How to Install ATutor on Ubuntu 14.04

atutor-logoATutor is a free open source web-based Learning Management System (LMS) used to develop and deliver online courses. It is used in various contexts, including online course management, continuing professional development for teachers, career development and academic research.

This software is cited as unique for its accessibility features, (useful to visually impaired and disabled learners) and for its suitability for educational use.

ATutor administrators can install or update ATutor in minutes, develop custom themes to give ATutor a new look and easily extend its functionality with feature modules. Educators can quickly assemble, package, and redistribute web-based instructional content, easily import prepackaged content and conduct their courses online giving students a chance to learn in an accessible, adaptive and social learning environment.

So in this article we will show you how to install ATutor on an Ubuntu 14.04 VPS.


We will be using our SSD 1 Linux VPS hosting plan for this tutorial.

# ssh root@server_ip

You can check whether you have the proper Ubuntu version installed on your server with the following command:

# lsb_release -a

You should get this output:

Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS
Release:        14.04
Codename:       trusty

Make sure your server is fully up to date using:

# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Once the system upgrade is completed, enter your MySQL service as root and create the much needed database for ATutor with the below queries:

# mysql -u root -p

mysql> create database atutor;

mysql> grant all privileges on atutor.* to atutoruser@localhost identified by 'your_password';

mysql> flush privileges;

mysql> exit

When this tutorial was written, the latest ATutor version was 2.2.1 . We will download the installation in the /opt directory, but feel free to use another one to match your needs.

# cd /opt
# wget -O ATutor-2.2.1.tar.gz
# tar -zxvf ATutor-2.2.1.tar.gz

With these three commands above , we entered /opt, downloaded the latest version of ATutor and unpacked the archive.

Now move the installation to the /var/www/html/ directory:

# mv ATutor/ /var/www/html/atutor/

Assign the proper ownership of files/directories:

# chown www-data: -R /var/www/html/atutor/

Now create a virtual host directive for the domain that will serve your ATutor installation. Open a file with your favorite text editor. We are using nano:

# nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/atutor.conf

Paste these lines in the file:

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot "/var/www/html/atutor/"
ErrorLog "/var/log/apache2/"
CustomLog "/var/log/apache2/" combined

<Directory "/var/www/html/atutor/">
DirectoryIndex index.html index.php
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Require all granted

Replace with your actual domain, save and close the file.

Enable the config file:

# a2ensite atutor

Restart Apache for the changes to take effect:

# service apache2 reload

Now, open your favorite web browser and navigate to the domain that you configured in your Apache config file.

You will be welcomed by the installation page of ATutor. Click on Install next to New Installation at the bottom of the page and accept the terms of use by clicking ‘I Agree’.

Enter the database credentials that you created previously. The next step is to configure your Super Administrator Account. Enter an administrator username, password and email. Then give your site a name, enter a contact email and fill in the details in the Personal Account field. Once that is done, click on Next.

You can now configure the path to the Content directory which is a directory where all your site courses files will be stored. We will leave the default path given by the installation (/var/www/html/atutor/content). However, this directory does not exist on your server. Therefore, enter the following commands to create the directory and assign the proper ownership:

# mkdir /var/www/html/atutor/content

# chown www-data: -R /var/www/html/atutor/content

Decide whether you like to send your site URL to the ATutor server anonymously and click on Next to finish the installation.

You will get the following message:

Congratulations on your installation of ATutor 2.2.1!

You may now login using your personal and administrator accounts you created in Step 3.

For security reasons once you have confirmed that ATutor has installed correctly, you should delete the install/ directory, and reset the permissions on the file to read only.

See the Support Forums on for additional help & support.

Delete the install directory as the instructions say:

# rm -rf /var/www/html/atutor/install/

Also check if the file has only read permissions:

# ls -la /var/www/html/atutor/include/

which should give you the following output:

-r--r--r-- 1 www-data www-data 2841 Mar 30 14:36 /var/www/html/atutor/include/

If you get this, you are OK. However, if the file has other permissions beside read only, then execute this command:

# chmod 444 /var/www/html/atutor/include/

Congratulations, you now have an active and working ATutor installation. For more info on configuration tweaks and everything related to ATutor, please visit their official documentation.

Of course you don’t have to do any of this if you use one of our Linux VPS Hosting services, in which case you can simply ask our expert Linux admins to install ATutor for you. They are available 24×7 and will take care of your request immediately.

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