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Moodle Development Kit

Project description

Moodle Development Kit

A collection of tools meant to make developers’ lives easier.


  • Linux or Mac OS

  • Python 2.7

  • MySQL, MariaDB or PostgreSQL

  • Git v1.7.7 or greater

Most of the tools work on Moodle 1.9 onwards, but some CLI scripts required by MDK might not be available in all versions.


The commands are called using that form:

mdk <command> <arguments>

Get some help on a command using:

mdk <command> --help

Also check the wiki.


Python package

On Debian-based systems, install the following packages:

sudo apt-get install python-pip libmysqlclient-dev libpq-dev python-dev

Use pip:

sudo pip install moodle-sdk
mdk init

That’s it!


Using Homebrew, please refer to this formula.

For development

Clone the repository:

git clone git:// moodle-sdk

On Debian-based systems, you will need to install the following packages:

sudo apt-get install python-pip libmysqlclient-dev libpq-dev python-dev

Then from the directory where you cloned the repository:

sudo python develop
mdk init

Bash completion

To activate bash completion:

sudo ln -s /path/to/moodle-sdk/extra/bash_completion /etc/bash_completion.d/moodle-sdk

To activate goto commands (gt and gtd), add the following to ~/.bashrc:

if [ -f /path/to/moodle-sdk/extra/goto_instance ]; then
    . /path/to/moodle-sdk/extra/goto_instance
    . /path/to/moodle-sdk/extra/goto_instance.bash_completion


If you installed MDK using PIP, run the following command:

sudo pip install --upgrade moodle-sdk

It is possible that a new version of MDK requires new files, directories, etc… and while we try to make it easy to upgrade, it can happen that some features get broken in your environment. So after each upgrade, consider running the following to get more information:

mdk doctor --all

Command list


Set up aliases of your Moodle commands.


This line defines the alias ‘upall’, for ‘moodle update –all’

mdk alias add upall "update --all"


Backport a branch to another instance of Moodle.


Assuming we are in a Moodle instance, this backports the current branch to the version 2.2 and 2.3

mdk backport --version 22 23

Backports the branch MDL-12345-23 from the instance stable_23 to the instance stable_22, and pushes the new branch to your remote

mdk backport stable_23 --branch MDL-12345-23 --version 22 --push


Backup a whole instance so that it can be restored later.


Backup the instance named stable_master

mdk backup stable_master

List the backups

mdk backup --list

Restore the second backup of the instance stable_master

mdk backup --restore stable_master_02


Get the instance ready for acceptance testing (Behat), and run the test feature(s).


mdk behat -r --tags=@core_completion


Create a new instance of Moodle. It will be named according to your config file.


Create a new instance of Moodle 2.1

mdk create --version 21

Create an instance of Moodle 2.2 using PostgreSQL from the integration remote, and run the installation script.

mdk create --version 22 --engine pgsql --integration --install


Set your MDK settings from the command line.


Show the list of your settings

mdk config list

Change the value of the setting to /var/www/repositories

mdk config set /var/www/repositories


CSS related functions.


Compile the LESS files from Bootstrapbase

mdk css --compile


Perform some checks on the environment to identify possible problems, and attempt to fix them automatically.


Create a branch from an issue number on the tracker (MDL-12345) and sets it to track the right branch.


In a Moodle 2.2 instance, this will create (and checkout) a branch named MDL-12345-22 which will track upstream/MOODLE_22_STABLE.

mdk fix MDL-12345
mdk fix 12345


Display information about the instances on the system.


List the instances

mdk info --list

Display the information known about the instance stable_master

mdk info stable_master


Run the command line installation script with all parameters set on an existing instance.


mdk install --engine mysqli stable_master


JS related functions.


Compile the JS modules in Atto

mdk js shift --plugin editor_atto

Generate the complete YUI API documentation

mdk js doc


Get the instance ready for PHPUnit tests, and run the test(s).


mdk phpunit -u repository/tests/repository_test.php


Look for a plugin on and downloads it into your instance.


mdk plugin download repository_evernote


Pre-checks a patch on the CI server.


mdk precheck


Purge the cache.


To purge the cache of all the instances

mdk purge --all


Pulls a patch using the information from a tracker issue.


Assuming we type that command on a 2.3 instance, pulls the corresponding patch from the issue MDL-12345 in a testing branch

mdk pull --testing 12345


Shortcut to push a branch to your remote.


Push the current branch to your repository

mdk push

Force a push of the branch MDL-12345-22 from the instance stable_22 to your remote

mdk push --force --branch MDL-12345-22 stable_22


Fetch the latest branches from the upstream remote and rebase your local branches.


This will rebase the branches MDL-12345-xx and MDL-56789-xx on the instances stable_22, stable_23 and stable_master. And push them to your remote if successful.

mdk rebase --issues 12345 56789 --version 22 23 master --push
mdk rebase --issues MDL-12345 MDL-56789 --push stable_22 stable_23 stable_master


Remove an instance, deleting every thing including the database.


mdk remove stable_master


Execute a script on an instance. The scripts are stored in the scripts directory.


Set the instance stable_master ready for development

mdk run dev stable_master


Gets some information about the issue on the tracker.


$ mdk tracker 34543
  MDL-34543: New assignment module - Feedback file exists for an
    assignment but not shown in the Feedback files picker
  Bug - Critical -
  Closed (Fixed) 2012-08-17 07:25
-------------------------------------------------------[ V: 7 - W: 7 ]--
Reporter            : Paul Hague (paulhague) on 2012-07-26 08:30
Assignee            : Eric Merrill (emerrill)
Peer reviewer       : Damyon Wiese (damyon)
Integrator          : Dan Poltawski (poltawski)
Tester              : Tim Barker (timb)


Uninstall an instance: removes config file, drops the database, deletes dataroot content, …


Fetch the latest stables branches from the upstream remote and pull the changes into the local stable branch.


This updates the instances stable_22 and stable_23

mdk update stable_22 stable_23

This updates all your integration instances and runs the upgrade script of Moodle.

mdk update --integration --upgrade


Run the upgrade script of your instance.


The following runs an upgrade on your stable branches

mdk upgrade --stable

This will run an update an each instance before performing the upgrade process

mdk upgrade --all --update


You can write custom scripts and execute them on your instances using the command mdk run. MDK looks for the scripts in the scripts directories and identifies their type by reading their extension. For example, a script called ‘helloworld.php’ will be executed as a command line script from the root of an installation.

# From anywhere on the system
$ mdk run helloworld stable_master

# Is similar to typing the following command
$ cp /path/to/script/helloworld.php /path/to/moodle/instances/stable_master
$ cd /path/to/moodle/instances/stable_master
$ php helloworld.php

Scripts are very handy when it comes to performing more complexed tasks.

Shipped scripts

The following scripts are available with MDK:

  • dev: Changes a portion of Moodle settings to enable development mode

  • enrol: Enrols users in any existing course

  • external_functions: Refreshes the definitions of services and external functions

  • makecourse: Creates a test course

  • mindev: Minimalist set of development settings (performance friendly)

  • setup: Setup for development by running a succession of other scripts

  • tokens: Lists the webservice tokens

  • undev: Reverts the changes made by dev and mindev

  • users: Creates a set of users

  • version: Fixes downgrade version conflicts

  • webservices: Does all the set up of webservices for you


Licensed under the GNU GPL License

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