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Sakai 2.5.2

Welcome to the Sakai 2.5.2 release! The Sakai 2.5 series incorporates a large number of refinements and refactoring touches at both the tool layer and  framework level. One new provisional tool (Reset Password) has been added, while two very successful provisional tools (OSP and Tests & Quizzes) have been promoted to the enterprise bundle. One core tool (Discussion) has been retired, being replaced by other options (e.g., Forums). See the release notes for more details.

The Sakai 2.5 series of releases is dedicated to the memory of the late Marc Brierley, a member of the Sakai community since its inception, whose work as a user interaction designer at Stanford University helped shape the Sakai release today.







Install Type Description
Demo*: The Sakai Demo is a pre-built version of Sakai with Apache Tomcat and a simple configuration, perfect for a quick and easy demo of Sakai. Win md5
Mac/*nix sakai-demo-2.5.2.tar.gz md5
Binary: The Sakai Binary is a pre-built version of Sakai without Apache Tomcat, jar dependencies, or extra configuration files. Download the Binary release if you want to just drop the Sakai bundle into a pre-existing Tomcat environment. Win md5
Mac/*nix sakai-bin-2.5.2.tar.gz md5
Source: The Sakai Source is all the Sakai source code for this release.  Start from Source if you plan to make any code-level changes to your Sakai system. Win md5
Mac/*nix sakai-src-2.5.2.tgz md5

*NOTE: The Sakai demo is not intended for large scale implementations. It is suitable only for evaluating the software and small pilot implementations on single servers.

System Requirements

Sakai is Java-based and will therefore run on a wide variety of platforms.   The platforms against which Sakai 2.5.2 has been specifically QA'ed, however, are:

  Solaris Linux Win 2003
MySQL 4.1  


MySQL 5.0  


Oracle 9i


Oracle 10g   


* -  Sakai QA Server.
Dark cell - Combination reported as successfully being used for production with Sakai 2.5 (or earlier).


Supporting Technologies

The basic underlying requirements for deploying Sakai 2.5.2 successfully are:

Technology Required Version Notes


5.0 Update 13


The Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0 (J2SE JDK 5.0) is required to build and run Sakai and we recommend JDK 5.0 Update 13 or newer.  JSP pages (among other things) require some compilation, so downloading and attempting to use only the runtime environment (JRE 5.0) will not suffice. (Developers may know JDK 5.0 better as Java version 1.5.0, and we recommend you use version 1.5.0_13 or newer; if you find Sun Microsystem's versioning and naming conventions confusing, see Sun Java SE Naming and Versions for an outline of their practices.)

Java Standard Edition 6: Sakai 2.5 is not compatible with Java SE JDK 6, otherwise known as Java 1.6.0. Compilation errors have been reported by members of the Community experimenting with Sakai and JDK 6.

Applet Warning: security vulnerabilities have been reported for applets under certain minor versions of the JRE. Sakai does include some applets, so see Sun's security alert to get details on recommended minor versions.


Apache Tomcat


Although Tomcat is not the only available servlet container, it is highly recommended for Sakai, and the documentation assumes Tomcat use. Sakai QA was conducted on Tomcat 5.5.26, and this is the recommended version.

Tomcat 6.0.x This version of Tomcat is known to be incompatible with Sakai 2.5.2 due to a change in Tomcat, also see SAK-12931.


Apache Maven


Maven 2 is the build tool used to deploy the source code and is therefore not necessary if you only plan to install the Sakai Demo with the default configuration. For production deployments it is an essential supporting technology.



MySQL 5.0.45+ (table type: InnoDB)

MySQL 4.1.12+ (table type: InnoDB)

Oracle 10g

Oracle 9i

HSQLDB (demo only)

Sakai uses HSQLDB as its "out of the box" database, requiring no special installation steps to set up but this database is not recommended for production installations.

MySQL 4.1.12+, MySQL 5.0.45+, Oracle 9i and Oracle 10g are currently supported by Sakai 2.5 but setting them up to work with Sakai will require additional configuration (see the Installation Guide).

MySQL InnoDB: Sakai requires transaction support so the InnoDB storage engine is required for MySQL deployments.


Database Drivers

mysql-connector-java-3.1.14 (MySQL 4.1)

mysql-connector-java-5.1.5 (MySQL 5.0)

(Oracle 9i and Oracle 10g)

For MySQL 4.1 we recommend mysql-connector-java-3.1.14 and for MySQL 5.0 we recommend mysql-connector-java-5.1.5 with query caching enabled.

Regardless of the version of Oracle in use, we recommend using a recent Oracle 11g driver (See SAK-11960.)




Release Notes


HTML Guides


Reference Articles

Some of the most authoritative technical documentation on Sakai code and services is found in the form of .doc files in the reference module of Sakai, which can be directly reached through subversion (and is also included in release archives). The articles for the 2.5.2 release can be found at:


For New Developers

The best introduction for new developers is found in a wiki space called the Programmer's Cafe. A number of experienced Sakai developers have banded together there to produce guides and tutorial materials for those who wish to start hacking on Sakai.


Wiki notes

Confluence is the wiki software used by the Sakai project. Confluence is used for a wide variety of purposes: the collaborative forging of documentation and design ideas, project management, and the sharing of notes on various topics. A few of the more informative spaces are identified below:

JavaDocs and TagLibDocs are available on-line:


Getting the Latest Source Code

Sakai is using Subversion for its source control, and has maintenance branches - which include the latest bug fixes - for its most current releases. You can check out the maintenance branch for Sakai 2.5 with a subversion client:

svn co

If you don't wish to track and merge changes with subversion you can use 'svn export' instead. The Sakai development trunk can be checked out from here:

svn co

Issue Tracking

Bug reports and feature requests may be created and monitored through Jira.



The Sakai community interacts online mainly in two forums. The first is through the email archives attached to the sites on Collab. "Collab" is an instance of Sakai run by the Sakai Foundation to support collaboration in the Sakai community. For help with technical questions, sakai-dev is the most active such site, but many others are available, ranging from teaching and learning to user experience. We encourage you to create an account, join any groups on the Collab server for which you may have an interest, and participate.

To join, for example, the developer's site, simply create an account from the gateway page, log in, and then use the "Membership" tool to join the site labeled DG: Development. By joining this site you are automatically added to the mailing list. To "unsubscribe" from any of the lists, simply use the same Membership tool to unjoin the sites.

NOTE: This is not technically a listserv, so that sending an "unsubscribe" email will accomplish nothing.

The second forum is Confluence, the wiki used by the project. Confluence is used for a wide variety of purposes: the collaborative forging of documentation or design ideas, project management, and the sharing of notes on a wide array of topics. You can browse its pages anonymously, but if you want to comment or otherwise participate you're encouraged to create an account there as well.


Older Releases

Sakai 2.5.2 contains a number of security enhancements that have not been applied to either Sakai 2.3.2, Sakai 2.4.1 or Sakai 2.5.0. These releases have been retired and are no longer available for downloading. Both the Sakai 2-4-x and 2-5-x maintenance branches have been patched and the code can be checked out using a Subversion client. The Sakai 2-3-x maintenance branch is no longer supported and has not been patched. Organizations running a version of Sakai 2.3 or Sakai 2.4 are strongly encouraged to upgrade to Sakai 2.5.
  • Sakai 2-5-x:
  • Sakai 2-4-x:



The Sakai Project Software is Licensed under the:
Educational Community License Version 1.0