Installation ILIAS 8

ILIAS Installation

Table of Contents

  1. System Requirements
    1. Hardware
    2. Recommended Setup for Running ILIAS
    3. Database Recommendations
    4. Reference System
    5. Other Platforms or Configurations
  2. Installation on Linux
    1. Install Dependencies
      1. Apache Installation and Configuration
      2. PHP Installation and Configuration
      3. Database Installation/Configuration
        1. MySQL Strict Mode (5.6+)
        2. MySQL Performance Tuning (optional)
      4. Install other Depedencies
        1. Optional Dependencies
    2. Get the code
    3. Install ILIAS
    4. Hardening and Security
    5. Configure ILIAS Java RPC server (optional)
    6. Configure E-Mail (optional)
    7. Configure WebDAV (optional)
      1. WebDAV with Windows Explorer )
      2. WebDAV with Mac Finder)
    8. Install Plugins (optional)
  3. Customizing ILIAS
    1. Plugin Repository
  4. Upgrading ILIAS
    1. Minor Upgrade
    2. Major Upgrade
    3. Database Update
    4. Information on Updates
  5. Upgrading Dependencies
    1. PHP
    2. DBMS
    3. ImageMagick
  6. Connect and Contribute

System Requirements

The necessary hardware to run an ILIAS installation is always dependent from the number of users and the kind of usage.


The hardware requirements for ILIAS vary widely, depending on the number of concurrent users you expect and the features you want to enable. Please be aware that ILIAS is not a webpage, but a highly interactive application, thus requirements will be higher than in case of the former. Snappiness of the system will highly depend on deploying enough resources and tailoring the system to your needs. In any case we recommend an absolute minimum of a common dual core server CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 100 Mbit/s internet connection. Roughly estimated the operating system and ILIAS itself will use around 25GB. From there you can calculate your storage needs based on the amount of files and media content you expect to upload plus a few GBs for the database.

Recommended Setup for Running ILIAS

For best results we recommend:

  • a current version of Debian GNU Linux, Ubuntu or RHEL
  • MySQL 5.7.x or MariaDB 10.2
  • PHP 8.0
  • Apache 2.4.x with mod_php
  • ImageMagick 6.8+
  • php-gd, php-xml, php-mysql, php-mbstring
  • OpenJDK 11
  • zip, unzip
  • Node.js: 14 (LTS)
  • git
  • composer v2
  • a contemporary browser supporting ES6, CSS3 and HTML 5

Package names may vary depending on the Linux distribution.

Database Recommendations

Please note that installing ILIAS in utf8mb4-collations is currently not supported! ILIAS supports utf8-collations with 3 bytes per character, such as utf8_general_ci, only.

We RECOMMEND to use MySQL/MariaDB with the following settings:

  • InnoDB storage engine
  • Character Set: utf8
  • Collation: utf8_general_ci
  • query_cache_size > 16M
  • join_buffer_size > 128.0K
  • table_open_cache > 400
  • innodb_buffer_pool_size > 2G (depending on DB size)

On MySQL 5.8+ and Galera the Strict SQL Mode must be disabled. See MySQL Strict Mode for details.

On MySQL/MariaDB innodb_large_prefix must be set to OFF if the ROW_FORMAT is set to COMPACT.

Reference System

The ILIAS Testserver ( is currently configured as follows:

Package Version
Distribution Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
MariaDB 10.0.38
PHP 8.0
Apache2 2.4.18
zip 3.0
unzip 6.00
Node.js 10.23.0
wkhtmltopdf 0.12.5
Ghostscript 9.26
Imagemagick 6.8.9-9 Q16
MathJax 2.7.9

Other Platforms or Configurations

Please note that other platforms and configurations should be possible, but it might be harder to find someone who can help when things go south. You should not use a different configuration unless you are an experienced system administrator.

Installation on Linux

Install Dependencies

Depending on your Linux Distribution you have several ways to install the required dependencies. We recommend to always use your distributions package manager to keep your packages up to date in an easy manner avoiding security issues.

