Installation help

 
 
Picture of Jan Combrink
New 2.4.1 installation fails
 

I have been trying for days now to install a clean install of 2.4.1 on a shared server.  On the same server I am running several seperate upgraded moodle installations successfully.  After trying everything my conclusion is that the installation process gets suspended before it is complete, possibly when creating the database.

Looking at the forum messages, various solutions are offered to "solve" the symptoms, but not the cause.  So, what it implies is that you manually start fixing the database.  Here are the first three messages, fix one and the next will appear.

Could not find a top-level course!

Config table does not contain version, can not continue, sorry.

Coding error detected, it must be fixed by a programmer: block_manager has not yet loaded the blocks, to it is too soon to request the information you asked for.

Looking at older installations, the config table has about 30 fields.  If I go to the "new" config table, its got 3, and not even a version field.  Same goes for other tables.  Therefor my assumption that the DB installation process gets interrupted.

I am installing version 2012120301.02, release 2.4.1+ (Build: 20130118), on a Linux server running 

Apache version 2.2.23
PHP version 5.3.18
MySQL version 5.1.66-cll

Is there a solution to this?  Any help will be appreciated.

 
Average of ratings:Useful (1)
Picture of Ken Task
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

There is only one time that I can re-call when installation failed on a standalone (not shared system) Linux machine ... when out of drive space. 

Shared systems have caps that limit resources, do they not?  Have seen descriptions of shared system accounts that say one can run up to, but not more than, 3 DB's. 

However, most shared system plans that include the ability to run apps that have backended DBs usually have a DB server that is NOT on the web host.  Only your provider would be able to tell you if there is an issue with the backended DB server.

'spirit of sharing', Ken

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Jan Combrink
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
 

Thanks for the reply Ken.  I do however have ample space and can create 100 databases.  That is not the problem.  In any case, the DB gets created manually.  I might express myself wrong - it is that when the tables are created that I suspect the problem occurs.

Some people on Windows servers apparently experienced time-out problems.  i do not know if that can happen on Linux servers as well?

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Howard Miller
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I certainly wouldn't try to fix the database 'after the fact' on a new install. You want to know why it didn't install. Something is bound to break in the future without fixing the underlying problem.

What I would do.... create config.php manually by copying config-dist.php to config.php and editing it. Other than the basic details, go down to section 8 and enable the Debugging options. Then run the install as normal. It will automatically skip past the first screen or two as config.php exists.

Watch the progress carefully for warnings and notices. Also check (if you have accesss) the web server error log.

The only other thing I can say is, are you *absolutely sure* your system meets the minimum requirements? Especially stuff like memory available to PHP? (see: http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/Installing_Moodle#Requirements)

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Jan Combrink
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
 

Thank you Howard, I will follow your recommendations.  The server complies because I have various other installations running which I have upgraded from 1.9.X to the current version.  They are running fine, and no problems with the upgrades through the versions.  I wil report back.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Howard Miller
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

With respect, it wasn't what I asked. Some other site works and it installs properly are not quite the same thing. It's still worth taking the trouble to make sure the requirements are met.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Jan Combrink
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
 

This is the errors that I could get hold of.  Does it have meaning at all?

 

[Thu Jan 24 22:34:01 2013] [error] [client 196.37.28.140] File does not exist: /home/growthco/public_html/404.shtml
[Thu Jan 24 22:34:01 2013] [error] [client 196.37.28.140] File does not exist: /home/growthco/public_html/360learning/eportfolio
[Thu Jan 24 22:33:35 2013] [error] [client 41.133.101.200] File does not exist: /home/growthco/public_html/404.shtml
[Thu Jan 24 22:33:35 2013] [error] [client 41.133.101.200] File does not exist: /home/growthco/public_html/favicon.ico
[Thu Jan 24 22:33:01 2013] [error] [client 196.37.28.140] File does not exist: /home/growthco/public_html/404.shtml
[Thu Jan 24 22:33:01 2013] [error] [client 196.37.28.140] File does not exist: /home/growthco/public_html/360learning/eportfolio
[Thu Jan 24 22:32:01 2013] [error] [client 196.37.28.140] File does not exist: /home/growthco/public_html/404.shtml
[Thu Jan 24 22:32:01 2013] [error] [client 196.37.28.140] File does not exist: /home/growthco/public_html/360learning/eportfolio

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Ken Task
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Wonder if it's not how one has installed the instance?  Yes, I know you've said you've several instances running ok, but to err is human! 

