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OpenACS Home

Created by Dave Bauer, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 13 Oct 2015, at 01:18 PM

OpenACS (Open Architecture Community System) is a toolkit for building scalable, community-oriented web applications. OpenACS is the foundation for many products and websites, including the .LRN e-learning platform. OpenACS is open source and is available under the GNU General Public License.

Why use OpenACS?

OpenACS is unique in the breadth of services it offers developers and administrators. Millions of dollars and decades of developer time have gone into the maturation of OpenACS.

You can read the technical reasons to use OpenACS.

How do I install OpenACS?

The installation documentation contains all the necessary steps to install OpenACS on a large variety of systems. There is also a Windows Installer (detailed information) and a Debian Package. Additionally you can use our FreeBSD Port or follow the short instruction for Darwinport. Last but not least you can try out OpenACS using one of our Knoppix CDs that have been built for .LRN.

A full list of ports for OpenACS can be found on our OpenACS Installers section. Also Check the installation requirements before installing. The current stable release is OpenACS 5.2.3 (cvs aliases).

How do I work with OpenACS?

You can start by reading the documentation, specifically tips on customizing, the developer's tutorial, and
the FAQs. There is a OpenACS Wiki and a list of packages that extend OpenACS.

For professional help, contact one of the OpenACS companies.

OpenACS Community

One of the strengths of the OpenACS project is the community surrounding it:


NewsSubscribe via RSS

OpenACS 5.8.1 final released

We are proud to announce the release of OpenACS 5.8.1.
The new release differs from OpenACS 5.8.1 in the following points:
  • Compatibility of OpenACS core and 78 application packages with PostgreSQL 9.1+:
    The new version installs without any need for special parameter settings in all recent PostgreSQL versions.
  • Major cleanup: removal of calls to deprecated code, using recent Tcl byte compiled instructions rather than legacy constructs, following more closer to Postgres recommendations.
  • Functional improvements in core and application packages
  • Various performance and scalability improvements
  • Various bug fixes
  • The packages can be installed online from the OpenACS repository. The list of network-installable packages contains also DotLRN (for the full list of packages, see the full announcement).
  • Altogether, OpenACS 5.8.1 differs from OpenACS 5.7.1 in about 100,000 modifications (6145 commits) contributed by 5 committers.
Many thanks to all who helped in this effort via direct contributions, bug-reports or testing!

Release Announcement, ChangeLog, Download

Published on Oct 25, 2014

Recent Posts

OpenACS Development





Created by gustaf neumann, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 05 Oct 2015, at 09:03 PM

Welcome to the OpenACS Wiki!

This is the OpenACS Wiki system, built with the xowiki package. This wiki contains user documentation, how-tos, and tips and tricks related to OpenACS. It also serves as a collaboration area for OpenACS contributors.

Quick Links:

OpenACS Handbook: openacs-handbook
OpenACS Packages: packages
OpenACS Installation: openacs-system-install

Recent Wiki Page Edits:

Subsystems Documentation

Install OpenACS with NaviServer from Scratch (1 week ago)
Installing OpenACS (1 month ago)
Monitoring Naviserver (1 month ago)
Vi as an OpenACS IDE (1 month ago)
Tcl Thread Library (1 month ago)
Postgres 8.1.x and later versions (1 month ago)
XOTcl (1 month ago)
OpenACS/.LRN for Ubuntu (1 month ago)
OpenACS/.LRN for Debian (1 month ago)
Emacs as an OpenACS IDE (1 month ago)
OpenACS Debian Install quicksheet (1 month ago)
Next Steps After Installation, Debian Specific (1 month ago)
Nagios Monitoring (1 month ago)
Installing OpenACS on RPM-based systems (1 month ago)
Installing OpenACS on Mac OS X (1 month ago)
Installing OpenACS on FreeBSD with ports (1 month ago)
Install OpenACS on debian unstable / Ubuntu 7.10 (1 month ago)
Install AOLserver 4.5 (1 month ago)
Get the Code! (1 month ago)
Upgrade to OpenACS 5.9 (2 months ago)
Upgrade to OpenACS 5.8 (2 months ago)
Tcl (7 months ago)

OpenACS Projects

Core Documentation

Installing OpenACS (1 month ago)


.LRN (1 month ago)
.LRN Installation (6 months ago)
Plataforma Elearning (7 months ago)


OpenACS Home (1 month ago)
Wiki (1 month ago)

Package Documentation

Aliases at CVS (1 month ago)

Tutorials for Programmers

Coding Standards

Vi as an OpenACS IDE (1 month ago)
Emacs as an OpenACS IDE (1 month ago)
ADP Files (4 months ago)


Tutorials for Administrators

F. A. Q.

Documentation Non-Core Packages

File Storage Portlet (1 month ago)

Non-Core Packages

News (1 month ago)


Try Openacs (7 months ago)

for everyone

Created by OpenACS community, last modified by Benjamin Brink 09 Sep 2013, at 07:44 PM

OpenACS for everyone

OpenACS (Open Architecture Community System) is:

  • an advanced toolkit for building scalable, community-oriented web applications.
  • a robust, scalable framework (see: en:openacs-system) for building dynamic content driven sites and enterprise-level web applications.
  • a collection of pre-built applications and services that you can build on to create a custom web-site or application.
  • derived from the ArsDigita Community System (ACS). ArsDigita (now part of Red Hat, Inc.) kindly made their work available under the GPL, making all of this possible.

Through a modular architecture, OpenACS has packages for user/groups management, content management, e-commerce, news, FAQs, calendar, forums, bug tracking, wiki (XoWiki ), full-text searching etc. See OpenACS repository.


Use the OpenACS fourms to contact the OpenACS community. We welcome your feedback and can help with your OpenACS endeavors. Commercial support is also available.

What others say about OpenACS

Testimonials posted to forums on OpenACS

Try OpenACS

History of OpenACS

See: History of OpenACS en:docs-history

Bibliography and Credits

See: Documentation Credits en:doc-credits

for beginning developers

Created by OpenACS community, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 12 Mar 2011, at 11:40 PM

Tutorials for OpenACS development

Other related tutorials

See also: OpenACS Mentorship Program

Other useful resources

Web Sites


for developers

Created by OpenACS community, last modified by Torben Brosten 22 Aug 2008, at 08:32 AM

OpenACS for developers


Besides the quality components of Openacs (See: en:openacs-system), OpenACS has these enterprise-quality features for developers:

will be pulling in docs from here: and

Integrated Development Environments (IDE)

These text editors are commonly used when coding on OpenACS:

Bibliography and Credits

See en:doc-credits.

for administrators

Created by OpenACS community, last modified by Torben Brosten 22 Aug 2008, at 08:29 AM

OpenACS for administrators

will be pulling in docs from here:

Getting help: en:docs-admin-help

Install OpenACS: en:docs-install

set up database environment variables.. see end of and

creating custom pages: see developer tutorials ( )

Administrating a system 


Also, these OpenACS packages are your friends:

Performance monitoring


Bibliography and Credits

See en:doc-credits.

Search OACS Related Sites

Created by Caroline Meeks, last modified by Caroline Meeks 23 Feb 2007, at 02:35 AM

This Google Coop Search includes sites about OpenACS and the many products based on it. 



OpenACS Handbook

Created by OpenACS community, last modified by Torben Brosten 22 Jan 2007, at 06:19 AM

OpenACS Handbook

Documentation Credits doc-credits

Documentation Project Documentation_Project

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