Monday, March 03, 2008

SMF : Can't install packages

Recently I fired up Fantastico and installed Simple Machine Forums (SMF) version 1.1.4. Right away I tried to install a few packages but no matter what package I tried it never worked.

Symptoms : When trying to install a SMF package it fails with no error message, no error in the server error log and leaves me with a blank screen. All the appropriate directories/files are set to writable and are "owned" by my user.

After a few hours of Goolging I discover the solution. Thanks to the tips from Sarge over at the official SMF forums I'm now able to install packages !

Here is what I did to resolve my "SMF can't install packages" issue :

1. Log into cPanel (etc) and open phpMyAdmin

2. Select the relevant SMF database (mine was _smf1)

3. Select "smf_settings" on the left hand side

4. Select the SQL tab in the right section @ the top

5. Paste this search command then click Go : SELECT * FROM smf_settings WHERE variable = 'package_path'

6. If your settings looks like the image below and just says "public_html" then this is your problem.

7. Click the little pencil icon to edit the package_path value

8. Enter the real path, it's usually something like /home/username/public_html however your situation may be different. If you don't know your path click here.

9. Change the value then click go.

You should now be able to install packages.

After I fixed my entry it looked like the following

Don't know your absolute path ?

Do the following :

1. Open a text editor and put the code <? phpinfo() ?>
2. Save as phpinfo.php
3. Upload to your web site
4. Open
5. Search for the line "DOCUMENT_ROOT"

This line should show you the path / absolute path / document root (whatever you prefer to call it). This is the value that should be in the DB key instead of just "public_html".

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