents Merging❌✔️Cloud Native/K8s Support❌✔️ Top 10 Open Source Document Management System

File storing and sharing apps are priceless for the numerous benefits they allow users to enjoy. Such as, keeping things paperless, affording high privacy, and having files at fingertips any time anywhere. And when people are fishing for large storage spaces in almost every device, open-source document manager systems only make sense. With Open Source Document Management System, users get to have the fruits of customization.

Here are some benefits of an online open-source document management system: 

  1. Go paperless; less physical space required 
  2. Modify & develop as you like
  3. Large storage space 
  4. Enhanced security
  5. Share and collaborate with others 
  6. Easy retrieval 
  7. Improved regulatory compliance
  8. Backup and disaster recovery

open source document management system

We’ve selected a handful of best open source document management system to outline here. These are: 

  1. Kimios
  2. WPERP Document Manager
  3. OpenDocMan
  4. Sentrifugo
  5. MayanEDMS
  6. Alfresco
  7. OpenKM
  8. SeedDMS
  9. LogicalDoc
  10. KrystalDMS

1. Kimios

open source document management system

This is free and efficient software that can be used for storing, editing, creating, tracking and managing documents. Kimios offers smart digital workflow solutions and document control. It’s both web-based and mobile.

Moreover, the website says “Kimios was designed to help companies and departments with a large document flow: Human Resources, Financial Departments, Quality Service, etc.”

One of the unique things about Kimios software is that it offers direct integration to your Microsoft Office but only under the commercial license. Based on a full service-oriented architecture or SOA, this software functions on a client-server model.


  • Makes it easy to create, update or delete documents
  • Comes with a customizable search engine
  • Has a check-in and check-out feature
  • Offers information systems integration
  • Create / Update / Delete documents
  • Version control to restore the documents
  • Customize the repository using metadata
  • Connect third parties application to provide meta-values and index
  • Customizable search engine
  • Bookmarks documents
  • Create advanced search requests and bookmarks
  • Checkin / Checkout feature
  • User rights management
  • Standards authentications and security system
  • Informations system integration


You can download the source code of the open-source document management system version of Kimios from GitHub. You can also download its bundle version from their website.

2. WP ERP Document Manager

open source document management system

WP ERP Document Manager is a complete WordPress document management system.

If you’re using WordPress to manage your business or online venture, you might be interested in WP ERP Document Manager. This plugin runs on the core WP ERP, which is a complete online small business manager on WordPress with HR and CRM modules. This comprehensive document manager stores all sorts of files on this self-hosted HR and CRM managers. WP ERP Document Manager lets you upload, view, and manage any type of docs and files on the backend of your WordPress.

Both managers and staff can attach files to employee profiles, like CVs, certifications, and performance evaluations. Moreover, you can also upload files to your customer profiles, such as order history, complaints, client details and a lot more. 

open source document management system

WP ERP Document Manager is perfect for enterprises and businesses of all sizes.

And if you’re using something as amazing as HR Frontend, your employees would be able to quickly upload files directly from your sites on their profiles, without accessing the admin dashboard.

Upload pictures, PDFs, Word files, ZIP files, spreadsheets and more of any format with WP ERP Document Manager extension.

The plugin also has detailed documentation and excellent technical support.


  • Keep everything organized on your server
  • Integration with WordPress HR & CRM
  • Define user roles & access
  • Instant search in dashboard
  • Every file format supported
  • Global access restricted only to owners and managers
  • Restrict file sizes or keep it unlimited 
  • Create folders and sub-folders in any numbers
  • Upload CSV, audios and videos
  • Progressbar
  • List & grid view
  • Multiple simultaneous file upload support
  • Display logos according to file type
  • View from wp dashboard
  • Purchase for single, 3, 10 or even 50 sites


WP ERP Document Manager starts for $39 for a single site. It is also available in $79 for 3 sites, $159 for 10 sites, and $399 for 50 sites. 

3. OpenDocMan

OpenDocMan is an open-source document management system written in PHP and can run inside of any PHP5- enabled web server, such as Apache2. It supports MySQL 5 as a database and can be used on any type of operating system using the browser. However, it is a 100% web-based document management system and features an automatic installer and update.


  • Support almost every type of files
  • Metadata fields  and categorization support
  • Revision history
  • File expiration
  • Create custom document properties to match your companies needs
  • Workflow
  • Automated document review and  file expiration process
  • Search
  • Indexing
  • Security
  • Fine-grained user access control
  • Departmental access control for each file
  • Multiple Language Support


The OpenDocMan has 2 plans – Basic USD 14 (Month),Standard USD 28 (Month). Free trial: Available.

