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Mahara/Moodle integration /
problems in setting up login and problems in mahara navigation

22 October 2020, 9:20


after some struggle I managed to set up an installation of mahara on a shared hosting where I could set all the parameters according to your instruction despite it being a shared hosting platform.

SO it should be running ok and it is most of the times but with some exceptions.

I couldn't figure out which are the conditions for a user to be able to login both thought moodle and/or through internal authentication. I am the admin of the site and would have thought to have privileges such that i could log in with any method, but presently I can only access the site through the moodle "external tool" plugin.

What are the conditions to be met to allow at least the admin to login directly? I couldn't work out how to add authentication methods to users, hence I remain with the webservice OR the internal, but they seem to be mutually exclusive.

Please some help with this would be greatly appreciated

The second issue is that despite having 2Gb of available memory as soon as 10 users are logged in at the same time the site almost freezes and navigating becomes almost impossible. Sometimes, while navigating I am either sent back to the login page (but being internal authentication disabled I need to take the log path through moodle) or I get sent back to the oodle oage where the external tool is. Why is that?

What are the settings that should be looked at to increase performance?

Many thanks for any help that could be kindly provided.




11 November 2020, 10:47


it looks as if this branch of the forum is dead....I seem to get no replies, comments, anything. And this now happened on two different threads and during two months almost.

So I am probably doing something wrong, I would greatly appreciate if at least someone could please suggest where are the mistakes so I can post more successfully on these forums in the future

Many thanks to everybody



Robert Lyon's profile picture
Posts: 748

11 November 2020, 12:00

Hi Adriano

For the first issue where you can only login via the Moodle external tool - it sounds like you need to set that authentication to be a child auth to 'internal' authentication. I am assuming you are connecting via External Apps

There should be a configure form (cog) that allows you to pick the parent authentication.

For the slowness / random logouts can you let me know what your $cfg->sessionhandler  is set to?

Normally the default is 'file' but this might not be the best for a shared host system - you might need to try 'memcached' or 'redis' if those options are available




20 November 2020, 0:54

Hello Robert, I couldn't find a mention of that method in the link you provided, but searching the same manual for "parent" I was taken here (only right  portion of the link shown as the forum wouldn't allow me to post llinks....!) . Is that what you meant? However it is not clear to me if LTI can also be child of internal as it is only indicated for SAMS and LDAP. 

In case it is, would that allow any user to log in through moodle OR with internal authentication? I would like to keep students ability to login restricted to the previous authentication into moodle, while I would like to be able to login as an administrator in both ways. Whould that be possible?

As for the speed issues that seems to be solved once the hosting service migrated my site onto faster machines. Shared hosting in that case had issues with the memchache that needed t be a socket, which doesn't seem to be accepted by Mahara (at least 20.04 afaik)

I only have 200 users presently, so things are running quite smoothly, but should speed issues come back I found this (same as above for the link issue) in the meanwhile and thought it might solve it. Am I correct? 

Thanks for helping me



Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4706

28 November 2020, 19:10

Hi Adriano,

You can now post links. Not being able to post links as newly registered person on is a spam protection measure.

Yes, 'internal' can be a parent to LTI, and we'll update the manual in time to reflect that. There are a few other things post 20.10 release that are on our ToDo list that need updating. So please be patient with us.

If you set the 'internal' authentication method to be the parent to LTI, students will also be able to log in via the Mahara homepage and reset their password. You can only prevent that if you set up a different LTI authentication method for yourself and only allow that to have 'internal' as parent.

Memcache has been available for Mahara for many years.

The session path option is still available and thus should still work.



28 November 2020, 22:41

Hi Kristina,


[[Yes, 'internal' can be a parent to LTI, and we'll update the manual in time to reflect that. There are a few other things post 20.10 release that are on our ToDo list that need updating. So please be patient with us.]]

I am, absolutely, I was simply trying to give feedback, or how would you know when something needs attention?

[[You can only prevent that if you set up a different LTI authentication method for yourself and only allow that to have 'internal' as parent.]]

Somewhere on the manual I learned that each user can only have one authentication method. I also thought that relations between different methods could only be set at the institution level. Please, how do I get a single user (me=the admin) to have a different setting than anybody else?

[[Memcache has been available for Mahara for many years]]

Yes the problem I think was on the shared hosting side, whereby many users have unix sockets sharing the memcache and I couldn't make my socket recognized and used by mahara. I also fell into php issues while trying that, so I put everything back together (I teach molecular genetics so i'll dig into this side of the world only if forced to....! :-D ) as it was originally and fortunately they could provide me with a free migration onto faster machines.

Many thanks for your help so far. Students are liking mahara, yet there are issues to administrate it concerning the "logic" one should use to hypothesize where to find or how to set things that is totally new to me. It would be absolutely great if there were a little course or tutorial aside the manual, to practice with a few things, for example the above issue of parenting authentications. There are many other points I feel I could ask questions about, that cannot be "tried out" while working, as students get easily impatient and compliance with the directions for getting to the course objetives drops suddenly. On another hand forums are slow and communicating about the exact origin of doubts or reporting details of issues can make posts really heavy, so a little course with direct interactions might pay off better.

Well....that would depend on the registration fee wouldn't it? :-))



Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4706

29 November 2020, 11:08

Hi Adriano,

You can have a different authentication method from your students by setting up a second LTI authentication method and only link that to internal authentication and then create yourself a link on your Moodle dashboard. That's the closest I can think of that would allow you to jump from Moodle to Mahara and log into Mahara using the same login. Alternatively, if you want to use the same LTI link as your students but not allow them internal authentication, set up a second account that you can use to log in via Mahara.

At Catalyst, we do offer a series of training courses for instructors and also site administrators and have support packages available for ad-hoc support. Please send me a message if you are interested in them. You may also find some videos from community members on YouTube for specific work flows. These are difficult to maintain across different versions of Mahara and thus may be a bit out of date.



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