Simple Machines Forum – Installation on CentOS via CLI

SMF or Simple Machines Forum is a very popular open source forum software used to create online communities. With this software, companies or organisations can create their own online community where users can sign up and post their opinions, comments, reviews etc.

In this tutorial, we will discuss how and SMF forum can be installed in a CentOS server via Command line.

Steps to do:

Download the SMF files.

Create a MySQL database for the forum and privileged user.

Installation via Front end or web browser.

1) Download the SMF files

Change the working directory to the Document Root or Data Directory of the website forum

cd /home/pickawebtest/www/

Download the files archive with wget


Untar or extract the archive

tar -xvfz smf_2-0-6_install.tar.gz

Remove the files archive as we have already extracted the files into the Document Root.

rm -f smf_2-0-6_install.tar.gz

Change the directory permissions as follows.

chmod 777 attachments avatars cache Packages Smileys Themes

All the files will now be present in the forum data directory. Next step is to create a database for the forum.

2) Create a MySQL database for the forum and privileged user

Goto MySQL prompt as the admin or root user


In the MySQL prompt, type the following to create a database,

CREATE DATABASE pickawebsmf;

Create a MySQL user who can access the database,

CREATE USER ‘smfuser’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘password’;

Grant privileges for the MySQL user to access the database

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON pickawebsmf.* to ‘smfuser’@’localhost’;

Flush privileges for the changes to take effect


Exit from the MySQL propmt


You can change the database name (pickawebsmf), MySQL username (smfuser) and password (password) as you wish. For further reference, you can take a look into the screenshot below.


With the database and the privileged user being created, we can move onto installation via front end.

3) Installation via Front end or web browser

Go to in the web browser for resuming the installation process. You may go through the screenshots below.


This is the welcome page, just click ‘Continue’ and this will take you to the database settings page.


Specify the database name, database user name and database password that was given in Step 2. Next is the forum settings page.


Specify the Forum name and forum URL in this page. Next is the database population page. It just shows the number of tables and rows created for installation, this step is just informatory.


Click ‘Continue’ for the Admin Account setup page.


In this page, specify the username and password for the admin panel. Click ‘Continue’.


This marks the completion of the SMF software installation!

We hope you have found this tutorial useful on how to install Simple Machines Forum (SMF) on CentOS.

Thanks for reading and leave your questions below to keep the conversation going.

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