Using WeBWorK without a complete installation?

Using WeBWorK without a complete installation?

by Alasdair McAndrew -
Number of replies: 5
In order to experiment with WeBWorK, I had to install and configure a web server, and then install and configure WeBWorK - a process still not fully completed.

However, in order to experiment with it, and to browse libraries, author your own problems etc, it would be very helpful to have some sort of stand-alone version which you could use locally on your PC.

For example, I'm now at home; my desktop computer is behind a firewall at work so can't be reached except by VPN, which is a pain in the neck (as well as in other more fundamental parts of the anatomy). I'm not going to spend a day installing Apache, WeBWorK etc on my laptop, but I would like to experiment authoring a few problems.

Also - is there any way of viewing the OPL? I had a look through a few of the open courses available, but none gave me access to the OPL. Again, the only way I could find was to go through a full installation.

Thanks, folks.
In reply to Alasdair McAndrew

Re: Using WeBWorK without a complete installation?

by Michael Gage -
Which flavor of PC do you have? There are a number of options which
can get you up and running fairly quickly. None of them are completely
trivial yet -- we're working on that.

A really nice way, but with minimal instructions at the moment,
is to use Vagrant:

Another way is to use Amazon's EC2 cloud (it's free for the first year).
(there are some additional comments about this on the forum).

For PC's you can try using the usb stick:

There is a mac version of the usb stick as well, but we don't have the
most recent versions easily available yet.

To view the OPL you can use one of the maa10x courses with login
profa and password profa

There is one at
for example and you can use the library from there.

This last option requires no set up at all, but you can't count on your work being preserved in any way.

In reply to Alasdair McAndrew

Re: Using WeBWorK without a complete installation?

by Murray Eisenberg -
And, please, a version one could install easily on a Mac - whose base OS is, after all, a *nix. After, of course, one sets up the necessary Apache web server, MySQL, and TeX environments (which are fairly easy is you use, say, the MacPorts port of apache, the installer for MySQL, and the MacTeX distribution of TeX).

Or at least, current documentation on how to do this on a Mac. 
For Mac, the stumbling point I'm encountering is that the docs are fairly old, referring to an earlier WW, and I just can't figure out which versions of which Perl modules get installed how.
In reply to Alasdair McAndrew

Re: Using WeBWorK without a complete installation?

by Arnold Pizer -
Maybe the easiest thing to do is to install VirtualBox or VMware player (both free and trivial to install) and then import the WeBWorK Virtual Machine Image (

Then you will have a fully functional WeBWorK 2.7 system without having to do any installation procedures.  

Not having to do any installations procedures assumes you are not going to connect this system to the web and use it with real students.  If you do so, you will have to change passwords, etc.

In reply to Arnold Pizer

Re: Using WeBWorK without a complete installation?

by D. Brian Walton -

This is essentially the strategy I have employed in the past on my Mac using VirtualBox, although I don't remember the virtual machine image when I did it. So that is a nice addition that I'll definitely take advantage of in the future.

I would much rather have a clean virtual machine. A nice bonus is that in VirtualBox (and presumably other VM packages) I can restrict network access so that the server only communicates with the host machine and I am not opening up any external services to the net. Once I figure things out, I change the network settings and immediately have a live machine.

- Brian

In reply to Alasdair McAndrew

Re: Using WeBWorK without a complete installation?

by Hedley Pinsent -

username: AMA
password: AMA

change password before someone else does

This is just a development server running from my home.
If you find yourself doing any serious work here you can back yourself up in 5 seconds; we can help you with that.

Don't worry about anything there - it is all copies.

The stuff I have been working on is in the local problem section - you might want to experiment with that part of it.

I am hoping that the OPL updates automatically (every night) but I am not sure if it is working.