This page explains in detail how to upgrade Moodle. For a summary of the process, see Upgrade overview.
Check the requirements
Before upgrading, check that your server meets all requirements for 3.6 in Site administration > Server > Environment.
See the release notes in the dev docs for both server and client software requirements.
- You can only upgrade to Moodle 3.6 from Moodle 3.1 or later. If upgrading from earlier versions, you must upgrade to 3.1 as a first step.
We advise that you test the upgrade first on a COPY of your production site, to make sure it works as you expect.
Consider setting the upgrade key for your site.
Backup important data
There are three areas that should be backed up before any upgrade:
- Moodle software (For example, everything in server/htdocs/moodle)
- Moodle uploaded files (For example, server/moodledata)
- Moodle database (For example, your Postgres or MySQL database dump)
See Site backup for more specific information.
Check for plugin updates
If you have Automatic updates deployment enabled, you will be able to update installed plugins automatically during the upgrade. Just make sure you check for available updates (via the button for it) at the Plugins check screen.
If you are updating plugins manually, it is a good moment now to check in the Moodle Plugins directory whether there is a 3.6 version available for any plugins (including themes) that you have previously installed on your site. If so, download the plugin package. In the next step, you will copy it to the appropriate location in your Moodle code (see Installing plugins).
The upgrade of the plugin will then happen as part of the Moodle upgrade process.
If an out-of-date plugin causes your upgrade to fail, you can usually delete the plugin code rather than uninstalling it from within Moodle so that the data associated with it is not deleted.
Put your site into maintenance mode
Before you begin upgrading your site, you should put it into maintenance mode to stop any non-admin users from logging in. Then you should wait for any currently running cron processes to complete before proceeding.
Install the new Moodle software
You can fetch the current version of the software through
Standard install package
- Move your old Moodle software program files to another location. Do NOT copy new files over the old files.
- Unzip or unpack the upgrade file so that all the new Moodle software program files are in the location the old files used to be in on the server. Moodle will adjust SQL and moodledata if it needs to in the upgrade.
- Copy your old config.php file back to the new Moodle directory.
- As mentioned above, if you had installed any plugins on your site you should add them to the new code tree (Moodle directory structure) now. It is important to check that you get the correct version for your new version of Moodle. Be particularly careful that you do not overwrite any code in the new version of Moodle and that you place the plugin folders in the correct directory (the same directory that they are in in the current installation.)
- Your moodledata folder should be located separately to your Moodle code folder and, as such, should not need anything done to it. Moodle 3.0 will throw a warning if it is located in a web accessible folder and the moodledata should never be located in the Moodle code folder. If you are moving your installation to a new server or new location on your server, then you will need to follow the Migration documents.
mv moodle moodle.backup tar xvzf moodle-latest-3.6.tgz
Next, copy across your config.php, any custom plugins, and your .htaccess file if you created one (check that custom plugins are the correct version for your new Moodle first):
cp moodle.backup/config.php moodle cp -pr moodle.backup/theme/mytheme moodle/theme/mytheme cp -pr moodle.backup/mod/mymod moodle/mod/mymod
Don't forget to make moodle/config.php (and the rest of the source code) readable by your www server. For maximum security the files should not be writeable by your server. This is especially important on a 'production' server open to the public internet.
chown -R root:root moodle (Linux debian - or even create a user especially for moodle. Don't use the web server user, e.g. www-data) chmod -R 755 moodle
If you use cron, take care that cron.php is executeable and uses the correct php command:
chmod 740 admin/cli/cron.php (some configurations need chmod 750 or chmod 755) copy the first line from cron.php (if it looks like '#!/usr/local/bin/php' or '#!/usr/local/bin/php5.3', no need to copy '<?php')
if necessary. However, for a simple upgrade, there should be no need to change anything with cron.
You can use Git for updating or upgrading your Moodle. See Git for Administrators for details.
Command line upgrade
On Linux servers, Moodle 3.6 supports running the upgrade from the command line, rather than through a web browser. This is likely to be more reliable, particularly for large sites.
Finishing the upgrade
The last step is to trigger the upgrade processes within Moodle.
If you put your site into Maintenance mode earlier; take it out now!
