Updated for 2024 - Moodle 4.x

(Most content is suitable for earlier versions of Moodle)

This course is designed for people who are running their own Moodle server (or want to / need to in the future), and would like to understand more about how to successfully setup, manage, maintain, secure, and upgrade the server environment for Moodle.

If you are not a server administrator, but want a course that focusses on how to administer and manage your Moodle site on a day-to-day basis, please view the MoodleBites for Administrators course.

This course includes:

  • New HD (high-definition) screen capture movie tutorials
  • Official Moodle Partner 'Certification of Completion' at the end
  • Fast and efficient graphics (courses run quickly)
  • Downloadable .pdf resources
  • Forums and other collaboration options
  • Case-studies of real-world usage
  • Lots of Quizzes and self-test questions
  • All relevant server features covered
  • Open Badge awarded
 MoodleBites Server Administrator
Open Badges

MoodleBites Server Administrator is a structured programme of eight Moodle courses (weeks) which you can access for a period of eight weeks. Each course contains approximately 2-4 hours work, although this varies depending on your experience with Moodle, servers in general, and how much extension work you wish to complete smile

Designed for 'just in time' training, for busy administrators needing flexibility, and those new to server administration.

  • The course is facilitated by Gareth Barnard (Moodle developer and server administrator with HRDNZ Moodle Partner) and co-facilitated by Stuart Mealor (well known international Moodle and e-learning figure, H5P moderator, PHM, etc.)


MoodleBites Server Administrator fee is US $750 per person. At this time we are able to offer a discount to a special rate of US $599 but places are limited - so book early to avoid disappointment! If you wish to convert this value to your local currency please visit: http://www.xe.com/ All invoices are in US Dollars (Euro invoices available by special request).

You can register for the course using the "Register Now" link on the Front Page.


The MoodleBites Server Administrator course starts on the following dates each year:

  • 1st February
  • 1st April
  • 1st June
  • 1st August
  • 1st October

In covering the content, each course includes:

  • Printable reference material
  • Multimedia tutorials
  • Forums and chat sessions
  • Practical teaching examples
  • FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • Individual practice exercises
  • Extensive Glossaries
  • Optional group activities
  • Tips and tricks
  • Selected relevant links
  • Quizzes
  • Real word case study examples
  • Recommended further reading

MoodleBites Server Administrator is unique in a number of respects:

  1. It has a focus on how to effectively manage a Moodle server - Linux, Windows, and Mac - and virtualised and Cloud based hosting.
  2. The course development team is international and MoodleBites Server Administrator has been written to be accessible for speakers of English as a second or other language.
  3. The course is designed to run well even over very slow or limited internet connections, and on older computers.
  4. Any movie tutorials have optional Closed Captions and/or transcripts

Course outline

  • Week 1, Setting up your test environment
    For this course it's essential you have a test environment.  This week we look at some options for how to install and setup a suitable test environment.
    • Downloading & installing VirtualBox
    • Downloading & installing Ubuntu LTS
    • Building & Configuring your Virtual Machine
    • Testing Networking
    • Configuring Remote Access via SSH
    • Getting your Virtual Machine up to date
  • Week 2, Installing required services
    What are services, which do we need, and why?  Running more service than you need can dramatically affect the performance of your site.
    • Defining your goals for a Moodle server
    • Choosing the appropriate services
    • Installing & Configuring the services
  • Week 3, Getting Moodle Installed & Functioning
    Now we need to get Moodle installed.  There are a few different ways, and which you use depends on a whole range of factors.  Updating Moodle is also vital too!
    • Choosing a method for downloading Moodle
    • Configuring and testing your environment for Moodle
    • Installing Moodle
    • Updating Moodle (git)

  • Week 4, Building for Speed!
    No-one likes a slow server - whether it's file sharing, email, or Moodle!  Lots of options available, but understanding how to get the best out of your Moodle server is not always obvious.
    • Setting up cron jobs
    • Choosing a Caching Method
    • Setting up Caching (FPC)
    • Setting up Readahead
    • Optimizing Services
    • PHP configuration
  • Week 5, Server security
    Security is both fascinating and confusing!  But as a sever administrator of your Moodle site it's something you can simply never overlook, and also have to understand it's a constant and moving field.
    • Securing SSH with certificates
    • Securing Services (Apache; MySQL etc.)
    • Securing Moodle (file permissions etc.)
  • Week 6, Backup and Monitoring
    Server backup is essential, period.  There are also many tools available for monitoring your Moodle server, and these help you become proactive - seeing potential issues before they ever impact on your production site.
    • Server Snapshotting (VirtualBox)
    • Backing up individual folders and files
    • Setting up Cron Jobs for maintenance and backups
  • Week 7, Moodle specific security and performance
    There is little point having a highly optimised server if you then don't configure Moodle is the best and most appropriate way!  This week we work through the Moodle specific settings.
    • The minimal essentials
    • Best practice
    • For the paranoid 
  • Week 8, Hardening and Tweaking your server 
    This is a final 'catchall' week - for small items that do not fit neatly into the earlier weeks. This week also allows participants to revisit earlier topics with the benefit of hindsight, to set-up and maintain networking links, to share end-of-course comments and feedback.
    • Hardening your server
    • Tweaking your server
    • Other content is constantly being revised and often participant led !

*This outline is subject to change as Moodle changes and we update the content.