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Sakai 2.9.3 release

Release Date: 19 August 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 typically deployed using Apache Tomcat as its servlet container 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. A single database, usually MySQL or Oracle, provides 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 2.9 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 portal and navigation, social networking (profile2 and chat), gradebook, test and quizzes, forums and messages, accessibility, internationalization, performance, and security. And, new to this release, is the Lessons tool (formerly known as Lesson Builder), now part of core Sakai.

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

What's new in 2.9


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. The Sakai demo is NOT intended for large scale implementations. It is suitable only for evaluating the software and running small pilot implementations on a single server. Win md5
Mac/*nix sakai-demo-2.9.3.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-2.9.3.tar.gz md5
Source: Start from Source if you plan to make any code-level changes to your Sakai system. Win md5
Mac/*nix sakai-src-2.9.3.tar.gz md5
Mac/*nix sakai-javadoc-2.9.3.tgz md5

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 2.9 using a subversion client. If you don't wish to track and merge changes with subversion you can use 'svn export' instead.

2.9.3 tag: svn co 2.9.3

2.9.x Maintenance Branch: svn co 2.9.x

Trunk (latest development) svn co trunk

Documentation and Development environment setup

For Development environment setup visit our Development Environment Walkthrough

For 2.9.3 release notes, installation guides and other documentation visit our 2.9 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 (also compatible with Java SE 7)

Oracle's Sun Java SE 6, a.k.a Java 1.6, is the preferred version to use with Sakai 2.9. Certain files, such as *.jsp and *.jws, require compilation so downloading and attempting to use only the run time environment (JRE 6.0) will not suffice. Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) includes the full version of Java SE 6 so Mac users do not need to install Java. If you find Sun's version and naming conventions confusing, see Sun Java SE Naming and Versions for an outline of their practices.

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 7

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 7, and this is the recommended version.

Apache Maven 3.0.4

Maven 3 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 5.5+ (table type: InnoDB), MySQL 5.1+ (table type: InnoDB); Oracle 11g, 10g; 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 5.1/5.5 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 advent of the Sakai 2.9 series, official Community support for Sakai 2.7 ceases. Organizations running Sakai 2.7 (or earlier versions) are strongly encouraged to upgrade to the latest versions of Sakai 2.8 or 2.9 in order to take advantage of continued maintenance support.


The Sakai CLE 2.9 series is licensed under the: Educational Community License version 2.0.