1.0 Sakai 12 pre-requisites
- Java 1.8
- Maven 3.0 or later
- Tomcat 8
Sakai 11.0 was QA tested with jre-1.8.0_77, maven-3.2.3, tomcat-8.0.32
2.0 Get the binary archive
The binary distribution of Sakai provides a shortcut for those that already have Tomcat in place and configured as needed (including the database setup and configuration) and it does so by providing a pre-built Sakai that can simply be dropped into place. All you need to do is unpack the binary archive at the root Tomcat directory and the appropriate *.wars, *.jars, etc., for the Sakai application will be deposited in the correct locations.
The latest Sakai binary archive is available at http://source.sakaiproject.org/release/.
3.0 Verify/Install Java 1.8
To confirm that Java is both installed on your system and is the correct version for Sakai, run
java -version from the command line:
If Java is installed, basic version and build information will be displayed. Example output:
3.1 Set Java environment variables
~/.bash_loginto set and export shell variables while Mac users typically set and export environment variables in
.bash_profile. For Windows, go to
Start -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Environment Variablesand set
JAVA_HOMEvia the GUI.
Set the JAVA_HOME environment variable to point to the base directory of your Java installation and add Java's
/bin directory to the PATH environment variable.
If the variable JRE_HOME is already set or if you want to use a particular JRE if you have more than one JRE installed on your machine then you'll want to set the JRE_HOME variable as well. JRE_HOME is what Apache Tomcat uses when it starts up, but it defaults to use JAVA_HOME if JRE_HOME is not set. In most cases, setting JAVA_HOME should cover both cases sufficiently.
Windows: append the string to the end of the
Path system variable
The default Java virtual machine (JVM) settings are insufficient for an application of Sakai's size. As a result several JVM parameters must be increased for Sakai to run, while others may need to be adjusted for optimal performance.
We recommend that you define these settings in Tomcat's
/bin directory in a file named
setenv.sh (Unix/Mac) or
setenv.bat (Windows). See the "Install Tomcat 8" section below for more details.
Specify a Language and Locale (optional)
You can define the default language/locale when starting Sakai by setting the system properties
-Duser.region. For information on supported languages see the release notes or visit the i18N Work Group space.
In the case your locale is not fully supported in Java (as it happens with Basque or Mongolian languages) you should read this information:
Endorsed I18n Project
Specify an HTTP Proxy (optional)
In environments where local network policy or firewalls require use of an upstream HTTP proxy/cache, Sakai needs to be configured accordingly. Otherwise components or services which use HTTP requests, such as the
BasicNewsService for RSS feeds in the News tool, cannot retrieve data from the target URLs. This can be fixed with the following
4.0 Install Tomcat 8
- Apache Tomcat - http://tomcat.apache.org/
- Note: Always do a fresh install of Tomcat 8
- Note: For Sakai versions prior to 11.4 please use Tomcat 8.0.34 or earlier. Later versions of Tomcat may cause problems. example: - SAK-31608Getting issue details... STATUS
- Note: Windows users should ensure that there are no spaces in the complete tomcat path as this causes errors with JSF tools in Sakai
GOOD: C:\opt\tomcat\, C:\sakaistuff\installs\tomcat\
BAD: C:\program files\tomcat\, C:\opt\apache tomcat 8.0.43\
- Download Tomcat 8 - https://tomcat.apache.org/download-80.cgi
Windows users should get the zip file instead of installing a service
It makes viewing the tomcat logs easier and it is easier to configure
- Extract to /opt (symlink the apache-tomcat-8.0.x directory to tomcat after extracting)
Example (assuming you have saved the file as /opt/apache-tomcat-8.0.x.tar.gz)
Windows users should either rename the directory or, if comfortable, create a directory junction using an elevated cmd prompt:
- Modify conf/server.xml for international character support
- Add URIEncoding="UTF-8" to the Connector element
- <Connector port="8080" URIEncoding="UTF-8" ...
