Overlook the sizeable lack of blog entries. Entries for social media purposes require require snappier titles and editing. Neither of those are worth my time at present. This is my log, if it helps anyone, great, and it really doesn’t matter, as logging helps me.
I went to upgrade to Moodle 4.2 back in March, I am running Fedora 36. I had to install Python 8.0.x as Moodle doesn’t support anything greater as of yet and Fedora 36 is LTS support and so I stand on that for a bit. This gave me a problem upgrading to Moodle 4.2 as it requires mariadb version 10.6 and Fedora 36 has 10.5 .
When I installed the older version of Python it required a bunch of hacks. The instructions from mariadb on installing ahead were a bit cumbersome and I looked around quickly. Fedora documentation now explains that dnf and repositories support modular packaging. Read https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/quick-docs/installing-mysql-mariadb/ , specifically the section of Fedora Modular Repository and follow the steps selecting the Server option and that is all there is to it.
I now have Moodle 4.2.1+ running on mariadb 10.6.11 with minimal effort. ymmv
Well, that didn’t go well. I skipped reading the ReadMe on upgrading to Fedora 36 on Moodle.org and after upgrading I realized I was on PHP 8.1 and Moodle doesn’t run on that version. I followed these instructions https://computingforgeeks.com/how-to-install-php-on-fedora/ to install the REMI repository and then PHP 8.0. I did get into some particulars with ensuring that the zip library was installed as different versions report back different entities. In the end it all sorted out and while I don’t have a lovable generic Fedora install I at least have Moodle 4.0 back up and running in time for the school year.
I had to adjust the default mail on a Moodle system that I switched from one domain to another. I changed it last in August of 2015 and apparently forgot how it worked. So today I am going to mention that forensic sysadmin work, or finding configuration files is a real challenge.
Yes, I have made copies of all of the configuration files and ended them in a TLA of my initials and yet when I ran locate I forgot or chose not to run updatedb and well, it isn’t in cron anymore as I rarely search for anything and it uses less power to not catalog repeatedly.
Having not found anything appropriate with my initials, although the file was actually there, I proceeded to work for hours on every single configuration setting in Moodle as well as every Moodle post on email I could stomach.
Nagging in the back of my mind was the fact that this year I eliminated ALL of the cruft on Moodle by simply starting it from scratch and as I kept a record of every change I made, I thought I could find it. I kept focusing on the OAuth configuration as I was using GMail.
Just before shutting the server off for the year, truly, I stopped to think through the architecture and realized I had to be using native Linux mail, that I always choose Postfix and a quick search indicated I was configured to use GMail’s less secure method of authenticated SMTP. I made the changes and everything worked great.
I held up this post to decide on how to explain what to do correctly. I had hoped for inspiration about documentation, or flow charting processes. The issue is that I simply don’t perform the same amount of sysadmin work I used to, which was enormous, so recalling all the bits and pieces and troubleshooting it, was more work than expected.
I am glad I did it, it reactivated a confidence in my skills and an awareness of troubleshooting steps and an entire plethora of interconnected systems that I would have forgotten about otherwise.
I am having backup problems, and was troubleshooting other issues earlier in the year, and my resolution at the semester was to export all the classes, create a clean database and reload the classes thereby getting rid of any cruft issues from a not-as-old-as-one-might-think Moodle setup.
The day started easily but I kept getting a nagging feeling that the classes were to large and found a mdl_log table in the database with entries from years ago and quite a large number of them. Apparently Moodle upgraded and did not remove the old log. So I used TRUNCATE and emptied the table. Of course I had researched the table and implications, backed up the database and so forth.
I then changed the log retention date to 2 days and ran cron repeatedly and was unable to trim the mdl_logstore_standard_log file at all and it was huge as well. I finally used TRUNCATE on that file as well.
I am a week along and the log files are running fine, no logs are appearing in the old table and I am hopeful the current logs are being pruned in accordance with the configuration.
I still haven’t resolved the backup issues and I am sure I have something else in the database and I pass on the obvious lesson that a Moodle site should be completely rebuilt annually, or on some regular schedule, to ensure that old data/tables are pruned or removed effectively.
If I could just resolve the backup stretching out as well as the backups in some, but not all, classes being retained I would have this system under control. Soon though.
I am back to troubleshooting, yet again, the problem of Moodle backups taking forever and a day. An actual day, for very small courses.
A second problem occurring with the automated backups is that the old backups are not being purged so the file system is filling up with them rather than purging/pruning them. I am solving the problem at present by a weekly manual clean up.
I could simply pour over the forums for an answer, which has not produced results. I could look at tables/records in the actual database for anomalies and that strikes me as time consuming. Or I could wait until the semester break in two weeks and backup and export each class and all the information and create a brand new instance of Moodle and restore the classes into that and see if that leaves the cruft and problems behind.
I am going with that alternative in the interests of cleaning up any other problems I am not yet aware of that affect other areas including performance.
Will post my results.