Difference between revisions of "Installing Moodle"

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{{Template:Installing Moodle}}
 
{{Template:Installing Moodle}}
'''Firstly, don't panic!''' [[Image:F1 35px.png]]
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''This page explains how to install Moodle. If you are an expert and/or in a hurry try [[Installation Quickstart]].''
  
This guide explains how to install Moodle for the first time. There are links to other pages that go into more detail and try to cover the majority of possible web server setups.  
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If you just want to try Moodle on a standalone machine there are 'one-click' installers for Windows (see [[Complete install packages for Windows]]) and for OSX (see [[Complete Install Packages for Mac OS X]]) or [[ install on OS X]]. These are unsuitable for production servers.  
  
However, you may want to consider reviewing [[Finding and Selecting A Web Host]] to consider whether you really want to install Moodle yourself. If you decide to move forward with an installation, please read all the installation documentation carefully. If you still have a problem for which you can't find the answer, please see the Using Moodle [http://moodle.org/mod/forum/view.php?id=28 Installation problems forum] where there are many people who can help you.
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== Requirements ==
  
== Requirements ==
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Moodle is primarily developed in Linux using [[Apache]], [[PostgreSQL]]/[[MySQL]]/[[MariaDB]] and [[PHP]] (sometimes known as the LAMP platform). Typically this is also how Moodle is run, although there are other options as long as the software requirements of the  [{{Release notes}} release] are met.
  
Moodle is primarily developed in Linux using [[Apache]], [[MySQL]] and [[PHP]] (also sometimes known as the LAMP platform). It is also regularly tested with Windows XP/2000/2003 (WAMP), Solaris 10 (Sparc and x64), Mac OS X and Netware 6 operating systems. Support for PostgreSQL, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server is also available.
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If you are installing Moodle in a Windows server, note that from php5.5 onwards, you will also need to have  the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 installed from:
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http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30679 Visual C++] ( x86 or x64)
  
The requirements for Moodle are as follows:
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The basic requirements for Moodle are as follows:
  
 
=== Hardware ===  
 
=== Hardware ===  
* Disk space: 160MB free (min). You will require more free space to store your teaching materials.
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* Disk space: 200MB for the Moodle code, plus as much as you need to store content. 5GB is probably a realistic minimum.
* Memory: 256MB (min), 1GB (recommended). The general rule of thumb is that Moodle can support 50 ''concurrent'' users for every 1GB of RAM, but this will vary depending on your specific hardware and software combination.
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* Processor: 1GHz (min), 2GHz dual core or more recommended.
** This includes hosting limits of PHP  or MySQL on a hosting service.
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* Memory: 512MB (min), 1GB or more is recommended. 8GB plus is likely on a large production server
** The capacity can limit the number of users your Moodle site can handle. See [[User site capacities]]
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* Consider separate servers for the web "front ends" and the database. It is much easier to "tune"
  
=== Software ===
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All the above requirements will vary depending on specific hardware and software combinations as well as the type of use and load; busy sites may well require additional resources. Further guidance can be found under [[Performance_recommendations|performance recommendations]]. Moodle scales easily by increasing hardware.
* Web server software. Most sites use [[Apache]] as the web server software. Moodle should work fine under any web server that supports [[PHP]], such as [[IIS]] on Windows platforms.
 
* PHP scripting language. (Please note that there have been issues installing Moodle with [http://www.php-accelerator.co.uk PHP-Accelerator]). There are currently two versions (or branches) of PHP available: PHP4 and PHP5. See the PHP Moodle version requirements here [[PHP settings by Moodle version]].
 
  
If you want to run Moodle on your own computer, please see [[Installing Apache, MySQL and PHP]] for step-by-step instructions for installation on most popular platforms.
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For very large sites, you are much better starting with a small pilot and gaining some experience and insight. A "what hardware do I need for 50,000 user?" style post in the forums is highly unlikely to get a useful answer.
  
== Download and copy files into place ==
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=== Software ===
  
There are two ways to get Moodle, either as a compressed package from http://download.moodle.org/ or via [[CVS for Administrators|CVS]].  
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See the [{{Release notes}} release notes] in the dev docs for software requirements.
  
After downloading and unpacking the archive, or checking out the files via CVS, you will be left with a directory called "moodle", containing a number of files and folders.
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== Set up your server ==
  
For the standard package, you can either place the whole folder in your web server documents directory, in which case the site will be located at '''<nowiki>http://yourwebserver.com/moodle</nowiki>''', or you can copy all the contents straight into the main web server documents directory, in which case the site will be simply '''<nowiki>http://yourwebserver.com</nowiki>'''.
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Depending the use case a Moodle server may be anything from a Desktop PC (e.g. for testing and evaluating) to a rackmounted or [[Server cluster|clustered]] solution. As mentioned above there are lots of possibilities for installing the basic server software, some links and pointers are at [[Installing AMP]], [[Internet_Information_Services|IIS]], [[Nginx]].  
  
