How To Install Mahara on Ubuntu 16.04

How To install Mahara on Ubuntu 16.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configuration of Mahara on your Ubuntu 16.04. For those of you who didn’t know, Mahara is a fully-featured web application to build your electronic portfolio. You can upload files, create journals, embed social media resources from the web, and collaborate with other users in groups.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Mahara on a Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) server.

Install Mahara on Ubuntu 16.04

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt-get commands in the terminal.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2. Install LAMP (Linux, Apache, MariaDB, PHP) server.

A Ubuntu 16.04 LAMP server is required. If you do not have LAMP installed, you can follow our guide here. Also, install all required PHP modules:

apt-get install php5 php5-mysql php5-gd php5-curl libssh2-php

Step 3. Installing Mahara.

The first thing to do is to go to Mahara’s download page and download the latest stable version of Mahara, At the moment of writing this article it is version 5:

wget https://launchpad.net/mahara/16.04/16.04.1/+download/mahara-16.04.1.zip

Unpack the Mahara archive to the document root directory on your server:

unzip mahara-16.04.1.zip
mv mahara-16.04.1 /var/www/html/mahara

Create Mahara’s upload directory:

mkdir /var/www/html/mahara/upload/

Next, create Mahara’s config.php. In the Mahara ‘htdocs’ directory, there is config-dist.php file. Make a copy of this called config.php:

cd /var/www/html/mahara/htdocs/
cp config-dist.php config.php

Add the following lines:

### nano config.php

$cfg->dbtype = 'mysql';
$cfg->dbhost = 'localhost';
$cfg->dbport = null;
$cfg->dbname = 'mahara';
$cfg->dbuser = 'maharauser';
$cfg->dbpass = 'your-password';
$cfg->dataroot = '/var/www/html/mahara/upload/';

We will need to change some folders permissions:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/mahara/

Step 4. Configuring MariaDB for Mahara.

By default, MariaDB is not hardened. You can secure MariaDB using the mysql_secure_installation script. You should read and below each step carefully which will set a root password, remove anonymous users, disallow remote root login, and remove the test database and access to secure MariaDB.

mysql_secure_installation

Configure it like this:

- Set root password? [Y/n] y
- Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] y
- Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] y
- Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] y
- Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] y

Next, we will need to log in to the MariaDB console and create a database for the Mahara. Run the following command:

mysql -u root -p

This will prompt you for a password, so enter your MariaDB root password and hit Enter. Once you are logged in to your database server you need to create a database for Mahara installation:

MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE mahara character set UTF8;
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mahara.* TO 'maharauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your-password';
MariaDB [(none)]> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
MariaDB [(none)]> \q

Step 5. Configuring Apache web server for Mahara.

Create a new virtual host directive in Apache. For example, create a new Apache configuration file named ‘mahara.conf’ on your virtual server:

sudo a2enmod rewrite
touch /etc/apache2/sites-available/mahara.conf
ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/mahara.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/mahara.conf
nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/mahara.conf

Add the following lines:

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin admin@yourdomain.com
DocumentRoot "/var/www/html/mahara/htdocs/"
ServerName your-domain.com
ServerAlias www.your-domain.com
<Directory "/var/www/html/mahara/htdocs/">
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all
</Directory>
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/your-domain.com-error_log
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/your-domain.com-access_log common
</VirtualHost>

Now, we can restart the Apache webserver so that the changes take place:

systemctl restart apache2.service

Step 6. Accessing Mahara.

Mahara will be available on HTTP port 80 by default. Open your favorite browser and navigate to http://your-domain.com orhttp://server-ip and complete the required steps to finish the installation. If you are using a firewall, please open port 80 to enable access to the control panel.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Mahara. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Mahara open source e-commerce on your Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Mahara website.

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