Frequently Asked Questions

Our Mukurtu support articles have information on all aspects of Mukurtu CMS. Here we’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from people interested in getting started with Mukurtu CMS. If you have more detailed questions, please contact us at

Where do we start with Mukurtu CMS?

Once you have a site installed (either locally or hosted by a 3rd party, see more information in above questions), our Getting Started with Mukurtu CMS support article is a great introduction to building a Mukurtu CMS site. And of course, there are many more resources available at

How much does Mukurtu CMS cost?

The current code for Mukurtu CMS, and all future updates, is open source, and provided free of charge through our GitHub repository.

Implementing and running a Mukurtu CMS site will have associated costs depending on your community or institutions technical infrastructure.

To host a site yourself, you will need sufficient staff and resources, including:

  • A server capable of running a Drupal 7 implementation (see the system requirements here);
  • Initial IT support to set up the site and server;
  • Ongoing IT support to maintain the site and server (expect Mukurtu updates approximately every 12 weeks, plus other regular server maintenance).

If you do not have the resources to host a site yourself, you will need to secure a contract with a web hosting provider (in which case the costs will be determined by that particular contract).

  • Currently Reclaim Hosting provides Mukurtu CMS hosted sites at a reasonable cost (see our Get page for more information).
How do we get a hosted Mukurtu CMS site?
Many web hosting providers can host a Mukurtu site. We have worked directly with Reclaim Hosting to create a Mukurtu installation package. Reclaim offers easy installation and maintenance of Mukurtu sites (as well as many other services and platforms) at affordable rates. We consider Reclaim Hosting a trusted vendor.

Reclaim Hosting provides US and Canadian-based hosting services. For Canadian hosting, contact Reclaim Support, and ask to be moved to their Canadian data center.

The Mukurtu team based at WSU is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Mukurtu source code. We do not offer hosting services for any Mukurtu sites.

How do we run a Mukurtu CMS site ourselves?

All of the source code and system requirements to run a Mukurtu CMS site are available through our GitHub repository.

Mukurtu CMS is a Drupal-based software that requires a suitable server setup to run. If your IT department is not comfortable with the server requirements in the GitHub documentation, or you do not have a department that can run the necessary equipment, you may want to consider a hosted site.

If your IT department has any questions about server requirements or installation, they can contact us at

Mukurtu CMS Hosting FAQ for Communicating with IT includes common questions and a detailed overview of hosting requirements.

Can the Mukurtu Team access our site?

No, our team does not have any access to your or anyone else’s Mukurtu site. Every Mukurtu site is independent, hosted by the provider of your choice with no involvement from us. We are not directly involved in setting up or maintaining your site.

For more information about what support is available, see the “What support does the Mukurtu CMS team provide?” FAQ on this page.

Can we run a Mukurtu CMS site offline?
Mukurtu CMS has been developed to be run as a server level platform. While it could be run in an offline setup, all the same requirements mentioned earlier are still valid. It is strongly recommended that this not be undertaken unless your IT department has sufficient resources, staff, and experience to maintain a project like this.
Can we change _______ on our Mukurtu CMS site?

While users and administrators who are comfortable working with Drupal are free to manipulate and customize the code on their own sites (the Mukurtu source code is distributed under a GNU General Public License), we do urge caution as any changes made can have an impact on the ease of updating to newer versions of Mukurtu CMS as they are released.

In particular, customizing a site using the Drupal administrator role and menus can result in loss of customizations and other challenges when performing version updates. This administrative user role should not be used without sufficient Drupal experience, and the Mukurtu Administrator role should be used instead. More information about these user roles is available here.

Please contact us at if you have more questions about sustainable development for Mukurtu CMS.

How does Mukurtu CMS fit into our larger digital preservation plan?
Mukurtu CMS is designed to be an online access point to your digital collections. Mukurtu works best when you upload and manage access copies of your materials (eg: JPEG, MP3), rather than preservation masters (eg: TIFF, WAV). Focusing on access copies will help keep your hosting costs manageable, and ensure that users with limited Internet connections can access the content they need.

