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About mod-etherpadlite

This is a module which integrates etherpad-lite as course activities in Moodle 2.5 and later.

It was initially developped, up to v2.7.0, by the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.


  • Add / View / Delete Pads

  • Users have the same name & writing color in all pads

  • Moodle Import / Export support

  • optional guest allowance

  • It supports etherpad-lite servers, which can only be accessed through the API (access only through Moodle)

  • It can check the HTTPS certificate of the ep-lite server for full security (man in the middle attacks)

  • (v2.8.0) Integrate with the global search of Moodle 3.1. The title, description, and content of each pad instance are searchable according to the user's permissions.


  • Moodle 2.5 or later
  • etherpad-lite 1.3.0 or later, on the same 2nd-level-domain as your moodle server

Installing etherpad-lite

You need an etherpad-lite server, running on at least the same 2nd-level-domain as your moodle server. For instance and

When you want the server to only be accessible via Moodle, I recommend to install ep_remove_embed over the ep-lite admin interface. This removes the embed link.
To access the admin area, uncomment the user section in settings.json

This is a quick guide for Debian stable (at least) Jessie and recent Ubuntu. You'll find all information you need to install the server on the project page

  1. sudo apt install nodejs npm git
  2. Get the source code of etherpad-lite
    cd ~/opt/
    git clone git clone git://
    cd etherpad-lite
  3. Modify settings.json, see below for recommended settings.
  4. Run etherpad-lite with ./bin/

At the first run, it will download dependencies, so it may take a while.

A few other important settings:

  • "ip": "", unless you really want you etherpad server to be publicly available.
  • "requireSession" : true, so that only Moodle users can access the pads.
  • "editOnly" : true, so that only Moodle etherpadlite activities can create pads.

This is a basic guide for a local install, more work is needed to put etherpad-lite into production mode.

Installing this module into Moodle

  1. Install Moodle
  2. Copy this repository to the moodle subfolder: mod/etherpadlite
  3. Open your admin/index.php page and follow the instructions.


The are 3 mandatory settings. Without them, the module will probably not work.

  1. (mandatory) Server URL from your etherpadlite server. Make sure that your moodle server can access this URL, and don't forget to include a trailing slash!
  2. (mandatory) ApiKey: this is stored in the file: APIKEY.txt on your etherpadlite server
  3. Padname: this is optional and maybe just for debugging the databse
  4. (mandatory) Cookie Domain: Enter the domain as described
  5. Session elapse time: How long should one session be valid?
  6. Https Redirect: This redirects moodle to https, so that the user feels secure
    (later this should be used to delete sessions on the etherpadlite server)
  7. Verify HTTPS cert: This lets curl check, if the https cert of the etherpadlite server is valid, to prevent man in the middle attacks
  8. Guests allowed to write?: As described


This is a moodle plugin for etherpadlite, developed at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin






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