we are planning to set up an installation of Moodle 1.6 on a server with the specs that follow:
HP Proliant DL380 G4 3.2 GHz, RAM 3 GB, 2 HDD x 145,6 Raid 1.
We would like to use Linux as OS.
Has anyone any suggestion about which distribution and which version to use?
Thanks in advance for your help.
It kind of depends on what your level of expertise is. Some are more user-friendly than others. I use SuSE for development and we use Debian on our production servers, with considerable success. SuSE for one, has very good administrative interfaces.
I guess you should also take a look at the Ubuntu Server project (http://www.ubuntu.com/server), which is looking very interesting.
The one I would avoid these days is probably RedHat due to their restrictive updates policy.
Do you think that the release Debian GNU/Linux 3.1r2 (sarge) could be ok for Moodle 1.6?
I am new to LINUX.
Which version has a GUI interface and user friendly for a nrew LINUX user or should I say if one has to go along the learning curve which would be the besy best bet.
I am a WINDOWS user and want to tranit to LINUX. Hence the choice of GUI ???
You can use the default install but will need to manually select the "Simple Webserver Option" and the package phpMyAdmin (unless you're a MySQL pro).
Yast->System->Runlevel Editor: enable Apache2 & MySQL
Yast->Security->Firewall: open ports 80 & 22 (http & ssh)
Set root password for MySQL in shell (poup in Yast tells you how)
Configure phpMyAdmin (/srv/www/htdocs/phpMyAdmin/config.inc.php (I think)
Create data dir for Moodle OUTSIDE webroot (e.g. /home/moodledata) an make writeable for Apache (UID www; GID wwwrun)
Create database in phpMyAdmin and user for moodle
Perform standard moodle install
Set up cronjob for maintenance (kcron might be the most user-friendly tool)
Done if I haven't forgotten anything.
YOU MUST USE SuSE 10.1 for Moodle 1.6+! 10.0 has an outdated MySQL version which will install but create all manner of long-term problems.
Hope this helps. Enjoy Moodle!
That was great .
I have my first lesson in Linux. Could you also advise what should be the install for a reasonably active site. Say 100 to 200 users.
Thanks for the help and info.
This one is somewhat more difficult to answer as I don't know what you users will be doing! I managed to service some 500 users/max 50 concurrent with occasional access to larger multimedia files with the following specs:
Athlon 64 3400+ (use a distro that supports 64 bit)
2x160GB HD, SATA, RAID 0 via on-board controller
100BT ethernet for local users
I'm sure you can get by using lower specs, but you may need to streamline your server install (get rid of the graphical system, clean up your startup scripts to get rid of unnecessary services and daemons, fine-tune Apache). If you use SuSE this shoud free up considerable resources as the default install is everything but lean.
Thanks for the info Peie.
That helped a lot.
On the server specs:
I think the CPU and RAM should be ok. However, with the CHAT feature I've seen ome heavy CPU usage. If all 50 concurrentusers don't decide to chat at once it should be fine. However, my CPU isn't as beefy as yours, so it may be able to handle 50 just fine.
Here is what I'd do on your drive configuration sinc eyou will have local users running at 100bt network speeds:
Mirror (RAID 1) the SATA drives. Install just the OS and other server applications on there.
Get an SCSI RAID 5 or a large SCSI RAiD 1 configured. Place the Moodle site and DB on the SCSI drives. I have found SCSI handles multiple users accessing the same files much better.
You could also not do a RAID 1 on the SATA drives. Install the OS and other apps on one and place the server's page file on the other SATA drive. Then all web sites and DBs on the SCSI RAID.
Mesa Public Schools
We run sarge on all our moodle servers.
And I run debian (sid) for my desktop too, but I'm generally crazy like that
Yeah! Install Debian and just do
apt-get install moodle
and watch the magic happen Note that you'll get a somewhat oldish moodle. But you can configure Debian to use the latest Moodle package available too, with a bit of tweaking of /etc/apt
I tried that debian package on Ubuntu 5.10 for Desktop Use (like: manipulating the theme, etc. but not for productive use), but the installation failed. I should add that about 99% of all installation attempts with apt-get in general worked without problems.
Then, I downloaded the latest XAMPP und installed Moodle on it by hand. Worked without a problem.
For Desktop Use, I can recommend Ubuntu 6.06 LTS. There is also Kubuntu which uses KDE as desktop, which is said to be more similar to Windows than Gnome (which is the standard in Ubuntu).
I run that same script manually on the production box. Saves me a LOT of time....
time to explore some nuts/bolts. Could you elaborate
on getting the required version of mysql and tweaking
of apt-get install moodle to request 1.6
Much thanks, Dave
Next install the original 1.4 Moodle version from Sarge with:
apt-get intall moodle
Before you do anything with that installation, download the 1.6 Moodle Debian package from:
and install it by hand with:
dpkg -i moodle_1.6-1_all.deb
Enjoy your new 1.6 Moodle
Thanks for your Debian help. I soon hope to have
a server set-up on my cable modem (fixed ip) and explore
dns set-up. Will try what you suggested.
(and it is much, much simpler than tweaking /etc/apt -- kudos to Iñaki)
1.6+ installed on my
Debian system without a hitch!
Here's what I did.
1--add the below link to etc/apt/source.list
deb http://www.backports.org/debian/ sarge-backports main
2--Do, apt-get update
3--update mysql using Synaptic package manager
4--as super user right click on folder
www to open a terminal window
5--paste the cvs command into this window
6- config moodle per your box
With-in 45 min I had Mysql 5.02 and Moodle 1.6+ running!
 I know you know this Martin L.