From Online Manual
The Core Configuration page of the Server Settings section of the Administration Center allows you to change the basic settings for your forum. Be very careful with these settings, as they may render the Forum dysfunctional if a setting is changed to an invalid value. The following options are available through this page:
Database Connection Settings
- Server on which the database resides - Hostname or IP of the database server. If the database server is on the same machine as the web server, it's safe (and considerably more efficient!) to use 'localhost' for this setting. Otherwise, either an IP address or a web address (hostname) is required.
- Database Username - Name of the user connecting to the database.
- Database Password - Password for access to the database server.
- Database Name - The name of the database. This database must exist, and must have SMF's tables and data in it.
- Database Tables Prefix - The prefix of the database tables. During installation, SMF will add about 30 tables to the database. Each of which will use the prefix that was configured during the installation procedure. For example, if the prefix is 'smf_', the tables will be given the names 'smf_attachments', 'smf_boards', 'smf_messages', etc. If you want to install another Forum or software package in the same database, simply chose a different prefix, and the tables won't interfere with each other.
- Use a persistent connection - Enable (ticked) or disable persistent connections for connecting to the database. A persistent connection keeps the connection active to increase performance (although in many cases the gain is minimal). If you aren't on a dedicated server, this may cause you problems with your host.
- Send emails on Database connection error - Enables (ticked) or disables sending an email to the Administrator on a database connection or query error. This function is limited to sending only one email per every three days.
Maintenance Mode Settings
- Maintenance Mode - Sets whether the Forum is in maintenance mode or not. If ticked Maintenance mode will be activated. Thus, only administrators can use the Forum as usual. Other users get a 'this Forum is in maintenance mode' message. The database may still be accessed for user authentication (to tell if the Member is an administrator).
- Subject for display - Title for the Maintenance Mode message. This will be shown to users only if Maintenance mode is on.
- Message for display - Description of why the Forum is in maintenance mode. It will be shown to user only if Maintenance mode is on.
Forum Title and General Server Settings
- Forum Title - The name of your forum. This is used in the title and footer of your Forum pages, as the name of the sender of email notifications and on the footer of each email message sent by your forum.
- Webmaster Email Address - Email address from which to send all Topic notifications, Personal message notifications, newsletters, etc. This address also receives database error warnings, should they occur.
- Cookie Name - Name of the cookie to set for authentication purposes. Changing this value will cause everyone to be logged out.
- Default Forum Language - The default language file set for the forum. This language will be used for all guests (unless they choose otherwise) and members who have not chosen a language in their profile. SMF will always try to get the language file of the language set by a user first. If a language file for some reason cannot be found in the user's language files, it will fall back to the file corresponding to this setting.
Forum URL and Path Settings
- Forum URL - The URL to your forum's folder, without the trailing slash (/). This URL is used throughout SMF - all dynamically generated URLs (except those with their own settings) are based on this setting.
- SMF Directory - This sets the directory where SMF is installed. It's used to locate files like Settings.php, SSI.php, agreement.txt, and the Packages directory. No trailing slash (/) should be added.
- Sources Directory - The path to where the source files are stored. No trailing slash (/) is allowed. It does not need to be the same as the above path. You can have your SMF Directory in one place and Sources Directory in another place if you want. For security, you may wish to place your Sources directory in a location that is not accessible by the web server.
- Cache Directory (2.0 Only) - The path to the directory that is used to store cached files generated by SMF.
Note that you do not have to change anything in here. The default values will be set automatically for you and most installations will work just fine with them.
Database and Paths
Cookies and Sessions