How to Install Moodle Easily

Today, we’re going to cover the more technical aspect of installing Moodle. Although it’s a little more involved than setting up courses or learning UI, it’s not that difficult. So, do not panic.

If you want to know how to install Moodle, you first need to know what kind of server you are working with. Moodle is designed around Linux servers running the system known as Apache, and with the database system known as MySQL. These are the most common server technologies in the field, so chances are, this is probably what you have. If you’re not sure, ask your administrator. (If you have a Windows server, it is possible to  run MySQL and Apache on it.)

You will also need PHP. Luckily, there are virtually no servers in existence that don’t have this standard installed. Again, if for some reason you have a server without this, your administrator can easily install this in a few minutes for you, so don’t let that stop you.

Now, you will need the code that makes up Moodle. You may download this from as a zip file, or you may download it from the Git repository – I recommend the former rather than the latter – Git can be a pain.

Next, place the code on the server in http://yourwebserverdomain.extension/moodle, under the documents- root folder. This is easy to find, especially with Plesk or CPanel (the standard SaaS interfaces for configuring servers).

Now, ask your administrator to set the files in this folder to not be writeable by the server users. (I do not recommend attempting this feat alone).

It’s time to create a new database for Moodle; remember the host, name and user assigned to this, as the Moodle installation will ask for these.
Next, create a moodledata directory somewhere inside the server’s documents section, and have the administrator give this one ‘write privileges.’ (Moodle will store all uploaded content for courses here). Make sure they don’t allow it to be directly accessible from the web, – for security reasons.
Finally, it’s time to run the Moodle installer. Moodle will inform you, on their site, that they recommend the commandline installer over the web installer. Like many software companies out there, they tend to forget that most people don’t know how to use commandline interfaces (which is why GUI was invented in the first place). So, I recommend the web installer.

Just go to the main Moodle URL on your server (as we discussed above), and the ‘install’ will run. It will take you through database creation (where it will ask for your host, name and user). You will read the copyright details, and be asked you if you want to create your first course.
It’s a wizard, so there’s nothing I really need to explain about the installer itself. It’s straightforward and automatic .

There you have it, although  the first few steps of installing Moodle may be a bit  technical, just follow the steps that I’ve outlined and the entire installation process will be a walk in the park.


Nicole Lewis is the Lead Author & Editor of MyLMStips. MyLMStips is dedicated to providing the most engaging topics, information, tips and tricks surrounding Moodle®. It's a place where Moodle® users can receive guidance on how to get the most out of it and increase their productivity and progress.