After a number of failed attempts to get the Complete XAMPP Moodle installation working on a USB Memory Stick, I decided to search for an alternative. Google took me to CH Software's WOS - Webserver on a Stick. Getting Moodle up and running on my Stick was so simple with WOS that I though I would share it with fellow moodlers.
WOS Portable does not need an extra drive letter and it is ready to run instantly after unzipping; just plug a USB stick in any Windows computer and you have a functional instance of 'Moodle on a Stick'
Webserver on a Stick (WOS) packages a complete Apache/PHP/MySQL webserver with a wrapper that automatically configures and starts the servers; the Small Edition takes only 20 Mb. It is published under the GNU GPL.
The complete package with a vanilla Moodle 1.5.3, WOS Portable SE 1.1.1, Apache 2.0.5, PHP 5.1.2 (and 4.4.1), and MySQL 4.1.18-nt - all free, open source software - occupies less than 100Mb.
For best results you should always install and run WOS from the root directory of a drive. The first time it's run, WOS configures the paths for the servers based on the current directory.
1. Start by downloading the latest versions of WOS Portable or WOS Portable Small Edition.
2. Unzip the file and copy to your
Switch to the stick and double click start.exe to begin the WOS installation.
3. Choose your language, then click
WOS starts up and displays the WOS Status dialog box and opens your web browser to the WOS start page.
* You should now see the follow
on the WOS startup page.
Apache 2.0.55 is running
PHP 5.1.2 works (or PHP4 if you configured it that way)
MySql 4.1.18-nt is running
Document Root is: F:/www
6. Run Moodle Installation.
Using the directory and settings above, the URL is http://localhost/moodle/install.php.
Now you simply work through the normal Moodle installation procedures.
NOTE: During the databases setup, use root as the database user and leave the password field blank (warning: security risk if opening to your LAN/WAN
It should work just like it does on the web or on your hard drive windows installation.
Moodle requires a number of PHP settings to be active for it to work. On most servers these will already be the default settings. However, I noticed the WOS package required register_globals needed to be turned off and magic_quotes gpc turned On. These are defined in PHP's configuration file (usually called php.ini):
WOS Portable is freeware, and there is no official support.
If you have a problem after running through the above, try the troubleshooting hints on the WOS Wiki.
Hope this guide helps others to run Moodle on a Stick.