Git provides the easiest way to manage Moodle code, including updates and upgrades. An update is a minor version change such as from 3.3.2 to 3.3.3 for example, whereas an upgrade involves a major version change such as from 3.3 to 3.4. These examples were all run on CentOS Enterprise Linux 7 but should be similar for any Linux distro.
Regardless of whether you are updating or upgrading, start by backing up your Moodle installation:
cp -a /path/to/moodle /path/to/moodle.bak
Then backup your database (PostgreSQL used in this example):
pg_dump -U db_user db_name > db_backup.sql
Enable maintenance mode
Next, change into the Moodle installation directory and enable maintenance mode (this temporarily takes Moodle offline):
cd /path/to/moodle php admin/cli/maintenance.php --enable
Option 1: Update
To update to a newer minor version, simply pull the latest updates using git:
Option 2: Upgrade
To upgrade to a newer major version, update git’s branch data, checkout the new branch, then pull the latest upgrade. In this example we are upgrading to 3.4:
git remote update git checkout -b MOODLE_34_STABLE origin/MOODLE_34_STABLE git pull
Next, upgrade the database using the CLI tool:
Optionally, now remove the old branch (3.3 in this example):
git branch -d MOODLE_33_STABLE
Disable maintenance mode
When finished, disable maintenance mode:
php admin/cli/maintenance.php --disable
Finally, check that the version number is correct under Site administration → Notifications.
Also check whether any contributed plugins now require upgrading under Site administration → Plugins → Plugins overview → Check for available updates.