Apache Installation and Configuration

On Debian/Ubuntu execute:

apt-get install apache2

On RHEL/CentOS execute:

yum install httpd

Usually Apache ships with a default configuration (e.g. /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf on Debian). A minimal configuration may look as follows:

<VirtualHost *:80>

    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/
    <Directory /var/www/html/>
        Options FollowSymLinks -Indexes
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

    # Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
    # alert, emerg.
    LogLevel warn

    ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/error.log
    CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined

In order to secure access to the files in your data directory, you should enable mod_rewrite on Debian/Ubuntu (should be enabled by default on RHEL/CentOS):

a2enmod rewrite

Please take care to restrict access to the setup-folder Normal users should not be able to access the setup at all. Also see Hardening and Security Guidance for further security enhancing configuration.

After changing the configuration remember to reload the web server daemon:

On Debian/Ubuntu:

systemctl restart apache2.service


systemctl restart httpd.service

PHP Installation and Configuration

Refer to the to documentation of your installation to install either PHP 7.4 to PHP 8.0 including packages for gd, mysql, mbstring, curl, dom, zip and xml.

To check if the installation was successfull create the file /var/www/html/phpinfo.php with the following contents:


Then point your browser to If you see the content of the file as shown above your configuration is not working. If you can see details of your PHP Configuration everything works fine. Search for the entry Loaded configuration file as we now made some changes to it (e.g. /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini). Delete the file phpinfo.php afterwards.

We recommend the following settings for your php.ini:

; you may choose higher values for max_execution_time and memory_limit
max_execution_time = 600
memory_limit = 512M

error_reporting = E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_STRICT ; PHP 5.4.0 and higher
display_errors = Off

; or any higher values for post_max_size and upload_max_filesize
post_max_size = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 256M

; choose a non-zero value for session.gc_probability, otherwise old session data will not be deleted
session.gc_probability = 1
session.gc_divisor = 100
session.gc_maxlifetime = 14400
session.hash_function = 0
session.cookie_httponly = On
session.save_handler = files ; for ILIAS setup, ILIAS installations override this
; If you installation is served via HTTPS also use:
session.cookie_secure = On

; for chat server since ILIAS 4.2
allow_url_fopen = 1

; How many GET/POST/COOKIE input variables may be accepted
max_input_vars = 10000

Restart the apache webserver after you installed and configured your dependencies.

Please see Hardening and Security Guidance for HTTPS configuration and further security relevant configuration.

Remember to reload your web server configuration to apply those changes.

Database Installation/Configuration

On Debian/Ubuntu execute:

apt-get install mysql-server

On RHEL/CentOS execute:

yum install mariadb

We recommend to create a dedicated database user for ILIAS:

mysql -u root -p
CREATE USER 'ilias'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
GRANT LOCK TABLES on *.* TO 'ilias'@'localhost';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON ilias.* TO 'ilias'@'localhost';

MySQL Strict Mode (5.7+)

With MySQL 5.7+ you might see SQL errors like:

SQLSTATE[42000]: Syntax error or access violation: 1055 Expression #1 of
SELECT list is not in GROUP BY clause and contains nonaggregated column
'yourdbname.tblname.foobar' which is not functionally dependent on
columns in GROUP BY clause; this is incompatible with sql_mode=only_full_group_by

As a workaround STRICT_TRANS_TABLES, STRICT_ALL_TABLES and ONLY_FULL_GROUP_BY must be disabled. To do so create the file /etc/mysql/conf.d/disable_strict_mode.cnf and enter the following (or add it to /etc/mysql/my.cnf):


After restarting the MySQL-Server use the following command to confirm the changes:


If strict mode is disabled, there will be no output.

MySQL Performance Tuning (Optional)

You may want to to use MySQLTuner-perl to optimize your MySQL configuration (e.g. /etc/mysql/my.cnf). Run after several days of using ILIAS in production.

