Install / Upgrade Moodle Latest from Github on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 LTS with Apache2, MariaDB, PHP 7.2 Support

For students and new users looking for help installing or uprading to the latest version of Moodle ( 3.5.2 ) from Github with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.2 support, the steps below should be a great place to start…

When you to install Moodle packages from Github, you can easily upgrade from the commmand line or the web installer, which is much simpler…

Since Moodle doesn’t yet have a built-in upgrade tool from its portal, you must manually upgrade its core files when new versions are available…. and doing that using its starndard method can be challenging for some users…

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install / upgrade Moodle from Github repository with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.2 support on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 LTS servers…

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

Step 1: Install Apache2 HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Apache2 HTTP Server is the most popular web server in use… so install it since Moodle needs it..

To install Apache2 HTTP on Ubuntu server, run the commands below…

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, the commands below can be used 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

To test Apache2 setup, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see Apache2 default test page as shown below.. When you see that, then Apache2 is working as expected..

apache2 ubuntu install

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open source database servers to use with Magento… To install MariaDB run the commands below…

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

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

Run these on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.service

Run these on Ubuntu 18.04 and 18.10 LTS

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 by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

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

Restart MariaDB server

To test if MariaDB is installed, type the commands below to logon to MariaDB server

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then type the password you created above to sign on… if successful, you should see MariaDB welcome message

mariadb welcome

If you’re using MariaDB 10.1 and below, you must add this lines below into its default config file…

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

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

innodb_file_format = Barracuda
innodb_large_prefix = 1

Save the file and exit.

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories… in order to install it, you will have to get it from third-party repositories.

Run the commands below to add the below third party repository to upgrade to PHP 7.2

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-common php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-soap php7.2-cli php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open PHP default config file for Apache2…

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/apache2/php.ini

Then make the changes on the following lines below in the file and save. The value below are great settings to apply in your environments.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
short_open_tag = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

After making the change above, save the file and close out.

Step 3: Restart Apache2

After installing PHP and related modules, all you have to do is restart Apache2 to reload PHP configurations…

To restart Apache2, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

To test PHP 7.2 settings with Apache2, create a phpinfo.php file in Apache2 root directory by running the commands below

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Save the file.. then browse to your server hostname followed by /phpinfo.php


You should see PHP default test page…

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Step 4: Create Moodle Database

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

To logon to MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called 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.


Step 5: Download Moodle Latest Release

To get Moodle latest release you may want to use Github repository… Install Curl and other dependencies to get started…

sudo apt install git curl

After installing git and curl above, change into the Apache2 root directory and downaload Moodle packages from Github… Always replace the branch number with the latest branch…. The current major version is 35….

cd /var/www/html
sudo git clone -b MOODLE_35_STABLE git:// moodle
sudo mv moodle /var/www/html/

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for Moodle to function.

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

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>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/moodle

     <Directory /var/www/html/moodle/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

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


Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the Moodleand Rewrite Module

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

sudo a2ensite moodle.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite

Step 8 : Restart Apache2

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

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name. You should see Moodle setup wizard to complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

Then follow the on-screen instructions and select the installation language here…

Moodle Ubuntu setup

Next, select MariaDB connection driver and continue…

ubuntu moodle install

On the next screen, enter the database connection info you created above and continue…

Ubuntu install moodle

Then create an admin account and the Moodle site info and finish the instalation….

On this page you should configure your main administrator account which will have complete control over the site. Make sure you give it a secure username and password as well as a valid email address. You can create more admin accounts later on.

Congratulation! You have successfully installed Moodle on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 and may work on upcoming 18.10…

Ubuntu moodle setup

In the future when you want to upgrade to a new released version, simply run the commands below to upgrade…

Upgrading Moodle

First stop the webserver…

sudo systemctl stop apache2

For students and new users who already have Moodle installed and wish to upgrade, asuming that you followed the steps above to install, run the commands below to backup your old Moodle folder…

sudo mv /var/www/html/moodle /var/www/html/moodle_bak

Then change into the webserver root directory and download the latest version of Moodle from Github….. always change the version number to the current (latest)

cd /var/www/html
sudo git clone -b MOODLE_35_STABLE git:// moodle

Next, copy Moodle config file, theme and data folder… If you updated your themes… a theme content should be there…. If you also installed aditional modules… you should find them in the /mod directory… copy them to the new Moodle folder….

sudo cp /var/www/html/moodle_bak/config.php /var/www/html/moodle
sudo cp -pr /var/www/html/moodle_bak/theme/mytheme /var/www/html/moodle/theme/mytheme
sudo cp -pr /var/www/html/moodle_bak/mod/mymod /var/www/html/moodle/mod/mymod

After that, update the web server permissions…

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

Restart your web server…

sudo systemctl start apache2

The last step is to trigger the upgrade processes within Moodle….. If you put your site into Maintenance mode earlier; take it out now!

Once you browse to the server IP or hostname, Moodle should prompt you to begin upgrading your database… After upgrading the database, logon to Moodle and 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!

Moodle Upgrade ubuntu

That’s it!

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One Reply to “Install / Upgrade Moodle Latest from Github on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 LTS with Apache2, MariaDB, PHP 7.2 Support”

  1. Thanks for the tutorial
    I upgrade from moodle 38 to moodle 39 succefull but media are not playing, any idea?

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