If 360learning is the 'domain' and 'eportfolio' is supposed to be the new moodle instance folder name, what would the URL be to the failed instance?

Since it's not working anyway ... what is the URL to this failed instance?

'spirit of sharing', Ken

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Howard Miller
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I don't think these errors are anything to do with Moodle.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Ken Task
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

On the download page for Moodle, version 2.4.x requires: PHP 5.3.2
Your version PHP: 5.3.18

http://download.moodle.org

http://php.net/releases/index.php

Couldn't find 'several' instances of Moodle but did see a mahara and quite a few Joomlas.  The one Moodle found does report an error ... 'could not find top-level course'.  Even if one fixed that, there will be other errors that follow.   The installation did indeed fail ... at least the creation of all the tables that are require creation before Moodle  can populate them ... such as the mdl_config table.

Advise you don't have what is required for 2.4 nor a 2.3.  Those other Moodles must be on another shared host/domain (different IP) which could also mean that shared host has the required PHP as well as other requirements to install 2.4.

Hint: highly recommend placing a 'blank' index.html page at the document root.

If you are still hosted the same site for which you provided this info in a previous posting/issue:

CentOS release 5.8 (Final)
2.6.18-194.3.1.el5 #1 SMP Thu May 13 13:09:10 EDT 2010 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

Might also suggest shopping for another package from host or another provider.  CentOS is 5.9 now and Moodle would run best on x86_64 bit machines - especially 2.x as it is resource and memory hungry.

'spirit of sharing', Ken

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Jan Combrink
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
 

Thank you for taking an interest in this Ken. First let me say I am not a "techie", more an end-user trying to learn about (some) of the issues.  Soory if i sometimes express myself poorly.  Therefor mistakes are indeed possible!

The Moodle in 360learning is the problem child, the only one that should exist.   The other instances of Moodle is running on the same server but in other domains, same IP.  

The comments on the creation of tables, and partial tables, is correct.  It starts but never completes, failing the installation.

The fact is that eportfolio is not supposed to feature here at all, and the fact that it is looking for files in /public_html is strange to. I have re/moved all index.html and .htaccess files I could find  as per a previous suggestions found on the forums.

Based on the requirements the server seems to comply in every aspect, therefor the minimum requirements should work.  I understand that a higher spec might be better, but this should work.

I still think this issue should be resolved based on the number of others having the same problem over the years since the release of about 1.9.8, it seems.  Most have been solved by "fixing" the database, or the minimum requirements were ultimately not met, or some intervention of the service provider/s were required with very little detail on the solution published, or the person reporting the problem just went away.

Just for the record and interest sake I will put pictures of the server specs and the config file below.  I will ask for help from the hosting company and report back if a cause has been found.




 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Howard Miller
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

You need to get yourself an index page for http://www.360growth.co.za/ today (even an empty one). At the moment people can access more stuff than is a good idea.

Just drop an index.html file in that directory.

As Ken says, there are no other obvious Moodle sites on this domain. Superficially, you meet the requirements for the elements I can *see*. However, there are others and I'm not going to ask you again thoughtful

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Ken Task
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Let me start by confessing that I too did NOT start as a 'techie' - Instructional Technology Masters degree (when I got mine) did not include server anything ... let alone Moodle.  So I can relate. ;)

Thanks for the detailed information.  That helps diagnose!

A dig on the server IP address  seems to indicate you have a dedicated server package - if one can believe hostnames.


In a previous posting you had shown a screen copy and paste as root user.  Do you have shell access to the server?
Are there any other customers that use the same IP address/server?
Reason I ask is your comment about eportfolio not supposed to be there?

I see in the config.php file:
prefix is '360_'.  The prefix in config-dist.php of the downloaded package is 'mdl_'.  Was there a reason for the change?

Unless one really understands how to admin a MySQL DB, each Moodle installation should have it's own database and therefore really un-necessary to change the recommended prefix.  Other Moodle instances should not be using the same prefix and the same DB.

Also the dbsocket in the config-dist.php is 'false' (not a 0).  While it's true that most of the time a '0' means 'off' and 'false' would logically sound the same, but maybe not.  You are running CentOS and typically it does use localhost and port 3306 and should be filtered.  Check with your hosting provider as they set that up.