:''Tip:'' If you are downloading Moodle to your local computer and then uploading it to your web site, it is usually better to upload the whole archive as one file, and then do the unpacking on the server. Even web hosting interfaces like cPanel allow you to uncompress archives in the "File Manager".
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It will help hugely, regardless of your deployment choices, if time is taken to understand how to configure the different parts of your software stack (HTTP daemon, database, PHP etc). Do not expect the standard server configuration to be optimal for Moodle. For example, the web server and database servers will almost certainly require tuning to get the best out of Moodle.
  
If you're interested, [[Moodle site moodle directory]] gives a quick summary of the contents of the Moodle folder, to help get you oriented.
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If a hosting provider is being used  ensure that all Moodle [{{Release notes}}#Server_requirements requirements] (such as PHP version) are met by the hosting platform before attempting the installation. It will help to become familiar with changing settings within the hosting provider's platform (e.g. PHP file upload maximums) as the options and tools provided vary.
  
== Setting-up your web server ==
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== Download and copy files into place ==
You need to create a blank '''database''' for Moodle to use and finally create a '''directory''' on your hard disk for Moodle to save your materials and other files you upload into your courses.
 
  
Sometimes you have to check beforehand that the web server settings are correct to ensure that Moodle will install successfully.
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'''IMPORTANT: While there are now a number of places you can get the Moodle code (including host provided Moodle installers), you are strongly advised to only obtain Moodle from moodle.org. If you run into problems it will be a great deal easier to support you.'''
  
=== Create empty database ===
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You have two options:
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* Download your required version from http://moodle.org/downloads and unzip/unpack...
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* '''OR''' Pull the code from the Git repository (recommended for developers and also makes upgrading very simple):
 +
<pre>
 +
$ git clone -b MOODLE_{{Version3}}_STABLE git://git.moodle.org/moodle.git 
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</pre>
  
You need to create an empty database (eg "''moodle''") in your database system along with a special user (for example "moodleuser") that has access to that database (and that database only). You could use the "root" user if you wanted to for a test server, but this is not recommended for a production system: if hackers manage to discover the password then your whole database system would be at risk, rather than just one database.
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Other options you might consider:
  
For more help with this see [[Create Moodle site database]].
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* ''--depth=1''  for shallow cloning (only) latest revision (be advised! If you are a developer, you will not be able to easily make git updates and modification later on when this feature is used)
  
If you are using a webhost, they will probably have a control panel web interface for you to create your database.
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* ''--single-branch''  to limit cloning to a single branch, this fetches the Moodle {{Version}} Stable branch (latest weekly build). For a fuller discussion see [[Git for Administrators]].  
  
The '''[http://www.cpanel.com/ cPanel]''' system is one of the most popular of these.  
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Either of the above should result in a directory called '''moodle''', containing a number of files and folders.  
To create a database using cPanel:
 
  
# Click on the '''MySQL Databases''' icon.
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You can typically place the whole folder in your web server documents directory, in which case the site will be located at '''<nowiki>http://yourwebserver.com/moodle</nowiki>''', or you can copy all the contents straight into the main web server documents directory, in which case the site will be simply '''<nowiki>http://yourwebserver.com</nowiki>'''. See the documentation for your system and/or web server if you are unsure.  
# Type '''moodle''' in the New Database field and click '''Create Database'''.
 
# Type a ''username'' and ''password'' (not one you use elsewhere) in the respective fields and click '''Create  User'''.<br>Note that the ''username'' and ''database'' names may be prefixed by your cPanel account name and an underscore, and truncated to 16 characters. When entering this information into the Moodle installer - use the full names.
 
# Now use the '''Add Users to Databases''' button and give this new user account '''ALL''' rights to the new database.
 
  
=== Create the data directory  ===
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:''Tip:'' If you are downloading Moodle to your local computer and then uploading it to your hosted web site, if possible upload the compressed file and decompress at the remote end (check your 'file manager'). Failing that, watch FTP progress carefully for errors or missed files.
  
