Talk:Installing Moodle

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Installing Moodle.

Moved the old stuff out of the way ;-) --Frank Ralf 12:50, 3 March 2009 (CST)

Firstly vrs First

First, I never use firstly as part of my natural writing style because it sounds strange to me.

Second(ly), The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage (1989) talks about the history of the objections to "firstly". It concludes usage is determined by preference.

In part they note, "First" is shorter and "firstly" tends to be used by non-Americans. They also point out a potential two series preference use: "first, second, third" and "firstly, secondly and thirdly". However people from Thomas Gray to President Carter have violated this rule of thumb. And they write that Webster called "firstly" improper in 1864, after De Quincey said in 1847 that he detested this "pedantic neoglogism". A neoglogism not withstanding, there has been documented use of the word since the 1500s. I note De Quincey (also author of Confessions of an English Opium Eater) did not have the internet for a quick Google search on the word.

Ah, the things Moodle teaches us. --chris collman 17:29, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

A forum search of the word 'firstly' in my posts turns up a lot of results! I never thought of using the shorter word 'first'. Thanks Chris! --Helen Foster 18:22, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I didn't want to say anything specific about certain authors. Many Americans love those quaint expressions we hear from other English speakers :) I would have never know there was such a recent controversy that goes back a mere 150 years. Usage says either is acceptable and that is my story and I am sticking with it. --chris collman 21:17, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Page too long

It seems that Installing Moodle has become too long. Any suggestions for shortening it? --Helen Foster 03:39, 5 February 2009 (CST)

Since you asked. I noticed the LONG preamble(s) include stuff which could be condensed in several time tested MoodleDocs methods.
  • planning for a Moodle Install
  • requirements for a Moodle Install
  • setup Apache files, MySQL files, and such. I am pretty sure I have seen alot of this elsewhere in MoodleDocs. Software is also about Setting up
  • Structure of Moodle directory could be elsewhere (good to know)
  • Create a new course is really "now test it" can be done with links elsewhere.

--chris collman 15:12, 5 February 2009 (CST)

I asked for comments in several forums before making the switch. I created new pages and moved some materials. Still needs work but this is at least shorter. This page gets lots of hits, so any changes here impact lots of people. My usual statement, I am not easily offended so feel free to edit or reject what I have done. --chris collman 06:46, 2 March 2009 (CST)
Just making room for new comments - and shortening this page even more ;-) --Frank Ralf 08:39, 2 March 2009 (CST)
Chris, many thanks for your help in reorganising our installation documentation. There's so much information, it's quite a task just to review it all! --Helen Foster 09:30, 3 March 2009 (CST)
We're down (up?) to position 59 on the Long pages list now! Next we should tackle Installation FAQ which is position 12 ;-) --Frank Ralf 16:54, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
LOL knock yourself out on the the del, ctrl+c, ctrl+v keys, or are you a ctrl+a kind of person :) Merely #12? --chris collman 00:42, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I seem to be a ctrl freak... It's a pity that the concept of sanity check is abandoned. It should not only be applied to "uploaded users" ( but to all users in general :-) --Frank Ralf 15:05, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Another way to cut this down is the more obvious breaking it up into different installations. One for Linux, but as there are so many flavours, then perhaps an overview of a general type installation and links off to specific information about specific versions. Another for Windows and the same for Macs. The actual install in Windows is the same, despite the different versions, what is different is the outcomes.--Colin Fraser 11:06, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Redundancy and other issues

As was the basis for the discussion over FAQ,s what we are seeing in part here is a reproduction of what is often to be found elsewhere. For example, the discussion of php.ini and htaccess should have their own page and should include materials that explain how these are used as I and others have posted to the forums (highlighted as a reminder for the TODO list --Frank Ralf 09:48, 30 March 2009 (UTC)) (and obviously have neglected to add to the docs.....) such as the diffs between php4 and php5, order of sourcing for php.ini, the diffs between running php as an apache mod versus as cgi and why that makes a diff, etc.

