Install Elgg Social Networking

Download and place on a server

Elgg is a free open source social networking engine. The engine will enable anyone to set up an online social environment. The basic engine includes everything required to begin a social network immediately.

Elgg offers blogging, micro-blogging, file sharing, networking, groups. Features can also be extended with plugins available for download such as chat. Modifications are possible for people with a decent command of PHP and HTML.

In this tutorial, Elgg will be installed on a Linux server but the steps can be followed for other servers.

    Tools are required:

  • Unzip to decompress the downloaded file.
  • Text editor for creating and modifying configuration files.
  • MySQL Database server.
  • Web server.
  • PHP.
  • FTP, SSH or File Manager to upload and modify permissions for files.
  • Knowledge of the files to be served.

Download Elgg

    Point your browser to

  • Click the download button to obtain the latest release.
  • Save the compressed file.
  • Decompress the file by using unzip if appropriate.
  • Move the created folder to your server location.

Create MySQL Database and User

    Point your browser to PhpMyAdmin:

  • Click the Privileges Tab.
  • Click the Add a new User link.
  • Username=”elgg”, Host=”localhost”, Password=”elggpw”.
  • Select Create a database with the same name as user under Database for user.
  • Click the Create button.
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PhpMyAdmin Add Database & New User

    Command Line Way:

  • mysql -u root -p -h localhost.
  • Create DATABASE elgg;.
  • GRANT ALL ON elgg.* to ‘elgg’@’localhost’ identified by ‘elggpw’.
  • exit.
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PhpMyAdmin Added Database & User

Create Data Folder

    Create Elgg data folder outside of elgg folder:

  • Make a folder called elggdata.
  • Change the permissions of the folder to allow writing.

    Command Line Way:

  • mkdir elggdata.
  • chmod -R 777 elggdata.

Install Elgg

    Point your browser to Elgg on your server:

  • Enter the database settings.
  • Create an engine.settings.php file based on provided contents.
  • Create an .htaccess file based on provided contents.
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Elgg Welcome Screen

Setup Elgg

    System Settings:

  • Enter the site name such as Ojambo’s Elgg site.
  • Input the site email address.
  • Enter the full path to the elgg data folder created earlier.
  • Click save to continue.
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Elgg System Settings Screen

System Setup from the Command Line

#        Copyright 2011 Edward <>
mysql -u root -p -h localhost
Create DATABASE elgg; 
Create USER 'elgg'@'localhost' identified by 'elggpw';
Grant ALL ON elgg.* to 'elgg'@'localhost';

unzip elgg*.zip

mkdir elggdata

cd elgg*

cp engine/settings.example.php engine/settings.php
cp htaccess_dist .htaccess

chmod -R 777 elggdata

Enter Adminstrator Account Setup

    Register Initial User:

  • Display name = “Administrator”.
  • Email address = “Sales AT”.
  • Username = “Admin”.
  • Password = “ElggAdmin”.
  • Click Register button
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Elgg Administrator Account Setup screen

Elgg is now installed, you can enter admin menu after login on the front page.

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Elgg Front Page


  1. Use the Command Line, it is faster and helps with troubleshooting.
  2. Do not use weak passwords for the Database User and Administrator.
  3. Test the social network before going live.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 at 12:00 am and is filed under Tips & Tricks. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Install Elgg Social Networking”

  1. Ojambo Install Elgg Social Networking Video 0033 Says:

    September 16th, 2011 at 12:07 am

    […] Video for the Install Elgg Social Networking article. Part One of […]

  2. lipak Says:

    February 6th, 2012 at 10:46 am

    i cannot instal it. can you have a video tutorial for this process. plz mail me on my email. thank you.. hope you will replay soon.

  3. Edward Says:

    February 6th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    A video exists. It is the first reply. The link is

  4. Dalvy Says:

    September 3rd, 2012 at 10:42 am

    thanks bro! may God Blessed u..
    pls just show me d step by step procedure to create a site similar to facebook…..pls

  5. Edward Says:

    September 14th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Elgg comes with features you need to create a social networking site. You can add more features by installing plugins. What parts do you need help with?

  6. Dalvy Says:

    September 26th, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Step by step elgg installation on windows 7….
    Using simple procedures n not through command line…..pls help me

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