Programming language: Java
License: GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
Tags: Learning and Courses    
Latest version: v5.26

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OpenOlat is a web-based e-learning platform for teaching, learning, assessment and communication, an LMS, a learning management system. OpenOlat impresses with its simple and intuitive operation and rich feature set.

A sophisticated modular toolkit provides course authors with a wide range of didactic possibilities. Each OpenOlat installation can be individually extended, adapted to organizational needs, and integrated into existing IT infrastructures. The architecture is designed for minimal resource consumption, scalability and security in order to guarantee high system reliability.

Visit the OpenOlat project homepage and the OpenOlat documentation for more information.

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Table of Contents

  1. Licensing
  2. Installation manual and user documentation
  3. Community
  4. Developers
  5. Supported by


With regard to licensing and copyright please refer to the file [LICENSE](LICENSE) and [NOTICE.TXT](NOTICE.TXT)

Installation manual and user documentation

The documentation can be found at https://docs.openolat.org

User documentation

Technical documentation

Other ressources

Being a community member

We strongly suggest to participate in the OpenOlat community membership program. Even though this software is free and open source, the development and management has to be funded by someone. If you like what we do and want the product to be maintained and developed in the long run you should consider purchasing a membership: Partner program.


Setting up OpenOlat in Eclipse and PostgreSQL

This is an installation guide for developers.


  • Check that you are using maven 3.8 or higher (mvn -V)
  • Check that you have the git plugin installed in eclipse
  • Check that you have git installed
  • Check that you have Java 11 installed
  • Check that you have Tomcat 9.0 installed

1. In Eclipse

  1. Clone OpenOlat:
    Create a repository location (https://github.com/OpenOLAT/OpenOLAT.git) and clone the repository. Right click to clone the repository into your workspace.

  2. Import OpenOlat as an Eclipse project:
    In Eclipse, use Import -> Git -> Projects from Git (with smart import) and import the local OpenOlat clone created in the previous step.

  3. Disable validators:

    • Right-click on the project and open the project properties. Then search for Validation. Enable the project specific settings and disable all XML, XSLT, HTML and JPA validators.
    • Right-click on the project and select Validate.
  4. Create the OpenOlat configuration:
    Copy the olat.local.properties.sample in the project root folder to src/main/java/olat.local.properties, adjust the file to match your setup. See the comments in the file header for more configuration options.

  5. Refresh the project

  6. Setup the dependencies and compile

    • When running the first time, right-click the project and select Maven -> Select Maven Profiles.... Make sure tomcat and postgresqlunittests are selected.
    • Right-click on the project and run Maven -> Update Project.
    • Make sure the project compiled without errors. Warnings are ok. If the project did not compile, you have to fix the problems before you proceed. See Troubleshooting section below.

2. Setting up the PostgreSQL database

Create user openolat and a database openolat

CREATE USER openolat WITH PASSWORD 'openolat';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on DATABASE openolat to openolat;

Write the OpenOlat database schema to the OpenOlat database:

\c openolat openolat;
\i src/main/resources/database/postgresql/setupDatabase.sql

Optional: if you want to run the jUnit tests, make sure you also create and initialize the test database that you configured in src/test/profile/postgresql/olat.local.properties.

3. Setting up the Tomcat server in Eclipse

Setup a tomcat server by clicking on OpenOlat -> Run As -> "Run on Server". The "Run on Server" wizard will pop up and you define define a new server. Look for Apache -> Tomcat v9.0.

Add openolat as web application in the step "Add and remove" and click finish.

Double click the newly created server and increase the timeout to something like 180s.

Open the generated server.xml file and manually set the following parameters:

  • In the Context element set parameter reloadable="false"

You can now start the server and open the following URL http://localhost:8080/olat in your favorite browser. You can log in with user administrator and password openolat.

Have fun, give feedback and contribute!

Option: use application server database connection pool

By default and for your convenience the embedded connection pool is used, you don't need to configure anything. This is fine for simple development setups, but not recommended for production. To be as close as possible to a productive environment it is useful to use the application server connection pool also in the development environment:

First: add the following properties to the olat.local.properties file:
Second: add the resource descriptor to your tomcat context descriptor:
<Resource auth="Container" driverClassName="org.postgresql.Driver" type="javax.sql.DataSource"
          maxIdle="4" maxTotal="16" maxWaitMillis="-1"
          username="postgres" password="postgres"
          testOnBorrow="true" testOnReturn="false"
          validationQuery="SELECT 1" validationQueryTimeout="-1"/>

Alternate databases


Note that MySQL is still supported but not recommended and support might eventually come to an end. Use Postgres if you can.

