Installation help

Softaculous upgrades

 
 
Picture of Jason Lane
Softaculous upgrades
 

Hi all,

I have a Softaculous moodle install of a 2.5 moodle site. I am going to upgrade to 2.7 and Softaculous (in cPanel) has a simple 'upgrade to 2.6 or 2.7 button'. Does this actually work? Is it that simple? (see attached screenshot)

I have backed up sql and the entire site (moodle data, etc), and I'm prepared to do the upgrade manually but if Softaculous does it so simply I will take the easy option. Can anyone confirm if Softaculous upgrades actually work?

Thanks in advance, all comments and advice appreciated.

Jason


 
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Picture of Ken Task
Re: Softaculous upgrades
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

First, no first hand knowledge if Softaculous upgrades works or not, but a few considerations before you click:

Have you ever restored from a fill site backup before?  If not, review/study the process with your system.

Current version of your Moodle is 2.5.2 and assume the button would upgrade to 2.6.3.  Upgrade and check out site for functionality/errors, etc.   Then revisit the Softaculous upgrade to get site to 2.7 ... however ...

2.7 now has different requirements.   According to download page: PHP 5.4.4, MySQL 5.5.31

Are those versions accessible to you?   If they are, plan how to do those changes to your account before getting into 'la-la-land'.

Please do report back your experiences and do share where you host.

'spirit of sharing', Ken

 
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Picture of Jason Lane
Re: Softaculous upgrades
 

Thanks Ken, what I can do is do a test install of Moodle 2.7 into the same host space (using Softaculous) and see how it goes. If only I could then import the entire site that would be easier!

 
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Picture of Ken Task
Re: Softaculous upgrades
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hmmmm ... I started last response with this 'dis-calmer' (nope, spelled it right!):

no first hand knowledge if Softaculous upgrades works or not

Sigh .... looking for the 'easy button', are we?  ;)

Softaculous looks like it might be ... but like I said ... dunno!

Am guessing one hasn't backed up (you do need to learn how to do at least that much) nor researched how to restore a backup should a Softaculous upgrade fail  on what ever hosting (uhhh, that was a question I asked ... where you host?), so you do have an option - if there aren't many courses ....

In current site, backup each course (full course backup), download those backups.   Install the fresh 2.7 and after you get it up and running restore those courses.  

Will that be easy?  Will you have problems?  No Vulcan mind meld ability here and my crystal ball doesn't say, but if the current Moodle is a stock 2.5 those backups *should* restore to the 2.7.x ... notice it says *should*!

Do share back where you are hosting ... the name of the provider, please.   Others seeking 'easy buttons' might be interested into hosting their Moodles with same.

'spirit of sharing', Ken

 
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Picture of Jason Lane
Re: Softaculous upgrades
 

Thanks again Ken, I host with a managed VPS at Digital Pacific in Australia. 

Interestingly, I had to upgrade with Digital Pacific as the standard hosting and (then) business hosting didn't have the memory resources to run Moodle 2.5. I changed my plan three times so I have a VPS hosting package. No problems now... but much more expensive than anticipated - and Softaculous will install anything regardless of hosting packages - it is up to the end user (me) to do the homework first. Wish I had known this from the start. On the upside, Digital Pacific always get back to me within 1-2 hours of posting a support ticket!!!

I have 13 courses and just over 150 users at the moment. 

More courses and users will be added in the next month so I want to upgrade before this happens.

When you backup a course, does it back up user restrictions as well? I wouldn't want to lose the 'state' that each user is up to within each course - all my courses require pass grades to see the next activity.

Thanks again to all for the comments and advice so far.

 
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Picture of Ken Task
Re: Softaculous upgrades
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

When one backs up a course, one has options ... step through that once and you'll see it looks inclusive .. i,e all users, all grades, all assignments turned in, etc.   IF the same students are to be in the course after restored.   IF not, one could make a backup with 'no users' ... no turned in assignments are included in the backups as those are tied to users.   Restore of that course should be like re-setting a course (resources etc. stay, but student data and students are removed).

However, having said that, that's the way it's supposed to work.

To comment upon using Softaculous for upgrades ... a poster did say it worked.  Suggest conversing with the person directly. 

Adding to what Howard mentioned, you've turned over installation/upgrading to them.  If their software doesn't install or upgrade successfully in EVERY instance, then, IMHO, one should be contacting Soft... first.   I've had no issues upgrading the command line way.

Seems they do what's easiest for them ... tell you to come to these forums with the problems.  Hope you don't pay for that!   Hmmmm ... wonder how many users in these forums actually use your hosting provider, your plan, that version of Soft... etc..

Anyway ... that's my 2 cent advice! ;)

'spirit of sharing', Ken

 
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Picture of Jason Lane
Re: Softaculous upgrades
 

Current server stats for Digital Pacific VPS hosting at the time of this post are:

MySQL: 5.5.36-cll - MySQL Community Server (GPL)

PHP version: 5.4.18

 
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Picture of Barb Hall
Re: Softaculous upgrades
 

Hi Jason

For what it's worth, I've used softaculous for several recent moodle upgrades, and it has worked flawlessly.  Mind you, I've never had to restore to an earlier version and have yet to upgrade to 2.7.  In my case, it really was that easy.

