Using Mahara/Printable version

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Using Mahara

The current, editable version of this book is available in Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection, at

Permission is granted to copy, distribute, and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Development Environment Setup

The first thing you need to do is set up a development environment, if you haven't done so yet. The easiest way is to get a server running locally.

Explanations are easy to find and it is quite straightforward. Simply google "installing {LMWX}AMP". I used XAMPP for my Mahara development.

The XAMPP family of products let you run an apache+PHP+MySQL server on your local machine, without the need to purchase and manage a hosting account.

Once you have your server running on the localhost running, download Mahara from the Mahara website. Move the zip into the htdocs folder of your {MWLX}AMP application. For instance, with XAMPP on mac, htdocs can be found in

 Macintosh HD/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/htdocs

Unzip the archive and rename the folder to mahara or mahara13 if you are running multiple versions of Mahara.

You should now have


You are ready to install Mahara. Before you can do that, you need the database that will be used to store all Mahara data to pre-exist. With [MWL]AMP, you have a button open start page, pointing to http://localhost:8888/MAMP/?language=English. Click it. Then click on the phpMyAdmin link on that page.

With XAMPP, navigate to http://localhost/phpmyadmin/. Click on the `Databases` tab if this view is not selected by default. You should see an option Create new database. Provide a name (Mahara or Mahara13 would do) and click create.

Provide and modify a file config.php as per the instructions in the README file.

Then navigate through the mahara folder in the browser to start the install process,


That should be it.

If you have any problem, post about them in the Mahara developer forum.

Writing Plugins

Mahara 1.3

  • Room Badge, a simple blocktype with configuration form - Room9

Mahara 1.4