  • MySQL 5.6 or greater
Database setup

Create user openolat and a database openolat

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON openolat.* TO 'openolat' IDENTIFIED BY 'openolat';
UPDATE mysql.user SET HOST='localhost' WHERE USER='openolat' AND HOST='%';

The time zone needs to be set if you don't already defined it.

SET GLOBAL time_zone = 'Europe/Zurich';

Write the OpenOlat database schema to the OpenOlat database. Example for MySQL:

mysql -u openolat -p openolat < src/main/resources/database/mysql/setupDatabase.sql
Tomcat Setup

Open the generated server.xml file and manually set the following parameters:

  • In all Connector elements set parameter URIEncoding="UTF-8"
Option: application server connection pool
<Resource auth="Container" driverClassName="com.mysql.cj.jdbc.Driver" type="javax.sql.DataSource"
          maxIdle="4" maxTotal="16" maxWaitMillis="10000"
          password="olat" username="olat"
          testOnBorrow="true" testOnReturn="false"
          validationQuery="SELECT 1" validationQueryTimeout="-1"/>


Oracle support is experimental. The database schema is available and updated for historic reason, however running OpenOlat with Oracle is largely untested. Do not use it for production before you tested the entire application. We are interested in adding Oracle to our list of fully supported and recommended database, contact us if you want to sponsor this compatibility.


  • OutOfMemoryException: in Eclipse: setup VM arguments by clicking on Run > Run Configurations > Arguments > VM Arguments and pasting: -XX:+UseG1GC -XX:+UseStringDeduplication -Xms256m -Xmx1024m -Djava.awt.headless=true

  • Optional: create an empty olat.local.properties and save it to /yourTomcatDir/lib (OpenOlat searches for this file on the classpath and /tomcat/lib is part of it). But it should start with just the default config!

  • Usually you will get a timeout exception when you start a new OpenOlat. After double clicking on the server entry you can increase the timeout for the startup.

  • If your tomcat starts very quickly but you cannot access OpenOlat it might be that tomcat did not find the OpenOlat context. Right click the server entry and click publish to inform eclipse about a new or updated context.

  • If you run into problems with classes or resources not found e.g. ClassNotFoundException right click your server config and run the "Clean..." Task to republish all resources. Problems comes mostly when switching from eclipse to console and back with command like mvn clean, or eclipse clean and such. You will always get a clean and working environment when you do the following: Eclipse clean, create eclipse settings with launch, Server publish resources and restart OpenOlat.

  • If you have problems with your postgres database regarding the ownership of the content use these:

    • Set owner for tables of your database:
      • for tbl in `psql -qAt -c "select tablename from pg_tables where schemaname = 'public';" <YOURDATABASE>` ; do psql -c "alter table \"$tbl\" owner to <YOURUSERNAME>" <YOURDATABASE> ; done
    • .. for sequences:
      • for tbl in `psql -qAt -c "select sequence_name from information_schema.sequences where sequence_schema = 'public';" <YOURDATABASE>` ; do psql -c "alter sequence \"$tbl\" owner to <YOURUSERNAME>" <YOURDATABASE> ; done
    • .. for view:
      • for tbl in `psql -qAt -c "select table_name from information_schema.views where table_schema = 'public';" <YOURDATABASE>` ; do psql -c "alter view \"$tbl\" owner to <YOURUSERNAME>" <YOURDATABASE> ; done

Eclipse Plugins

For a lean and speedy development setup it is recommended to to use a bare-bone Eclipse installation and only install the following plugins:

  • Data Tools Plattform SQL Development Tools
  • Eclipse Java Development Tools
  • Eclipse Java EE Developer Tools
  • Eclipse Plattform
  • Eclipse Web JavaScript Developer Tools
  • Git integration for Eclipse
  • Javadocs Help Feature
  • JavaScript Developement Tools
  • JST Server Adapters Extension for Eclipse
  • M2E - Maven integration for Eclipse
  • m2e-wtp - Maven integration for WTP
  • Mylyn WikiText

Background (optional for further interest)

There is only one spring context for the whole OpenOlat which you can access via CoreSpringFactory. The context is configured with the files serviceconfig/olat.properies and can be overwritten with olat.local.properties. Changes in olat.local.properties are reflected upon each restart of Tomcat. You can further override OpenOlat settings with JVM arguments -Dmy.option=enabled.

