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Sakai 2.8.3 maintenance release

Release Date: 15 February 2013

The Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE) is a Java-based, service-oriented web application that provides a variety of capabilities supporting teaching and learning, portfolios, research, and ad-hoc project collaboration. The Sakai CLE is deployed using Apache Tomcat and scalability is achieved by running multiple instances of Tomcat in a clustered environment, each deploying a copy of the Sakai CLE. It integrates with a variety of external authentication services including CAS, Kerberos, LDAP, Shibboleth and WebAuth. Both MySQL and Oracle are supported databases, providing a transactional store of information while file storage is typically delegated to NAS or SAN solutions. In most production settings, the Sakai CLE relies on a back-end student information system (SIS) to provide it with student and course information, which the Sakai CLE consults via provider APIs.

The Sakai CLE 2.8 series builds on previous releases by refining and stabilizing the 2.x feature set. It offers dozens of new features and improvements to key areas like accessibility, internationalization, performance, and security.

Our thanks go out to the dedicated Sakai Community volunteers from around the world who have made this release possible.

What's new in 2.8

Source Code

Sakai uses Subversion for source control and provides maintenance branches - which include the latest bug fixes - for its most current releases. You can check out Sakai 2.8 using a subversion client. If you don't wish to track and merge changes with subversion you can use 'svn export' instead.

2.8.3 tag: svn co

2.8.x Maintenance Branch: svn co


For 2.8.3 release notes, installation guides and other documentation visit our 2.8 documentation space in our public wiki.

System Requirements

Sakai is Java-based and will run on a wide variety of platforms. That said, a number of supporting technologies are required to run Sakai in a production setting.

Java SE 6

Oracle's Sun Java SE 6, a.k.a Java 1.6, is the preferred version to use with Sakai 2.8. You must have the JDK installed, the JRE will nor suffice, since Sakai requires compilation.

Oracle's Sun Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0 (J2SE JDK 5.0) (a.k.a Java 1.5) has completed the EOL process and is no longer supported. If are still running Java 1.5 please note that security vulnerabilities exist in JDK/JRE 5.0 updates 1.5.0_17 and earlier. Sun recommends that you install JDK/JRE 5.0 Update 18+ (the final update is JDK/JRE 5.0 Update 22).

Apache Tomcat 5.5.35

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 5.5.33, and this is the recommended version.

Tomcat 6.0, 7.0: Sakai 2.8.3 has not been tested in Tomcat 6.0 or 7.0 and will not run in either version of the new Tomcats without configuration changes. Adopters are advised to stay with the Tomcat 5.5 series.

Apache Maven 2.2.1

Maven 2 is the build tool used to deploy the source code is required.


MySQL 5.1+ (table type: InnoDB), MySQL 5.0.45+ (table type: InnoDB); Oracle 10g, 9i; HSQLDB (demo only)

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

Database Drivers

For MySQL 5.1/5.0 we recommend mysql-connector-java-5.1.13+ with query caching enabled.

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

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.

Issue Tracking

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

Older Releases

With the release of the Sakai 2.8 series, official Community support for Sakai 2.6 ceases. Organizations running Sakai 2.6 (or earlier versions) are strongly encouraged to upgrade in order to take advantage of continued maintenance support. Note also that with the release of Sakai 2.9, Sakai 2.7 support has also ceased.


The Sakai CLE 2.8 series is licensed under the: Educational Community License version 2.0.