Set of tools to interact with a Chamilo server.

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Chamilo tools

Chamilo tools is a set of tools to interact with a Chamilo server without using your browser.

Right now, the main commands are:

  • chamilotools upload-zip to upload the content of your course in one command.

  • chamilotools set-intro INTRO.html: to set the introduction text from a local file.

  • chamilotools create-quiz: to write quiz (Exercices) offline in a XLS file or a Yaml file, and upload it to Chamilo in one command. Some documentation is available.

It has initially been written by and for Ensimag teachers, but should work for any Chamilo installation. It is tested both on Ensimag's installation and on Patches to make the tools more generic and let them work in more contexts are welcome.

Chamilotools also contain a deprecated shell script setChamilo that does the same as upload-file and set-intro.

Installation and first step

To install Chamilotools:

  • Make sure you have Python 2.7 installed (2.7.x required, chamilotools does not work with Python 2.6 nor Python 3).

  • Install dependencies:

  pip install mediawiki xlrd xlwt bs4 pyyaml
  • Download Chamilotools (git clone or download ZIP here).

  • Run ./chamilotools --help.


chamilotools uses two configuration files:

  • A per-user configuration file, located in ~/.config/chamilotools/config.yml, meant to store your username.

  • A per-project configuration file, located in ./.chamilotools.yml, ../.chamilotools.yml, ../../.chamilotools.yml, etc. It is meant to store the course name and the Chamilo instance.

Configuration files are Yaml files. Currently, the only content allowed in configuration files is (insert actual value instead of ... obviously):

username: ...
instance: ...
course: ...

These 3 keys provide default values for, respectively, -u, --instance and -c. When the command-line options are specified, the corresponding value from the configuration file is ignored.

Creating Quizz (or test, or exercices)


The Yaml format:

Different syntax available in quiz:

Types of questions:

Commands Related to Quiz

To get more information about each command, run chamilotools <command> --help.

  • chamilotools create-quiz: Upload a quiz (exercise) from a local file. See doc/ for details.

  • chamilotools list-quiz: List quiz available on a course.

  • chamilotools delete-quiz: Delete a quiz remotely from the command-line. Specify which quiz to delete with --exercise-id or --all (dangerous ...).

  • chamilotools download-quiz: Downloads the quiz in XML format. Note that chamilotools can currently not read this XML file.

  • chamilotools check-quiz: Checks a quiz for syntax errors, without sending it to Chamilo.

Commands Related to Introduction

  • chamilotools set-intro INTRO.html: to set the introduction text from a local file.

  • chamilotools get-intro: Get the introduction text from Chamilo.

Commands Related to Documents

  • chamilotools upload-zip to upload the content of your course in one command. Warning: on most versions of Chamilo, if the destination directory already exist, the new is unziped in a new location (e.g. the ZIP file contains my_directory, but my_directory already exists: the new files will be created in my_directory_1 and the old files won't be modified). You may want to use the (dangerous) command chamilotools delete-doc before using upload-zip. More here.

  • chamilotools upload-file FILE: to upload a single file to Chamilo. If the file already exists on Chamilo, the new file will overwrite the old one.

  • chamilotools delete-doc FILE: Delete the file FILE on Chamilo. The command can currently only delete files at the toplevel directory (not in subdirectories). Warning: this is an experimental feature and may be buggy (i.e. we try hard not to, but it may delete the wrong file). As a safety measure, delete-doc does a first pass where it looks for the filename in a relatively strict way. Use --fuzzy-file-name to allow a second pass where only the basename is used. For example, delete-doc --fuzzy-file-name index will delete index.html, but may also delete index.pdf or any file whose basename is index. Another safety measure is that if more than one matching file is found, delete-doc stops and does not delete anything.

  • chamilotools get-doc FILENAME: Download the document FILENAME from Chamilo. FILENAME can be a full path like path/to/file.txt.

Other commands

  • chamilotools version: Get the version number of chamilotools.

  • chamilotools --help (or chamilotools <command> --help): Get help.

Troubleshooting and debugging

A few hints if Chamilotools do not work as you expect:

  • Try running with -vv (or -v -v). You will see each URL visited by chamilotools.

  • Try running with --debug. A browser will be launched on the current page if chamilotools encourters an error.

  • If it is not sufficient, adding br.launch_browser() statements in the code to launch a browser at different steps.

  • Don't hesitate to report bugs ;-).

Scripting chamilotools

A common use of chamilotools is to use it in scripts, Makefiles, cron job, ... A few advices on how to do this is available here: