Configuring the live server

This chapter is not about configuring a server in terms of installing Apache or compiling PHP, which you cannot do on a shared hosting account anyway. It explains how to check whether the Contao system requirements are met and how to enable PHP 5.

Contao system requirements

Contao requires a webserver like Apache or IIS with PHP and MySQL support.

Software Version (min.)
PHP 5.4.0
MySQL 5.0.3

You also need several PHP extensions to get the full functionality.

PHP extension for mandatory
GDlib image resizing yes
DOM XML files yes
SOAP Extension Repository no
Phar Live Update no
mbstring multi-byte character handling no
mcrypt data encryption no


Depending on your installed extensions, it may be necessary to increase the PHP variable max_input_vars (e.g. 2000 or higher). Otherwise long back end forms cannot be submitted completely.

Contao has been tested successfully with all major browsers like Firefox or Internet Explorer (from version 9).

The Contao check

Download the Contao Check to find out whether your server meets the Contao system requirements. The script will check whether you can use the Extension Repository and the Live Update and whether you have to use the Safe Mode Hack or not. Depending on your system configuration, you can set up a new Contao installation with the web installer or validate an existing installation.

Extract the Zip file, upload the check folder to your Contao installation directory and open it in a web browser.

Download the Contao Check | Open the GitHub project

ISP-specific settings

There are a few major Internet Service Providers that require a little extra configuration to get Contao to work. Fortunately, they are just the exception from the rule. The ISP-specific settings are described in the Contao forum. If you are looking for hassle-free Contao hosting, check out the list of Contao hosting partners.

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