Installing your forum
Thank you for deciding to use, or at least try, SMF. Before you get started, please remember that there is a place for help at www.simplemachines.org if you run into any problems at all.
If you are looking to upgrade an installation of SMF, or convert
from YaBB SE, you may have downloaded the wrong package. Please check the downloads page for more information.
You can find the following information in this file:
- » Minimum installation requirements.
- » Uploading SMF onto your webserver.
- » Finishing the installation and cleaning up.
What's required to install SMF?
Your server must meet a few requirements to be able to run SMF. If
you unsure as to whether your webserver meets these, please try the
installer - it should detect any problems.
- Any webserver that properly supports PHP, such as Apache or Internet Information Services (IIS).
PHP 4.1.0 or higher. The following directives are required to be set correctly in php.ini:
- the engine directive must be On.
- the magic_quotes_sybase directive must be set to Off.
- the session.save_path directive must be set to a valid directory.
- the file_uploads directive must be On.
- the upload_tmp_dir must be set to a valid directory.
- MySQL 3.23.28 or higher.
- at least 512 kilobytes of storage space in the database, although more is highly recommended.
- about two and a half megabytes of storage space on the web server, although more is recommended.
Recommendations for best performance:
- Linux or another Unix based operating system.
- the GNU Aspell and its dictionaries for spell checking support.
- Apache with AcceptPathInfo set to On (Apache 2 and later only) for queryless URL support.
PHP 4.3.0 or higher, with the following set in php.ini:
- the max_input_time directive is set to a value of at least 30.
- the post_max_size and upload_max_filesize directives are set to the size of the largest attachments you wish to be able to upload.
- the session.use_trans_sid directive set to Off.
- the memory_limit directive is set to at least 8M.
- the max_execution_time directive is set to at least 15.
- the register_globals directive is set to Off.
- MySQL 4.0.15 or higher with query caching enabled.
- GD Graphics Library 2.0 or higher.
If your server does not meet these requirements, SMF may not work properly.
Uploading the files
The first thing you need to do is upload all of the files in this
package, excluding this file itself, to your server. You can upload it
to any directory accessible by URL, but if you're not sure where to put
it, a directory named "forum" is a good choice. You may wish to make
sure that all of the folders were uploaded, such as Themes/default/languages, because some FTP clients have been known to drop files.
If you want or need to install any languages other than English,
download the corresponding versions from the download page, and upload
them to the same directory you uploaded SMF to. This should put
additional files in Themes/default/languages and, in most cases, Themes/default/images.
After you have finished uploading the files, point your browser to
http://www.yourdomain.tld/forum/install.php - where
www.yourdomain.tld/forum is the URL to where you uploaded it. You
should then see an installer interface.
The first page you see may request your FTP information. If you see
this screen, it is because the installer found some files or folders
with inadequate permissions for SMF to run properly. If you enter your
FTP information here, the installer can automatically fix these
permissions for you. Please note that the path should be the same path
you see in your FTP client. For example, it might be
"public_html/forum". And remember, the installer will not save your FTP
Finishing everything up
From this point, the installer should walk you through all the
information you need to enter. There isn't much more, so don't worry.
Please remember to delete the installer after finishing the
installation. If you do not delete it, it is possible that someone
could compromise the security of your forum.