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Simple Machines SMF Forum installation Tutorial

Installing SMF forum is not difficult, there are two option for installing SMF forum, one is slightly manual and the other is more automated. We will detail out the installation process here.

Preparing hosting account

Before the actual installation, you must setup an empty MySQL database in your hosting account for the SMF board installation process, similar to most other open source program, creating a MySQL database is usually done manually. Remember to write down the following in after you have created the MySQL database :-

Database name : myacctloginname_databasename
Database user : myacctloginname_databaseusername
Password : password_set_for_mysql_user_above

This database connection info is needed in the installation process later.

Manually install SMF forum board

After getting a MySQL database created and granted access for a MySQL user to the database, you can proceed on to the rest of the installation process :-

  1. Download latest stable release of SMF forum board, use the Full Install file
  2. Extract the compressed file and FTP upload it to your hosting account, depending on how your wish to access the forum board :-

    public_html (if you want to access your forum board with http://www.yourdomain.com/ , replace public_html with the uncompressed SMF folder)

    public_html/forum (if you want to access your forum board with http://www.yourdomain.com/forum/ , place the uncompressed SMF folder in public_html/forum/ folder

  3. After placing the SMF folder/files in the appropriate folder in your hosting account, you can start the SMF installation process by entering

    http://www.yourdomain.com/forum/install.php (assuming you have place the SMF files in the public_html/forum folder)

  4. The SMF process with start by requesting FTP login information from you, enter your hosting account FTP login information as requested, this is needed for the installation program to login as FTP user to your hosting account to create files and setting the file/folder permissions, in case the installation process fail to set files / folders permission in your hosting account, you should manually set the following files and folder in your SMF program folder to (CHMOD 777)

    • attachments
    • avatars
    • Packages
    • Packages/installed.list
    • Smileys
    • Themes
    • Themes/default/languages/Install.english.php
    • agreement.txt
    • Settings.php
    • Settings_bak.php
    • install.php

    Enter the http://www.yourdomain.com/forum/install.php after manually setting the files/folders permissions (you don't have to do this if you do not need to manually setup the files / folders permissions)
  5. After the files / folders permission setting is done, you will be presented with a form to fill in MySQL database info (obtain from creating mysql database process above) and forum admin user setup :-

    • Forum Name: Enter a name for your forum, this name will appear in your forum board.
    • Forum URL: depending on your installation (in this particular installation example case, it should be http://www.yourdomain.com/forum/, double check if the system has entered it correctly for you).
    • MySQL server name: This is where we specify the location of the MySQL database. enter localhost if the mysql server resides in the same server as your SMF program board, if you are placing your MySQL server elsewhere, then enter the remote mysql server address here.
    • MySQL username: This is the Username for your MySQL database, which in this case from the example above, it should be myacctloginname_databaseusername.
    • MySQL password: This is the password you have set for the myacctloginname_databaseusername.
    • MySQL Database name: This is your MySQL database name. In this case it is myacctloginname_databasename.
    • MySQL Database prefix: This is a prefix to the table names in your database. You should generally leave it as smf_, unless you have other tables in the same database that is used by other program and has such prefix, change the prefix only if you want to separate the tables mixing with other tables used by other programs in the same database.

  6. After you have filled in everything and verified them, click Proceed
  7. You will be asked to enter a admin login info for your new forum board, this user will be the forum administration login ID to configure the forum board, enter a desired user ID as requested and click Proceed, note that you will be asked to enter the database password again, enter the correct password you have given to the mysql user (same password as given in the database connection info just now).
  8. If everything is entered correctly, the installation script will install the necessary tables in your database, and setup the configuration files properly, you will be presented with a status screen telling you the installation process is completed successfully
  9. IMPORTANT: After a successful installation, go through the status screen and remove the installation files as shown on the screen, this is important to not leave a security hole in your SMF forum (basically you are required to remove the install.php script in your SMF program folder)
  10. Done ! you can now login to your newly setup SMF forum board with the admin user ID just created and proceed on to configure your forum as you wish