Compress JavaScript and CSS

The JavaScript and CSS files are minified and aggregated. If you make some changes, run the following command to compress them (execution time about 1-2 minutes) and refresh your Eclipse project:

mvn clean package
mvn compile -Pcompressjs,tomcat




To read the OpenOlat REST API documentation:

  1. start OpenOlat
  2. go to Administration -> Core configuration -> REST API
  3. Make sure the REST API is enabled
  4. Click the documentation link in the admin panel

Automated tests


  • Make sure the following ports are not in use (Selenium, Tomcat ) 14444 / 8080 / 8009 / 8089

  • Make sure you have PostgreSQL 9.4 or newer. The server must be at localhost. For other databases see Alternative databases

  • Make sure maven has enough memory. E.g execute the following:

export MAVEN_OPTS= -Xms512m -Xmx1024m
mvn compile -Pdocumentation,tomcat
  • Make sure the tmp directory is writable. E.g. execute the following.
ls -la `printenv TMPDIR`

Setup (necessary only once)

Setup database users and tables in the pom.xml. The default settings for PostgreSQL are:


You can override them with -D in the command line.

You need an empty database named olattest. The maven command will create and drop databases automatically but need an existing database to do that. Here we will explain it with PostgreSQL.

Create user postgres and a database olattest

CREATE USER postgres WITH PASSWORD 'postgres';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on DATABASE olattest to postgres;

Write the OpenOlat database schema to the test database:

\c olattest postgres;
\i src/main/resources/database/postgresql/setupDatabase.sql

When using MySQL or Oracle make sure you are using the right db user as configured in the pom.xml or override them in the test properties file.

Execute JUnit tests in Eclipse

Open the class org.olat.test.AllTestsJunit4org.olat.test.AllTestsJunit4.

Righ-click on the class Run as -> Run configuration. Add your database configuration as VM parameters, e.g.


Run the tests

Execute JUnit tests on the command line

The JUnit tests load the framework to execute (execution time ca. 10m)

For PostgreSQL

mvn clean test -Dwith-postgresql -Ptomcat

with the options (only required if you don't use the standard settigns from above):


To only run the OpenOlat test suite and exclude the unit tests of QtiWorks, add the following option:



mvn clean test -Dwith-postgresql -Dtest.env.db.postgresql.pass=serial -Dtest=org.olat.test.AllTestsJunit4 -Ptomcat


mvn clean test -Dwith-mysql -Ptomcat

The following options are available to configure the database connection:


For Oracle

Setup manually the user and the database schema. Start with a clean setup, drop the user before create a clean new one.

drop user OLATTEST cascade;

Create the user.

create user OLATTEST identified by "olat00002" temporary tablespace temp default tablespace users;
grant connect to OLATTEST;
grant all privileges to OLATTEST;

Setup the schema with setupDatabase.sql for Oracle and run the tests:

mvn clean test -Dwith-oracle -Dtest.env.db.oracle.pass=olat00002 -Dtest=org.olat.test.AllTestsJunit4 -Ptomcat

Problems with JUnit tests

Don't forget to update the test database schema whenever something changes. The DB-alter files are not automatically applied to the test database.

If you encounter strange failures, it is recommended to drop the database and re-initialize it from scratch. This is also the recommended behavior when the test get slower over time.

Execute Selenium functional tests

The Selenium integration tests start the whole web application in Tomcat 9.0. They run with Google Chrome or Firefox and their WebDrivers will be automatically downloaded (internet connection needed). The browsers need to be installed the standard way on Mac or Linux.

Execution time ca. 60 - 90m

For PostgreSQL:

mvn clean verify -DskipTests=true -Dwith-postgresql -Dtest.env.webdriver.browser=chrome -Dtest.env.webdriver.browserVersion=102.0.5005.61 -Dtest.env.webdriver.chrome.version=102.0.5005.61 -Dtest.env.db.postgresql.pass=serial -Ptomcat

Or with Firefox

mvn clean verify -DskipTests=true -Dwith-postgresql -Dtest.env.webdriver.browser=firefox -Dtest.env.webdriver.browserVersion= -Dtest.env.db.postgresql.pass=serial -Ptomcat

For MySQL:

mvn clean verify -DskipTests=true -Dwith-mysql -Ptomcat

Execute a single Selenium functional integration test in Eclipse

First build the application without tests as before

mvn clean verify -DskipTests=true -DskipSeleniumTests=true -Ptomcat

Run single test as JUnit Test in Eclipse

Supported by

This software is developed and maintaned by frentix GmbH, a Switzerland based company specialized in e-learning services:
This software is supported by the following tool vendors:

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the OpenOLAT README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.