There are optional plugins or add-ons available that can extend Moodle in all sorts of ways - new activities, new quiz question types, new reports, integrations with other systems and many more. This page gives some important advice you should consider before adding them and general advice on how to install them.
What is meant by the word 'plugin'?
Moodle = core code + plugins
Plugins may be either standard plugins (included in the Moodle download package) or add-ons.
Before you do anything else...
VERY IMPORTANT Warning: Please be aware that some add-ons have not been reviewed, and the quality and/or suitability for your Moodle site has not been checked. Please be careful when considering using one. It may not do what you expect, it may have serious security issues or it may even not work at all.
- Do you really need the add-on? More functionality means more things to support, more things to (potentially) go wrong and more things to worry about at upgrade time.
- Is the add-on supported and maintained? If something goes wrong can you get support? Will bugs be fixed?
- If the add-on does not work in a future version of Moodle, what will you do about it?
- Beware of patches! If an add-on modifies or replaces core files then be very careful. It can only be guaranteed to work with the exact build (version) of Moodle it was created for and is highly unlikely to survive a Moodle upgrade.
- You must have access to your Moodle code files to upload or install the add-on. There is no way to install add-ons through the web interface.
- Your add-on may impose additional requirements on the server. In particular, add-ons to access other systems or services may need specific PHP plugins (e.g. LDAP or other database drivers). Check the documentation.
You should always look for a 'readme' file or other documentation supplied with the add-on and read that carefully.
Add-ons may be downloaded from the Moodle plugins directory.
Note: Make sure you select the correct version. Most add-ons for Moodle 2.0+ will work in all 2.x versions of Moodle. Question Types changed in Moodle 2.1 and require specific plugins for Moodle 2.1+. Plugins (and themes) for Moodle 1.9 and earlier will NOT work. There is no point trying!
First, establish the correct place in the moodle code 'tree' for the plugin. Some plugins need elements installed in multiple locations. To complicate matters not everybody packages up plugins in the same way. It's best to unzip/unpack the plugin in an empty directory first just to see what it looks like and to check for 'readme' files. Common locations are (there are others):
- /path/to/moodle/mod/ - modules (i.e. activities and resources)
- /path/to/moodle/blocks/ - blocks (in the sidebars)
- /path/to/moodle/question/type/ - questiontypes
- /path/to/moodle/course/format/ - course formats
- /path/to/moodle/admin/report/ - admin reports
- /path/to/moodle/theme/ - themes
- Download the zip file
- Upload or copy it to your Moodle server
- Unzip it in the right place for the plugin type (or follow add-on instructions).
- In your Moodle site (as admin) go to Settings > Site administration > Notifications (you should, for most plugin types, get a message saying the add-on is installed)
- Test the add-on
Note: The add-on may contain language files. They'll be found by your Moodle automatically. These language strings can be customized using the standard Settings > Site administration > Language editing interface.
If you have problems...
- Check the file permissions. The web server needs to be able to read the plugin files. If the the rest of Moodle works then try to make the plugin permissions and ownership match.
- Did you definitely unzip or install the add-on in the correct place?
- Because Moodle scans plugin folders for new plugins you cannot have any other files or folders there. Make sure you deleted the zip file and don't try to rename (for example) an old version of the plugin to some other name - it will break.
- Make sure the directory name for the plugin is correct. All the names have to match. If you change the name then it won't work.
- Turn on Debugging - any error messages?
- Ask in the appropriate forum in Using Moodle. Make sure you describe your system (including versions of MySQL, PHP etc.), what you tried and what happened. Copy and paste error messages exactly. Provide the link to the version of the add-on you downloaded (some have very similar names).
Uninstalling a plugin
To uninstall a plugin
- Go to Settings > Site Administration > Plugins > Plugins overview and click the Uninstall link opposite the plugin you wish to remove
- Use a file manager to remove/delete the actual plugin directory as instructed, otherwise Moodle will reinstall it next time you access the site administration
Note: The open or closed eye icon indicates whether a plugin is enabled or not. However, this icon is not clickable and you cannot change a plugin's availability from here.
A 'Check for available updates' button enables admins to quickly check for any updates available to core code and for any contributed plugins installed on the site (from the plugins directory). Any updates available are highlighted, with further information and a download link in the notes column opposite the plugin.
Plugin updating from within Moodle
in Moodle 2.4! In Moodle 2.4 onwards, an administrator can enable updates deployment in Settings > Site Administration > Server > Update notifications. Then when updates are available, 'Install this update' buttons are shown on the Plugins overview page. See Automatic updates deployment for more details.
- Notifications for further details of update notifications
- Add-on FAQ
- Using Moodle General add-ons forum
- Using Moodle Moodle not installing a new Activity Module forum discussion
- Installing a contributed extension from its Git repository