Technical Requirements

Computer Requirements
Web Browser Requirements
Connection Requirements
Java Requirements
Suggested Plugins & Applications

Computer Requirements

The computer hardware requirements for the Blackboard application are not high, and most computers purchased within the past several years should function without any issues.

PC Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows 7, Vista or XP operating systems. Note: Windows 2000, ME, 95 and Windows 98 are not supported since there are no certified or compatible browsers for these operating systems. Linux and other similar operating systems may function, but are not officially supported by the college.
  • 512 Megabytes of memory
  • 20 Megabytes of disk space
  • JAVA Run-time environment

Macintosh Requirements

  • Mac OS 10.5.x (or higher) is required
  • 20 Megabytes of disk space
  • JAVA Run-time environment

Web Browser Requirements

Certified or Compatible Browsers for those using a Windows Operating System

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (IE 7 and 9 are NOT compatible)
  • Firefox 3.6 or 6
  • Google Chrome (stable channel)

Certified or Compatible Browsers for those using a Macintosh Operating System

  • Firefox 3.6 or 6
  • Safari 4 or 5
  • Google Chrome (stable channel)

Pop Up blockers must be disabled when using Blackboard

Connection Requirements

Blackboard will function with a 56k dial-up Internet connection or faster. For the best user experience, it is highly recommended that students have a broadband Internet service with a connection speed of 1.5 Mbps or higher. All DSL, Cable Internet, and Satellite connection packages fulfill this recommendation.


The Blackboard system makes heavy use of Java technology from Sun Microsystems, and requires the Java 2 JRE. The latest version of the free Java 2 Runtime Environment can be obtained at this link:

Students should check their computer for compatibility prior to accessing Blackboard.   The link to the compatibility checker is located on the login page.   If any compatibility issues are identified, be sure to contact the Blackboard Help Desk at 209-575-6412.   Failure to fix these issues will result in future problems!

JavaScript must also be enabled on your computer.

Suggested Plugins & Applications

In addition to the technical requirements above, online students may be required to utilize several other software programs, or have access to other plugins and applications for their online classes. Several have been listed here for your convenience.

Word Processing - Most online courses will require students to draft and submit homework using a third-party word processing application. Many instructors also make texts available to students in formats only readable by those word processors.

  • Microsoft Word. The most popular commercial word processing application. Available from the campus bookstore or major software retailers.
  • Open Office. Complete word processing suite which can be downloaded and installed onto your computer at no cost.
  • Google Docs. Free browser based word processing application released by the popular Internet search engine company.

Virus Protection - Many instructors will penalize students who turn in assignments infected with computer viruses. The installation of a virus scanner is highly recommended. There are several dozen commercial products in this category, but two free utilities have been included here for students without virus scanners installed.

  • AVG Anti Virus Free Edition. Virus scanner which can be downloaded and installed at no charge for home users.
  • Trend Micro HouseCall. Free browser based virus scanner. No installation required, however this scanner cannot monitor your computer for new infections.

Spyware Protection - Spyware can steal your personal information, plant viruses, and redirect connections which may cause Blackboard WebCT to respond incorrectly. The suggested products listed here are simply two of many applications to help you combat spyware and keep your computer running properly.

  • AdAware Personal - Available in both commercial and free versions. This is an easy to use program that will catch and remove most spyware installations.
  • SpyBot Search and Destroy - Consistently rated among the best privacy protection products on the market. Completely free for personal use.


  • Microsoft Word Viewer. Open and read MS Word documents without the MS Word application. Free to download and use.
  • Adobe Reader. Many instructors publish documents using the PDF format. This free reader will permit you to open and view these files.
  • PowerPoint Viewer. Open and view PowerPoint presentations.
  • Adobe Flash. View animations and videos.
  • Individual courses may require additional plugins as specified by the instructor.

Purchasing Software - As a community college student, you are eligible for discounts on computer software and hardware. Before purchasing commercial software at full retail pricing, it is strongly suggested that you visit your campus bookstore or visit one of the discounters below.

  • CollegeBuys.Org. Special discounts on hardware and software from Microsoft, Adobe Systems, and Dell Computers. Only available to current California Community College students.




 Last Updated 1/3/12