Also, I think the first thing that the user should be offered is a URL back to experimental:Getting Help Installing and Managing Moodle and Finding and Selecting A Web Host. --Marc Grober 13:19, 3 March 2009 (CST)

That is to say that before we let anyone jump in, we should make sure they have some understanding of the landscape and the options available. (<- This is not by me, Marc's? --Frank Ralf 06:24, 4 March 2009 (CST))

Interesting, I thought you (Frank) left this (it seemed to be signed by you but had my name.....) so I pulled my name out and left yours..... --Marc Grober 20:09, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Example: Drupal installation guide

For reference I just provide here the structure of the instructions for installing Drupal handbook page which might provide some guidelines for structuring our content:

  • Getting started (Default scenario)
    • Before you start
      • Understanding Drupal concepts
      • Technology stack
      • Drupal version numbering
      • Terminology
      • Third party resources
      • Drupal in your language
    • Installation guide
      • System requirements
      • Download Drupal
      • Grant write permissions on the configuration file
      • Create the database
      • Run the install script
      • Set up cron
      • Advanced installation
  • Troubleshooting FAQ (When things go wrong)
    • ...

I think this page should be as concise as possible and only provide guidelines for a standard installation of Moodle. Everything else (the more advanced stuff like using CVS and troubleshooting guidelines) should be moved elsewhere.

We could refactor the Installation FAQ as a 'landing page' which mirrors some of the structure given above. --Frank Ralf 13:35, 3 March 2009 (CST)

Hi Frank, not sure what refractor means, but if it mean creating headings (such as you describe above, and placing our current FAQ headings under them, I agree. Changing this FAQ page to something radically different than other FAQ pages, I do not agree.
Hi Chris, I agree with you (got second thoughts myself...) --Frank Ralf 10:06, 6 March 2009 (CST)
Changing this page into something like the "home page" for Administrator documentation instead of the current which is something like Getting started for teachers, I agree. After all the yellow in Development:Developer documentation the 1st 3 headings are "nice" IMO, then it gets to be categories of lists, Teacher documentation is more of the same. A context for the Newbie is important balanced against the experienced "I will recognize what I want, get rid of the fluff".
That's really kind of a dilemma. I think beginners need more of a "tutorial" style documentation (which we should provide here). For experienced users, kind of an annotated (or categorized) index might be useful. The Dynamic Page List extension for MediaWiki might be a useful tool to that end ( --Frank Ralf 10:22, 6 March 2009 (CST)
The Installing Moodle Template obviously needs to be cleaned up.
I am going to transfer your outline to Installing Moodle/Draft1 for the next generation of changes. Good ideas. --chris collman 06:24, 4 March 2009 (CST)

"Exploded" Layout

I really don't like the new "exploded" layout of this page. It's very unclear that you have to "drill down" to find the information you need. For example, the requirements section says you need PHP. Ok, but it is not obvious that you now have to click on PHP to get the information you need to configure PHP. --Howard Miller 09:41, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Hi, I changed the intro to mention links. This page still needs work, as does the template. This page generally serves as the introduction. Typical Moodle problem: how to introduce the user to "the way" (ie their way), which is only one of many possible MoodlePaths. Thanks for the comments, keep them coming. Best --chris collman 11:36, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

"3. Setting up your web server"

I would recommend changing the order of the steps in this section for usually setting up your database is sufficient (at least in my experience). All other steps are special cases. So it should be:

3. Create empty database
3.1. Additional web server settings

--Frank Ralf 11:38, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Go for it. I like the mo' friendly touch at the start, even if it take up more screen space with the headings :)--chris collman 17:27, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Only just seen that this fits with Marc's remark above regarding php.ini and .htaccess. Highlighted his remark and put this on (my) TODO list. --Frank Ralf 09:50, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Made a first shot a rearranging the parts of that section. The parts mentioned by Marc still need to be moved out altogether. --Frank Ralf 10:34, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Moved them. --Frank Ralf 16:55, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Chambered nautilus anyone.....