Compare the config.php file as you've created it with the config.php file of Moodle instances you say are running on the same server.
In the other systems that are working, what is the dbhost?  localhost?

I see that you have cPanel Pro and probably phpmyadmin.
Does the DBUSER for the growthco_360learning DB have all access rights?

When the DB was setup, was it setup with UTF8 character set with UTF8_GENERAL_CI collation?  Should be able to do that with phpmyadmin.

At this point the DB for the site isn't complete and if you do not have shell access nor the desire to 'fix' from the command line, then dumping it shouldn't be a big deal.  Would recommend starting over creating the db and making sure one has all the 't's' crossed and 'i's' dotted. ;)  [character set/collation].

While you might not be using the following, your hosting provider might need this as a reference for other customers with similar packages on their system:
http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/CentOS_Linux_installation
It is a little dated - hard to keep current with changes.  Besides, server setups are usually a personal preference thing in some areas and depends upon what else is installed.

'spirit of sharing', Ken

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Howard Miller
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

but 5.3.18 is newer than 5.3.2 (16 point releases newer)

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Jan Combrink
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
 

Thank you Ken and Howard for your detailed efforts and encouragement to get this (me smile) sorted out.  I will follow all the above advice again and report back - my effort.  In December I have done a successful install of http://www.modtrainingcollege.co.za on another server, which we start working on next week.  So yes I also think it is not a Moodle problem as such, but a server problem, albeit very obscured.

I have also requested my service provider (Afrihost in South Africa, and yes I know what you mean about ISPs) to install Moodle on the server.  24 hours later and no response.  Will have to wait for Monday to get feedback.

For the trecord, I do have a so-called "Managed" dedicated server package which they maintain, and therefor I have no root access.  Which seems to become an increasingly bigger frustration.  I will probably use the wrong terminology here, but the server is supposed to be dedicated (oge1.co.za) and hosts several domains (batlearning.com, jaguar.org, etc), amongst others this 360growth.co.za domain.  So yes, many "customers" share the IP, although they all belong to me.  I have WHM control panel access, but not root to that (the server).  So if I understand this, I have root to the domain access, but not the server and OS.

eportfolio should not be on this domain and/or server in that format (as a folder), although I am trying out Mahara on the same domain.  My confusion is how Moodle install will know about it or consider it as a source or target for a file/data?

I do have  cPanel and phpmyadmin access.  Yes the DB user have full rights.  Regarding the change from mdl_ to xxx_, just something someone on a forum years ago recommended one do if you might combine info from different DBs and Moodle installations.  Yes, each installation/instance has its own DB.  Is it a potentially bad practice?

The DB socket issue I will have to investigate and learn more about as I do not understand the question regarding it yet.  I have never set/changed it though.

The UTF8 should not be an issue, but I will specifically check that with the next install/create.  The server has been set up with UTF8 as default.

Thanks for the reference to the installation intro.  I will refer them to this post as well.

I am doing the index.html right now.

 

Thank you again

 

 

 

 

 

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Jan Combrink
Re: New 2.4.1 installation fails
 

Thank you Moodle! It is working.

For everyone's benefit, here is what has been done to the server to solve the above problem according to the ISP:

> The problem was with fcgi limits on the server. I've now upped this on > your dedicated server in general as the default limits are insufficient as
> time goes on and applications like moodle and joomla start requiring more
> resources just to operate. > > The problem was with the fcgi and runphp defaults limits such as:
> FcgidMaxRequestLen
> MaxRequestsPerProcess
> ProcessLifeTime
> IPCCommTimeout
> nice=1 # be nice!
> AS=512000000 # 256Mb address space
> CPU=60 # 60 CPU seconds (it's a lot!)
> DATA=512000000 # 256Mb data segment
> FSIZE=750000000 # 750Mb files
> MEMLOCK=32768 # please don't lock memory
> NOFILE=2024 # 256 file descriptors
> STACK=8388608 # 8Mb of stack space
> NPROC=20 # 3 PHP, 17 imap and misc
> MSGQUEUE=102400 # lots of message queue space
>
> As said, we've set high enough limits that should prevent you ever
> experiencing an issue again.

I hope the above is true. Any comments regarding these settings from those in the know will be appreciated.  Are these not items which can be checked by Moodle Installation when it checks the rest of the server setup (eg PHP)?

 
Average of ratings:Useful (1)