Martus Online Documentation

About Martus and Security

Digital security is important, Martus can help

Getting started with Martus

Install, create an account, start entering data

Keeping your Data Secure

Backup, restore and share securely

Managing Records

Organize records, administer settings and manage templates

Searching, Reporting, and Charts

Filter, search and visualize data

Customized Templates for Martus

Create custom forms

Mobile Martus

Collect data on a phone or tablet


Resolve or report problems, frequently asked questions

Using Martus Offline

Options for limited or no internet access

Martus Software Manuals

User Guide

The Martus User Guide contains detailed instructions on all processes and procedures needed for installation of the Martus desktop software, and the successful creation, storage, and retrieval of Martus data.

Download the Martus 5.2.0 User Guide

Martus 5.1 User Guide
Martus 5.0 User Guide
Martus 4.5 User Guide

Quick Start Guide

The Martus Quick Start Reference Card gives guidance on setting up a Martus account and basic functionality.

Download the Martus 5.2.0 Quick Start Guide

Martus 5.1 Quick Start Guide
Martus 5.0 Quick Start Guide
Martus 4.5 Quick Start Guide
Martus 4.4 Quick Start Guide


The Martus ReadMe file describes the changes between Martus desktop releases.

View the Martus 6.0.0 Readme

Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese

Cẩm Nang Sử Dụng (4.5)
Cẩm Nang Bắt Đầu Nhanh (4.5)

հայերեն / Armenian

Արագ Մեկնարկի Ուղեցույց (4.0)

中文 / Simplified Chinese

用户指南 (4.5)
快速入门指南 (4.5)

اភាសាខ្មែរ / Khmer

មគ្គុទ្ទេសក៍អ្នកប្រើ (2.0.1)
មគ្គុទ្ទេសក៍ចាប់ផ្ដើមរហ័ស (2.0.1)
សូមអានខ្ញុំ (2.0)

Please note that while text is in Khmer, screenshots are in English

Mobile Martus for Android Documentation

Mobile Martus is a secure, Android-based mobile documentation application built on Benetech's Martus technology, which allows human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and other users anywhere in the world to securely gather information about human rights violations.

The Mobile Martus application allows users to send crucial data from the field—text, photographs, audio and video—to the Martus network of secure servers. The data is automatically encrypted on the mobile phone, and when being sent to the server, so it is protected in case the phone is lost, stolen or confiscated. A user—or someone they designate—can later retrieve their data, and can search, analyze and report on the information, using the Martus Desktop Client software on their computer.

Mobile Martus for Android Overview (1.2)
Mobile Martus for Android Reference Guide (1.2)
Mobile Martus for Android Release Notes (1.2.1)

Language Packs

A language pack allows you to install new and updated translations and documentation. Language Packs can contain updates to the Martus Client User Interface translation, the User Guide, Quick Start Guide, Readme file, and in-program help.

If a language pack link is available for your version of Martus below, download the .MLP (Martus Language Pack) file and place it in your Martus directory. The next time you run Martus, it will load any updated translations and documentation.

Español / Spanish (5.1)

SHA-1 1c483a3ff9e8c27def618d3bd02b0de16beae585

Русский / Russian (4.4)

SHA-1 466efc879ee74497be34c5c0718b3f949f0d5a02

Français / French (5.0)

SHA-1 9055c8cfcfd78bf9c6d6963763a637cb5a5b1a5c

ภาษาไทย / Thai (3.1)

SHA-1 89e2a2adb50743082e55c5e23bcd35fb6a20d31e

नेपाली / Nepali (2.1)

SHA-1 e341115cb8dfe4d6b22ca1087c73ca87159f6dab

中文 / Simplified Chinese (4.5)

SHA-1 6315fb36799fbbb857ad996e8fd508ef4a6b8604

العربية / Arabic (4.5)

SHA-1 3cbb173db0b2ab8d75fe97cc64dd0eaefa2797e7

فارسی / Farsi (4.5)

SHA-1 2dbfce943b520587c96022f313cfe21e22d4ae8a

Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese (4.5)

SHA-1 469261ee4b4b4c37fff954fe69a89b974a6ce49e

About Martus' Security

Martus uses a variety of standard encryption algorithms. It uses password-based encryption (PBE) to store encrypted RSA keypairs. RSA 3072-bit keys are used in combination with AES 256-bit symmetric keys to encrypt and decrypt records while SHA digests are used to digitally sign and verify each record, and all server communications use TLS/SSL. The users’ RSA private keys are never sent to the server, which means that the server can never decrypt any user data. Record authors can choose which other Martus accounts (if any) can also read their private bulletin data. The Martus application itself (in JAR file form) is signed by the Martus developers.

Martus is built in Java and relies on Bouncy Castle, an open source collection of APIs, for its cryptography. Our ecosystem integrates with renowned anonymity tool Tor via JTor/Orchid for multi-platform desktops, and Orbot for android devices. We are currently packaging Martus for Debian and are in discussions for it to be included by default in Tails, a Debian derivative that can reduce the surface attack of any user by offering a single-state, privacy-enhancing operative system. You can read about our recent work with Tails in our post on Benetech's blog.

The various ways in which Martus uses cryptography ("crypto") include:

  • Identifying a user account
  • Encrypting record data
  • Encrypting account/configuration of data
  • Signing record data to prevent tampering
  • Securing communications between client and server (and between servers)
  • Safely backing up client account data in multiple locations, without a passphrase
  • Verifying that martus.jar and language packs are authentic
  • Verifying that downloads are authentic and unchanged