How To Install Moodle on Debian 10

Install Moodle on Debian 10

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Moodle on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Moodle is a free and open-source learning management system written in PHP and often deployed in Linux under Apache/Nginx web servers with PHP and MySQL/MariaDB database management system, also known as LAMP or LEMP stack.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Moodle on a Debian 10 (Buster).

Install Moodle on Debian 10 Buster

Step 1. Before running the tutorial below, it’s important to make sure your system is up to date by running the following apt commands in the terminal:

sudo apt update

Step 2. Installing the LAMP stack.

A Debian 10 LAMP server is required. If you do not have LAMP installed, Please read our previous tutorial to install LAMP Server on Debian 10.

Step 3. Installing Moodle on Debian 10.

Now we download the latest Moodle package using the following command:

cd /var/www/html
wget https://download.moodle.org/download.php/stable310/moodle-3.10.3.tgz

Extract the downloaded file:

tar xzf moodle-3.10.3.tgz

Change the ownership and the permissions of the extracted Moodle directory with the following command:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/moodle
chmod -R 775 /var/www/html/moodle

Next, create a data directory and set Moodle directory permissions:

mkdir /var/www/html/moodledata

Set ownership and permissions so that Apache can access the files:

chown www-data:www-data /var/www/html/moodledata
chmod 775 /var/www/html/moodledata

Step 4. Configuring MariaDB for Moodle.

By default, MariaDB is not hardened. You can secure MariaDB using the mysql_secure_installation script. you should read and below each step carefully which will set a root password, remove anonymous users, disallow remote root login, and remove the test database and access to secure MariaDB:

mysql_secure_installation

Configure it like this:

- Set root password? [Y/n] y
- 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

Next, we will need to log in to the MariaDB console and create a database for Moodle. Run the following command:

mysql -u root -p

This will prompt you for a password, so enter your MariaDB root password and hit Enter. Once you are logged in to your database server you need to create a database for Moodle installation:

MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE moodle DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_unicode_ci;
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON moodle.* TO 'moodle_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your-strong-passwd';
MariaDB [(none)]> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
MariaDB [(none)]> quit;

Once the database server is installed, open the configuration file:

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

Then, add the below lines under  [mysqld] section:

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

Step 5. Configure Apache Web Server.

Now we create a new Apache virtual host for your domain name with the following content:

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/your-domain.com.conf

Add the following lines:

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

<Directory /var/www/html/moodle/>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all
</Directory>

ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/yourdomain.com-error_log
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/yourdomain.com-access_log common
</VirtualHost>

Save the file and enable the virtual host with the following command:

sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo a2ensite your-domain.com.conf
sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 6. Accessing Moodle Web Interface.

Moodle will be available on HTTP port 80 by default. Open your favorite browser and navigate to http://your-domain.com  and complete the required steps to finish the installation.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Moodle. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the latest version of Moodle on the Debian system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Moodle website.

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