Barb

 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Softaculous upgrades
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

To be blunt - as usual - this is a service provided (presumably) by your hosting company and only they know how they configured it. I would recommend asking them.

Just to reiterate that we generally do not recommend these type of installers if you can possibly avoid them. By installing Moodle 'manually' (it isn't much more difficult) you then know what you did and it's a whole lot easier (possible, even) to provide you with support. 

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Softaculous upgrades
Group Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

I've got a hosting package that uses softaculous for upgrades (I 've got sites all over the place, locally and online, FTP'd and cli) and I noticed when upgrading to 2.6 from 2.5 there's no hint of the Ghostscript that you now need for annotating pdfs to work, so that is shut off for me on this particular site. I know I could probably get in touch and request it but I can't be bothered as I have the option on other sites elsewhere, but just pointing it out in case it affects other people. Actually there is a huge fan of Softaculous over on the French forums , but he's less of a fan of speaking English so I don't know that he would have an input here.

 
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Picture of Jason Lane
Re: Softaculous upgrades
 

Thanks Mary, is there a conversation thread your could point me to that I could translate in Google?

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Softaculous upgrades
Group Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Jason Lane - re conversations about Softaculous on the French forums - actually there are many, by one Daniel Méthot who's a big advocate. One example here ,but I think it still is probably  better if you can upgrade manually.

 
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On the jetty
Re: Softaculous upgrades
 

I've used Softaculous for several years on UK host ww.tsohost.com with no issues at all. I have managed several Moodle sites and both upgraded manually and with Softaculous so here are some notes fyi (and of course supplied with no guarantees or warranties this will work for you!)

  • It's not good to let Moodle get to far behind versions, I let a site stagnate at moodle 2.1 and it was a nightmare getting it upgraded after it got too buggy to work.
  • The problem is it seems there is a new version of moodle every few months and if you are running 5 sites Softaculous is a convenient one-click task, yes it is that simple.
  • You can manually upgrade but I think that breaks Softaculous knowing about the upgrade cycle so from then on you have to manually upgrade.
  • It's VITAL you can restore from a backup, TSOhost are wonderful in that they back up the entire site automatically every few hours so it's easy to restore in the event of an upgrade going pear shaped (they were great with my 2.1 hassles)
  • I run a testing server for £5 a month alongside my public servers that allows me to check issues.
  • When you the click upgrade button Softaculous basically does what you would do with a manual upgrade, i.e. install the files. You will have to upgrade/install any plug-ins or themes yourself. After Softaculous has done you visit the site and process with the upgrade in the usual way.
Now here is a problem that has cropped up. My servers are on php 5.3 and you need at least php 5.4 for moodle 2.7. TSOhost have moved my testing site to a php 5.4 BUT Softaculous is not offering me the option to upgrade to moodle 2.7.

They are investigating and I will report back my experiences. Softaculous does have a moodle 2.7 branch (according to their web site) and it seems the option just needs to be turned on in the softaculous control panel (which i don't have access to).

It may be that 2.7 is a separate branch from 2.6 so I might need to somehow "migrate" my 2.6 install across to to 2.7 to get back on track and have the auto upgrade button again.

So in short, yes it is that simple but there might be issues getting onto 2.7 and using auto upgrades from then on.

Roger
 
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On the jetty
Re: Softaculous upgrades
 

Good news!

TSOHost migrated my test PHP 5.3 site to a PHP 5.4 site and then enabled Softaculous to allow Moodle 2.7.

Softaculous offered me an upgrade button to Moodle 2.7 from the existing 2.6 and it all proceeded normally.

 
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Ed Beckmann
Re: Softaculous upgrades
 

For what it's worth folks I run though a softaculous install and it sent from 2.6.2 to 2.7.2 perfectly. The upgrade dialogue asks which version you want to go to and there is a tickbox to backup as well. I did tick that but for peace of mind had done a full set of backups manually as well.

Having said all that I totally agree with the posters who prefer manual control, as it does encourage one to know what is happening behind the wizards.

Now once you do know how to do any process manually I see nothing wrong with using the more common utilities to help you, in the same way that you might set up a cron job or your own scripts and trust them.

Thank you everyone

Ed

 
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Picture of john Simpson
Re: Softaculous upgrades
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Softaculicious or quickinstall or whatever, they are all the same. A quick installer for cms's and LMS,s and others on hosted websites. Problems arrive when hosts don't have the latest PHP for moodle and other software. More often than not, hosts provide dated moodles as far back as 2.62.

If you have a problem with softaculicious, the only one who can help you is your host.
Best way is to ensure your host has the the latest PHP and install it yourself. If your host refuses, change your host.


 
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