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How to Install Chamilo on Ubuntu 14.04

Chamilo Learning Management System is software that allow us to create a virtual campus to create full online or semi-online learning.

Distributed under GNU GPLv3+ Chamilo is entirely free as in freedom, production ready without requiring any payment.

You can learn more about Chamilo's features from the Why Chamilo page. You can also see list of organisations that use Chamilo.


In this tutorial we'll learn how to Chamilo on Ubuntu 14.04. We will also install and configure its prerequisites.


We will install Chamilo on a fresh installation of Ubuntu Server 14.04. We also need these applications to be able to run Chamilo:

  • Apache 2
  • MySQL > 5.1
  • PHP > 5.5
  • Chamilo also require the following php libraries
    • php5-gd
    • php5-curl
    • php5-apcu
    • php5-ldap

Update the Base System

Before we install Chamilo, let's update the system to the latest update.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get -y upgrade

Install Apache 2

After applying latest update to our base system, Lets's start installing Apache 2 and its required libraries.

$ sudo apt-get -y install apache2 apache2-bin apache2-data apache2-mpm-prefork libaio1 libapache2-mod-php5 libapr1 libaprutil1 libdbd-mysql-perl libdbi-perl libhtml-template-perl libmysqlclient18 libterm-readkey-perl libwrap0 ssl-cert tcpd

We can check Apache 2's service status using the command below:

sudo service apache2 status
 * apache2 is running

We can also check which port Apache 2 is listening on using the command below:

 sudo netstat -naptu | grep apache
tcp6       0      0 :::80                   :::*                    LISTEN      14893/apache2

Install MySQL 5.6

We will install and use MySQL 5.6 as a database for Chamilo.

We will use MySQL Server 5.6 since MySQL 5.6 is the most up to date version of MySQL shipped with Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr.

$ sudo apt-get -y install mysql-server-5.6

We need to setup a MySQL root password. Please input password for MySQL root user.

Verify the root password.

Securing MySQL Installation.

We will secure MySQL installation by running mysql_secure_installation.

Enter the root password that we set on installation:

$ mysql_secure_installation 

In order to log into MySQL to secure it, we'll need the current password for the root user. If you've just installed MySQL, and you haven't set the root password yet, the password will be blank, so you should just press enter here.

Enter current password for root (enter for none): OK, successfully used password, moving on...

Since we already have the root password set, answer this part with n.

Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MySQL
root user without the proper authorisation.

You already have a root password set, so you can safely answer 'n'.

Change the root password? [Y/n] n ... skipping.

Remove anonymous user to improve security. This will make sure people have the correct username and password to login to MySQL. Answer with Y.

By default, a MySQL installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MySQL without having to have a user account created for
them.  This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
go a bit smoother.  You should remove them before moving into a
production environment.

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] Y ... Success!

We also want remove root login from remote machine. Answer with Y.

Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from 'localhost'.  This
ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.

Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y ... Success!

Previously the test database created automatically by MySQL installation, but MySQL 5.6 does not create test database. We can still choose Y, it will throw error but that's fine.

By default, MySQL comes with a database named 'test' that anyone can
access.  This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
before moving into a production environment.

Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y - Dropping test database... ERROR 1008 (HY000) at line 1: Can't drop database 'test'; database doesn't exist ... Failed! Not critical, keep moving... - Removing privileges on test database... ... Success!

The last step is to reload the MySQL privilege table:

Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
will take effect immediately.

Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] Y ... Success!

All done! If you've completed all of the above steps, your MySQL installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MySQL!

Cleaning up...

Create a Database for Chamilo

Now we have a secure MySQL installation, it's time to create a database and user for chamilo itself.

Login to MySQL using root credential.

$ mysql -u root -p
Enter password: 
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 58
Server version: 5.6.30-0ubuntu0.14.04.1 (Ubuntu)

Copyright (c) 2000, 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.


Create a new database named chamilo using command below:

mysql> CREATE DATABASE chamilo;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

Create a User for Chamilo

The database for chamilo is ready, let's create a username and password and grant privileges to the chamilo database.

Don't forget to change the password chamilo123secret below with a better password.

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `chamilo`.* TO 'chamilo'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'chamilo123secret';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

We need to run the FLUSH PRIVILEGES command so that the privileges table will be reloaded by MySQL and we can use new credential.

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Exit from the MySQL console by typing \q:

mysql> \q

Install PHP 5

The last component that we have to install before we can install Chamilo is PHP 5. We will install PHP 5 and several common PHP libraries.

$ sudo apt-get -y install php5-cli php5-common php5-json php5-mysql php5-readline

Install additional PHP libraries:

$ sudo apt-get -y install php5-gd php5-curl php5-apcu php5-ldap

Restart Apache 2 process so the changes will be applied:

$ sudo service apache2 restart

Install Chamilo

All prerequisites are already installed. We're ready to install chamilo. The latest stable version of chamilo is available Chamilo download page.

