14 Open-source Self-hosted Learning Management Systems (LMS)

14 Open-source Self-hosted Learning Management Systems (LMS)

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a system designed to manage educational resources and users such as students and instructors. LMS systems have been around for the last two decades. They vary in features and licenses. In this article, we have compiled a list

Open-source LMS!

Some open-source LMS systems are competing on an enterprise level, many educational institutions are using them to host their resources and keep track of their user's activities.

Learning management systems are used for schools, training centers, colleges, and universities. It's often used by many corporates to train their employees and many large hospitals as CME portals for their medical staff.

Best Opensource learning management systems (LMS)

1- ATutor

ATutor is a web-based self-hosted LMS. Designed to manage, share online courses. It has a modular system that allows the users to extend their functionalities by adding new modules.

ATutor has many features that are backed with an easy-to-use interface. It has social features, messaging system between users, students management system, students


• Courses management
• Students management system
• Messaging system
• Students profile
• Group blogs
• Feedback
• Test and quiz manager
• Content tracker
• File and media manager
• FAQs
• Forums
• Modules manager
• Enrolment Manager

2- Odoo-based Learning Management System

Odoo is an open-source community-driven ERP solution. It has a vast ecosystem with hundreds of modules, extensions in different categories including education. We have listed Odoo-based LMS because many companies are already using it as their main ERP system, which makes sense for them to extend its functionality for corporate education.

3- Forma LMS

Forma LMS is yet another great learning management system that helps organizations and independent instructors to build an online rich educational portal.

Forma LMS supports multiple clients with the same install, which makes it the perfect choice for multiple author/ instructor/ client setup.

Forma LMS focuses on easing the collaboration, generating custom reports, creating and managing webinars, and managing the certificates.


• Course management
• Material management
• Catalog and course-path management
• Rich reporting
• Responsive design (Mobile, Web)
• Classroom management
• Certificates management
• eCommerce system
• Built-in notification
• Developer-friend with rich REST-API
• Supports Decebo upgrades
• Students profile management with skills and achievements
• Plugins-ready

4- Moodle

Moodle is the most popular LMS out there, It's somehow the Wordpress of open-source learning management systems. It has been around since 2002, as it released its first version from Australia. It's used by many universities, schools all around the world. It's released under GNU General Public License.

Moodle has a large community of users and developers. Moodle core developers and community developers provide vast support for Moodle to integrate with many online services and other content management systems.  It has a large and rich ecosystem full of plugins, themes, and hacks.

• Used by hundreds of schools and universities around the world
• Rich ecosystem
• Course material management
• Courses design
• Rich collaborative tools
• Calendars
• Built-in notification system
• Multi-languages
• Powerful user management with the support of user roles and groups
• Plugin management
• Online portal
• Quiz wizard
• Rich media support
• Messaging

5- Opigno

Opigno is a free opensource Drupal-based learning management system. Drupal itself is a successful CMS "content management system" that runs thousands of successful projects worldwide.  Opigno is a rich LMS aiming for school education, corporate training, and higher education organizations.


• Training catalog
• Private and public training
• Courses management
• Virtual classrooms
• Quiz/ testing management
• Real-time collaborative messaging tool
• Guided training management and creation tool
• Performance monitoring
• Live real-time meeting tools
• Content authoring tools
• eCommerce module with subscription support
• Powerful integration tools
• Custom dashboard
• Collaborative workspaces
• Events management


OpenOLAT is a free open-source course and learning management system. It combines a large set of collaboration tools to assist instructors and teachers while managing and running their virtual classrooms.

• Courses management
• Course material management
• Students management
• Exams manager
• Rich collaboration tools: forums, blogs, message board, chat, project groups, podcasts
• Virtual classrooms
• Assignments and homework manager
• Statistics and reporting
• Test exporting tools (Microsoft Word support)
• Decentralized user management
• Responsive design with enhanced mobile support
• Library management
• Developer-friendly

7- Ilias

Ilias is a free open source learning (courses) management solution. Ilias is used by corporate/ companies, schools and other educational organizations are based in Europe. It provides an easy yet powerful course and material management tools for managers as well as better engagement tools for students.


