Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.4. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle is likely available here: Upgrading.


From MoodleDocs

Moodle is designed to upgrade cleanly from any earlier version to any later version. Please refer to Upgrading to Moodle 1.6, Upgrading to Moodle 1.7 or Upgrading to Moodle 1.8 for particular considerations related to features of the version you are upgrading to.

When upgrading a Moodle installation you should follow these steps:

Check the system requirements

Spend some time re-reading the installation documentation. Check the system requirements for the version you are upgrading to in Administration > Server > Environment.

Backup important data

Although it is not strictly necessary, it is always a good idea to make a backup of any production system before a major upgrade, just in case you need to revert back to the older version for some reason. In fact, it's a good idea to automate your server to backup your Moodle installation daily, so that you can skip this step.

There are three areas that need backing up:

1. The Moodle software directory itself

Make a separate copy of these files before the upgrade, so that you can retrieve your config.php and any modules you have added like themes, languages etc

2. Your data directory

This is where uploaded content resides (such as course resources and student assignments) so it is very important to have a backup of these files anyway. Sometimes upgrades may move or rename directories within your data directory.

3. Your database

Most Moodle upgrades will alter the database tables, adding or changing fields. Each database has different ways to backup. One way of backing up a MySQL database is to 'dump' it to a single SQL file. The following example shows Unix commands to dump the database called "moodle":

mysqldump -u username -p -C -Q -e -a moodle > moodle-backup-2007-04-01.sql

Substitute your database user account for username. The -p flag will prompt you for the password for the username specified by -u.

If your database host is different from the host you want to execute the backup command (usually the web server), you have to specify it with the -h option to mysqldump:

mysqldump -u username -p -h databasehost -C -Q -e -a moodle > moodle-backup-2007-04-01.sql 

You can also use the "Export" feature in Moodle's optional "MySQL Admin" web interface to do the same thing on all platforms. This interface can be downloaded from It is an integration of PHPMyAdmin for the Moodle administration interface.

Install the new Moodle software

Using a downloaded archive

Do not overwrite an old installation unless you know what you are doing ... sometimes old files can cause problems in new installations. The best way is to rename the current Moodle directory to something else, then unpack the new Moodle archive into the old location.

mv moodle moodle.backup
tar xvzf moodle-1.1.tgz

Next, copy across your config.php and any other plugins such as custom themes:

cp moodle.backup/config.php moodle
cp -pr moodle.backup/theme/mytheme moodle/theme/mytheme

Using CVS

You can use CVS for updating or upgrading your Moodle. First you need to do a CVS checkout in your (empty) Moodle root directory.

For Linux servers

To do a CVS checkout of Moodle, you first have to logon to the Moodle CVS server.

 cvs login
 No password for anonymous, so just hit the Enter button.

Go to the directory where you want the Moodle root to come and type

 cvs -z3 co -r MOODLE_18_STABLE moodle 
 (where MOODLE_18_STABLE is the desired version)

To update, just go into the Moodle root directory and update to the new files:

 cvs update -dP

To update to a new version type in the following and change 18 to whatever newest version upgrade number is

 cvs -Q update -dP -r MOODLE_18_STABLE

Make sure you use the "d" parameter to create new directories if necessary, and the "P" parameter to prune empty directories.

For Windows servers

You can use Tortoise CVS to do the initial checkout and the updates.

If you have been editing Moodle files, watch the messages very closely for possible conflicts. All your customised themes and non-standard plugins will be untouched.

Don't forget to visit the admin page after the CVS update proces has completed.

Finishing the upgrade

The last step is to trigger the upgrade processes within Moodle.

To do this just visit the admin page of your installation e.g.

It doesn't matter if you are logged in as admin or not. If you are upgrading from some older versions you would not be able to login before the upgrade anyway.

Moodle will automatically detect the new version and perform all the database or filesystem upgrades that are necessary. If there is anything it can't do itself (very rare) then you will see messages telling you what you need to do.

Assuming all goes well (no error messages) then you can start using your new version of Moodle and enjoy the new features!

See also