There is an increasing number of businesses who are looking at Moodle LMS to meet their training requirements for their employees and/or their customers as an alternative to commercial LMS. Open source is a very attractive alternative to pricey licensing of commercial products or alternatives that lock you into either a contract, a provider or technology -- or all of the above. Have you considered giving Moodle a try?
Moodle Quick and Simple
The simplest and quickest way to give Moodle a try is to install a stand-alone instance of Moodle is to install it on your local Windows computer. If all you want to do it try it out and demonstrate it to others, this might be a good alternative for you.
- Current instructions and the file you will need to download the Windows package.
- If Apple Mac OS X is more your jam, you're in luck because there is something similar available for OS X.
- Linux is more of a manual command line process. See below.
You don't really need any special kind of computer to install on a standalone instance of Moodle and can probably even get it going on your home computer. It may not be lightning fast but it will get you up and running in quickly.
These special packages are great because they include Apache, MySQL and PHP all pre-configured and ready to go. You just complete the installation process like any other application and go to http://localhost/ in your web browser. Some systems don't work right away because some other application is using port 80 and will either need to be disabled (like IIS on Windows) or require a small change to an application's settings (like Skype).
Be aware that, while this is perfect for stand-alone use, this setup should not be considered secure and is therefore not recommended for general access from other computers on the network.
When downloading Moodle, watch for the latest "MOODLE_XX_STABLE" or Current Release versions.
How long it takes to install really depends on your computer. I've had some installations take as much as an hour while installing Moodle others on computers that have an SSD drives will be ready to roll in less than 10 minutes.
To support your initiative, you can also post questions in the Moodle community forums. They even have one specifically for Installing and Upgrading Moodle.
Installing Moodle on a Linux or Windows Server
Assuming your server is actually configured property and has all of the required modules installed and activated (rare), installing Moodle doesn't take long at all. For someone who has never done it, it probably takes about an hour or two in order to follow the instructions as long as your server is one of the ones that has installation documentation available on the Moodle site:
- Instructions for WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
- Instructions for LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
Keep in mind that the Linux instructions may vary depending on what version of Linux you are using.
If you've never done this before, you might need some help in completing some of the installation instructions as they don't necessarily assume you are completely new to this type of task.
TIP: I highly recommend that you use GIT to copy the Moodle files onto the server. When done correctly, it can really simplifies the task of upgrading Moodle down the road.