To do this just go to Administration > Site administration > Notifications.
Moodle will automatically detect the new version and perform all the SQL database or file system 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!
Note: If you are running multiple servers then you should purge all caches manually (via Administration > Site administration > Development > Purge all caches) after completing the upgrade on all servers.
Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded...
If your server uses a main language other than English, you may encounter a 'Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded' when you try to upgrade it. You can increase max_execution_time = 160 on php.ini to allow the scripts enough time to process the language update. Otherwise, you can switch to English as the default language before doing the upgrade and back to your original language after a succcessful upgrade. See the forum discussion at https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=119598.
The config.php file from your installation should work fine but if you take a look at config-dist.php that came with Moodle 3.0 there are more/different options available (e.g. database drivers and settings). It's a good idea to map your old config.php settings to a new one based on the 3.0 config-dist.php.
Cron has received a major update (MDL-25499) and now has support for both scheduled and ad hoc tasks.
The benefits of these changes are:
- The schedule for every task can be configured by the admin
- Tasks can run in parallel
- Cron processes use locking to prevent the same task running at the same time by different processes
- Clusters with multiple identical application nodes are supported, you can run cron on all of them
A result of this is that cron can be run much more often, which means (for example) forum posts can be sent out sooner. To take advantage of the new cron system it is now strongly recommended that administrators increase the frequency that cron is run to at least once per minute.
You also may need to modify any automated scripts you have that are parsing the output from cron. It is no longer possible to simply monitor the output of cron for the string "Cron script completed correctly" (if that is what you were doing). An alternative is to monitor the output for the string "task failed:". If you detect that a task is failing, here are some tips for debugging the failure.
Before the upgrade, there may have been a cron task that was failing, which was preventing the rest of cron from being executed. A failure in any single task will no longer prevent the rest of the Moodle cron tasks from executing, so you may uncover previously masked bugs. It is a good idea to closely monitor the output from cron after the upgrade.
The old assignment (2.2) module has been removed from core and has been replaced by a stub to support transparently remapping URLs and restoring course backups from the old module to the new one.
If you are still using the old assignment (2.2) module, after upgrading to Moodle 3.0 all assignment (2.2) activities will be hidden. You need to run the Assignment upgrade tool to un-hide the activities.
If you really, really need to keep using the old assignment (2.2) module, you should update the code to Moodle 3.0, and then replace the "mod/assignment" folder with the one from https://github.com/moodlehq/moodle-mod_assignment/releases before completing the upgrade.
Possible issues that may affect you in Moodle 3.6
- New setting 'Allow site-wide messaging' in Site administration / Advanced features. The setting is disabled by default (for new installs) but enabled for upgraded sites if $CFG->keepmessagingallusersenabled = true; is defined in config.php.
- Adding another user as a messaging contact now requires approval from the other user. Any contacts that you have that aren't mutual (ie. both users have added each other as a contact) will be removed from your list of contacts.
Custom theme changes
- For sites using a custom theme you will need to add a renderer callback to "standard_after_main_region_html" see Upgrading themes to Moodle 3.6.
- Sites using a custom theme or login form must include a new login token field in the login form. See the dev docs Login token for details.
- To use 'Run now' links in Scheduled tasks, you will need to set 'Path to PHP CLI' (pathtophp) in Site administration / Server / System paths.
- The timeline tab in the course overview block is now in a separate block Timeline. There are also more new Dashboard blocks - Recently accessed courses, Recently accessed items and Starred courses.
- Two new User tours covering the new Dashboard blocks and the new messaging interface are enabled by default.
- The Assignment upgrade tool, for upgrading old assignments from 2.2 or earlier, has been removed from core.
See also the list of upgrade_notes-labelled issues and ui_change-labelled issues.
Moodle 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 improvements
Depending on which version you are upgrading from, please see the section 'Possible issues that may affect you' in the documentation
- Upgrading to Moodle 3.1
- Upgrading to Moodle 3.2
- Upgrading to Moodle 3.3
- Upgrading to Moodle 3.4
- Upgrading to Moodle 3.5
Any questions about the process?
Please post in the Installing and upgrading help forum on moodle.org.
- Using Moodle Installation help forum
- Moodle 3.6 release notes