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At the simplest level, Mahara is two things: an e-portfolio and a social networking system combined. An e-portfolio is a system in which students can record "evidences of lifelong learning" - such as essays, artwork or other such things they produce that can be stored digitally. Such things are known as artefacts in Mahara. Social networking systems need little introduction - think Myspace, Facebook or Bebo. Basically, they give a way for people to interact with their friends and create their own online communities.

But Mahara is much more than just a place to store files. Mahara also includes blogging, a resumé builder, Moodle integration and the standout views framework.

Install lighttpd, PHP, and MySql

Install the additional packages:

apk add lighttpd php5-common php5-iconv php5-json php5-gd php5-curl php5-xml php5-pgsql php5-mysql php5-imap php5-cgi fcgi

apk add php5-pdo php5-pdo_pgsql php5-pdo_mysql php5-soap php5-xmlrpc php5-posix php5-mcrypt php5-gettext php5-ldap php5-ctype php5-dom

Configure Lighttpd

Edit lighttpd.conf

vi /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf

Uncomment line:

include "mod_fastcgi.conf"

Edit mod_fastcgi.conf

vi /etc/lighttpd/mod_fastcgi.conf

Edit the section:




Start lighttpd service and add to needed runlevel

rc-service lighttpd start && rc-update add lighttpd default

Install extra packages:

apk add php-mysql mysql mysql-client

Installing and configuring Mahara

Create the webapps folder

mkdir -p /usr/share/webapps/

Download the source code archive

cd /usr/share/webapps/ wget

Unpack the archive and delete it afterwards

tar -xzvf tar zxvf 1.5_STABLE rm 1.5_STABLE

Crate a symlink to the Mahara folder

mv /var/www/localhost/htdocs/ /var/www/localhost/htdocs.old ln -s /usr/share/webapps/mahara-mahara/htdocs/ /var/www/localhost/htdocs

Edit the config file

cp mahara-mahara/htdocs/config-dist.php mahara-mahara/htdocs/config.php vi mahara-mahara/htdocs/config.php


  • Set:
// database connection details
// valid values for dbtype are 'postgres8' and 'mysql5'
$cfg->dbtype   = 'mysql5';
$cfg->dbhost   = 'localhost';
$cfg->dbport   = null;
$cfg->dbname   = 'mahara';
$cfg->dbuser   = 'root';
$cfg->dbpass   = 'password';
$cfg->dataroot = '/tmp/';

Edit the php.ini

vi /etc/php/php.ini

  • Set:
session.entropy_length = 16
post_max_size = 50M

Restart lighttpd

/etc/init.d/lighttpd restart

Config and start MySql

/usr/bin/mysql_install_db --user=mysql /etc/init.d/mysql start && rc-update add mysql default /usr/bin/mysqladmin -u root password 'password'

Create the Mahara database

mysql -u root -p

CREATE DATABASE mahara; GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mahara.* TO 'mahara'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'mahara password'; FLUSH PRIVILEGES; EXIT

Config your Mahara

Browse to: http://WEBSERVER_IP_ADDRESS/ and click in Install Mahara

After the Successfully installed Mahara. click Continue

  • Enter Information needed
  • Password, twice
  • Your E-mail

You have Mahara working, to access go to http://WEBSERVER_IP_ADDRESS/ and enjoy!