Moodle Online Learning System Automated Installation and Upgrade

| July 13, 2021
Moodle E-Learning Logo

The development of computer technologies and communication facilities is fundamentally changing different directions of our life, including education. Nowadays, there are various ways to intensify the learning process using online tools such as Moodle to arrange distance classes or support full-time education.

Moodle system gives an opportunity to choose a convenient time and place for training for both teacher and student, as well as ensures that the educators have all the required tools for an efficient e-teaching.

Jelastic PaaS automated the process of Moodle application installation in the cloud. Thus, this system can be successfully installed, tuned and applied for online learning by almost any teacher with basic computer skills. Also, below you’ll find out how to keep your Moodle project up to date.

Moodle E-Learning System Installation

To get started, log in to the Jelastic dashboard, find the Moodle application in the Marketplace and click Install.

Moodle E-Learning Marketplace

If required, change the Environment name and destination Region.

Moodle E-Learning Installation

Use credentials to access an admin panel link from a successful installation window.

Moodle E-Learning Success

That’s it, the Moodle e-learning system is installed and ready to use.

Note:

  • In order to avoid any possible issues while your Moodle site is growing, we highly recommend enabling at least minimal debug level.
Moodle Debugging
  • If you encounter an error like in the picture below, increase the memory_limit parameter with 32 MB increments in the /etc/php.ini file until the error disappears. Restart the application server node after each setting change.
Moodle Memory Consumption
Moodle PHP Configuration

Moodle E-Learning System Upgrade

In case you are already using Moodle and its version became obsolete, you can upgrade it to the latest one following the simple steps outlined below.

According to official documentation the upgrade to the latest version 3.11 can be done directly from the version 3.6 or later. In case of upgrading from earlier versions than 3.6, you must upgrade to 3.6 at first.

Also, the Moodle team suggests testing the upgrade first on a COPY of the production site in order to be sure that it works as expected. Jelastic PaaS greatly fits such requirements with its cloning functionality. So, you can make a clone of the production environment and upgrade it to any version of Moodle. Then test the clone whether it works properly or not and if so upgrade the production.

In this chapter we’ll consider the most common case of upgrading from version 3.9 to 3.11.

Moodle Assets Backup

There are three assets areas that should be backed up before any upgrade:

  • Moodle software (/var/www/webroot/ROOT)
  • Moodle static assets (/var/www/webroot/moodledata)
  • Moodle dynamic content (database dump)

Log in via SSH to the Application Server node and create backup files of mentioned assets respectively with commands:

$ cd /var/www/webroot
$ tar -czvf moodledata_code.tar.gz ROOT/
$ tar -czvf moodledata.tar.gz moodledata/
$ mysqldump -h node303649-moodle.vip.jelastic.cloud -u root -p moodle --column-statistics=0 > moodle_dump.sql

Moodle Backup
Note: The database access credentials can be taken from email sent to your mailbox upon application installation.

Moodle Maintenance Mode

Before taking the update actions, turn the e-learning system into Maintenance Mode.
Go to the Administration > Site administration > Server > Maintenance mode and enable it.

Moodle Maintenance Mode

If required, add an optional message to be displayed during system upgrade.

Site Maintenance Message

Moodle New Version Installation

1. Go to the Application Server terminal and get the latest version of moodle. Currently it is 3.11.

$ cd /var/www/webroot
$ wget https://download.moodle.org/stable311/moodle-3.11.tgz

2. Then rename Moodle software directory ROOT to another name e.g. ROOT.backup.

$ mv ROOT/ ROOT.backup

3. Extract files from archive:

$ tar -xvzf moodle-3.11.tgz

4. Rename extracted directory moodle to the ROOT:

$ mv moodle ROOT

5. Next, copy config.php, any custom plugins, and your .htaccess file if any from ROOT.backup to the ROOT directory. In our case you have no custom plugins or .htaccess file, since that:

$ cp ROOT.backup/config.php ROOT

6. Restore custom themes and modules if any. For example:

$ cp -pr ROOT.backup/theme/mytheme ROOT/theme/mytheme
$ cp -pr ROOT.backup/mod/mymod ROOT/mod/mymod

7. While finishing upgrade, open your Moodle URL with context path /admin, for example,
http://moodle.vip.jelastic.cloud/admin and press Continue.

Moodle Upgrade

8. Review Current release information page, then scroll it down and press Continue.

Moodle Current Release

9. After that the Plugins check page appears. You may check the plugins for available updates and install them or you may do it later, just scroll down the page and press Upgrade Moodle database now.

Moodle Database

10. Wait for the process to be completed and click on Continue.

11. The next step is to change and apply system settings added during Moodle upgrade.

Moodle System Settings

Carefully review them all, change which one you prefer and press Save changes.

12. Finally disable the Maintenance mode at the Administration > Site administration > Server > Maintenance mode.

Congratulations! A new version of Moodle e-learning system is ready for operation.

Explore all the benefits of online learning by easily running Moodle in the cloud with one of Jelastic PaaS service providers.