Modifying Your PHP Ini Settings for Improved #Moodle 1.9 Performance

On the list, someone asked:
Need a little help. I am backing up courses in 1.9.6, I have two courses that are not backing up.  When it gets to the zipping backup in these courses it just quits. All of the other courses on this server backed up just fine. These happen to be the two biggest courses. Is there a php limitation or something that needs to be tweaked. I set the Max_upload to 500M just to see if it made a difference and it did not.

Some of the responses:
  • If the files are large, it could possibly be a problem with the max_execution_time and max_input_time which control the maximum amount of time that a PHP script is allowed to run.  Try increasing the timing on these.
  • Here are some recommended php.ini settings I use:

    Fixing this problem--with making backups timing out--will also address running large reports out of the Moodle Gradebook.

    To make the change, you have to edit the PHP.ini file, restart your Apache server, and it will be OK. What type of operating system are you running your server on?
And this fascinating response from Ken Task:

Agree with suggestions so far.  Have run across a situation, however,where Moodle cannot complete the backup due to size of the courseregardless of php tweaks.  Happens on RH flavored Linux boxen ...there is a 4.+ gig limit to zip.  When courses reach that size backupsmight fail.  Interestingly enough, if one looks in /moodledata/temp/one will find a 'backup' folder with numbered ID folders (example:1314665333).  Inside that numbered folder - continuing with example,stuff like: 

[root@cms 1314665333]# lltotal 4042316drwxrwxrwx 2 apache apache       4096 Aug 29 20:06 course_files-rw-rw-rw- 1 apache apache 4134946384 Aug 29 20:16 Hysquierdo_backup-math-20110829-1848.zipdrwxrwxrwx 4 apache apache       4096 Aug 29 19:49 moddata-rw-rw-rw- 1 apache apache     318076 Aug 29 19:56 moodle.xmldrwxrwxrwx 2 apache apache       4096 Aug 29 20:06 site_filesdrwxrwxrwx 3 apache apache       4096 Aug 29 19:56 user_files 

These are all temporary and can be safely removed.
The backup process (in some cases) fails because the system cannotcopy the backup into the /moodledata/[courseid]/backupdata/ folder.But, if you notice above, one can manually create a backup using zipof the course ... as I've had to do with a TAKS Math Review course ...all videos - the example shown above. 

So, check out the backup area and see what did get created before theroutine failed.  All is NOT lost ... one could use at least thecourse_files contents to get uploaded files and user_files(assignments).  Depends upon where the backup process fails.  IF youwatch the backup process via the Moodle interface you will note thatquiz stuff is very intensive.  Where is fails/stops, could indicate itbacked up most.
Wow, great info!

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