Moodle will also need some space on your server's hard disk to store uploaded files, such as course documents and user pictures. The Moodle installer tries hard to create the '''moodledata''' directory for you but if it fails then you will have to create a directory for this purpose manually.
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* '''Secure the Moodle files:''' It is vital that the files are not writeable by the web server user. For example, on Unix/Linux (as root):
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<pre>
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# chown -R root /path/to/moodle
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# chmod -R 0755 /path/to/moodle
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# find /path/to/moodle -type f -exec chmod 0644 {} \;
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</pre>
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(files are owned by the administrator/superuser and are only writeable by them - readable by everyone else)
  
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The third command finds all the regular files and executes the chmod command 0644 on them.
  
<table style=background-color:lightCyan border=1 cellpadding=5 cellspacing=0 ><tr><td>
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If you want to use the built-in plugin installer you need to make the directory writable by web server user. It is strongly recommended to use ACL when your server supports it, for example if your Apache server uses account www-data:  
'''Security warning''': For security purposes, it is '''CRITICAL''' that this directory is '''NOT''' accessible directly via the web. The easiest way to do this is to simply locate it OUTSIDE the web site root directory (it is the folder that the main part of your URL -that is, the part up to the first single / - points to; for example, in <nowiki>http://your.domain.com/moodle/admin/cron.php</nowiki>, it is <nowiki>http://your.domain.com/</nowiki>).
 
  
'''If you don't protect the data directory from direct web access, anybody will be able to impersonate any user of your Moodle site (including the admin user!!!), and all of your course materials will be available to the web at large.'''
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<pre>
</table>
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# chmod -R +a "www-data allow read,delete,write,append,file_inherit,directory_inherit" /path/to/moodle
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</pre>
  
See [[Creating Moodle site data directory]] for more information about security in creating a data directory in CPanel in webhosts.
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The effect of the previous command is to allow the Apache user account (www-data in this case) to access and change files within the moodle site. Many people would consider this a brave move for a new site admin to implement. In a new moodle you can safely leave this out. A default Ubuntu install does not have the +a option for the chmod command anyway. The +a attribute is an ACL (Access Control List) facility which allows you to set per user access for individual files. For example, OSX has this by default.
  
=== Troubleshooting ===
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== Create an empty database ==
  
If you run into problems when installing Moodle you might have to tweak some of the settings for your Apache server or your PHP installation.
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Next create a new, empty database for your installation. You need to find and make a note of following information for use during the final installation stage:
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* '''dbhost''' - the database server hostname. Probably ''localhost'' if the database and web server are the same machine, otherwise the name of the database server
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* '''dbname''' - the database name. Whatever you called it, e.g. ''moodle''
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* '''dbuser''' - the username for the database. Whatever you assigned, e.g. ''moodleuser'' - do not use the root/superuser account. Create a proper account with the minimum permissions needed.
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* '''dbpass''' - the password for the above user
  
* [[Installing Moodle/httpd.conf setup]]
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If your site is hosted you should find a web-based administration page for databases as part of the control panel (or ask your administrator). For everyone else or for detailed instructions, see the page for your chosen database server:
* [[Installing Moodle/Creating custom php.ini files]] for details.
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* [[PostgreSQL]] (recommended)
* '''Alternative to php.ini and httpd.conf files''': If you do not have access to your php.ini or httpd.conf files on you web host, see [[Create .htaccess file]].
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* [[MariaDB]] (recommended)
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* [[MySQL]]
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* [[MSSQL]]
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* [[Oracle]] (not recommended)
  
== Start Moodle install ==
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== Create the (''moodledata'') data directory  ==
There are two basic ways to install Moodle:  Most Moodlers are used to the installer script but with Moodle 2.0 you may install it from the command line.
 
  
=== Install with installer script ===
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Moodle requires a directory to store all of its files (all your site's uploaded files, temporary data, cache, session data etc.). The web server needs to be able to write to this directory. On larger systems consider how much free space you are going to use when allocating this directory.
  
To run the installer script (install.php), just try to access your Moodle main URL using a web browser, or access '''<nowiki>http://yourserver/install.php</nowiki>''' directly.
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Due to the default way Moodle caches data you may have serious performance issues if you use relatively slow storage (e.g. NFS) for this directory. Read the [[Performance_recommendations]] carefully and consider using (e.g.) redis or memcached for [[Caching]].
  
(The Installer will try to set a session cookie. If you get a popup warning in your browser make sure you accept that cookie!)
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'''IMPORTANT:''' This directory must '''NOT''' be accessible directly via the web. This would be a serious security hole. Do not try to place it inside your web root or inside your Moodle program files directory. Moodle will not install. It can go anywhere else convenient.  
  
