Install Moodle 3.3.2 on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP Support

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to easily install Moodle 3.3.2+ on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP support. For those who don’t know Moodle, it’s a free course management system (CMS) designed to help educators create great courses for students.

Many reputable universities and colleges are using this software to run their courses online. Students will also find it easy to use and work on. Teachers and students can also use it to collaborate and build great teaching materials.

This post covers installing the latest version of Moodle, which at the time of writing was at version 3.3.2+.

To get started with installing Moodle, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Apache2

Moodle requires a webserver to function and the most popular webserver in use today is Apache2. So, go and install Apache2 on Ubuntu by running the commands below:

sudo apt-get install apache2

After installing Apache2, run the commands below to disable directory listing.

sudo sed -i "s/Options Indexes FollowSymLinks/Options FollowSymLinks/" /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Next, run the commands below to stop, start and enable Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

Step 2: Install MariaDB

Moodle also requires a database server to function.. and MariaDB database server is a great place to start. To install it run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

After that, run the commands below to secure MariaDB server.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

After that, open MariaDB default configuration file by running the commands below:

sudo nano /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/50-server.cnf

Then add the below lines just below [mysqld] section.

default_storage_engine = innodb
innodb_file_per_table = 1
innodb_file_format = Barracuda
innodb_large_prefix = 1

Save the file and exit.

Restart MariaDB server

sudo systemctl restart mariadb.service

Step 3: Install PHP and Related Modules

Moodle also requires PHP to function. To install PHP and related modules run the commands below

sudo apt-get install php php-common php-mbstring php-xmlrpc php-soap php-gd php-xml php-intl php-mysql php-cli php-mcrypt php-ldap php-zip php-curl

Step 4: Create Moodle Database

Now that you’ve install all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First run the commands below to create Moodle database.

Run the commands below to logon to the database server. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called moodle

CREATE DATABASE moodle;

Create a database user called moodleuser with new password

CREATE USER 'moodleuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON moodle.* TO 'moodleuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download Moodle Latest Release

Next, run the commands below to download Moodle latest release. The commands below to download Moodle archive package.

cd /tmp && wget https://download.moodle.org/download.php/direct/stable33/moodle-latest-33.tgz

Then run the commands below to extract the download file to Apache2 default root.

sudo tar -zxvf moodle-latest-33.tgz -C /var/www/html

Next create Moodle data directory.. this is required.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/moodledata

Change modify the directory permission.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/

Step 6: Configure Apache2

Finally, configure Apahce2 site configuration file for Moodle. This file will control how users access Moodle content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called moodle

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/moodle.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your own domain name and directory root location.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/moodle/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

</VirtualHost>

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the Moodle site

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

sudo a2ensite moodle.conf

Step 8 : Restart Apache2

To load all the settings above, restart Apache2 by running the commands below.

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Then browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see Moodle site setup wizard.

Follow the wizard until you’re done setting the site up. You’ll need to database name, user and password for the setup. When you’re done, Moodle should be installed and ready to use.

Enjoy~

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