Introduction to installing

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Welcome to the Installing SMF section of the Online Manual! If you are viewing this page, it is assumed that you are intending to install SMF and perhaps seek some assistance to successfully install SMF.

The Installation process of installing SMF generally requires three fundamental steps:

First: Download the SMF package you want to use!


  • Select the version that is suitable for your needs and level of experience. Beta versions are not suitable for production environments, while stable versions have been tested extensively in several environments. The stable releases of SMF will always be available for download through the Download Page and will always be listed on the top of the page. The latest beta release will be listed below the latest stable releases.
  • Check the minimum requirements. To save any headaches down the line, you should ensure that the server you intend to install SMF on meets the requirements that will be needed for you to be able to install and run SMF. However if you are unsure of how to find out if your server meets the requirements, the SMF Installer will be able to report back to you if something will not work.


  • For more information on download SMF, see the document Obtaining SMF.

Second: Upload SMF


  • Find an FTP program to use. FTP, File Transfer Protocol, allows you to upload files directly from your computer to the Internet on your very own webhost. For more information on using FTP and how to find an FTP program to use, see How do I use FTP.
  • CHMOD your files. Some files need to be writable by SMF. If the SMF Installer reports that certain files need to be writable, you can attempt to enter in your FTP details on the Installer page. If that doesn't seem to work, you can try manually making your files writable by using the CHMOD function of your FTP program, setting the files that need to be writable to 777.


  • For more information on uploading SMF, see the document Uploading SMF.

Third: Run the SMF Installer


  • Type in your forum address in your browser. The address of your forum should be similar to any other file you have on your website. If you uploaded the SMF files to the very root of your webhost and your website domain is http://www.simplemachines.org, then you would run that URL to access the installer of SMF. If you uploaded your SMF files to a directory called "community" you would then run the URL http://www.simplemachines.org/community to access the installer providing that http://www.simplemachines.org is your website's domain.
  • Enter in the details. SMF needs to connect to your database that you have set up so it has a place to store its data. Your host is the one that can either provide you with these details or likely provides an interface where you can setup up databases and database accounts for SMF to use.
  • For more information on running the SMF installer, see the document Installing SMF.

Frequently Encountered Problems


Sometimes issues arise when installing SMF, the most common issues are listed below.