Install other Dependencies

apt-get install zip unzip imagemagick openjdk-7-jdk

On Debian/Ubuntu execute:

apt-get install zip unzip imagemagick openjdk-8-jdk

On RHEL/CentOS execute:

yum install zip unzip libxslt ImageMagick java-1.8.0-openjdk

Restart the apache webserver after you installed dependencies!

Optional Dependencies

Depending on your use case, you MAY want to install further dependencies (exact package names vary by distribution and PHP version you are using):

  • php7.4-curl
  • php7.4-xmlrpc
  • php7.4-soap
  • php7.4-ldap
  • ffmpeg
  • mimetex

Restart the apache webserver after you installed dependencies!

Get the Code

You can download the latest ILIAS release or clone it from GitHub. For production use make sure to checkout the latest stable release, not the trunk, which is the development branch of the repository.

We recommend to clone from GitHub and use git to update the code, since this simplifies the update to future releases and versions.

Clone the code to the web servers docroot (e.g. /var/www/html) with the following commands:

cd /var/www/html/
git clone . --single-branch
git checkout release_X

or unpack the downloaded archieve to the docroot. Replace release_X with the branch or tag you actually want to install.

The repository of ILIAS doesn't contain all code that is required to run. To download the required PHP-dependencies and to create static artifacts from the source, run the following in your ILIAS folder:

composer install --no-dev

This requires that the php dependency manager composer is available in your $PATH.

Create a directory outside the web servers docroot (e.g. /var/www/files). Make sure that the web server is the owner of the files and directories that were created by changing the group and owner to www-data (on Debian/Ubuntu) or apache (on RHEL).

chown www-data:www-data `/var/www/html
chown www-data:www-data `/var/www/files

The commands above will directly serve ILIAS from the docroot.

Install ILIAS

After having all dependencies installed and configured you should be able to run the ILIAS Setup on the command-line.

To do so, create a configuration file for the setup by copying the minimal-config.json to a location outside your docroot. Fill in the configuration fields that are already contained in the minimal config. Have a look into the list of available config options and add the fields that your environment and installation requires. A typical configuration might look like this afterwards:

    "common" : {
        "client_id" : "myilias"
    "database" : {
        "user" : "ilias_user",
        "password" : "my_password"
    "filesystem" : {
        "data_dir" : "/var/www/files"
    "http" : {
        "path" : ""
    "language" : {
        "default_language" : "de",
        "install_languages" : ["de"]
    "logging" : {
        "enable" : true,
        "path_to_logfile" : "/var/www/logs/ilias.log",
        "errorlog_dir" : "/var/www/logs/"
    "systemfolder" : {
        "contact" : {
            "firstname" : "Richard",
            "lastname" : "Klees",
            "email" : ""
    "utilities" : {
        "path_to_convert" : "/usr/bin/convert",
        "path_to_zip" : "/usr/bin/zip",
        "path_to_unzip" : "/usr/bin/unzip"

Run the ILIAS command line setup from within your ILIAS folder with your configuration file (located outside your doc-root!) as a parameter:

php setup/setup.php install /foo/bar/my-configuration.json

The installation will display what currently happens and might prompt you with questions. You might want to have a look into the documenation of the command line setup or into the help of the program itself php setup/setup.php help. It is the tool to manage and monitor your ILIAS installation.

Hardening and Security Guidance

We recommend to perform a threat analysis for your ILIAS installation, as every prudent admin should do for his resources. In our security guide we show techniques and strategies to be used to secure your ILIAS installation according to your needs.

