Chamilo is an open-source (under GNU/GPL licensing) e-learning and content management system, aimed at improving access to education and knowledge globally. It is backed up by the Chamilo Association, which has goals including the promotion of the software, the maintenance of a clear communication channel and the building of a network of services providers and software contributors.
The Chamilo project aims at ensuring the availability and quality of education at a reduced cost, through the distribution of its software free of charge, the improvement of its interface for 3rd world countries devices portability and the provision of a free access public e-learning campus.
The Chamilo project was officially launched on the 18th of January 2010 by a considerable part of the contributing community of the (also GNU/GPL) Dokeos software, after growing discontent on the communication policy inside the Dokeos community and a series of choices that were making parts of the community insecure about the future of developments. As such, it is considered a fork of Dokeos (at least in its 1.8 series). The reaction to the fork was immediate, with more than 500 active users registering on the Chamilo forums in the first fortnight and more contributions collected in one month than in the previous whole year.
The origins of Chamilo's code date back to 2000, with the start of the Claroline project, which was forked in 2004 to launch the Dokeos project. In 2010, it was forked again with the publication of Chamilo 188.8.131.52.
Due to Chamilo's educational purpose, most of the community is related to the educational or the human resources sectors. The community itself works together to offer an easy to use e-learning system.
Since June 2010, the Chamilo Association has been a legally registered non-profit association (VZW) under Belgian law. The association was created to serve the general goal of improving the Chamilo project's organization and to avoid a conflict of interest between the organization controlling the software project decision process and the best interests of the community using the software. Its founding members, also its first board of directors, were originally 7, of which 3 are from the private e-learning sector and 4 were from the public educational sector. The current board of directors is composed of 5 members.
Chamilo is developed mainly in PHP and relies on a LAMP or WAMP system on the server side. On the client side, it only requires a modern web browser (versions younger than 3 years old) and optionally requires the Flash plugin to make use of advanced features.
The Chamilo LMS (1.*) series benefits from third party implementations that allows easy connexion to Joomla (through JFusion plugin), Drupal (through Drupal-Chamilo module), OpenID (secure authentication framework) and Oracle (through specific PowerBuilder implementations).
Chamilo offers a connector to videoconferencing systems (like BigBlueButton or OpenMeetings) as well as a presentations to learning paths converter, which require advanced system administration skills to install.
You can get more information on releases from the original website. Chamilo LMS and Chamilo LCMS are two separate products of the Chamilo Association, which is why the releases history is split below.
The Chamilo shows a record of liaising with crackers to detect and fix security issues quickly. A page is dedicated to security issues and serves as a reference any time a new issue is detected.