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OpenMOOC Demo Appliance

The OpenMOOC Demo Appliance is the fastest and easiest way to get running an Open MOOC System.

To run this system, your virtual machine host need a CPU and BIOS with Virtual Extensions enabled, like VT in Intel processors or AMD-V or SMV in AMD processors, 2 GB of ram and 10GB of free disk space.

This appliance has been tested in VMWare Player 5, VirtualBox 4.1 , and with the correct settings modification can be executed in a libvirt environment.

VMWare note: If you are using the VMWare virtualization environment, then you will see a popup alert when importing the machine. VMWare complaints about the appliance not following the OVF standars, just ignore the message and click on the retry button.

Download the latest image

The latest image was published at May 14, 2013

Network details

The default setted network is Bridge on eth0, you can change this to wherever the virtual machine is accessible from your host.

The Appliance is configured by default to reconfigure all components affected by an IP change at boot process.

To allow this, every app use an alternative port:

  • Moocng: 80
  • Askbot: 8080
  • IDP: 8081

You can set the apache servername of the virtualhost by editing the file /etc/default/openmooc, explained below.

Issues with VirtualBox in Windows

If you are running the appliance in VirtualBox and you are using Windows, then you will encounter a problem. The appliance tries to use a network interface called eth0 that is a very common interface in Unix systems.

VirtualBox will complain when the machine boots the first time. It will show this error message:


Click on the "Change network preferences" button, it will open the machine's preferences. VirtualBox will automatically fill the network adapter field with the real one present on your Windows machine.


So, without changing anything, just click on the "Accept" button and now the machine will have a correct network adapter, and will boot properly.

Internal Configuration details

The file /etc/default/openmooc handle the configuration of the settings-customization process that happens at boot time.

# Force reconfig on every boot

# Complete this values if you want to use public domains
# Remember to execute

If you set the variable FORCE_RECONFIG to False or you leave it empty, the reconfiguration process will only run at the first boot, and then if you have already booted up the system, then the system will never be reconfigured.

If you want to change from IP and port to prettier values, like a domain without ports, you must uncomment the HOSNTAME_* variables and execute the reconfing command. Remember set FORCE_RECONFIG to False.

service openmooc-config reconfig

First steps in OpenMOOC

The url to your OpenMOOC instance is shown when the system has booted up.

There are different users with different roles registered in your system. Note that all users in OpenMOOC use an email as username.

A generic password has been assigned to all users: openmooc

As example content, there are 10 courses created.

The first course is for demo purposes. It has demo content.

The other courses are empty, but have a pre-created forum.

The courses and forums are linked by theirs urls. So remember that you can't change the "slug" of a course if you want to mantain the link integrity between it and its forum.

Courses and forums creation or rename

Remember that if you rename a course by changing its slug, you must login in the operative system, change to askbot user and rename the directory course. You can do this using the command source_slug target_slug

This script doesn't rename the database, so be careful if you create a new forum with the same database name.

If you have created one extra course, you must create the forum manually executing this in a ssh root session in the system: new_course_slug database_name

Remember that database_name can only have letters and numbers.

Remember that new_course_slug must be exactly the course slug.

External API Keys

OpenMOOC uses external services that need an API key to run like Google Analytics or Amazon S3. Another services like Youtube or Vimeo don't need an API key to run.

For moocng, the courses application, the important file to change these is:


Amazon S3

Amazon S3 is used by peer review assignment or P2P activities. This allow to users to attach a file like documents, spreadsheets, images...

You need to add this properties to file:

# Amazon credentials
AWS_S3_UPLOAD_EXPIRE_TIME = (60 * 5) # 5 minutes

Google Analytics

To get some statistics about your portal usage, you must get an Google Analytics API Key. Then you need to append this property:


Production Details

This system is proposed for a demo environment only. This system with this deployment isn't prepared to support a true MOOC course with millions of users, but it works fine for at least 20 or 30 concurrent users.