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Installation Guide (From the sources)

This guide describes how to install GLaDOS from the source package.



Since GLaDOS's interface is based entirely in your browser, you’ll need a web server (such as Apache, nginx) to install the files into.


  • You should have PHP 5.4 or above. Ideally latest PHP 7. You should also install the PDO PHP Extension and the corresponding database driver pdo_mysql.
  • To support generating of ZIP files, you need the PHP zip extension.
  • To support live data, you need the PECL inotify extension version 0.1.6.
  • To support creating thumbnails, you need the PHP gd extension.
  • Yii2 needs the Multibyte-Strings mbstring module for PHP.


Currently only MySQL databases are supported. You need MySQL 5.5 or newer.


  • To fetch the exam backups, rdiff-backup 1.2.8 or newer is needed.
  • OpenSSH client and its key generator ssh-keygen are needed to create a connection for rdiff-backup.
  • To support squashfs files, Squashfs is needed.
  • To support auto discovery of the exam server, avahi is needed.
  • For the manual installation Composer is needed. It can be removed subsequently.


In Debian, the packages needed from above can be installed by:

apt-get install apache2 mysql-server php5 php5-mysql php5-gd squashfs-tools rdiff-backup avahi-daemon openssh-client


Composer can be installed to /usr/local/bin with the following commands (you need curl for this to work):

cd /usr/src
curl -sS | php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

Download the latest source package

Browse to the Github release page and download the latest version of GLaDOS.

curl -L -O$version.tar.gz

Where $version is the latest version number.

Unpack the source package:

tar xfs $version.tar.gz

Create a new directory /usr/share/glados and copy all extracted files. Then cd into the created directory:

mkdir /usr/share/glados
cp -rpv glados-1.0.3/* /usr/share/glados/
cd /usr/share/glados

Install composer asset plugin (according to the Yii2 installation guide):

composer global require "fxp/composer-asset-plugin:^1.4.1"

Run composer (this will take a while, you also may need to create a Github OAuth token to go over the API rate limit):

composer update

This will install all packages specified in composer.json.

Create the following directories:

mkdir -p /var/lib/glados/uploads
mkdir -p /var/lib/glados/backups
mkdir -p /var/lib/glados/results
mkdir -p /var/lib/glados/tmp
mkdir -p /var/lib/glados/.ssh
mkdir -p /var/log/glados

Some directories need to be writable by the user under which your webserver runs. Assuming the user is called www-data, adjust the following permissions:

chown www-data /var/log/glados
chown www-data:www-data /usr/share/glados/web/assets/
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/lib/glados

Next, set the environment variables. Edit /usr/share/glados/web/index.php and comment out lines 4 and 5:

// comment out the following two lines when deployed to production
//defined('YII_DEBUG') or define('YII_DEBUG', true);
//defined('YII_ENV') or define('YII_ENV', 'dev');

MySQL setup

Once all dependencies are installed, you need to set up the database. The following example code, shows how to create a database called glados, with a database user called glados and password mysqlpassword with all permissions granted on that database.

mysql -u root -p
Enter password:
mysql> create database glados;
mysql> grant usage on *.* to glados@localhost identified by 'mysqlpassword';
mysql> grant all privileges on glados.* to glados@localhost;
mysql> quit

Open the config file /usr/share/glados/config/db.php and provide the database name, the username and the password from above (see Config Files for more information):

return [
    'class' => 'yii\db\Connection',
    'dsn' => 'mysql:host=localhost;dbname=glados',
    'username' => 'glados',
    'password' => 'mysqlpassword',
    'charset' => 'utf8',

Change into the directory /usr/share/glados. Install all RBAC tables:

./yii migrate --migrationPath=@yii/rbac/migrations --interactive=0

RBAC initialization:

./yii rbac/init --interactive=0

Database tables:

./yii migrate --interactive=0

PHP setup

Install PECL inotify (you need PEAR, PHP5 module development files and a C-compiler for this to work):

pecl install inotify        //for PHP7
pecl install inotify-0.1.6  //for PHP5

Create a PHP ini file for inotify (example: /etc/php/7.0/mods-available/inotify.ini for PHP7 and /etc/php5/mods-available/inotify.ini for PHP5) with contents:

; configuration for php inotify module
; priority=20

Make sure to enable the inotify module.

Avahi setup

Create an Avahi service file (/etc/avahi/services/glados.service) with contents:

<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?>
<!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM "avahi-service.dtd">
 <name replace-wildcards="yes">Glados on %h</name>

Make sure that the file above contains the correct URLs (this depends on your webserver setup, see below). For example the download URL actionDownload will be made up of the hosts IP-address, the port, the protocol and the given relative path from the txt-record actionDownload, discovered by avahi-browse. The protocol is determined by the port number, 80 gives http and 443 gives https.


will then be{token}

If you use the Apache setup from below, you don't have to change the service file.

Finally restart the avahi-daemon:

/etc/init.d/avahi-daemon restart

Webserver setup


Use the following configuration in Apache's httpd.conf file or within a virtual host configuration (example: /etc/apache2/conf-available/glados.conf).

Alias /glados /usr/share/glados/web

<Directory /usr/share/glados/web>
    Options FollowSymLinks
    DirectoryIndex index.php

    # use mod_rewrite for pretty URL support
    RewriteEngine on
    # If a directory or a file exists, use the request directly
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    # Otherwise forward the request to index.php
    RewriteRule . index.php

    # ...other settings...

Make sure mod_rewrite is enabled and installed.

Then restart apache:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

To use Nginx, you should install PHP as an FPM SAPI. You may use the following Nginx configuration, replacing glados.test with the actual hostname to serve.

server {
    charset utf-8;
    client_max_body_size 128M;

    listen 80; ## listen for ipv4
    #listen [::]:80 default_server ipv6only=on; ## listen for ipv6

    server_name glados.test;
    root        /usr/share/glados/web;
    index       index.php;

    access_log  /var/log/glados/access.log;
    error_log   /var/log/glados/error.log;

    location / {
        # Redirect everything that isn't a real file to index.php
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$is_args$args;

    # uncomment to avoid processing of calls to non-existing static files by Yii
    #location ~ \.(js|css|png|jpg|gif|swf|ico|pdf|mov|fla|zip|rar)$ {
    #    try_files $uri =404;
    #error_page 404 /404.html;

    # deny accessing php files for the /assets directory
    location ~ ^/assets/.*\.php$ {
        deny all;

    location ~ \.php$ {
        include fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
        try_files $uri =404;

    location ~* /\. {
        deny all;

When using this configuration, you should also set cgi.fix_pathinfo=0 in the php.ini file in order to avoid many unnecessary system stat() calls.

Also note that when running an HTTPS server, you need to add fastcgi_param HTTPS on; so that Yii can properly detect if a connection is secure.

Check the installation

Hit http://localhost/glados/requirements.php to check if all requirements are met.

Make sure you have set upload_max_filesize and post_max_size to a proper value in php.ini.

After checking all requirements, you can remove the requirements.php file located at /usr/share/glados/web/requirements.php.

You can now access the webinterface by the URL http://localhost/glados.

You may login with admin/admin or teacher/teacher. To modify the users, please login as admin.

You can’t perform that action at this time.