Open Source Solutions for Potential Academic Use


I thought I would rant a little on a few items I´m interested in getting acceptance here at my University. As I´ve mentioned before that we´re primarily a Microsoft House, there is nothing wrong with that as long as your flexible to new ideas. This isn´t quite the case here, so I guess this is where the rub is as a few of my colleagues can attest.

Any ways there are some projects which I think those in the academic community should look closely at. Some are specific to certain subjects while others can be applied to anything.

Moodle & Sakai – E-Learning solutions similar to Blackboard & WebCT. Can it scale to University Size? – Definitely! Check out San Francisco State University’s Install – They’ve grown more since this article check them out on the moodle website.

Drupal & Joomla / Mambo & Plone – Content Management Systems – All have some level of support for 508 accessibility compliance. This is rather crucial for education in order to support every student.

Updated: 6/12/07 – Looks like some folks were trying to find the Vmware Moodle Appliance – here’s the link.

WordPress & Moveable Type – Blog Site Software – I know there are alot more but these two I personally like. WordPress offers academic accounts.

oscommerce & zencart – E-Commerce software which can be used for business related courses. Oscommerce or a variant of it are commonly installed for free on a lot of Linux based hosting services.

Apache Friends Xampp – Self contained Apache / MySQL / PHP stack which runs on Linux / Windows / Mac OSX for quick and easy deployment for development purposes. Ideal for students to hit the ground running developing Open Source software without learning the aspects of setting up a server (should be reserved for the admin). There also a way to run it off a USB memory stick.

Last but not least – Ubuntu /Edubuntu / Ubuntu Studio – A free operating system which rivals Windows and my favorite Linux distribution. There variants of Ubuntu which are tailored to specific uses. I’m still waiting for Ubuntu to have a way to control users from messing up their installs, much like Deep Freeze (commercial drive protection software). Rumor has it that Deep Freeze ala the Faronics Corporation is working on a Linux Version – Check it out here!

I could go on with so many more applications but these are the most mature products that come to mind when I look at what’s out there. Anyone else care to add?



2 Responses to “Open Source Solutions for Potential Academic Use”

  1. excowboy Says:

    You might have a look at Stud.IP ( and Ilias ( These are very successful OS products for E-Learning here in Germany.

  2. dhashi Says:

    Hi excowboy,

    I will definitely take a look at thoe projects you mentioned. Thank you for the post!


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