Moodle will detect that configuration is necessary and will lead you through some screens to help you create a new configuration file called '''config.php'''. At the end of the process Moodle will try and write the file into the right location, otherwise you can press a button to download it from the installer and then upload '''config.php''' into the main Moodle directory on the server.
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Here is an example (Unix/Linux) of creating the directory and setting the permissions for '''anyone''' on the server to write here. This is only appropriate for Moodle servers that are not shared. Discuss this with your server administrator for better permissions that just allow the web server user to access these files.
  
Along the way the installer will test your server environment and give you suggestions about how to fix any problems. For most common issues these suggestions should be sufficient, but if you get stuck, check in the Installation Forum for more help.
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<pre>
 +
# mkdir /path/to/moodledata
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# chmod 0777 /path/to/moodledata
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</pre>
  
==== Go to the admin page to continue configuration ====
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If your server supports ACL it is recommended to set following permissions, for example if your Apache server uses account www-data:
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<pre>
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# chmod -R +a "www-data allow read,delete,write,append,file_inherit,directory_inherit" /path/to/moodledata
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</pre>
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If you are planning to execute PHP scripts from the command line you should set the same permissions for the current user:
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<pre>
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$ sudo chmod -R +a "`whoami` allow read,delete,write,append,file_inherit,directory_inherit" /path/to/moodledata
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</pre>
  
Once the basic config.php has been correctly created in the previous step, trying to access the front page of your site will take you to the "admin" page for the rest of the configuration.
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==== Securing moodledata in a web directory ====
  
The first time you access this admin page, you will be presented with a GPL "shrink wrap" agreement with which you must agree before you can continue with the setup.
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If you are using a hosted site and you have no option but to place 'moodledata' in a web accessible directory. You may be able to secure it by creating an .htaccess file in the 'moodledata' directory. This does not work on all systems - see your host/administrator. Create a file called .htaccess containing only the following lines:
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<pre>
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order deny,allow
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deny from all
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</pre>
  
Now Moodle will start setting up your database and creating tables to store data. Firstly, the main database tables are created. You should see a number of SQL statements followed by status messages. You should see  <font color="green">SUCCESS</font> next to each one until you see "<font color="green">Main databases set up successfully</font>."
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== Start Moodle install ==
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It's now time to run the installer to create the database tables and configure your new site. The recommended method is to use the command line installer. If you cannot do this for any reason (e.g. on a Windows server) the web-based installer is still available.
  
:''Tip:'' If you don't see these, then there must have been some problem with the database or the configuration settings you defined in config.php. Please see [[Install Moodle with installer script]] for more details and issues.
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=== Command line installer ===
  
Scroll down the very bottom of the page and press the "Continue" link.
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It's best to run the command line as your system's web user. You need to know what that is - see your system's documentation (e.g. Ubuntu/Debian is 'www-data', Centos is 'apache')
  
You should now see a form where you can define more configuration variables for your installation, such as the default language, SMTP hosts and so on. Don't worry too much about getting everything right just now - you can always come back and edit these later on using the admin interface. The defaults are designed to be useful and secure for most sites. Scroll down to the bottom and click "Save changes".
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* Example of using the command-line  (as root - substitute 'www-data' for your web user):
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<pre>
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# chown www-data /path/to/moodle
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# cd /path/to/moodle/admin/cli
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# sudo -u www-data /usr/bin/php install.php
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# chown -R root /path/to/moodle
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</pre>
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The chowns allow the script to write a new config.php file. More information about the options can be found using
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<pre>
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# php install.php --help
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</pre>
  
Next you will see more pages that print lots of status messages as they set up all the tables required by the various Moodle module. As before, they should all be <font color="green">green</font>.
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You will be asked for other settings that have not been discussed on this page - if unsure just accept the defaults. For a full discussion see [[Administration via command line]]
  
Scroll down the very bottom of the page and press the "Continue" link.
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=== Web based installer ===
  
The next page is a form where you can define parameters for your Moodle site and the front page, such as the name, format, description and so on. Fill this out (you can always come back and change these later) and then press "Save changes".
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For ease of use you can install Moodle via the web. We recommend configuring your web server so that the page is not publicly accessible until the installation is complete.
  
Finally, you will then be asked to create a top-level administration user for future access to the admin pages. Fill out the details with your own name, email etc and then click "Save changes". Not all the fields are required, but if you miss any important fields you'll be re-prompted for them.
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To run the web installer script, just go to your Moodle's main URL using a web browser.
  
'''Make sure you remember the username and password you chose for the administration user account, as they will be necessary to access the administration page in future.'''
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The installation process will take you through a number of pages. You should be asked to confirm the copyright, see the database tables being created, supply administrator account details and supply the site details. The database creation can take some time - please be patient. You should eventually end up at the Moodle front page with an invitation to create a new course.  
  
