Install Elkarte Community Forum on Ubuntu

ElkArte is a modern, powerful community building forum software. It is completely free to use and is licensed with an open source BSD-3 clause license.

ElkArte Features:
ElkArte is designed to provide you with all the features you need for a full featured community forum and website right out of the box.

With an extensive default feature set, there is no need to install a lot of additions to get your site up and running. Just some of our highlights include:
  • @Mentioning users including notifications
  • Likes for posts and topics
  • Drafts, including auto save
  • OpenID 2.0
  • Two modern, responsive themes that look good in any modern browser, smartphone or tablet.
  • Integrated video embedding for youtube, vimeo and dailymotion
  • Drag and drop ordering in the administration interface
  • Drag and drop file attachments
  • Improved Anti Spam measures
  • Improved password hashing using industry standards
  • Bad Behaviour built in
  • Automatic combining and minifying of JavaScript and CSS
  • Posting by Email
  • Ajax previews and responses throughout the user interface
  • Utilizes jQuery and Font Awesome...and much more! 
Let’s start with the installation. Make sure your server OS packages are fully up-to-date:
apt-get update 
apt-get upgrade
Download the latest version of Elkarte available at to the server and extract it using the following commands:
cd /opt
wget -O
mkdir -p /var/www/html/elkarte
unzip -o -d /var/www/html/elkarte/
Create a new MySQL database for Elkarte to use and assign a user to it with full permissions:
mysql -u root -p
mysql> CREATE DATABASE elkartedb;
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON elkartedb.* TO 'elkarteuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your-password' WITH GRANT OPTION;
mysql> quit
Do not forget to replace 'your-password' with a strong password.
Create a new virtual host directive in Apache. For example, create a new Apache configuration file named 'elkarte.conf' on your virtual server:
touch /etc/apache2/sites-available/elkarte.conf
Then, run the following command:
ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/elkarte.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/elkarte.conf
Or, use the a2ensite to enable the 'elkarte.conf' configuration in Apache:
sudo a2ensite elkarte.conf
Edit the 'elkarte.conf' configuration file:
vi /etc/apache2/sites-available/elkarte.conf
and add the following lines to it:
<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/elkarte/
<Directory /var/www/html/elkarte/>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/ common
In order to set memory_limit, max_execution_time, max_input_time, post_max_size and upload_max_filesize and disable safe mode and Register Globals in PHP, edit the php.ini configuration file and add/modify the following lines:
vi /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
register_globals = Off
post_max_size = 128M
upload_max_filesize = 128M
memory_limit = 128M
max_execution_time = 300
max_input_time = 300
safe_mode = Off
Optionally, add/modify the following lines in php.ini:
display_errors = Off
html_errors = Off
display_startup_errors = Off
log_errors = On
default_charset = "UTF-8" 
mbstring.func_overload = 0
Set the proper file permissions for the Apache web server to write to the Elkarte document root ('/var/www/html/elkarte') directory:
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/elkarte/
Enable the Apache2 rewrite module if it is not already done so:
sudo a2enmod rewrite
Restart the Apache web server for the changes to take effect:
service apache2 restart
Open your favorite web browser, navigate to , start the installation process and follow the easy instructions: enter your MySQL username, password and database name, then create an administrator account. For security reason, it is recommended to delete the install.php file.

Log in to the administration back-end of the Elkarte community forum at and configure it according to your needs, install add-ons etc.

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