Installation quick guide

Revision as of 14:56, 28 November 2011 by Howard Miller (talk | contribs) (Configure Moodle)

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.1. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle is probably available here: Installation quick guide.

Note: The following installation pages are currently being updated. Please bear with us while this work is being completed.

This page is intended for administrators who are experienced with installing web server applications and are in a hurry to get up and running. For everybody else, please see Installing Moodle.

Basic Requirements

  • You will need a working web server (e.g. Apache), a database (e.g. MySQL or PostgreSQL) and have PHP configured.
  • Moodle requires a number of PHP extensions. However, Moodle checks early in the installation process and you can fix the problem and re-start the install script if any are missing.
  • If you want Moodle to send email (you probably do) you need working Sendmail on your server or access to an SMTP mail server.

Getting Moodle

You have two basic options:

  • Download your required version from
  • Pull the code from the Git repository (recommended for developers and also makes upgrading very simple):
git clone -b MOODLE_21_STABLE git:// 

NOTE: only download Moodle from one of the sources. Other versions (e.g. control panel based installers, Linux distribution repositories) cannot be guaranteed to work properly, be upgradable or be supportable.

Create a database

  • Using your chosen database server, create a new empty database. The default encoding must be UTF8. For example, using MySQL:
  • Create a user/password combination with appropriate permissions for the database. For example (MySQL again):

Create data directory

  • Create an empty directory to hold Moodle files. It must not be in the area served by the web server and must have permissions so that the web server user can write to it. Typically, either make it owned by the web server user or give it write permissions for 'everyone'.

Install Moodle code

  • Unzip / move / copy the Moodle code (obtained above) so that it will be served by your web server (e.g. on Debian based Linux, move to /var/www/moodle
  • Check the permissions and make sure that the web server does not have permissions to write to any of the files in the Moodle code directories (a very common root cause of sites being hacked).
  • If you need to, configure your web server to serve the Moodle site with your chosen URL.

Configure Moodle

  • In the Moodle code directory, find the file config-dist.php and copy it to a new file called config.php.
  • Edit config.php with your favourite editor and change the appropriate settings to point to your site, directories and database. Note: the Moodle install script will create config.php for you if it does not exist but make sure you (re-)set permissions appropriately afterwards

Install Moodle

  • Either go to the URL for your moodle site in a browser (installation will start automatically) or run the command line version at (requires cli version of PHP):
php /path/to/moodle/admin/cli/install.php

Set up cron

  • You will need a cron job to run periodically. A typical Unix cron entry will be as follows:
*/15 * * * *    /usr/bin/php /path/to/moodle/admin/cli/cron.php >/dev/null

See Cron for more options.


You are now ready to use your Moodle site. If you run into problems see the 'See Also' below or ask in the forums at

See Also