Installing Elgg On An ISPConfig 3 System

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

Elgg is an open-source web application written in PHP that allows you to run a social-networking site. This tutorial shows how you can install it on a server running ISPconfig 3.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I'm assuming that you have a working ISPConfig 3 system, set up according to the instructions for ISPConfig 3 and your distribution on

I will use the web site here in this guide where I will install Elgg.


2 Creating The Web Site In ISPConfig 3

First we create the web site in ISPConfig 3. Go to the Sites tab and click on Add new website:

Select the IP address for the web site and fill in as the domain; then scroll down...

... and select www in the Auto-Subdomain drop-down menu as well as Mod-PHP in the PHP drop-down menu; then click on Save:

Go to the Options tab of the new web site and fill in the following lines in the Apache directives field:

[<Directory /var/www/>
  AllowOverride All

This is to make sure that the .htaccess file that comes with Elgg will work correctly (otherwise you might get a 500 server error). Please write down the document root of the web site (/var/clients/client0/web2 in this case) - we will need it later in the Elgg installer:

You should see the new web site in the list of web sites in ISPConfig afterwards:

Open another browser window and go to, and you should see the ISPConfig placeholder page:


3 Creating An FTP User

Next we need to create an FTP user so that we can upload the Elgg sources to our new web site. Go to FTP-User on the Sites tab and click on Add new FTP-User:

Select the web site and fill in a username and password, then click on Save. The username will have a prefix, so it will be a little different from what you typed in - you can see the full username...

... on the overview page (the username is defaultfalko in this example):

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3 Comment(s)

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The apache directive:

[<Directory /var/www/>
AllowOverride All

causes Apache2 to fail if the "[" is added in ispconfig 3


edit  /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and delete the "["
 /etc/init.d/apache2 restart.


By: Henry O'Tani

In the U.K. character set there is an odd character at the beginning of the attached sample, which if cut and pasted exactly as it appears creates an error.

[<Directory /var/www/>
  AllowOverride All

By: hlozano

Can not create forder for data inside /var/www/clients/client0/web21/ , using ftp with account created or on ssh using root.