Environment bar

General plugins (Local) ::: local_envbar
Maintained by Catalyst IT, Nicholas Hoobin, Brendan Heywood, Dmitrii Metelkin
Warn users with a notification block across the top of the screen when you're browsing a non-production server like staging or a local development box.

Environment bar 2020112000

Moodle 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10
Released: Friday, November 20, 2020, 6:10 AM

Build Status

Environment bar - Moodle local plugin

This displays a prominment header across across the top of your NON PROD Moodle environments which can be configured to have different colors and messages for each environent, and also automatically detects and show you when the DB was last refreshed.

It's very useful when working with lots of different environments to avoid confusion around where you are, especially when env's can contain hard coded links and you accidentally jump between environments.


Showing what environment you are in needs to be reliable and fail safe.

If it doesn't work for any reason then you may as well not have it. The way this plugin works is that in your production system you specify what your different environments are. Then after a refresh of production data back to a staging environment it can auto detect that it is no longer in production and warn the end user. Further more if there isn't any config at all, then it will assume you are in a fresh development environment that hasn't been refreshed and show a default fail safe warning.

It will also automatically detect and show you when the environment was last refreshed from production, which is a common question testers ask.


Add the plugin to /local/envbar/

Run the Moodle upgrade.


Upon first installation you will see a notification across the screen that prodwwwroot has not been set. There is a convenient link in the bar to:

Site administration > Plugins > Local Plugins > Environment bar

Please set this value to be exactly what your production $CFG->wwwroot is. If you are on the production box then you can click on the 'autofill' button.

Or you can define the environments and prodwwwroot in config.php:

$CFG->local_envbar_prodwwwroot = 'http://moodle.prod';
$CFG->local_envbar_items = array(
        'matchpattern' => 'https://staging.moodle.edu',
        'showtext'     => 'Staging environment',
        'colourbg'     => 'orange',
        'colourtext'   => 'white',
        'matchpattern' => 'https://qa.moodle.edu',
        'showtext'     => 'QA environment',
        'colourbg'     => 'purple',
        'colourtext'   => 'white',
        'matchpattern' => 'http://moodle.local',
        'showtext'     => 'Localhost environment',
        'colourbg'     => 'black',
        'colourtext'   => 'white',

The colours available are,


Please configure a secret key which is needed to let the environments talk to each other. If no secret key is set, the non production environments won't be able to detect their last reset time. Please set it to some random alphanumeric string of your choice or press the 'Generate' button. Or you can define the secret key in config.php:

$CFG->local_envbar_secretkey = 'SomeRandomAlphanumericalString';

In your non production environments it is also useful to inform your users when the next refresh will be. This time can be injected into the DB or set via config.php and can be flexibly set in a variety of ways:

// A unix timestamp:
$CFG->forced_plugin_settings['local_envbar']['nextrefresh'] = 1490946920;

// Any date string:
$CFG->forced_plugin_settings['local_envbar']['nextrefresh'] = '2017-04-03 4:00pm';

// Any valid strtotime string eg 2am every night:
$CFG->forced_plugin_settings['local_envbar']['nextrefresh'] = '2:00am';

Version information

Version build number
Version release name
Stable version
MD5 Sum
Supported software
Moodle 2.7, Moodle 2.8, Moodle 2.9, Moodle 3.0, Moodle 3.1, Moodle 3.2, Moodle 3.3, Moodle 3.4, Moodle 3.5, Moodle 3.6, Moodle 3.7, Moodle 3.8, Moodle 3.9, Moodle 3.10
  • Latest release for Moodle 2.7
  • Latest release for Moodle 2.8
  • Latest release for Moodle 2.9
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.0
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.1
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.2
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.3
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.4
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.5
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.6
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.7
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.8
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.9
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.10

Version control information

Version control system (VCS)
VCS repository URL
VCS tag

Default installation instructions for plugins of the type General plugins (Local)

  1. Make sure you have all the required versions.
  2. Download and unpack the module.
  3. Place the folder in the "local" subdirectory.
  4. Visit http://yoursite.com/admin to finish the installation.