(If for any reason your install is interrupted, or there is a system error of some kind that prevents you from logging in using the admin account, you can usually log in using the default username of "'''admin'''", with password "'''admin'''".)
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It is very likely that you will be asked to download the new config.php file and upload it to your Moodle installation - just follow the on-screen instructions.
  
Once successful, you will be sent to the home page of your new site! Please note the [[Site administration block]] on the left with links. These items are only visible to you because you are logged in as the admin user. All your further administration of Moodle can now be done using this block.
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==Final configuration==
  
=== Installing Moodle using command line ===
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=== Settings within Moodle ===
{{Moodle 2.0}}
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There are a number of options within the Moodle Site Administration screens (accessible from the 'Site administration' tab in the 'Administration' block. Here are a few of the more important ones that you will probably want to check:
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* ''Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Message Outputs > Email'': Set your smtp server and authentication if required (so your Moodle site can send emails). The support contact for your site is also set on this page.
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* ''Administration > Site administration > Server > System paths'': Set the paths to du, dot and aspell binaries.
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* ''Administration > Site administration > Server > HTTP'': If you are behind a firewall you may need to set your proxy credentials in the 'Web proxy' section.
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* ''Administration > Site administration > Location > Update timezones'': Run this to make sure your timezone information is up to date. (more info [[Location]])
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** [http://php.net/manual/en/timezones.php Set server's local timezone] inside <tt>php.ini</tt> (should probably be inside <tt>/etc/php.ini</tt> or <tt>/etc/php.d/date.ini</tt>, depending on the underlying OS):
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<code php>
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[Date]
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; Defines the default timezone used by the date functions
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date.timezone = "YOUR LOCAL TIMEZONE"
 +
</code>
  
[[Installing Moodle using command line]] is just as easy as installing Moodle using  the web browser.
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=== Remaining tasks ===
Change your current directory to the moodle root directory the admin directory for example:
 
  
  $cd /var/www/html/moodle/admin
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* '''Configure Cron''': Moodle's background tasks (e.g. sending out forum emails and performing course backups) are performed by a script which you can set to execute at specific times of the day. This is known as a cron script. Please refer to the [[Cron|Cron instructions]].
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* '''Set up backups''': See [[Site backup]] and [[Automated course backup]].
 +
* '''Secure your Moodle site''': Read the [[Security recommendations]].
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*'''Increasing the maximum upload size''' See [[Installation FAQ]] Maximum upload file size - how to change it?
 +
* '''Check mail works''' (New in 3.7): From Site administration > Server > Test outgoing mail configuration, use the  link to send yourself a test email. Don't be tempted to skip this step.
  
More information about the options can be found using
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=== Installation is complete :) ===
$php cliupgrad.php --help
 
  
When you choose non interactive mode without any options all the default values are assumed.
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* Create a new course: You can now access Moodle through your web browser (using the same URL as you set during the install process), log in as your admin user and creatse a new course. See  [[Adding a new course|create a new course]].
  
==Last tasks==
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=== If something goes wrong... ===
  
=== Set up cron ===
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Here are some things you should try...
  
Moodle's background tasks (e.g. sending out forum emails and performing course backups) are performed by a script which you can set to execute at specific times of the day. This is known as a cron script. Please refer to the [[Cron|Cron instructions]].
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* Check the [[Installation FAQ]]
 +
* Check your file permissions carefully. Can your web server read (but not write) the Moodle program files? Can your web server read and write your Moodle data directory? If you don't fully understand how file ownership and permissions work on your operating system it would be time very well spent to find out.
 +
* Check your database permissions. Have you set up your database user with the correct rights and permissions for your configuration (especially if the web server and database server are different machines)?
 +
* Create your [[Configuration file]] (config.php) by hand. Copy config-dist.php (in the root of the Moodle program directory) to config.php, edit it and set your database/site options there. Installation will continue from the right place.
 +
* Once you have a config.php (see previous tip) you can edit it to turn on debugging (in section 8). This may give you extra information to help track down a problem. If you have access, check your web server error log(s).
 +
* Re-check your php.ini / .htaccess settings. Are they appropriate (e.g. memory_limit), did you edit the correct php.ini / .htaccess file and (if required) did you re-start the web server after making changes?
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* Did you include any non-core (optional) plugins, themes or other code before starting the installation script? If so, remove it and try again (it may be broken or incompatible).
 +
* Explain your problem in the [http://moodle.org/mod/forum/view.php?id=28 Installation problems forum]. '''PLEASE''' list your software versions; explain what you did, what happened and what error messages you saw (if any); explain what you tried. There is no such thing as 'nothing', even a blank page is something!
  