With that in mind, you want to ensure that your preservation masters are suitably backed up outside of Mukurtu. There are many different ways to manage a digital preservation plan, and every organization will do so differently. One place to start looking for resources to develop your digital preservation plan is the Sustainable Heritage Network.

Backups of any given site will need to be managed at the hosting level, whether that is done by a third party hosting provider, or your internal staff if running the site locally.

What support does the Mukurtu CMS team provide?

All Mukurtu support articles and training resources are posted to our main support site at These are free.

We provide basic training and troubleshooting through web conference, phone call, or email. We can discuss your particular project needs, how best to configure your Mukurtu CMS site, provide demonstrations of all of Mukurtu CMS’ features and tools, and help with limited troubleshooting. We can help you configure and customize your Mukurtu CMS site within the options provided by the Mukurtu CMS web interface. We offer limited support for Mukurtu CMS sites more heavily customized at the Drupal or code level that deviate from the core Mukurtu code.

If you are interested in learning more about Mukurtu CMS we are always happy to provide a virtual tour and introduction to Mukurtu CMS for your team through web conference, phone call, or email. Contact us at to learn more.

There is no charge for any of the above support.

At this time, if you are interested in on-site training, more in-depth support, or customized resources, please contact us at with additional details.

What is the development and sustainability plan for Mukurtu CMS?

The open-source code for Mukurtu CMS is developed, managed, and maintained by the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation (CDSC )at Washington State University. 

Mukurtu CMS’s core staff hold institutional, tenured positions within the CDSC and at the university.

Mukurtu CMS is a part of the core mission of the CDSC and is linked institutionally to WSU’s land grant mission. Sustaining Mukurtu CMS (as software and a community program) is fundamental to the ongoing work of the CDSC. Institutional support for the project includes the positions of the core Mukurtu development team, infrastructure (physical and digital), and administrative support.

Mukurtu CMS has received federal, state, industry and non-profit funding over the last decade. In the early years these grants fully supported the growth of the project. Since 2014, with Mukurtu’s integration into the CDSC and the Libraries and WSU short term funds are now generally used to support targeted development sprints, like planning and developing new tools and features, the mobile app or targeted training opportunities.

Can Mukurtu provide a letter of support for our grant or project?

The Mukurtu Team, Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation, and Washington State University do not provide letters of support for grants or projects that use Mukurtu CMS or general support and resources we provide. The current code for Mukurtu CMS, and all future updates, is open source and provided free of charge to any user, as is a wide range of training resources and direct support. 

Please see our FAQs, “Get page, and support resources for more detail. 

Where can I read articles and publications about Mukurtu?
A selection of publications about Mukurtu’s history, development, and related projects written by the Mukurtu Team is provided below.
““The songline is alive in Mukurtu”: Return, reuse, and respect.” in LD&C Special Publication No. 18: Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond, edited by Linda Barwick, Jennifer Green & Petronella Vaarzon-Morel. Sydney University Press, 2019, pp. 153–172.
“Relationships not Records: Digital Heritage and the Ethics of Sharing Indigenous Knowledge Online.” in Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities, edited by Jentery Sayers. Routledge: Taylor and Francis, 2018, pp. 403-412.
“A Community of Relations: Mukurtu Hubs and Spokes.” co-authored with Alex Merrill and Michael Wynne, D-Lib Magazine, vol (23), number 5/6, May/June 2017.
Sovereignty, Repatriation, and the Archival Imagination. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals, Spring 2015, vol 11 (2):115-138.
A Safe Keeping Place: Mukurtu CMS Innovating Museum Collaborations, in Museum Innovations: Museums Collections Management, edited by Juilee Drucker. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015, 61-68.
Does Information Really Want to be Free? Indigenous Knowledge Systems and the Question of Openness. International Journal of Communication. 2012, Volume 6, 2870-2893. (
Opening Archives: Respectful Repatriation. American Archivist. Volume 74, Spring/Summer 2011, 185-210.