Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quick Notes on #Moodle on #Windows Install

Source: http://goo.gl/qi3cE

A colleague of mine--working in a new position--was recently called upon to setup a Moodle to facilitate professional learning. Although I shared my videos and a comprehensive 86 page tutorial I'd developed earlier, she asked for a brief outline of the experience, as well as a video.

I also recently spent time setting up an UbuntuLinux server for Moodle and will share those notes in a subsequent blog entry.

View the 24 minute video (FLV)

Below is that outline:

Step 1 - Get the Software You Need
Step 2 - Install Software in this Order
  1. Chrome browser
  2. PS Pad text editor
  3. XAMPP - install onto D:\ if on a server or C:\ if it's your laptop or desktop computer. If in a server environment, check with your server admin for specific drive to install to. Start the Control Panel, which should put an orange box on your screen.
Step 3 - Create Shortcuts and Necessary Folders
  1. Go to the hard drive (C: or D:) that you installed XAMPP on, and make a shortcut on the Desktop for the htdocs folder
  2. Create a folder called mdata at the same level as htdocs (not inside it)
  3. Unzip the Moodle 2.1.3 zip file you downloaded in Step 1 and drag the Moodle folder--you can rename this to anything, such as "sandbox"--into the htdocs folder.
  4. In the mdata folder, create a folder that has the same name as your Moodle folder (e.g. "sandbox")
Step 4 - Modify PHP.INI File
  1. To modify the php.ini file, you will need to go to the XAMPP folder and then find the file.
  2. Open the file with PS PAD (although most text editors will do the job), and make the following changes:
    • display_errors = Off
    • display_startup_errors = Off
    • register_globals = Off
    • post_max_size = 2000M
    • mysql.connect_timeout = -1
    • max_execution_time = 5000
    • max_input_time = 5000
    • memory_limit = 2000M
    • file_uploads = On
    • upload_max_filesize = 2000M
  3. Save your changes to the php.ini file.
  4. One possible problem that may arise is that phpMyAdmin comes up in Dutch/German. To address that, edit the config.inc.php file in the phpMyAdmin directory and paste in:
    $cfg['Lang']     = 'en-utf-8'; 
    to ensure it always loads in English. 
Step 5 - Start Using the XAMPP Control Panel
  1. Activate Apache by clicking the START button
  2. Activate MySQL by clicking the START button
  3. Start up Chrome browser and navigate to http://localhost on your computer. This should bring up the XAMPP language selection page. Choose English or your preferred language.
Step 6 - Working with MySQL
  1. Database creation
    1. While viewing the XAMPP page, click on phpmyadmin in the menu and then create a new database that will be used to house your Moodle content. For the purposes of this handout, let's call the database "sandbox"
    2. When you create the database, make sure to choose "utf8_general_ci" collation since that is required by Moodle.
    3. After creating the database, you should now see the database name "sandbox" down the left-hand side of the screen inphpmyadmin.
  2. Localhost User
    1. You will want to create a user that interacts only with the Moodle database. This username and the assigned password will ONLY have localhost access to the server. Localhost access means anyone not accessing the server--as if they were sitting in front of it--would have access to the server. This prevents unauthorized use of over the Internet or the local area network of the user.
    2. Go to Privileges in phpmyadmin and create a user called "sandboxer" with the password of "Sandbox123%" without quotes. Be sure to GRANT ALL privileges.
Step 7 - Installing Moodle
  1. Are you ready to install Moodle? You should now have 4 pieces of information:
    • The name of the Moodle database - sandbox
    • The name of the MySQL user allowed to access sandbox database - sandboxer
    • The password of the MySQL user - Sandbox123%
    • The location of the Moodledata folder - C:\xampp\mdata\sandbox(Note: If you are installing on a real server, change the "C:\" to reflect the drive where you installed XAMPP)
  2. Go to your web browser and type in the URL of the server, or, if on your own computer, type http://localhost/sandbox
  3. You should see the start of the Moodle installation. Follow the steps suggested.
  4. After you've installed Moodle, you should see everything pop up as normal.
Step 8 - Securing XAMPP
  1. XAMPP installation is not secure as it is so you need to secure it. One of the ways to accomplish this is to follow the Security instructions available online at http://goo.gl/UJwD
  2. Go to http://localhost/security
  3. After taking these steps, remove the index.php file and the contents of the htdocs folder EXCEPT for the newly createdsandbox folder. Note: This will remove your access to phpmyadmin. We will install it in a moment.
Step 9 - Installing PHPMyAdmin (latest version you downloaded earlier)
  1. When you emptied out the contents of the htdocs folder--except sandbox--you removed the link to phpmyadmin, which allows you to interact with MySQL databases.
  2. Make a folder called "myadmin" without quotes.
  3. Unzip the contents of the phpmyadmin.zip file you downloaded in Step 1 into the myadmin folder. Make sure you do NOT have a folder path that looks like this: C:\xampp\htdocs\myadmin\phpmyadmin since that will cause problems. Instead, when you look at myadmin you should see a list of files.
  4. Go to C:\xampp\phpmyadmin and copy the config.inc.php and paste it into C:\xampp\htdocs\myadmin\
  5. Test that it's working by going to http://localhost/myadmin
  6. If successful, you should see a login screen for phpmyadmin
Step 10 - Take a Break


If you would have done this differently, please share YOUR process.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure