Installation help

 
 
Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
 

Hi Rick,

Thanks for all of this information. No amount is ever enough. Also, thanks for confirming what some other people are saying: namely, that I don't really have to bother with installing a video streaming server on my VDS if all I need to do is protect copyrighted video files from being downloaded to people's harddisks. That's very good news. smile  No, I don't know SSH, though for a couple of months I played around with early versions of command-line installs of Slackware, and eventually I got the idea. Unfortunately, that was many years ago, and the many of my neurons have either changed address or gone missing.

What I find a little odd in this automated installation (apart from the funny place it decided to stick moodledata) is the page that comes up with all the plugins that need to be installed, starting with hotpot. I have never seen anything like this before with a clean installation. The automated 1.9.19 (yes, the fine folks at GoDaddy don't like to jump into providing automated installs of latest versions of Moodle before making real sure much earlier ones work perfectly!) never gave me a page of 20 things to check, update or whatever. Another odd thing is that though I have a list of themes (I wanted to use Afterburner with a different logo) when I click on a partiular theme and then click on Save, nothing seems to happen. That's not comforting. What's also not comforting is that the backup I made of what I thought was my entire site (at least that's the radio button I clicked) and though the restore of the backup seems to be accepted by the system, I see no changes whatsoever. All of the above is more than a bit unnerving, and makes me wonder if something very wrong might not be going on. I can create new courses, however. And I can add users to the new courses. (I tried this.) So it isn't like I have nothing, but I can't really use what I have unless I accept redoing my entire previous site manually and accepting a bare-bones theme. sad Maybe the problem is minor (like the previous config.php that probably didn't work because of syntax problems), but something is certainly wrong. What I'm going to try and do in a moment is to copy the config.php file that the automated install generated for this new clean(ish) version of Moodle 2.2.3, make the single necessary change in subdirectory name so that my old moodle site will possibibly fire up, create and populate a database for that site and see what happens. At least the automated install has told me what parameters to put into a config.php file for the VDS! (I'd have preferred a bit more, but whatdaya want for free, right?) 

As for the question of just using my domain name right from the start instead of this odd IP address in my CFG lines in config.php, the reason I am not ready to switch is that I have a live site with precisely the domain name I will want to use running with real live students working on it. It's only at the end of my course in a week or so that I will kill the shared hosting plan and go into the DNS records area of my new VDS and attach the old domain name (i.e. what students type to get to the currently live site) to my new IP address on the VDS.

Regards,

Gary

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
 

Hi Rick,

I know I'm getting real real close, since slight changes in the database info are showing up as slight changes in error messages. What is not 100% clear now is what parameters I should have plugged into the database-related CFG lines in the attached document. I think I'm the dbuser "admin" and I think that the other parameters related to the database are correct, but I'm not 100% sure. For example, I know that 3306 is the right port setting, but I'm not sure if I should insert this or just insert 'localhost'. If I crack this I think I'm home free. I have the exact same file structure as I did on my previous site and I successfully important the 5+ MByte database as an .sql import. Things went without a hitch, except for this hopefully minor database connection problem. The message, by the way, that I get is:

Error: Database connection failed

It is possible that the database is overloaded or otherwise not running properly.

The site administrator should also check that the database details have been correctly specified in config.php

Any (more) help to resolve this problem from you, Rick, or any others willing to put me out of my misery (in a kindly manner, of course) would be really appreciated.

Regards,

Gary

 

 

 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I have to jump in here and say that if people are viewing video material over the web then they are downloading it to their hard disks. There's nothing you can do to stop them saving or taking a copy. Even a streaming server (a much misunderstood beast) won't help you with that.

You have no control over the client end so there's nothing you can do about it.

Another aside... I'm not a big fan of these automated installers. It may seem easier at the time but there are two big problems - 1. You have no idea what it is doing so you are trusting it to work, trusting it with your data, and trusting that it will upgrade in the future 2. we don't know either so you are unlikely to get much useful help when it all goes wrong.

I am aware that I'm sounding horribly negative but this is all bitter experience from these forums. What you wanted to do should have been, from your initial post, dead easy. But, a VPS assumes a bit more 'server administrator' skill and there's not really any way around that.

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
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Howard,

I am glad to see you giving Gary some very good advice, and you will see me providing many of the same thoughts.

I am not a big fan of the automated installers either, now that I know how to do it myself.  However, sometimes these auto installers can help you see at least one way that Moodle can be installed, so they often act as good educational training.  As you implied, a raw install of Moodle is really not that complex (once you know how, and your server is "standard").  It can be as simple as two steps 1) create a database, 2) install Moodle and let its script take care of everything.  Well, afterwards, there is always some fine-tuning.

Yep, a VPS or VDS does assume more "server administrator" skill.  Actually GoDaddy, for me, had never led me to believe otherwise.  And they are pretty good at reinforcing this idea. sad

Having said all of this, I think Gary can have success.

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
 

Hi Rick and Howard,

Thanks for this advice. Sure, I know it's impossible to stop people from getting the video somehow (even if it's nothing more sophisticated than by taking out a HandyCam and videoing the screen), but I promised I'd not let (most) people right-click and Save target to disk. So I've at least got to deliver on that. Thanks Rick for those SSH commands. I have PUTTY up and running fine on my machine and have actually stopped and started the database server. smile My problem now is to figure out how to deal with that database error. I suspect it's nothing very sophisticated. I now understand the path information more or less and know where things are. I'll just keep going and eventually I'm sure I'll get it right. I remember seeing this sort of message before. one little thing about the dbname entry: if I'm running it on local host is the entry 'localhost' or 'localhost: 3306" assuming the port setting of the database server is 3306? Regards to all who have been helping out here.

 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I have to disagree with you. The correct response is to laugh a lot and point out to them why it is a stupid request. Here's the thing - if the video materials are of any value then they will be on Youtube within 24 hours and you will look stupid. If they have no value, then you are all wasting your time anyway. Sorry to be brutal but this is silly.

If the database server is on the same machine as the web server the database host is 'localhost'. 3306 is the default port and you can forget about it. Of course, you still need to do the 'GRANT' on the database to allow access to the databse.

http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/MySQL#Command_line

 
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Picture of Steve Kleine
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
 

My response to the the request of we have to find a way to prevent people from downloading our content was "If I found a way to do that I'd have sold it to the MPAA and RIAA by mow and be lying on a chair in the Grand Caymans for the winter."

They are simply asking for the impossible. Copy protection has never EVER worked in the recorded history of the computing industry, let alone in the era of reasonably-fast internet. 

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
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Yep, this brings us back to the issue of protecting copyright in the age of computers and the Internet.

Gary wanted to protect against easy (right-click) downloads of video.  I wonder if his administration wants to protect against easy (right-click) downloads if images, or easy (drag through text, copy/paste) download of text?

There are many who are trying to find ways to "secure" content (and make money from it to relax in the Grand Caymans).  These solutions somewhat naturally cause problems to some students, and then moodle administrators.  The more you lock-down content, the more problems you will create for yourself.  Furthermore, students will figure out a way around these things.

Derek made me wonder about why my videos have not found their way to YouTube.  I have found that for videos to work well, having redundant delivery methods helps.  I deliver my videos internally with a Flash player on Moodle, I also deliver them as podcasts on iTunes, as links in Moodle's RSS feed, and as downloadable files via a browser's approach to reading the RSS feed.  Students can watch videos on their computer or mobile device.  With so many ways available to students, I seldom get a complaint.  So students have not found a need to move these to YouTube.  Yes, students can download these to their computers, but it allows them to do their work and not complain to me.  I tell them not to try to sell my videos because they are copyrighted.  This is the best that I can do.  For externally copyrighted videos, I don't put these on iTunes, and I remind students that these are copyrighted.

Anyone who thinks that they can prevent someone from copying something on a computer screen doesn't understand computer technology.  Likewise, anyone who thinks that they can prevent written material from being copied doesn't understand copy machines and cameras.

Having said all of this, I think Gary's approach to showing some sensitivity to this issue is about the best he can do. 

 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

If someone could make money out of your videos they would be away with them. If there was some benefit to them they would put them on YouTube. There isn't, so it doesn't matter and you have made things better for your students as a result. You might want to think if putting them on YouTube yourself would do any harm.

If the *only* thing you have to offer is some videos (I don't mean you - I mean in general) and no other benefits from the Moodle course then you might as well save yourself some bother and stick them in the post of DVDs.

My concern is that, as an administrator, it is a requirement to make videos (or other materials or even quiz questions) secure. When you don't, because you can't, saying you could becomes a career-limiting decision.

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
 

Hi Howard, Rick, et al,

Many thanks for your reflections on this. I am at a conference in Belgium right now and am writing from my hotel room at 6:29 a.m. I will be sure and mention this over a Belgian beer this afternoon at lunch, though I will still try and make it look like I'm trying to do what I can (i.e. the impossible) protection-wise.

I wanted everyone following the initial part of the saga to know that when I went back to the automated installer and removed the subdirectory I'd originally wanted to install Moodle 2.2.3 into (since I'd originally wanted several encapsulated Moodle installations running side by side) I stopped getting those odd messages about hotpot not being there and databases not found. In other words the install went 100% smoothly as long as I installed into what the installer saw as "domain name/" (i.e. .../httpdocs). Yippie! But I still have a question (sorry): since on my original site I had a setup with parallel installations of Moodle 2.2.3, I assume that links to resources contain path information about where those resources were sitting, and they are all wrong for the new installation. Maybe I'm mistaken, and I can try and check to see (unless this information is now encrypted--it wasn't in 1.9.16). In that case, since I only have one course with only 11 people in it and with all the original course resources sitting in Dropbox I can always simply sit down and recreate it in a couple hours. But it's the principle of the thing that interests me. In other words: I have a backup of the .sql file, an .mbz backup of the original course and a subdirectory with all files mirrored exactly the way they were on the original 2.2.3 install. The only difference now is which subdirectory the latter are sitting in and the fact that I now have a numerical IP address rather than the original domain name (since I am still in setup mode and the other live site has to stay running until the end of the conference since I'm demoing it at present). Another question: perhaps it would be wise once I don't need to run things from my live site to simply shut it down, go into the GoDaddy DNS Manager panel and attach the new IP address to the old domain name before continuing. In fact, if I did this it would probably be a good idea now that I can get the automated installer to give me what I want to do the reinstall on the my new VDS only after attaching the new dedicated IP address to my domain name?

Thanks again to all for making me a little more savvy about "protecting" videos. There is also always the problem of some nasty person putting a gun to a registered user's head and saying: "Hey, you, click on that link there and play that video for me. Or else...." wink

Gary

 

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Gary,

Glad to see that you are making progress.

Quite honestly, it is now a little difficult for me know know exactly where you are.  How many databases do you think that you have?  One?  And how many "moodledata" directories do you have?  One?

If you now have one clean install, with nothing in it, I think that it could be safe to try to import your old course.  I am not sure if it will work because there might be an upgrade order to doing this (that I cannot recall), but I don't think you can do too much harm, especially now that you might know how to recreate everything.  Maybe Howard or others can give you other information about this.

Even if you succeed importing a 1.9 course into 2.3, make sure to check out everything before you use it.

The IP/Domain swap should be pretty straight forward, and GoDaddy has actually helped by phone with this, since domain management is not in your VDS.  When you are ready to do this, phone GoDaddy and have them walk you through it, or have them hit the keystrokes.

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
 

Hi Rick,

Thanks for getting back to me. I have decided to just rebuild my single course in the clean Moodle 2.2.3 install I did. I have one database that the automated install created (automatically given the name moodle6, just to give you an idea of how much trouble I was having getting the car to start!). My question now is related to the video streaming feature we talked some time back that is built right into the Moodle platform. I uploaded an .FLV file to a resources directory in my Moodle 2.2.3 and created an "external" URL link in the Add Resource area when in editing mode. And I do indeed see the video. But at least when using UBUNTU to open Moodle, I am asked to download to my harddisk! Which is not at all what I wanted; what I wanted was to have a window open with no way for the user to download the file. I thought that's what the video streaming feature of Moodle itself would get me; maybe I was wrong. I realize, as Howard pointed out earlier, that there is no way I can make sure someone doesn't do a video of the screen or something more sophisticated to get the contents of the video, but I did promise my people that at least there would be no "Click here to download" button that pops up. Any ideas as to what I'm doing "wrong" here? I tried to upload the file using the File Picker, but all I got there was a little spinning icon to show that was happening, but I let it go for hours, but at the end of those hours I saw no file in the files area. My PHP setting should allow files of 120MBytes in size be uploaded, and the file in question was only 110MBytes. Or maybe there is somewhere else besides the php5.ini in my Moodle setup that I should tell my virtual dedicated server to allow bigger files be uploaded. Maybe it's like that that I need to do the streaming and not by creating an "external" URL pointing to the same VDS where boh the Moodle 2.2.3 site is installed and all resources (in an appropriate subdirectory on the same server). Any help will be appreciated as usual. I am getting really close now I feel. And am about to use the materials in my Dropbox account to recreate the course and re-add the 11 people who will be continuing on.

Finally, I have used the chat facility of Godaddy that one gets with a VDS. The people there are highly competent, by the way, and willing to teach newbies whatever they want to be taught. I've used it a couple of times and it's a very efficient way to get help.

Regards,

Gary

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
 

Hi Rick et all,

Just an update re my previous post and to avoid your having to figure out what's going on. I fixed my problem and the streaming this time is happening the way I want it to. No download possibility within the free Flowplayer that is now popping up with each resource. I think I had the right link but the wrong info in the HTML behind the link so I just went into the HTML editor and fixed the directory reference (that was out of sync with the link due to updating one but not the other). All is now well. This is what I wanted Moodle to do for me. And it is. smile smile smile

Regards,

Gary

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Well, it is good to hear that you are there!  Now you can have some fun with your course.

Yes, I agree that the GoDaddy "Chat" folks are quite good.  Sometimes, I will use my Dragon Naturally Speaking product to type what I say.

Hopefully, your administrators will appreciate what you have done.  I think your students will enjoy Moodle.

I think that the way to accurately describe your video playing is "progressive downloads", not "streaming".  But everyone calls it streaming.  One reference is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_download.

I doubt that your administrators will really want to know the difference.  You have avoided the easy "right-click to download" scenario.

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
 

Hi again, Rick,

OK, I have the videos running properly and got the MySQL database imported correctly into the new site on the new server with no hiccups; the only thing that is giving me trouble now it the import of a 0.9 Gig upload of one of the the two courses I'd like to upload. I am getting a message saying that max_post_size limite directive in php.ini might be wrong. Well, I went into both php5.ini and /etc/php.ini via vi and upped the max_post_size to 2000M. But still I get this message and cannot import my unzipped course. Given the fact that I have all course materials I could simply (and I might just do this) rebuild the course manually. But it would be nice to know what the heck's going on. Have you ever run into this problem? Just to be sure I asked the fine folks at GoDaddy if they or CentOS 6.3 put a cap on file sizes (0.9 Gig being pretty big), but they say no they don't. And I assume Moodle 2.2.3 doesn't as long as /etc php.ini and php.5.ini are not artificially limiting size. Again, help would be appreciated just in case I ever have to restore a much larger set of courses. By the way, might it be an idea to restore not just the course, but rather the entire moodle site from a large downloaded backup file? Regards, Gary

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

You may still need to do a few more things.

In php.ini, change upload_max_filesize to 2000M, and maybe max_execution_time to 600.

Then, you may also need to reboot your server (from your control panel) so that these changes take effect.

You might have global php.ini file and a user php.ini file.  I am not sure which one is controlling your Moodle install.

You might not have an info.php file in your website root, so I am attaching mine for you to move there.  If you put this in your root, then type www.yourdomain.com/info.php, it will report what your server sees.  You can then verify that your changes are correct.  It is suggested good practice not to keep this info.php alive on your server.

You might also want to reduce the filesize limits once you do your moves so that you don't accidentally allow students to upload 1GB files to your Moodle.

Not being a Moodle administrator, I hope that I am on target with my advice.  Others might be able to jump in and clarify what I am it saying.

I do site backups because my entire site is not that big.  My moodledata file is now 1.3GB.  This is after around 500 students, 20 courses, and 1 1/2 years of running 2.0.

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
 

Hi Rick,

Many thanks for your express reply! I will try doing all of this. I did reboot Apache, but maybe that isn't enough. I will also stick the file in and see what comes out. Will let you know. Regards, Gary

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Gary,

You cannot protect copyrighted videos, or for that matter any content seen on a computer screen from being copied to one's computer.  Anyone with enough "computer smarts" and the right software can do it.

I learned UNIX commands around 1980 and did not use them much in the last 30 years.  But it came back to me now that I manage my own VDS.  The UNIX commands can make life much easier, so when you find time, brush up on these.  I will give you a list of my most often used commands below.  Nothing elaborate, just some of my own notes in a Word file.  By the way, I use the free Putty application for SSH.

You should be able to change the theme in your new install.  You do this in Site|Administration|Appearance|Themes|Themes Selector|Use Theme.

Are you saying that the "restore" did not bring over any of your existing courses?  Do you still have your old Moodle 1.9 running?  I believe that the upgrade to 2.3.+ needs to follow a certain path, such as first, upgrade 1.9 to the latest 1.9 version, then upgrade to 2.3.  Quite honestly, when I moved to Moodle 2.+, I started mostly from scratch.  I restored my old, and latest versions of my 1.9 courses into 2.0+, and then had to fix a number of things, such as the quizzes.  Getting 2.+ into shape took about a month, but it was extremely well worth it.  I would never want to go back to 1.9.

By the way, I don't think your problems are config.php related.  They are more likely due to: 1) some corruption in the install (do an upgrade yourself), 2) the mySQL database, or 3) something odd about moodledata data.  At this point, are you running the install from GoDaddy?  Did you try yet to reinstall your mySQL data?  Have you tried to move over your old moodledata data?  Make sure to make a copy of config.php before you modify it, so that you can always go back to what worked(?).  Also, don't be surprised at the small size of config.php.  If you look back at mine, you will see that it really is not that elaborate.  Yes, many more things can be added to it, but for your small site, you probably will not need to touch it.

Yes, swapping the domain names is a little tricky.  Actually, this is something that GoDaddy has helped me do via voice support.  You actually re-point the domain name to your new IP address.  Try not to kill your hosted plan until your new system is running.  In fact, even when you re-point the domain name, you might be able to access your hosted site via its IP address.  On your new VDS, you have all kinds of flexibility.  What I did was to install a copy of Moodle 1.9 (this was my www.rjerz.com/moodle19 link I gave to you), and then I moved my old hosted Moodle to it.  This way, I can always access my old Moodle 1.9 courses.  So far, this works.

It was over a year ago that I upgraded to Moodle 2.+.  As I recall, I started with a clean install of Moodle 2.+, restored four of my old courses to it, and continued from there.  I do not recall trying to restore my "moodledata" data.  I think that I wanted a fresh mooodledata directory, knowing that Moodle 2 had a whole new database scheme.  I also moved from the standard theme to Formal White.

Hope some of this helps.

 

 

 

Rick's most often used UNIX commands.

UNIX Commands

rm –r –f foldername (removes folder and all contents)

rm *  Removes all files in a directory

chmod 0777 -R filename

tar -xvzf moodle-weekly-19.tgz (to extract moodle)

tar cvfz moodledata.gz moodledata/  (zips and compresses the moodledata subdirectory)

chmod -R 0755 *, then chmod 0644 $(find . ! -type d)

find . -type d -exec chmod 0755 {} \;

du –hs dir, space used in folders

df, space used on server

mv –i moodle ../moodle2 (moves moodle directory back one level and creates moodle2 in the process.)

ftp: local/remote, ftp to remote (navigate to directory), mget (file from remote to local), issue a "prompt" command to turn off needing the "y".

PHP Information: added a info.php file to my website.  www.rjerz.com/info.php

cat /etc/redhat-release for latest release version

kill -9 xxxxx (where xxxx is the pid number)

 
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Picture of gull faraz
Re: Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server
 

nice information thanks to all 

 

social media news

 
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