How To Install Moodle on Debian 11

Install Moodle on Debian 11

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Moodle on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Moodle is a learning platform or course management system (CMS) a free open-source software package designed to help educators create effective online courses based on sound pedagogical principles. The Moodle platform is highly customizable and takes a modular approach to features, so it is extensible and adaptable to your needs.

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 the step-by-step installation of Moodle learning management system on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

Prerequisites

  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Debian 11 (Bullseye).
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo useror access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Moodle on Debian 11 Bullseye

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

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Installing the LAMP stack.

A Debian 11 LAMP server is required. If you do not have LAMP installed, Please read our previous tutorial to install LAMP Server on Debian 11.

Step 3. Installing Moodle on Debian 11.

By default, Moodle is not available on Debian 11 base repository. So, now we download the latest stable version of Moodle from the official page:

wget https://download.moodle.org/download.php/stable400/moodle-latest-400.zip

Next, extract the downloaded file into the folder /var/www/html/ with the following command:

sudo unzip moodle-latest-400.zip -d /var/www/html/

Then, create a new directory in /var/www/html directory:

sudo mkdir /var/www/html/moodledata

We will need to change some folders permissions:

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

Step 4. Configuring MariaDB.

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 the 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 moodledb;
MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE USER 'moodle_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'y0ur-st0nge-Passwd';
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL ON moodledb.* TO 'moodle_user'@'localhost';
MariaDB [(none)]> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
MariaDB [(none)]> EXIT

Step 5. Configure Apache.

Now we create a new VirtualHost to better manage the Akaunting website:

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

Add the following file:

<VirtualHost *:80>

   ServerName your-domain.com
   ServerAlias www.your-domain.com
   ServerAdmin admin@your-domain.com
   DocumentRoot /var/www/html/moodle

   ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/www.your-domain.com_error.log
   CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/www.your-domain.com_access.log combined

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

</VirtualHost>

Save and close, then restart the Apache webserver so that the changes take place:

sudo a2ensite moodle.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite ssl
sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 6. Installing the Let’s Encrypt certificates.

First, install Certbot to your Debian system using the following command below:

sudo apt install certbot python3-certbot-apache

Then, generate the certificates with the following command:

sudo certbot --apache -d [your-domain.com]

You will then be prompted to enter an email address for the certificate. After you have entered that you must agree to the T&Cs and decide if you want to share your email address with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. This last step is optional. Once successfully, Reload Apache again to load all the new configurations.

Step 7. Configure Firewall.

By default, the UFW firewall is enabled on Debian. Depending on your Apache virtual host configuration file, open ports 80 and 443 to allow HTTP and HTTPS traffic:

sudo ufw allow 80/tcp
sudo ufw allow 443/tcp
sudo ufw reload

Step 8. Accessing Moodle Web Interface.

Once successfully installed, open your web browser and access the Moodle using the URL https://your-domian.com. You will see the Moodle installation page:

Install Moodle on Debian 11 Bullseye Install Moodle on Debian 11 Bullseye

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Moodle. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the latest version of the Moodle learning management system on Debian 11 Bullseye. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Moodle website.

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