Configure ILIAS Java RPC server (optional)

The ILIAS Java RPC server is used for certain optional functions as Lucene Search or generating PDF Certificates. To enable the RPC server you need to place a configuration file in <YOUR_ILIAS_DIR>/Services/WebServices/RPC/lib/

IpAddress = localhost
Port = 11111
IndexPath = /var/www/html/ilias/data/
LogFile = /var/www/files/ilServer.log
LogLevel = WARN
NumThreads = 1
RamBufferSize = 256
IndexMaxFileSizeMB = 500

ClientId = ACMECorp
NicId = 0
IliasIniPath = /var/www/html/ilias/ilias.ini.php

ILIAS can generate a proper configuration file via the Administration menu ("Administration -> General Settings -> Server -> Java-Server -> Create Configuration File"). Please note that the configuration file is not directly written to the file system, you MUST copy the displayed content and create the file manually.

You may use the following systemd service description to start the RPC server. If you still use SysV-Initscripts you can find one in the Lucene RPC-Server documentation.

Description=ILIAS RPC Server


ExecStart=-/usr/bin/java $JAVA_OPTS -jar $ILSERVER_JAR $ILSERVER_INI start
ExecStop=/usr/bin/java $JAVA_OPTS -jar $ILSERVER_JAR $ILSERVER_INI stop


At this point the RPC server will generate PDF certificates, but to use Lucence search further step are needed. See Lucene RPC-Server for details.

Configure E-Mail (optional)

You may use whatever MTA you like to send e-mail generated by ILIAS. We recommend to use an already existing smarthost (mailhub). A very simple way to do so is using ssmtp:

On Debian/Ubuntu execute:

apt-get install ssmtp

On RHEL/CentOS execute:

yum install ssmtp

The configuration file for SSMTP (e.g. /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf) may look as follows:

# Config file for sSMTP sendmail
# The person who gets all mail for userids < 1000
# Make this empty to disable rewriting.

# The place where the mail goes. The actual machine name is required no
# MX records are consulted. Commonly mailhosts are named

# Where will the mail seem to come from?

# The full hostname

# Are users allowed to set their own From: address?
# YES - Allow the user to specify their own From: address
# NO - Use the system generated From: address

Configure WebDAV (optional)

The recommended webserver configuration is either Apache with mod_php or Nginx with PHP-FPM (> 1.3.8). Do NOT use Apache with PHP-FPM if you want to use WebDAV. Find more information about the configuration of WebDAV in the WebDAV Readme.

Install Plugins and Styles

Plugins are the way to add new functionality to your ILIAS installation. Do not change the core files, or you will not be able to update your installation easily. To develop plugins, you can start in our development guide. A variety of free plugins is provided from our community via the ILIAS Plugin Repository.

Custom styles are the way to modify the look of your ILIAS installation. Have a look in the documentation of the System Styles and Custom Styles to learn how to build and install them.

Upgrading ILIAS

The easiest way to update ILIAS is using git, please note that this is only possible if you installed ILIAS via git as advised in this document. If git wasn't used you can also download new releases.

Before you start you should consider to...

  • backup your database
  • backup your docroot
  • change your system style to the Delos default

We also recommend to use a decent staging environment to make a pre-flight check, to see if all plugins, skins, etc. still working as expected with the new version.

Minor Upgrade

To apply a minor update (e.g. v7.1 to v7.2) execute the following command in your ILIAS basepath (e.g. /var/www/html/):

git pull
composer install --no-dev

if you follow a branch or

git fetch
git checkout v7.1
composer install --no-dev

if you use tags to pin a specific ILIAS version.

In case of merge conflicts refer to the ILIAS Developement Guide. You should only encounter these if you changed the code of your installation locally.

Then complete the update by updating the database.

Major Upgrade

To apply a major update (e.g. v6.13 to 7.0) please check that your OS has the proper dependency versions installed. If everything is fine change your default skin to Delos and apply this change at least to your root user. Otherwise ILIAS might become unusable due to changes in the layout templates. Then execute the following commands in your ILIAS basepath (e.g. /var/www/html).

git fetch
git checkout release_X
composer install --no-dev

Replace release_X with the branch or tag you actually want to upgrade to. You can get a list of available branches by executing git branch -a and a list of all available tags by executing git tag. Never use trunk or *beta for production.