=== Set up backups ===
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== Platform specific instructions ==
Please refer to the [[Backup settings| backup instructions]].
 
  
===Create a new course===
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'''Note:''' Much of this information is provided by the community. It may not have been checked and may be out of date. Please read in conjunction with the above installation instructions.
  
Congratulations on setting up your Moodle site! You can now [[Adding/editing a course|create a new course]] and have a play ;-)
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* [[Windows installation]]
 +
** [[Installing Moodle on SmarterASP.NET]]
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* [[Unix or Linux Installation]]
 +
* [[Mac Installation]]
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* [[Amazon EC2 Cloud Services Installation]]
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
* [[Complete install packages]]
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* [http://www.slideshare.net/gb2048/my-own-moodle Slideshare presentation by Gareth Barnard on installing a local installation of Moodle] and accompanying [https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B17B0rYH2zERU21sQnVweUZCUFk&usp=sharing  help guides]
* Using Moodle [http://moodle.org/mod/forum/view.php?id=28 Installation problems forum]
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* [http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=182086 New Video Tutorial- How to Install Moodle on Shared Hosting via cPanel (Not Fantastico)]
* [[Installing Apache, MySQL and PHP]]
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* [http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=199542 Video Tutorial - Install Moodle on a Virtual Box from scratch]  
* [[Upgrading Moodle]]
 
* Using Moodle [http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=42688 Selecting a web host for Moodle] forum discussion
 
* [[masquerading|Masquerading]] - Running Moodle behind a masquerading/NAT firewall
 
* [http://ic.eflclasses.org/tutorials/settingupmoodleonhostingwitholdcpanel.swf Tutorial on choosing a host and setting up moodle via the old cpanel]
 
* [[Installation FAQ]]
 
* [[Finding and Selecting A Web Host]]
 
* [[experimental:Getting Help Installing and Managing Moodle]]
 
  
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[[es:Instalaci%C3%B3n_de_moodle]]
 
[[de:Installation von Moodle]]
 
[[de:Installation von Moodle]]
{{Review}}
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[[fr:Installation de Moodle]]
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[[ja:Moodleのインストール]]

Latest revision as of 21:42, 8 September 2019

This page explains how to install Moodle. If you are an expert and/or in a hurry try Installation Quickstart.

If you just want to try Moodle on a standalone machine there are 'one-click' installers for Windows (see Complete install packages for Windows) and for OSX (see Complete Install Packages for Mac OS X) or install on OS X. These are unsuitable for production servers.

Requirements

Moodle is primarily developed in Linux using Apache, PostgreSQL/MySQL/MariaDB and PHP (sometimes known as the LAMP platform). Typically this is also how Moodle is run, although there are other options as long as the software requirements of the release are met.

If you are installing Moodle in a Windows server, note that from php5.5 onwards, you will also need to have the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 installed from: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30679 Visual C++] ( x86 or x64)

The basic requirements for Moodle are as follows:

Hardware

  • Disk space: 200MB for the Moodle code, plus as much as you need to store content. 5GB is probably a realistic minimum.
  • Processor: 1GHz (min), 2GHz dual core or more recommended.
  • Memory: 512MB (min), 1GB or more is recommended. 8GB plus is likely on a large production server
  • Consider separate servers for the web "front ends" and the database. It is much easier to "tune"

All the above requirements will vary depending on specific hardware and software combinations as well as the type of use and load; busy sites may well require additional resources. Further guidance can be found under performance recommendations. Moodle scales easily by increasing hardware.

For very large sites, you are much better starting with a small pilot and gaining some experience and insight. A "what hardware do I need for 50,000 user?" style post in the forums is highly unlikely to get a useful answer.

Software

See the release notes in the dev docs for software requirements.

Set up your server

Depending the use case a Moodle server may be anything from a Desktop PC (e.g. for testing and evaluating) to a rackmounted or clustered solution. As mentioned above there are lots of possibilities for installing the basic server software, some links and pointers are at Installing AMP, IIS, Nginx.

It will help hugely, regardless of your deployment choices, if time is taken to understand how to configure the different parts of your software stack (HTTP daemon, database, PHP etc). Do not expect the standard server configuration to be optimal for Moodle. For example, the web server and database servers will almost certainly require tuning to get the best out of Moodle.

If a hosting provider is being used ensure that all Moodle requirements (such as PHP version) are met by the hosting platform before attempting the installation. It will help to become familiar with changing settings within the hosting provider's platform (e.g. PHP file upload maximums) as the options and tools provided vary.

