How to install your Moodle LMS in thirteen easy steps

Considering the substantial benefits that the Moodle LMS offers, it’s not surprising that you’ve sat down to read this short blog post, detailing how you can install the Moodle LMS on your computer, and begin selling online courses. This post will walk you through all the necessary steps to install Moodle LMS, all the way from download to your first use. So fire up your browser and let’s begin!

The first thing to understand when installing Moodle, is that the process will differ depending on whether you’re looking to install on your personal computer, your own server or a large production server. This post will focus on a windows platform installation with a Mac installation post to come later.

The Windows Installation
1. Installing on your personal computer couldn’t be simpler, as you can download an installer package bundled with all the other software required to make Moodle run. Just use your web browser to navigate to Moodle’s Latest Release, and choose the package based on your operating system, so be sure to download the Windows package.

2. Once the download is complete, locate the file in your downloads folder, and extract the files to your desired destination. I’d recommend naming a folder ’Moodle x.x’ while replacing the x-es with the version number. Once this is done go ahead a hit extract.

3. After the extraction is complete, you should be left with four items in your ’Moodle x.x’ folder: another folder called server, a text file called README, and two applications — Start Moodle and Stop Moodle. If you see all four of these we are good to go.

4. Double click the Start Moodle Application
You’ll see a terminal window appear, and it will run a script starting an Apache server with PHP and MySQL enabled.

5. Double click the Stop Moodle Application
Once this is complete, you need to go back to your explorer window and run the Stop Moodle Application. There are a few tweaks we need to make before we are ready to run Moodle right away.

6. Start Moodle a Second Time
When it’s fired up, minimise your terminal window and head back to your web browser.

7. Navigate to http://127.0.0.1
This will take you to the root of your newly created Moodle server. Scroll down the page and hit the Next button. This will run a bunch of tests on your new server, to make sure that PHP is running among other systems checks. Make sure that everything is saying Pass in green text. If they are all passed, go ahead and hit the Next button.

8. Set Your Web Address
Moodle will give you the option of changing your web address for your server. We want to leave this as http://127.0.0.1 to begin with. Check that your Moodle directory is the same folder we extracted to earlier, followed by the server folder. Fix these if they’ve gone astray, then hit the Next button.

9. Set your Database Settings
Here we can change our database settings, but to be honest, they are fine as they are. Make sure the database is called Moodle and the user is ‘root’ but leave the password field blank. If your Moodle system is going straight into production, be sure to set a secure custom password now. Three guesses what you should do now this step is complete, you got it, hit the Next button.

10. Check your Server Checks
Moodle will run a bunch of server checks, and we just want to be sure that all these have come back OK.

11. Check the Language Package
Moodle will download a language package for you. To make things easier, make sure that this is one of the languages you speak and continue by hitting the Next button.

12. Agree to the Ts & Cs
Congrats, you’ve successfully create the config.php file Moodle needs to run. Agree to the terms and conditions and we are almost all set.

13. Give Moodle the Install Power!
You’re going to want Moodle to install all of it’s components automatically, one after another. To do that, you need to check the box entitled Unattended Operation. This hands the power over to Moodle, and it will go ahead with a hasty install.

Watch the Magic
Sit back with a coffee and watch Moodle go ahead an install one component after another. Relaxing right?

Set Up the Administrator Account
The last thing we’re going to have to do is wrestle back control from the Moodle robots, and create ourselves an all singing all dancing administrator account, complete with privileges. Give yourself the username of ’admin’ and create a secure password, then enter your email address into the correct field, along with your location data. Scroll all the way to bottom of the page and hit the Update Profile button and hey presto we’re done.

Those thirteen simple steps are all you need to follow to install Moodle on your personal windows computer. Totally easy, right? Once you finish the final step, you’ll be presented with the options to create the settings for the front page of your Moodle site. That’s all folks, so congratulations on your fresh install!