Read this section to find out what software you need to enable Totara Social to run as a web-based application.

Recommended software platform

Totara Social is designed to run on variants of the popular LAMP stack. While PHP is mandatory, you can substitute the other software listed for alternative options.
The recommended platform is:

  • Server OS: Linux, Debian Lenny or later, and Ubuntu Trusty or later, are the distributions that the core developers use.
  • Web Server: Apache 2.2 or greater.
  • Database Server: PostgreSQL - 9.4 or greater
  • Language: PHP 7 or 7.1.
  • Web Browser: Latest version of FirefoxChromeSafari, OperaEdge, or IE 11.

Other software options

Totara Social will run using substitute software for some parts of the LAMP stack. Use this section to identify your options. Note that some of these are not supported by the Totara Social team.

Server operating system

Totara Social is officially supported on the following operating systems:

  • Debian GNU/Linux (, all versions from 7.0/'Wheezy' (recommended).
  • Ubuntu GNU/Linux (, all versions from 14.04/'Trusty Tahr' (recommended).
  • Any other variant of Linux, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Slackware, Fedora and SUSE.
  • Microsoft Windows: All desktop versions from Windows 7, all server versions from Windows Server 2008 R2.

Web server

Totara Social is officially supported on the following web servers:

IIS server is not supported.

Database server

Totara Social is officially supported and only known to work on the following database servers:

  • PostgreSQL (, version 9.4 or greater (recommended).
  • MySQL (, version 5.7.11 or greater.

  • MariaDB: Version 10.2.6 or greater. 

MSSQL database server is not supported.

Database format

Totara Social's database must be UTF-8 encoded.

For MySQL/MariaDB server:

  • You need to add the SUPER privilege to database user.
  • You need to configure server to use:
    •  innodb_file_format=Barracuda
    • innodb_file_per_table=1
    • innodb_large_prefix=1


You need to use PHP version 7 or greater. In addition, you need the following extensions:

  • gd (include Freetype support)
  • json
  • curl
  • libxml
  • SimpleXML
  • session
  • pgsql OR mysqli
  • openssl and xmlrpc (for networking support)
  • intl (for language installation)
  • mbstring (for multibyte character support)
  • mime_magic OR fileinfo
  • zip and unzip utilities (for imports/exports)
  • enchant or pspell (for TinyMCE spellcheck option)
  • Recommended: exif, imagick, zlib, bz2
  • Some Totara Social plugins may require browser plugins for full functionality.

  • exif (optional) recommended for image rotation support
  • mcrypt (optional) can be used for chat message encryption


Make sure that both magic_quotes_gpc and register_globals is set to Off.

Web browser

Totara Social should work in any modern web browser with JavaScript. The current version has only been tested in the following browsers:

  • Firefox: Latest version.
  • Chrome: Latest version.
  • Safari: Latest version.
  • Microsoft Edge: Latest version. 
  • Internet Explorer: Versions 11 or greater.

Some Totara Social plugins may require browser plugins for full functionality. 

Search engine

This is required in Totara Social 3.0:

  • Elasticsearch search engine: Version 5.x

Hosting ElasticSearch on another server

In order to host ElasticSearch on another server the following parameters need to be specified in the config file:

* Search engine connection details
$cfg->search_protocol = 'http';
$cfg->search_host = '';
$cfg->search_port = 9200;
$cfg->search_username = '';
$cfg->search_password = '';

On this page

Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community.

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