Download and copy files into place

IMPORTANT: While there are now a number of places you can get the Moodle code (including host provided Moodle installers), you are strongly advised to only obtain Moodle from moodle.org. If you run into problems it will be a great deal easier to support you.

You have two options:

  • Download your required version from http://moodle.org/downloads and unzip/unpack...
  • OR Pull the code from the Git repository (recommended for developers and also makes upgrading very simple):
$ git clone -b MOODLE_{{Version3}}_STABLE git://git.moodle.org/moodle.git  

Other options you might consider:

  • --depth=1 for shallow cloning (only) latest revision (be advised! If you are a developer, you will not be able to easily make git updates and modification later on when this feature is used)
  • --single-branch to limit cloning to a single branch, this fetches the Moodle 3.7 Stable branch (latest weekly build). For a fuller discussion see Git for Administrators.

Either of the above should result in a directory called moodle, containing a number of files and folders.

You can typically place the whole folder in your web server documents directory, in which case the site will be located at http://yourwebserver.com/moodle, or you can copy all the contents straight into the main web server documents directory, in which case the site will be simply http://yourwebserver.com. See the documentation for your system and/or web server if you are unsure.

Tip: If you are downloading Moodle to your local computer and then uploading it to your hosted web site, if possible upload the compressed file and decompress at the remote end (check your 'file manager'). Failing that, watch FTP progress carefully for errors or missed files.
  • Secure the Moodle files: It is vital that the files are not writeable by the web server user. For example, on Unix/Linux (as root):
# chown -R root /path/to/moodle
# chmod -R 0755 /path/to/moodle
# find /path/to/moodle -type f -exec chmod 0644 {} \;

(files are owned by the administrator/superuser and are only writeable by them - readable by everyone else)

The third command finds all the regular files and executes the chmod command 0644 on them.

If you want to use the built-in plugin installer you need to make the directory writable by web server user. It is strongly recommended to use ACL when your server supports it, for example if your Apache server uses account www-data:

# chmod -R +a "www-data allow read,delete,write,append,file_inherit,directory_inherit" /path/to/moodle

The effect of the previous command is to allow the Apache user account (www-data in this case) to access and change files within the moodle site. Many people would consider this a brave move for a new site admin to implement. In a new moodle you can safely leave this out. A default Ubuntu install does not have the +a option for the chmod command anyway. The +a attribute is an ACL (Access Control List) facility which allows you to set per user access for individual files. For example, OSX has this by default.

Create an empty database

Next create a new, empty database for your installation. You need to find and make a note of following information for use during the final installation stage:

  • dbhost - the database server hostname. Probably localhost if the database and web server are the same machine, otherwise the name of the database server
  • dbname - the database name. Whatever you called it, e.g. moodle
  • dbuser - the username for the database. Whatever you assigned, e.g. moodleuser - do not use the root/superuser account. Create a proper account with the minimum permissions needed.
  • dbpass - the password for the above user

If your site is hosted you should find a web-based administration page for databases as part of the control panel (or ask your administrator). For everyone else or for detailed instructions, see the page for your chosen database server:

Create the (moodledata) data directory

Moodle requires a directory to store all of its files (all your site's uploaded files, temporary data, cache, session data etc.). The web server needs to be able to write to this directory. On larger systems consider how much free space you are going to use when allocating this directory.

Due to the default way Moodle caches data you may have serious performance issues if you use relatively slow storage (e.g. NFS) for this directory. Read the Performance_recommendations carefully and consider using (e.g.) redis or memcached for Caching.

IMPORTANT: This directory must NOT be accessible directly via the web. This would be a serious security hole. Do not try to place it inside your web root or inside your Moodle program files directory. Moodle will not install. It can go anywhere else convenient.

Here is an example (Unix/Linux) of creating the directory and setting the permissions for anyone on the server to write here. This is only appropriate for Moodle servers that are not shared. Discuss this with your server administrator for better permissions that just allow the web server user to access these files.

# mkdir /path/to/moodledata
# chmod 0777 /path/to/moodledata

If your server supports ACL it is recommended to set following permissions, for example if your Apache server uses account www-data:

# chmod -R +a "www-data allow read,delete,write,append,file_inherit,directory_inherit" /path/to/moodledata

If you are planning to execute PHP scripts from the command line you should set the same permissions for the current user:

$ sudo chmod -R +a "`whoami` allow read,delete,write,append,file_inherit,directory_inherit" /path/to/moodledata

Securing moodledata in a web directory

If you are using a hosted site and you have no option but to place 'moodledata' in a web accessible directory. You may be able to secure it by creating an .htaccess file in the 'moodledata' directory. This does not work on all systems - see your host/administrator. Create a file called .htaccess containing only the following lines:

order deny,allow
deny from all

Start Moodle install

It's now time to run the installer to create the database tables and configure your new site. The recommended method is to use the command line installer. If you cannot do this for any reason (e.g. on a Windows server) the web-based installer is still available.