4. Sentrifugo 

open source document management system

This solution right here is both a full-fledged HRMS and a completely free and open-source document management software. Moreover, Sentrifugo provides a one-stop file management system for individuals and businesses. Sentrifugo also provides users with an intuitive UI with exceptional HR resource modules.


  • Human Resources
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Employee Self-Service
  • Analytics
  • Background Checks
  • Leave Management
  • Service Request
  • Interview Schedule
  • Time Management
  • Feedforward
  • Expenses
  • Asset management 
  • Disciplinary
  • Employee exit/separation 


Sentrifugo is free to use. 

5. Mayan EDMS

open source document management system

Mayan EDMS is a free open-source electronic document management system written in Python. It uses the Django web application framework and provides an electronic vault or repository for electronic documents.

However, it offers a central electronic document storage repository for quick and precise storage, retrieval and management of important files and documents.


  • API Documentation
  • Central electronic repository
  • Supports All File Formats
  • User and Group Management
  • Efficient Dashboard
  • Advanced search
  • Categorization capabilities
  • Access management options
  • Workflow states
  • Key management
  • Role management
  • Activity logs
  • Reporting


Mayan EDMS offers two plans; professional and community. The professional edition provides users dedicated support and additional features. 

6. Alfresco

open source document management system

Alfresco is an open-source Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system that manages all the content within an enterprise and provides the services and controls that manage this content. At the core of the Alfresco system is a repository supported by a server that supports content, metadata, associations, and full-text indexes.

Programming interfaces support multiple languages and protocols upon which developers can create custom applications and solutions. However, more importantly, out-of-the-box applications provide standard solutions such as document management, records management, and web content management.


  • Multi-language support
  • jBPM workflow
  • Support for automatically generated XForms with AJAX
  • Lucene search


The prices of Alfresco are available upon request.

7. OpenKM

open source document management system

This is a Java-based document management system that offers clients a web UI for managing nonspecific digital files.

OpenKM allows users to set different rules and logic to automate the process of documentation. Furthermore, this document management system is compatible with all the common file types like text, office, open office, XMS, PDF, HTML, JPEG, and several others.


  • Content repo
  • jBPM workflow
  • Lucene indexing
  • Records management
  • Task automation & tracking system
  • Integrations
  • Collects information from digital sources
  • Watermarks and digital signatures
  • Workflow engine
  • Cryptography to encrypt as well as decrypt documents


The OpenKM DMS software comes in three different versions namely professional, cloud and community. The community plan is free. The other two plans are paid versions whose prices can be obtained on a quote basis. Moreover, the community version can be modified as the user wants. However, it lacks a few important features compared to the paid plans, such as, detailed knowledge base and extensive support.

8. SeedDMS

open source document management system

SeedDMS is an easy-to-use cross-platform web-based document management system written in PHP and MySQL/sqlite3.

It comes with a multi-level content directory that allows users to store more than 32,000 documents.


  • Supports all common file types and metadata
  • Offers preview images for attachments
  • Comes with WebDAV access
  • Efficient workflow for reviewing documents and approval
  • External authentication
  • Access control lists
  • Users and group management


SeedDMS is free to download and use.

9. LogicalDOC

open source document management system

LogicalDOC Community Edition speeds up information storage and retrieval, user administration, team collaboration, and reporting.


  • It offers a multilingual desktop and web interface
  • Allows you to import from ZIP archives
  • Has an internal messaging system
  • Comes with excellent security policies
  • Dropbox integration
  • Integration with WordPress and Joomla explorers
  • Support for HTTPS, CMIS, WebDAV protocols
  • Reporting
  • Events log
  • Users and groups
  • Document password protection
  • Collaborative options


The community version is free to use but it does not have the support that the professional version offers. The price of the professional version is quotation dependent.

10. Krystal DMS

open source document management system

Krystal DMS offers advanced features like indexing, detailed audit and multilingual support which help you to manage your documents without any trouble.


  • Offers proper email management
  • Advanced auditing
  • Allows you to control access.
  • Provides you with the OCR feature.
  • Comes with a proper workflow management feature.


The software comes in four basic editions. The community edition is free to use. The enterprise, standard and premium editions are paid versions and quotations dependent.

Open Source Document Management System are no less!

Documents are an asset to any business. Therefore, storing, accessing, and managing them should be easy. Document management software should be able to put all your documents to work more efficiently.

Open Source Document Managers are available in both free and paid forms. They are cheaper than other types of DMS and they make storing, sharing and managing a lot efficient. You can customize them as per your requirements. Access files anytime anywhere on the go. Automate workflows. Sharing is easy. And the software is always easy to use.

If you’ve more suggestions and names of open source document management systems that you consider to be one of the best, feel free to drop them in the comments!

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Written by Jane