Moodle at LSNet

Submitted by tarvid on Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:14

Moodle is a platform for creating and taking courses. There are no hundreds if not thousands of free courses on the Internet. One of our customers wanted to offer a course, had experience with Moodle at Atlantic University and asked for my assistance in setting up Moodle on our server. The current version of Moodle would not install cleanly on our previous software platform Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. We recently upgraded to 14.04 (a long story in itself) which made a install of the current version of Moodle feasible.

There was/is lots of information on the Internet but all that I found was inconsistent with our policy of only installing software on our server in "user space". We create a user and assign web space at public_html. Next we chose an Internet domain name and we chose moodle.ls.net. Then we update Domain Name Service for the new domain name. We add that domain name as a directory under the user moodle public_html directory. Next we link that directory to the domain name by creating a "stanza" in Apache's (our web server software) sites-available directory. Next we added a moodle database to MySQL (our database server).

At this point, we could pick up moodle.com's installation advice and download the software using "git". We move the downloaded software to the public_html/moodle.ls.net directory. Then we pointed our web browser to http://moodle.ls.net/install.php. The moodle install then detected missing support software which was installed on the server. Plugging in directory and file names, sql parameters and we were off and running. 

Moodle is large and complicated but the install routine installs the software downloaded with git, updates dozens of modules and after what seemed like hours but was probably only minutes, presents an administration menu. One hiccup was that the moodledata directory must not be in the "document root" but must be accessible by the web server.

The best way to explore moodle is to enroll in the "Moodle Course" at moodle.com. When you are ready to create your own course you can email me - tarvid@ls.net - and request an account. Support is available but fees apply. If you choose to charge "tuition" you have to negotiate fee sharing with LSNet. Othersise use is free.