Install Gibbon - An Open Source School / College Management System

Gibbon is an open source, free and highly flexible education management system. It helps teachers and students to address and solve daily problems. This tool alone caters the needs for all four pillars of educational system (administration, teachers, parents, and students). It provides refreshing and intuitive web interface to teachers, and students where they can engage in their activities and tasks, Parents use this tool to track the progress, upcoming deadlines and activities of their children. The administration department of the educational institutes can use this tool to complete their administrative responsibilities.

Gibbon is developed by Ross Parker to fulfill the educational needs of Internal College Hong Kong. It has gained popularity within no time. It is a feature rich application, with a long list of useful options; here are some of the core features:

  • Planner feature lets teachers and students collaborate more effectively. Teacher and students are able to assess the performance, manage estimates and track progress effectively.
  • It offers one single school wide database; everyone can update or search information with great ease.
  • It offers facility to manage school activities and ability to sign up students online for extra curriculum activities and performances.
  • External assessment feature captures the details of external assessments taken by students, and thus in this way it facilitates teachers to use such assessment data to improve understanding of their students.
  • Online application forms for school enrollments, selection or rejection of the applicants, and then automatically create user accounts and passwords.
  • Manage student’s attendance and behavior data at one place and parents can further view this information whenever they want.
  • Allows parents to quickly contact staff members. Staff members use “Data Updater” feature to keep their contact info updated.
  • Send messages to group of students or whole class and ability to manage fees, billing schedules and invoices from one platform

Installing Gibbon on Ubuntu

Let’s see how we can install this open source application in Ubuntu. It’s developed in PHP and uses MySQL as backend Data Base Management System, It’s an online/web-based application so it need Apache web server to run.  So here are three pre-requisites you need to have on your system before you attempt to install Gibbon.

  • Apache2
  • MySQL 5
  • PHP 5

Let’s get started on the installation process, launch terminal and run following command to install Apache2 :

sudo apt-get install apache2

Once apache2 installation process is complete, launch your browser and load http://localhost to verify that apache 2 has been installed and running properly. Successful install will show the following page when browsing the mentioned URL.

Apache ubuntu
Now, install MySQL, run following command on the terminal to install MySQL 5.

sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client

During the installation process, it will ask you to specify root password for your mysql instance.

Root pass

Hit Ok once done and installation process should complete in couple of minutes, as soon as installation process is complete, we need to activate MySQL by running the following command:

sudo mysql_install_db

Its time to install PHP5 now. Run following on the terminal to install PHP5 alongwith its basic libraries.

sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mcrypt

That’s all, prerequisite have been installed, now our Ubuntu system is ready to host Gibbon application. Excited? Here are installation steps for Gibbon.

By default, Apache2 document root is /var/www/html , so we will need to keep any PHP or HTML files in this directory so that Apache2 may be able to run them.  First of all change your current working directory to /var/www/html. Run following command on the terminal.

cd /var/www/html

Here, download the latest release of Gibbon by running the following command:

sudo wget

Once download process completes, we need to unzip this file. Run following command to unzip it.

sudo unzip

Alright, let’s rename these unzipped source files to something meaningful.

sudo mv core-9.0.00 Gibbon

The rest of the installation process is graphical, browser based. First make sure that this Gibbon directory is writeable, otherwise installation wizard will not be able to update configuration files and it will fail in the middle.

sudo chmod 777 Gibbon

Now launch your web browser and type http://localhost/Gibbon in the browser, it will launch the installation wizard immediately.

Gibbon Install

Choose your preferred language and Hit “Submit”, the next step will prompt for your database credentials.

Gibbon DB

Supply database Server as “localhost” , database user as “root” , database password as the one you entered during mysql installation process, give name for your Gibbon installation DB (you don’t need to create this DB yourself, the installer will create it, just specify the name you want for your Gibbon db here) , Hit "Submit" once done.

Gibbon DB setting

Next step will ask for your user account details, provide your username, email address and password here and hit "Submit" one done.

Gibbson user acct

That’s all, congratulations your school management system has been installed now.

Gibbon Complete

Click “go to your Gibbon home page” option and login with your user account from here.

Login Gibbon

You are in now, start using this awesome application.

Gibbon Main page


It is one easy to install, web based application which is being considered to be the fantastic replacement of paid school management solutions. It offers wide range of features which should suffice the needs of any educational system, however, it’s source code is available on Github, so you can download and tailor it to your needs too.

Aun Raza 6:00 am


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