Mac Zmail's picture

I see the latest version was last touched in December of 2018. Has there been any attempt to update this?

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Jeremy Davis's picture

Short answer: No we haven't attempted update of the Moodle appliance recently (but it certainly does look like we should...).

Longer answer: TBH, we tend to "oil the squeaky wheels" so to speak. Our appliance update regime is somewhat ad hoc. We're a small team and lack the manpower to update every appliance for every third party software release. So we prioritise rebuilding/updating the ones that people ask for, and/or the ones that have high profile and/or serious known security issues. Regardless, we could certainly do a better job of ensuring that software doesn't get too stale.

So thanks for taking the time to post regarding this. Now it's been bought to my attention, I'll ensure that we prioritise it for our next batch of updates. I suspect it will take a week or 2 before we release the next batch, but I'll ensure that Moodle is amongst them.

I have had a quick look at our Moodle appliance and tried to update Moodle itself (on the existing appliance). Unfortunately it appears to be problematic. :(

I haven't had time yet to dig deeper, but my guess is that the version of PHP that we include in LAMP (the basis of the Moodle appliance) by default (the default Debian PHP packages; v7.0) is no longer supported by Moodle (I couldn't find 100% clarity on that anywhere, but it appears that the minimum supported version is now 7.1).

FWIW that is an issue we've been hitting with a number of PHP appliances of late. I suspect that is because upstream PHP 7.0 is no longer supported (Debian Security Team support their PHP 7.0 package; but not PHP developers themselves). For other apps in a similar situation, we've been using (third party) deb.sury.org PHP packages (FWIW, he's on the PHP packaging team for both Ubuntu and Debian, so is a trustworthy source). So it seems that we'll need to do the same thing with Moodle.

So to summarise; if you can wait a few weeks, then hopefully we should have a new Moodle appliance up. Otherwise, I suggest that you install a newer version of PHP from deb.sury.org and update it yourself. Other links of value are Debian Readme and wiki page.

If you attempt the upgrade yourself, please share how it goes. Especially let me know if you hit any issues and I'll try to provide guidance. Bottom line is that if I can reproduce an issue, I'm pretty confident that I can work out a fix/workaround.

PS I just realised that there was a duplicate post on this - I was sure I'd already responded...! :-/ Anyway, I've deleted the dupe. :)

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