I have been testing Moodle on many different configurations using VMWARE to create different senarios and instelation configurations for that last few months. Currently, I have 3 test installs of Moodle running differnt configurations to help narrow down settings and packages to use on the server. My goal is to just make the most simple install possible, simple Apache, PHP, MySql install using the provided applications with the openSUSE distribution. The versions that come in openSUSE 10.2 are:
- Apache 2.2.3
- PHP 5.2
- MySql 5.0.26
- GD 2
- spell .6
- zip and unzip (latest)
- CLAMAV (latest) with easy online update engine in Yast for the CLAMAV software
I am choosing SUSE for many reasons, one is that I have many more hours invested in supporting it in a production environment than any other distribution. SUSE has been very easy to troubleshoot and work with, which I consider ease of troubleshooting makes for more reliable system.
I will be running it in "run level 3", but with the option to "startx" if I need it for anything that I dont know how to do in console. I am also considering using Webmin for an extra admin tool for certain tasks.
So far, the default software in openSUSE has given me very nicely running Moodle systems, and with the GUI not loaded, the OS is using very little RAM. <150 MB using the "free" command after initial bootup.
I am currently starting an "open source users group" in my area and I plan to promote Moodle use in my area, but my install will be providing most of the teacher class pages for more than 12 high schools and about 15 middle schools. I am starting out with one server, but when the demand goes up, I will have plans to add more servers in the future when needed.
My server will be a Dell PowerEdge 2950 with 2 - Dual core Zeon's, 4 GB RAM, and 6 - 146 GB SCSI drives in a RAID 5 array. This should be enough server for at least the first year or two while people start to learn how to use it.
Thanks for all of your advice, you have been a great help while learning how to setup a large production server.