Apologies folks, but it seems to me that we sometimes forget to whom these docs are addressed.... Deleting the link at the head which helps redirect if they are in the wrong spot is not helpful, Martin, and having a section that talks about custom php.ini files and then leads the reader on a magical mystery tour is just frustrating.

There are myriad ways to approach any subject, and the genius of a wiki if anything is the ability to interweave multiple approaches, as opposed to trying to create one from a multitude of different view points.....

I recall a heated debate over the use of a drill down js mechanism in the design of a pretty complex web site..... While the argument was rather strong against the mechanism, even from many users, when users were asked to find something they invariably found it quicker with the drill down, even when complaining about it.

I am impressed and thankful for all the energy you have invested here.... but maybe, as the apparently unascribed comment made I thought to me suggests, perhaps specifics of what you don't want to see here should be presented in this page so that others understand what you are trying to do, and if they feel something else should be done, they can do that elsewhere. --Marc Grober 20:51, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Different methods of creating databases

See Create Moodle site database

  • For help using the command line see
  • PostgresSQL database
  • SQLite Moodle 2.0 offers experimental support for SQLite3 database installations

Moved this unfinished section out of the way. Needs some reworking and another place to live. --Frank Ralf 10:46, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Concerning the "two" ways of installing Moodle.

(Note: My Moodle is installed: Blue Domino found the problem. If you want an easy install, with just a click of a button and four fields to fill out, just sign up with BD, and use their InstallCentral, under Scripting and Add Ons, under Control Panel, under Home. I'm not getting anything for telling you this. Good luck.)

I tried the "simple" way of installing the program; that is, creating a directory (folder, partition, shell, whatever) called "moodle" at the root level of my primary domain name folder tree.

It didn't work; the message I got was that the script couldn't connect with the MySQL database I specified. In fact, why would a folder containing directories with names such as cgi-bin (a primary directory that is "owned" by the server) and moodle work inside yet another shell named moodle? It didn't make sense.

Then, my server, Blue Domino, added Moodle to their expanding Beta-based program, one which includes an installer that can handle MySQL-dependant programs.

Though I went through the installation process a couple of times, the results were always the same; no Moodle except for one working link to the profile page, and that from every active link.

Okay, I could still try to upload all my Moodle folders and files to my primary domain root directory (except the Moodle cgi-bin directory, for that would replace my own, which is packed full of cgi scripts). If I did so, it would be at the expense of having Moodle folders and files scattered across my root directory. I'll always have to ask myself if this shell or that file is a Moodle script or folder? And, if it isn't, what is it?

I guess that's not such a bad price to pay for having a useful program at my disposal. What do the experts say?


Install a theme

To install a theme:

  1. Unzip the .zip file to an empty local directory.
  2. Upload folder to your web server to the /moodle/theme/[Theme Name]. (Replace [Theme Name] with the name of the theme you have downloaded.) Ensure the new theme folder and its contents are readable by the web server. Change Read and Write permissions (CHMOD) for the files and folder to 755 - Owner read/write/execute, Group read/execute, Everyone read/execute. Incorrect permissions may prevent display of the newly installed theme.
  3. Choose your new theme from within Moodle via Administration > Appearance > Themes > Theme selector (version 1.7+) or Administration > Configuration > Themes (older versions).

I have cut this element out of the Installation for two reasons, first, this is a topic that is well covered in a number of other areas of Moodle Docs, and second, it is actually confusing being located in a section prior to the outlining of an installation. This information may be suitable for early installations, but is no longer relevant for Moodle 1.7.x or later and as Moodle 1.7.x is no longer supported, why is it still here? --Colin Fraser 11:00, 13 October 2010 (UTC)