Command line installer

It's best to run the command line as your system's web user. You need to know what that is - see your system's documentation (e.g. Ubuntu/Debian is 'www-data', Centos is 'apache')

  • Example of using the command-line (as root - substitute 'www-data' for your web user):
# chown www-data /path/to/moodle
# cd /path/to/moodle/admin/cli
# sudo -u www-data /usr/bin/php install.php
# chown -R root /path/to/moodle

The chowns allow the script to write a new config.php file. More information about the options can be found using

# php install.php --help

You will be asked for other settings that have not been discussed on this page - if unsure just accept the defaults. For a full discussion see Administration via command line

Web based installer

For ease of use you can install Moodle via the web. We recommend configuring your web server so that the page is not publicly accessible until the installation is complete.

To run the web installer script, just go to your Moodle's main URL using a web browser.

The installation process will take you through a number of pages. You should be asked to confirm the copyright, see the database tables being created, supply administrator account details and supply the site details. The database creation can take some time - please be patient. You should eventually end up at the Moodle front page with an invitation to create a new course.

It is very likely that you will be asked to download the new config.php file and upload it to your Moodle installation - just follow the on-screen instructions.

Final configuration

Settings within Moodle

There are a number of options within the Moodle Site Administration screens (accessible from the 'Site administration' tab in the 'Administration' block. Here are a few of the more important ones that you will probably want to check:

  • Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Message Outputs > Email: Set your smtp server and authentication if required (so your Moodle site can send emails). The support contact for your site is also set on this page.
  • Administration > Site administration > Server > System paths: Set the paths to du, dot and aspell binaries.
  • Administration > Site administration > Server > HTTP: If you are behind a firewall you may need to set your proxy credentials in the 'Web proxy' section.
  • Administration > Site administration > Location > Update timezones: Run this to make sure your timezone information is up to date. (more info Location)
    • Set server's local timezone inside php.ini (should probably be inside /etc/php.ini or /etc/php.d/date.ini, depending on the underlying OS):
[Date] 
; Defines the default timezone used by the date functions 
date.timezone = "YOUR LOCAL TIMEZONE"

Remaining tasks

  • Configure Cron: Moodle's background tasks (e.g. sending out forum emails and performing course backups) are performed by a script which you can set to execute at specific times of the day. This is known as a cron script. Please refer to the Cron instructions.
  • Set up backups: See Site backup and Automated course backup.
  • Secure your Moodle site: Read the Security recommendations.
  • Increasing the maximum upload size See Installation FAQ Maximum upload file size - how to change it?
  • Check mail works (New in 3.7): From Site administration > Server > Test outgoing mail configuration, use the link to send yourself a test email. Don't be tempted to skip this step.

Installation is complete :)

  • Create a new course: You can now access Moodle through your web browser (using the same URL as you set during the install process), log in as your admin user and creatse a new course. See create a new course.

If something goes wrong...

Here are some things you should try...

  • Check the Installation FAQ
  • Check your file permissions carefully. Can your web server read (but not write) the Moodle program files? Can your web server read and write your Moodle data directory? If you don't fully understand how file ownership and permissions work on your operating system it would be time very well spent to find out.
  • Check your database permissions. Have you set up your database user with the correct rights and permissions for your configuration (especially if the web server and database server are different machines)?
  • Create your Configuration file (config.php) by hand. Copy config-dist.php (in the root of the Moodle program directory) to config.php, edit it and set your database/site options there. Installation will continue from the right place.
  • Once you have a config.php (see previous tip) you can edit it to turn on debugging (in section 8). This may give you extra information to help track down a problem. If you have access, check your web server error log(s).
  • Re-check your php.ini / .htaccess settings. Are they appropriate (e.g. memory_limit), did you edit the correct php.ini / .htaccess file and (if required) did you re-start the web server after making changes?
  • Did you include any non-core (optional) plugins, themes or other code before starting the installation script? If so, remove it and try again (it may be broken or incompatible).
  • Explain your problem in the Installation problems forum. PLEASE list your software versions; explain what you did, what happened and what error messages you saw (if any); explain what you tried. There is no such thing as 'nothing', even a blank page is something!

Platform specific instructions

Note: Much of this information is provided by the community. It may not have been checked and may be out of date. Please read in conjunction with the above installation instructions.

See also