Want to try Sakai for yourself? Thanks to our commercial affiliates, you can get a cloud-hosted trial Sakai site set up in minutes. These free, fully featured “sandbox” environments allow you to experience Sakai without having to download, build, install, or configure any software. Request a free trial using the links below.

Longsight Affiliate

Test drive with Longsight

Want to take a look under the hood? Download a demo of the latest version of Sakai to your local machine or access the complete source code (recommended for developers and technical staff).

Next steps

Interested in adopting Sakai? Once you have tried a hosted instance of Sakai or downloaded a local version, follow the simple steps below to begin tapping into the community’s resources and moving toward adoption.

If you are:

Try these steps:

Faculty member 

Instructional designer 

IT staffer 

Member of a selection committee
Step 1: Try Sakai 
Anyone can Try Sakai. Request free access to a sandbox version of Sakai hosted by one of our Commercial Affiliates. 

Step 2: Explore How Others Are Using the Sakai 
Browse Sakai stories to learn what others are doing with Sakai . Or check out videos and tutorials produced by Sakai adopter institutions to help their campus communities use Sakai effectively. 

Step 3: Contact a Sakai Adopter Institution
Learn more about the Sakai experience by talking to colleagues using the software today. Reach out to individuals you know, or send a request to the Sakai Community Manager to help you make some connections.

Step 4: Contact a Sakai Commercial Affiliate
The Sakai Commercial Affiliates are trusted partners with expertise helping colleges and universities successfully deploy and support the Sakai . If you’re not sure whether DIY is right for your institution, ask the Commercial Affiliates about the flexible options they can provide.

Step 5: Join an Email List of Interest
Become part of Sakai Community listserv conversations on topics of interest. Hear what others are talking about and post questions of your own.

Step 6: Attend a Community Event
Attend a regional or annual conference to meet colleagues, learn about the solution and how to use it effectively, share ideas and plan for the future of the software.   

Step 7: Run a Pilot Using Sakai 
Engage with a Commercial Affiliate to set up a low-risk pilot project using Sakai at your institution. Go hands-on to see how well Sakai works for your students and faculty. 

Step 8: Take a Look at Sakai  Documentation
Use publicly available documentation for the latest release to get better acquainted with what Sakai is and what it does.

System Administrator

Technical Contributor


All of the steps above, plus:

Request a Jira account, which allows you to access the Sakai Community-managed wiki and issue tracking system. With this account you can view and contribute content about issues, requests, bugs, documentation, etc. 

Download and Install Sakai 
Because it is open source software, it’s easy to gain hands-on experience with Sakai . As you download and set up your own Sakai trial deployment, feel free to post questions to the Using Sakai email list. Community members are happy to assist.   

Consider Joining the  Team
Once your institution has made a commitment to Sakai , joining the team will provide you with a broad view of the system and access to colleagues and mentors who are experienced Sakai developers. You will also become part of a team of true heros within the community. 

Institutional Leadership

IT Leadership

LMS Selection Committee Leadership
Recommendation #1: Try Multiple Learning Platforms Including Sakai 
Encourage members of your community to try out Sakai and other LMS options to help determine which provides the best fit for your needs, vision, strategy and future direction. There is no substitute for hands-on experience. You can request access to a hosted version of Sakai from a Commercial Affiliate, or download the software and run a pilot version for your campus community.

Recommendation #2: Invest Sufficient Time and Attention to Do a Complete Assessment of LMS Options
Empower your people with the resources and time they need to explore LMS options, including Sakai , and give due attention to this important decision. Short-changing the evaluation process often leads to a sub-optimal outcome. 

Recommendation #3: Engage the Sakai Community in Your Evaluation Process 
The traditional process for evaluating commercial software doesn’t typically work well with Sakai because of its open source nature and fundamental flexibility. Once you have assessed your organization’s needs and goals, put a process in place to engage with the Sakai community to help you get the information you need for sound decision-making. Post questions to email lists, and reach out. Let us connect you to experts, mentors and adopter institutions similar to yours.

Recommendation #4: Browse Case Studies to Learn about Success with Sakai 
Hundreds of colleges and universities around the world are doing remarkable things using Sakai to enrich learning, teaching and collaboration. Consult the Sakai Stories on this website to learn more about successes the Sakai Community is seeing. 

Recommendation #5: Review the Simple Steps for Exploring Sakai with Your Community 
We have identified a set of simple steps for instructors, instructional designers, IT staff and other contributors to explore Sakai and become engaged with the community. Share these suggestions within your community and encourage participation.  

Deploying Sakai

Sakai is capable of both small-scale and massive deployments, all without any licensing costs to extend the solution to new populations or educational communities. In fact, several community members are exploring the potential of Sakai as a MOOC platform.

Among the Sakai project’s great strengths are the flexible deployment options available to adopters, including:

  1. Deploy and support Sakai yourself: Deploy the software on your own and draw on the support of an active global community comprised of 350+ institutions.
  2. Deploy Sakai yourself and purchase commercial support: Install and deploy the software yourself, and engage a Commercial Affiliate to provide additional support services. 
  3. Deploy and support Sakai using a Commercial Affiliate: Contract with a trusted partner to implement and support your Sakai installation.
  4. Use Sakai in a hosted environment: Contract with a Commercial Affiliate to host, deploy, maintain and support your institution’s installation of Sakai.
  5. Select some combination of the options above: Between the diversity of the Sakai community and the flexibility of the Sakai, adopter institutions are using a variety of approaches deploy Sakai successfully.

For institutions with sufficient internal resources and technical expertise to maintain an open source software environment like Sakai, deploying Sakai themselves may be attractive because of the inherent creativity and almost limitless flexibility of this approach. Other institutions choose to draw on commercial support options to augment their capabilities or provide a solution tailored to their specific needs. 

Financial Planning for a Sakai Deployment

Compared to proprietary solutions, Sakai requires a different approach to financial planning and total cost of ownership. Because the software has no license fees, Sakai can be extended to any number of individuals or educational communities without increasing licensing costs. 

Adopter institutions must plan for hardware and other infrastructure costs, as well as the people, skill sets and time required to deploy, administer and support Sakai, whether these things are handled in-house, or by an external partner. Adopter institutions are also encouraged to join the Apereo Foundation and contribute modest annual membership fees to sustain the Sakai project. These fees provide for technical and community coordination and enable Apereo to be a safe haven for Sakai IPR and licensing.