At the time of this writing, the latest stable version is version 1.11.2, let's download the Chamilo compressed file using wget, this process will take some time since it's pretty large (251 MB).

$ wget -c

Extract the downloaded file, this will also take some time to finish, you can change xzf option with xzvf if you want to see extracted file names.

$ tar xzf chamilo-lms-1.11.2.tar.gz

Move the chamilo-lms-1.11.2 folder to /var/www/chamilo.

$ sudo mv chamilo-lms-1.11.2 /var/www/chamilo

Change ownership of the chamilo directory to www-data user and group.

$ sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/chamilo

Chamilo files are ready, now let's create an Apache Virtual Host configuration to serve Chamilo.

Configure Apache Virtual Host for http Only

Create new apache configuration file on /etc/apache2/sites-available/chamilo.conf with contents below.

<VirtualHost *:80>

DocumentRoot /var/www/chamilo

<Directory /var/www/chamilo> Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews AllowOverride All Require all granted <IfModule mod_php5.c> php_value session.cookie_httponly 1 php_value upload_max_filesize 10M php_value post_max_size 10M php_value date.timezone "Asia/Jakarta" </IfModule> </Directory>

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ combined


Don't forget to change above with the domain name that you use for your chamilo installation.

Enable the site using a2ensite command.

$ sudo a2ensite chamilo

Reload the apache2 process so it reads the new virtualhost configuration:

$ sudo service apache2 reload

Chamilo Installation Wizard

Now open the Chamilo URL, we will be redirected to Chamilo installation wizard. Click Install Chamilo

Step 1 is choose installation language, I choose English and click Next

Step 2 is a requirements check, all checks on this page should already green. We don't install Xapian module since no ubuntu package available so we have to compile the module first.

The Display Errors check is still ON but we can ignore this, This check will always report ON even though we leave the display_errors to default Off value.

This was caused by main/install/index.php script on line 22 that use ini_set to set display_errors to 1.

ini_set('display_errors', '1');

Click New Installation

Step 3 is the License. You can click I Accept and click Next

Step 4 is MySQL database configuration. Input database name and database credential that we already created above.

Step 5 is config settings, input Administrator details and details about your Chamilo site. The most important part is Chamilo URL. Click Next

Step 6 is reviewing the config before we start install. You can review the values, if everything is ok click Install Chamilo

Step 7 is Chamilo installation process execution.

After installation has finished we will get a link to our new Chamilo installation. There is also a warning to secure our Chamilo that we will do in the next section.

When we click Go to your newly created portal on previous step we will be redirected to Chamilo login page. We can login using administrator credential we created during the installation process.

After a successful login we will get the Chamilo dashboard. Our Chamilo site is ready to be used.

Securing Chamilo Installation

To secure the Chamilo installation we need to change ownership of the app/config directory to 555.

$ sudo chmod -R 555 /var/www/chamilo/app/config/

and now remove the installation directory.

$ sudo rm -rf /var/www/chamilo/main/install/

Configure https Only Site for Chamilo

Secure connection is now a requirement for web application. Last step that we will do in this tutorial is changing the connection to only use https. We assume that you already have SSL certificate and private key.

Let's create new apache virtual host configuration on /etc/apache2/sites-available/chamilo-ssl.conf with contents below. Don't forget to change:

  • ServerName
  • SSLCertificateFile
  • SSLCertificateChainFile
  • SSLCertificateKeyFile
<VirtualHost *:80>
   Redirect permanent /

<VirtualHost *:443>


DocumentRoot /var/www/chamilo

<Directory /var/www/chamilo> Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews AllowOverride All Require all granted <IfModule mod_php5.c> php_value session.cookie_httponly 1 php_value upload_max_filesize 10M php_value post_max_size 10M php_value date.timezone "Asia/Jakarta" </IfModule> </Directory>

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ combined

SSLEngine on SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/ SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/apache2/ssl/ SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/

# Uncomment the following directive when using client certificate authentication #SSLCACertificateFile /path/to/ca_certs_for_client_authentication

# HSTS (mod_headers is required) (15768000 seconds = 6 months) Header always set Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=15768000"



We will also disable chamilo http only virtual host and enable the new virtual host config.

$ sudo a2dissite chamilo
$ sudo a2ensite chamilo-ssl

The new virtual host configuration need Apache mod_ssl module. We need to enable this module.

$ sudo a2enmod ssl

Now, restart the Apache 2 service so it will reload its configuration. We need to restart instead of reload since we enable new module.

$ sudo service apache2 restart

One last thing to make our Chamilo installation use https only is to change root_web configuration value.

Open /var/www/chamilo/app/config/configuration.php.

Find the line.

$_configuration['root_web'] = '';

Replace the http with https. When we refresh Chamilo site it will be redirected to https site.


In this tutorial we learned how to install Chamilo on Ubuntu 14.04.

We installed all the prerequisites, created a user and database on MySQL for Chamilo and also configurde Apache 2 virtual hosts to be able to serve Chamilo.

We also configured https settings for chamilo so we can run Chamilo securely.

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