In case of merge conflicts refer to the ILIAS Developement Guide. You should only encounter these if you changed the code of your installation locally.

In case of merge conflicts refer to Resolving Conflicts - ILIAS Development Guide.

Complete the update of the base system by updating the database.

As a last step you should log in with a User using your custom skin. If everything works fine change back from Delos to your custom system style. If not, you probably will need to update your style to match the new release.

Update the Database

Database updates must be done for both minor and major updates, the schema and content of the database probably won't match the code otherwise. Database updates are performed via the command line setup program. The required updates are split into two groups. Updates are tasks that need to be run immediately to make your installation work properly. Migrations are tasks, that potentially take some time, but which can also be executed while the installation is in productive use.

Run the status command on the command line to check if there are any updates available. Look into the section database of the output and check the fields update_required, hotfix_required and custom_update_required. If any of these fields is true, run in your ILIAS folder:

php setup/setup.php update

To check if there are migrations, run in your ILIAS folder:

php setup/setup.php migrate

The command will show you if there are migrations that need to be run for you installation. Run them by using the --run parameter and have a look into the help of the command for more details: php setup/setup.php migrate --help.

Both commands will display what currently happens and might prompt you with questions. You might want to have a look into the documenation of the command line setup or into the help of the program itself php setup/setup.php help. It is the tool to manage and monitor your ILIAS installation.

To check which update step gets currently executed run the following SQL-Statement on your ILIAS database: SELECT * FROMsettingsWHERE keyword = "db_update_running".

Information on Updates

To keep your ILIAS Installation secure and healthy it is important that you keep it up to date. To get informations about updates and security fixes you should consider to subscribe to the ILIAS Admin Mailing-List

Upgrading Dependencies

When you upgrade from rather old versions please make sure that the dependencies, like MySQL and PHP, are up to date. Below you will find the supported versions for each ILIAS release.


ILIAS Version PHP Version
8.x 7.4.x, 8.0.x
7.x 7.3.x, 7.4.x
6.x 7.2.x, 7.3.x, 7.4.x
5.4.x 7.2.x, 7.3.x, 7.4.x
5.3.x 5.6.x, 7.0.x, 7.1.x
5.2.x 5.5.x - 5.6.x, 7.0.x, 7.1.x
5.0.x - 5.1.x 5.3.x - 5.5.x
4.4.x 5.3.x - 5.5.x
4.3.x 5.2.6 - 5.4.x
4.2.x 5.2.6 - 5.3.x
4.0.x - 4.1.x 5.1.4 - 5.3.x
3.8.x - 3.10.x 5.1.4 - 5.2.x


ILIAS Version MySQL Version MariaDB Version
8.0 - 8.x 5.7.x, 8.0.x 10.2, 10.3, 10.4
7.0 - 7.x 5.7.x, 8.0.x 10.1, 10.2, 10.3
6.0 - 6.x 5.6.x, 5.7.x, 8.0.x 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3
5.4.x - x.x.x 5.6.x, 5.7.x
5.3.x - 5.4.x 5.5.x, 5.6.x, 5.7.x
4.4.x - 5.2.x 5.0.x, 5.1.32 - 5.1.x, 5.5.x, 5.6.x
4.2.x - 4.3.x 5.0.x, 5.1.32 - 5.1.x, 5.5.x
4.0.x - 4.1.x 5.0.x, 5.1.32 - 5.1.x
3.10.x 4.1.x, 5.0.x, 5.1.32 - 5.1.x
3.7.3 - 3.9.x 4.0.x - 5.0.x


ILIAS Version ImageMagick Version
4.2.x - 5.2.x 6.8.9-9 or higher
< 4.2.x No specific version requirements

Connect and Contribute

ILIAS is backed by a huge community. We will be happy to welcome you as a member of the ILIAS Society or at one of our regular ILIAS Conferences or ILIAS Development Conferences.

We are also looking for contributions of code, reports of issues or requests in our Feature Wiki.


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