• Simple but powerful user-interface
• Course management
• Course material management
• Surveys
• Reporting
• Assignments
• Multiple learning modules
• Portfolios
• Workspace support
• Study programs
• Test and assignments

8- Sakai

Sakai is open-source students and school learning management systems.  It may not seem different from many other projects in this list however, it's preferred by many schools and universities in the UK and EU.


• Students assignments management
• External apps support (Supports integration with 30+ apps)
• Content library with rich-media support
• Users management
• User collaboration tools
• Forums
• Email messaging and notification
• Chat
• Lessons and Tutorials manager
• Podcast support
• Syllabus manager
• Attendance manager
• Tracking and statistics
• Performance reporting
• Evaluation system
• Tests and quiz management
• REST-API support


ELMS is a Libre/ FOSS course management system. It's easy to install and configure and comes with compact features which makes it the ideal solution for independent instructors.


• Courses manager with template support.
• Students management
• Timeline management
• Speed reader tool
• Media management
• Discussion board
• Quiz and testing wizard
• Quiz management
• Developer-friendly

10- Chamilo

Chamilo is a free open source learning solution. It has a rich features list packed in a responsive easy-to-use interface that offers great user-experience.


• Simple yet powerful system
• Mobile support
• Multi-lingual support
• Course wizard
• Courses management
• Certificate management
• Students profile
• Tests and quiz management
• Forums
• Learning paths management
• Reports and statistics
• Assignments
• User subscriptions
• Wiki
• Glossary management
• Course progress and tracker
• Chat
• Surveys
• Social network features

11- Open edX

Open edX is the engine that runs edX educational platform. It is released for free as a Libre/FOSS (Free Open-source Software) to help the organizations create their private educational materials.


• Course creation and management
• Learning path management
• Evaluations
• Users (Students/ Instructors) collaborations
• Simple yet powerful interface
• Professional commercial support from dozens of companies and service providers

12- Dekeos

Dekeos is a free open source LMS, easy-to-use for instructors who want to build their educational portals for their students.


• Courses authoring tool
• Fast learning modes
• Quiz and test builder
• eCommerce options
• Multi-lingual support 34 languages
• Social features
• Collaboration tools
• Course catalogs support
• Rich media support including mind-maps
• Reporting and statistics
• Progress tracker
• Multiple device support
• Evaluation and certification support

13- Claroline

Claroline is a fairly old (2001-2002) course management system. It's a modular system with the support of a small but powerful community of developers and experienced users. Though Claroline user-interface is looking outdated it's functional and usable.


• Courses management
• Multiple communication tools: forums, chat, internal messaging
• Assignments management and tracking
• Learning path management
• Quiz creation wizard
• Quiz management
• Users management
• Plugins rich

14- Manhali

Manhali is courses and learning management system. it has many useful features, but the developers need to pay more attention to the UI/ UX.


• Multi-lingual support
• Media manager
• Students manager
• Instructors management
• Statistics and reporting support
• Quiz creation and management
• Messages
• Tutorials support
• Homework assignments management


We have listed the most well known open-source LMS solutions, although they share many functionalities they are not equal in terms of installation, configuration, and usage.

Some of them have better integration with other open-source systems, others provide unique features and rich developer experience. We encourage you to state your requirements and match it with few and compare their features before jumping into a production environment.

Also, we suggest assessing applicability of open-source LMS solutions in each particular case. For example, claim that open-source solutions have limited capabilities and can’t address specific learning needs like non-linear multistep workflows, extra e-Learning content security or unique branding. So, for such cases, we recommend you to consider custom LMS development.

Credit: Header's Image by Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels

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Hamza Mu

Written by Hamza Mu

A physician with programming skills, Linux user since late 1990s, Open-source supporter. Created several medical products EMR/ DICOM and more.
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