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To use Solr as Moodle's search engine you need the PHP Apache Solr extension and a Solr server.

PHP Apache Solr extension

You need PHP Apache Solr extension installed. Use PECL Solr Extension 1.x for Solr Server 3.x, or use PECL Solr 2.x for Solr Server 4.0+.

You can download the official latest versions from [1](


   sudo apt-get install libpcre3-dev libxml2-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev
   sudo pecl install solr
   sudo service apache2 restart
   sudo echo `"" > /etc/php5/apache2/conf.d/solr.ini`
   sudo echo `"" > /etc/php5/cli/conf.d/solr.ini`

OSX using macports

   sudo port install apache-solr4
   sudo port install php54-solr


Install the pecl package as usual. Sorry it has not been tested yet.

Solr server

The following snippet (feel free to copy & paste into a .sh script with execution permissions) will download Apache Solr 5.4.1 in the current directory, start the solr server and create an index in it named moodle to add moodle data to it.

   set -e
   if [ -d $SOLRNAME ]; then
       echo "Error: Directory $SOLRNAME already exists, remove it before starting the setup again."
       exit 1
   if [ ! -f $SOLRTAR ]; then
   tar -xvzf $SOLRTAR
   bin/solr start
   bin/solr create -c $CORENAME
   # After setting it up and creating the index use:
   # - "/yourdirectory/solrdir/bin/solr start" from CLI to start the server
   # - "/yourdirectory/solrdir/bin/solr stop" from CLI to stop the server.


  1. Go to Site administration -> Plugins -> Search -> Manage global search
  2. Enable global search, select Solr as search engine and tick all search components checkboxes
  3. Go to Site administration -> Plugins -> Search -> Solr
  4. Set Host name to localhost, Port to 8983 and Collection name to 'moodle' (the name of the index in Solr)
  5. The following script will add the required fields used by Moodle to the Solr index you just created.
   php search/engine/solr/cli/setup_schema.php


Once global search is enabled a new task will be running through cron, although you can force documents indexing by:

  1. Going to Reports -> Search
  2. Tick Recreate index and Delete checkboxes and press Save changes


  • Executing the following task from CLI
   php admin/tool/task/cli/schedule_task.php --execute="\\core\\task\\search_task"


  1. Add Global search block somewhere
  2. Search stuff