DROID is a software tool developed by The National Archives to perform automated batch identification of file formats. Developed by our Digital Preservation department as part of its broader digital preservation activities, DROID is designed to meet the fundamental requirement of any digital repository to be able to identify the precise format of all stored digital objects, and to link that identification to a central registry of technical information about that format and its dependencies.
DROID uses internal signatures to identify and report the specific file format and version of digital files. These signatures are stored in an XML signature file, generated from information recorded in the PRONOM technical registry. New and updated signatures are regularly added to PRONOM, and DROID can be configured to automatically download updated signature files.
For more information see our DROID: user guide (PDF, 0.64 MB).
Find out more about how to use DROID for information management activities.
The DROID 6.5 release provides two download options for users. The first is embedded with Java OpenJDK 11 for Windows users and does not require Java to be installed to run. The second can be run on any system with Java 8 to 11 installed.
Droid capabilities now include:
- Option to download for Windows users with Java Open JDK 11 embedded
- Drag and drop functionality for files into DROID GUI
- Ability to cherry pick types of archival container to be scanned, in both the GUI and the command line interface
- Implementation of standard signature syntax in container signatures
- Support for Java and OpenJDK 8 to 11
- Opens WARC 1.0 and 1.1 files as archive containers
For the full list of enhancements and changes please refer to the GitHub repository here.
Development builds of DROID which have the latest features, but do not undergo the same level of testing and quality checks, are available here: https://oss.sonatype.org/content/repositories/snapshots/uk/gov/nationalarchives/droid-binary/.
The DROID version without embedded Java runs on any platform with Java 8 to 11 Standard Edition (SE) or OpenJDK installed. A Windows platform is required for the option with embedded Java.
DROID is built and tested on:
- Linux CentOS (Red Hat)
- Microsoft Windows 10 (64 bit)
- Mac OSX (Mojave)
- Mac OSX (Sierra)
- Linux Ubuntu Desktop
If you are experiencing issues using DROID try these:
- Check which version (by typing java – version in CMD) of Java is installed and install version 8 to 11 if required
- Check DROID is running from a location on the local machine and not on a shared network/drive
- Close down DROID and delete .droid6 folder (within Windows, usually found here: C:\Users\’username’\.droid6) then restart DROID which will re-create the .droid6 folder
- If using a Linux or OSX operating system you may have to set executable permissions to be allowed to run DROID. You should set the executable permission on the ‘droid.sh’ file. You may also need to set executable permissions on the two .jar files: ‘droid-ui-6.5.jar’ and ‘droid-command-line-6.5.jar’
For additional support please contact us at PRONOM@nationalarchives.gov.uk.
User support is available from our Google Groups discussion page, ideal for questions about DROID, or assistance getting DROID working. Alternatively you can contact us via email. Bug reports, feature requests, and code contributions should be raised through GitHub Issues. We welcome contributions of new formats and format signatures to the PRONOM registry. If you wish to contribute, please use our online form. Signature Files and their release notes can be found below:
Versions of DROID prior to 6.1 are available from our Sourceforge site.
Versions of DROID 6.1 onwards are available here.
DroidConvert transforms a DROID CSV export into the structure required for digital transfers to The National Archives. This is for use by Public Record bodies preparing digital collections for transfer. The Readme included within the download contains information on using this tool.
DroidConvert is designed for Windows systems and has been tested on Windows 7 and 10 operating systems.
The script was written using the Python programming language, the original script can be viewed here.