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Repositories in Totara enable users to upload files, access previously uploaded files and to easily bring content into Totara from external repositories, such as Flickr or Google Docs. Enabled repositories are available in the File picker.
  • The File picker presents a standard way to access the new File bank repository system.
  • The file repository allows Totara to integrate with external repositories of content, making it easy to bring documents and media into Totara via a drag and drop interface.
  • Initial repository plugins include: Alfresco, Amazon S3, Box.net, Dropbox File system on Server, Flickr, Google Docs, MERLOT, Picasa, Recent Files, WebDAV servers, Wikimedia, Youtube. These are simple to develop, so many more are expected.
  • You can also import files from your desktop or by specifying a URL.
  • There are more attributes that can be added to a file, such as license and author.

Manage Repositories

Enabling Repositories

Select Site Administration > Plugins > Repositories > Manage repositories.

Select the repository you want to enable and click on the settings to include keys etc that are required for the repository.


Standard repositories

Repositories enabled by default include:

  • Upload a file: You use this for browsing for and uploading a file from your computer or USB.
  • Server files: This gives access to files elsewhere on Totara according to your permissions.
  • Recent files: The last 50 files you have uploaded, according to the context.
  • Private files: Your own personal storage area for files.

Additional repositories

Additional repositories may be enabled by a site administrator.

  • Google Docs: Bring files from your Google docs account.
  • Youtube videos: Search for and display Youtube videos.
  • Flickr public: Search for and display images from Flickr.
  • Flickr: Search for and display images from your personal Flickr account.
  • Picasa web album: Search for and display images from your Picasa account.
  • URL downloader: Download files, images from a particular URL.
  • Wikimedia: Search for and display media from Wikimedia.
  • Alfresco: Link to or copy files from Alfresco into Totara.
  • Amazon S3: Link to or copy files from Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) account.
  • Box.net: Bring files in from your Box.net account.
  • Dropbox: Bring files in from Dropbox.
  • File system: Access files uploaded to a folder on your server (by, eg FTP).
  • Legacy course files: Use the old system from 1.9 of "course files".
  • Merlot.org: Bring resources in from Merlot.org.
  • WebDAV: Bring in files using webdav.

Upload a file

The Upload a file repository enables users to browse and upload files from their computer into Totara.

Server Files

The server repository allows users with the correct permissions to see files on the server. This might mean only files and folders in the context of the current course, or access to a file system that will allow them to use other courses files.

To access any repository, click Server Files.

A new course, with arrow point to Server files repository.

Below is an example of drilling down. The breadcrumb path has built in links to the level it represents and also allows for a search of server files.

Server files screenshot

Recent Files

The recent files repository gives users the ability quickly to locate files they uploaded previously.

Using Recent files

  • Recent files can be accessed anywhere the file picker is available. However:
  • Recent files are context-sensitive, that is to say, you will only see the type of file Totara thinks you want to upload.
  • Recent files by default displays the last 50 files the user has uploaded to Totara.

Changing the number of Recent files

  1. Go to Settings > Site Administration > Plugins > Repositories > Recent Files.
  2. Click the Settings.
  3. Change the number to your preferred number.

Disabling Recent files

Recent files is enabled by default but can be disabled by the administrator if required.

  1. Go to Settings > Site Administration > Plugins > Repositories > Manage Repositories.
  2. Change the drop down next to Recent files from Enabled and Visible to Disabled.

File system

The File system repository allows you to add files to a folder on the server via FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This can be useful if you have larger files you need to use within a particular course, or for a particular user. You can then restrict access to that file (within Totara) to a particular course or individual. All of this can only be set up by the Site administrator, who will also need access to the server. 

To fully set this up there are a number of steps:

  1. Setup on the folder on the server.
  2. Enable the File system repository on Totara. 
  3. Create the repository instance. 
  4. Configure that instance.
  5. Add to course and/or associate it to an individual.

Server side setup 

The first thing you will need to do is set up a folder or folders on your server. To do this you will need access to the server files and to follow these steps:

  1. Access the sitedata folder.
  2. Inside this create a folder called repository
  3. You can then create as many new folders as you wish inside this repository folder.

Enabling the File system repository 

To enable the repository you will need to be a Site administrator. 

  1. Go to Settings > Site Administration > Plugins > Repositories > Manage Repositories.
  2. Alongside File system change the dropdown next to Enabled and Visible.

Create a site-wide repository instance

After the folder has been added to the server and you have enabled the File system repository you can now setup the Totara side.

  1. Go to Site administration > Plugins > Repositories > File system from the Administration block. 
  2. Under the table of Repositories instance of the site click the Create a repository instance button. 
  3. Complete the form on this page, remembering to chose the desired folder from the dropdown list. 
  4. When you are done click Save.

Create a course repository instance

If enabled, then you can create a File system repository that is associated with a particular course.

  1. Go to Site administration > Plugins > Repositories > File system from the Administration block. 
  2. Make sure you enable (check the box) Allow admins to add a file system repository instance to a course and then click Save
  3. Now go to the course you wish to add the repository to. 
  4. In the Administration block go to Course administration > Repositories.
  5. Click Create a repository instance and then complete the form, remembering to chose the desired folder from the dropdown list. 
  6. When you are done click Save.

Create to an individual user repository instance

If you enable this then you can associate a File system repository with a particular user. 

  1. Go to Site administration > Plugins > Repositories > File system from the Administration block. 
  2. Make sure you enable (check the box) Allow admins to add a file system repository instance for personal use and then click Save
  3. Now find the user you wish to add the repository to (via Site administration > Users > Accounts > Browse list of users from the Administration block).
  4. After landing on the profile page, you have to click Preferences, then Manage Repositories.
  5. Click Create a repository instance and then complete the form, remembering to chose the desired folder from the dropdown list. 
  6. When you are done click Save.

Using File System repository files

Once a file has been uploaded, via FTP, to the relevant folder it can be accessed in Totara Learn via the File picker. It will appear as one of the listed options, just like any other repository. 

File Types

An administrator can add new file types as well as view, edit, and delete existing file types from Site administration > Server > File types. This means that, for example, if trainers and learners on your site use a lot of files specific to a particular program, such files can now be recognised by Totara and when downloaded they will open in the correct program rather than presenting themselves as a generic zip file.


Adding a new file type

1. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Add button.

2. Add the details of your file type, using the example below as a guide. This example will add the .mobi extension (for a Kindle ebook) with the standard document icon.

3. Click to save the changes and you will see your new file type has been added to the list.

Removing a file type

Clicking the X next to a file type will remove it from the site. You will be prompted to confirm before deletion.

Editing an existing file type

Clicking the edit icon next to a file type will allow you to change certain details, for example the associated icon and description. If you don't wish to use the default description, you can specify your own custom description (with multi-language tags if your site supports multi-languages) or you can use an alternative language string from mimetypes.php.



On this page

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Plugins and Advanced Features in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to use plugins and advanced features, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.



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