Global search

Revision as of 01:02, 19 April 2016 by Andrew Nicols (talk | contribs) (Add instructions about homebrew)

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

PHP Solr extension

You need PHP 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](

Basic installation steps (using apache web server):

Linux (Debian/Ubuntu)

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

OSX using macports

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

OSX using homebrew

   brew install homebrew/php/php56-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 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 $INDEXNAME
   # 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. Follow Search setup steps to complete the setup process. Basically you have to:
    1. Enable global search
    2. Set Solr as search engine and tick all search areas checkboxes
    3. Go to Site administration -> Plugins -> Search -> Solr and set Host name to localhost, Port to 8983 and Index name to 'moodle' (the name of the index in Solr)


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

  1. Going to Reports -> Global search info
  2. Tick Index all site contents and press Execute


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


  1. Hover the search icon in the navigation bar, type your query and press Enter


  1. Add Global search block somewhere
  2. Type your query and press Search