Upgrading Moodle on our server

I have no administrative knowledge of installing software on a server and consider myself a newbie of this issue. I am asked to upgrade Moodle on our test server so that the tests that we are currently doing under PHP 7 will hopefully find out any issue that arises because of using a newer Moodle version. To start with, I read about this issue at the Upgrade overview, where following is written:

Step 1: Make sure that your server can run Moodle 3.4
(Note: You need to upgrade to Moodle 3.0 or later before upgrading to 3.4.)

Go to Settings > Site administration > Server > Environment

I wonder how it can give detailed information about where to look, as the person who wrote these lines cannot know which operating system my Moodle server is using. Actually, we use Linux Debian, and I can connect over FTP to it. Can you give me support in this issue? I think to upgrade Moodle to the newest version 3.4.1 is not a big deal to an experienced person.

Thank you for your help!
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Ahmet Ekrem SABANSenior IT consultantAsked:
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Dr Christophe TrefoisResearcher / IT SpecialistCommented:
I don't really understand the question.

This part

Go to Settings > Site administration > Server > Environment

is to be done on Moodle itself in the browser. And the output of this will give you what environment you have.

Therefore, you can just follow the Moodle upgrade guide.

Kind regards,
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Julian HansenCommented:
I wonder how it can give detailed information about where to look, as the person who wrote these lines cannot know which operating system my Moodle server is using.
I don't see anything there that is OS dependent?

What are your concerns?

Usually when upgrading I do the following
1. I backup the existing system - compress the files, dump the database
2. I setup the system on a test server
  i) Uncompress the files
  ii) Create and restore the database
  iii) Update any configs to reflect the change in server

Now I have a server I can break.

Step 1: Apply the upgrade / patch as per the documentation.
This should be all that is required - in the case of Moodle it might be a two part process depending on your current version - < 3 first upgrade to 3 then upgrade to the latest version.

Step 2: Test functionality - this is the actual hard (and boring part)

Throughout process document what you do, the steps you take and the results you obtained - this is very important. I find I always go back to my implementation notes to check on details.

At any point something does not go according to plan simply restore the test site from backup and start again.

Once you have a repeatable process that generates the right results you can apply to the target server.
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Ahmet Ekrem SABANSenior IT consultantAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your comments! Christophe, now you see what I meant with newbie! :-D I'll start now and see whether I need additional help.
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