- Add URIEncoding="UTF-8" to the Connector element
- Set environment variable: CATALINA_HOME=/opt/tomcat
- Add $CATALINA_HOME/bin to PATH
Setup the SETENV file in the tomcat/bin directory with JAVA_OPTS (from Install Java 1.8).
Populate Database With Demo Data
Instead of starting with an empty database you can add the flag -Dsakai.demo=true in addition to the others shown here. During your first Tomcat launch it will populate your database with test data (students, courses, etc). Once the data has been created remove this flag for subsequent Tomcat launches. Be advised that this flag will not trigger on a database with data already in it so you must make this choice during the initial setup. It should also be noted that without this flag one will not be able to create any course sites in Sakai unless Academic Term, Subject, Course, and Section data is manually added to the "cm_" tables in the database.
Mac/Linux: Create a file called setenv.sh with the following (alternately, you can put this into your .bashrc file so they're automatically executed):
Windows(PC): Create a file called setenv.bat with the following:
[OPTIONAL] Delete the default webapps from the webapps dir
Improve startup speed
You can improve startup speed under Tomcat 8 significantly.
For Sakai 12 and earlier: Edit the file conf/context.xml and add this JarScanFilter block to the <Context>
For Sakai 19 and later: After the JSF 2.3 migration, users may update the tomcat configuration to this one:
5.0 Unpack the Sakai binary distribution
Download the archive into $CATALINA_HOME and then unpack the archive. Then start up Tomcat by running the Tomcat start up script in
$CATALINA_HOME/bin. Unix/Mac users should make sure that they have write permissions to the Tomcat servlet container files and directories before proceeding or start up permission errors may occur.
If you wish to configure a binary installation you'll need to manually create a
/sakai folder in $CATALINA_HOME to hold your
5.1 Configure Sakai
sakai.propertiesfile is a central configuration file that is typically stored in a
/sakaisubdirectory relative to the Tomcat home directory (
$CATALINA_HOME). It is a non-XML text file containing a series of key/value pairs that is read using the load method of java.util.properties. Settings in
sakai.propertiesgovern everything from setting your institution's name to configuring your database. All settings in
sakai.propertiesare read on startup; any changes you make subsequently will only take effect when you restart web application server.
For a source installation the default
default.sakai.properties file is located in the
The bin package does not include a
sakai.properties file. This is a deliberate exclusion; it eliminates the possibility of overwriting a local
sakai.properties file if a bin package is opened over an existing Sakai installation.
If you need to override the default settings you must create your own
sakai.properties file either from scratch or from a known working copy adding new key/value settings in order to customize your installation. We recommend that you review the
default.sakai.properties file included in the source installation or in the appropriate maintenance branch.
The default location for your local
sakai.properties file is
$CATALINA_HOME/sakai. This folder is not created by Maven during the build and deployment process, so you will have to create it manually or via a script. You can also store Sakai's configuration files outside of your web application server's file hierarchy. For example, in a development environment you may find yourself frequently reinstalling Tomcat and unless you create a build script to automate the Tomcat installation and configuration process avoiding having to recreate
sakai.properties each time has its advantages.
To locate your properties file outside of your web application server environment modify the Java startup command or the
JAVA_OPTS environment variable and set a system property named
sakai.home. Make sure your external location is readable and writable by your web application server.
5.2 Configure Database
Make sure to include a MySql connector jar in your CATALINA_HOME/lib.
Create a Sakai database with a default character set of UTF-8. Create a user account to which you will assign all permissions.
Use any database name and username you wish and then update your sakai.properties file (or even better, create a local.properties file, which has precedence).
In the example below the database is named "sakaidatabase" and the user account is "sakaiuser".
Excerpt from sakai.properties
## MySQL settings
validationQuery@javax.sql.BaseDataSource=select 1 from DUAL
6.0 Start/Stop Tomcat