For the online learning world


Linux for new users part 1 – Introduction

A new series for those running Moodle on a linux server.

In this series of posts I will be discussing how you can use Linux to manage your Moodle server.

Everyone knows Moodle runs best on a LAMP stack.

LAMP basically means Linux + Apache +MySQL + PHP.

  • Linux = the Operating System (other Operating Systems you know are Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS)
  • Apache = the web server (Apache is the most widely used web server in the world)
  • MySQL = the database
  • PHP = Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side scripting language designed for web development

These days we might use Nginx as the web server instead (it’s lightweight and less complicated than Apache), and we might use MariaDB instead of MySQL for the database (they are very similar and largely compatible).

Note also that Linux Operating systems come in many different ‘flavours’ or Distributions (or Distro’s), the most popular are currently:

Many of these are actually related. For example Ubuntu is derived from Debian, and Mint uses Debian repositories to add new software. Red Hat is a derivative of Fedora.

One of the best ways to start learning about Linux is to install it on a spare computer. Most of us have an old laptop or desktop hanging around, so I suggest you get this out of the attic, dust it off, and install Linux so you can play with it!

My choice would be to use Ubuntu. And for now, just go with the Desktop version, not the Server version.


Ubuntu has become recognised over recent years as the best choice for Desktop users new to linux, and it has an easy to use GUI (Graphic User Interface) that will feel a little bit like using Windows, macOS, or Chromium OS.

99% of what I will be covering in this series you can do on Ubuntu Desktop, so that is going to make life much easier for new users following this series 🙂

OK … you have one month to find that old computer, and install Ubuntu Desktop … what are you waiting for?

Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

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