powweb MySQL installation

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.0. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: powweb MySQL installation.

How to Configure Moodle 1.9.1 on the Powweb Commercial Web Hosting Service

August 31, 2008 Mark Bell

The Powweb service supports MySQL 5.0 along with Apache and other elements needed for a Web server. This application note describes how to install Moodle and get it working with a Powweb hosted database. (Moodle’s detailed install instructions are here: https://docs.moodle.org/en/Installing_Moodle It may not be necessary to read these if you’re using this Powweb-specific procedure.)

As of this writing Powweb provides a semiautomatic method of installing Moodle. They can instantiate a copy of Moodle version 1.5 in your account. However, Moodle 1.9+ is much more capable and should be your choice. That means you'll need to unzip Moodle on your personal machine and upload its files to Powweb.

1. Download the Moodle zip file

from http://download.moodle.org/ For the sample system, I downloaded Moodle 1.9.2+ in Zip format with a file size of 14.3MB.

2. Unzip the files

in a directory on your local machine. They will be uploaded file by file to Powweb. I used Dreamweaver to manage the FTP process. Dreamweaver has FTP password information for my account on Powweb. (Detailed instructions for setting up Dreamweaver for secure FTP are given at Maintaining Moodle with Dreamweaver

3. Upload the files.

My website is www.lightningbell.com so I put the Moodle directory at www.lightningbell.com/tutorbell/moodle. The unzipped files work out to 46MB so the upload takes a while.

4. Create a database

when Moodle’s files are in the right place. The Powweb management page at http://members.powweb.com/webControl/mysql/manage.bml makes provision for this. Here is a screenshot of the process. At this point, the desired database called moodletcs has been created and the Powweb screen is asking if we wish to create any more databases. For our purposes the single database is sufficient.


A key piece of information is the location of the database server. In this case, it is at lightningb1.powwebmysql.com. You’ll need that for the Moodle install.

5. Navigate to your new Moodle web page.

 In this example, with the database created, navigate to the web page http://www.lightningbell.com/tutorbell/moodle

6. Install in the normal manner.

 You’ll get a screen asking which language to use.  Hit Next.  Then you’ll see this screen:


Hit Next to work through the next couple of screens. When you get to the Database Configuration screen, make the following entries:


If you get this right then you’re ready to sail through the rest of the install. The next screen looks reassuringly like this:


Some of the screens after that take a minute or more but you’re off to the races!

Setting Up Cron

You need the PHP Cron job to run at reasonable intervals. The cron job is under admin/cron.php. The Moodledocs reference for Cron is at https://docs.moodle.org/en/Cron In Powweb the setup looks like this. Note that the Cron web command given does not have a password associated with it. If you configure Moodle to require the password then you would need to include that at the end of the line: ...blahblah/admin/cron.php?password=xyzfakepasswd


Setting Up Email

Email lets the system generate Emails to users and especially to teachers, for example, Emailing when a student submits an assignment.

As long as Cron is running, you set up Email like this:


Setting Up Backups

Again, with Cron running, you can set up backups like this:


The theory here is that backup zip files would get created in the course directories at, say, 3am. Then you’d FTP these backups down to your personal machine to be super-sure you’re backed up. Of course with a commercial provider one hopes this is never a problem.