Installation & Configuration

How do I install Nucleus?

Written and contributed by Leng Lui.
Turkish translation available at Nucleus’u nasıl kurabilirim? by nucleustr.

"I think Nucleus is really great and I want to use it for my site/blogging community. How do I install it?"

Just follow this walkthrough and you'll have Nucleus up and running in no time! All you'll need is

If you are looking to install Nucleus on your local hard drive, it is recommended you follow the FAQ article "Can I run Nucleus offline from my local computer/hard drive without being online?" prior to this FAQ article.


For those who would like to see a little more action, here's karma's very own interactive Nucleus installation walkthrough:
  1. Download the latest version of Nucleus from the Nucleus site. At the time of writing this walkthrough, the latest version is 3.2.

    Step 1:  Download Nucleus.

    Save the .zip file to your computer.

  2. Extract the files from the .zip. All the Nucleus files have been zipped inside a folder called nucleus 3.2. Open the folder and you should have something like this:

    Step 2:  Extract the files from the .zip file.

  3. Open up your FTP client and connect to your server. Navigate to your /public_html/ folder on your server (circled in red) and your \nucleus 3.2\ folder on your hard drive (circled in green). Here you can choose whether you want to install Nucleus in your top directory ( or a subdirectory ( Since I'm already running a Nucleus installation in my top directory, I'm going to install Nucleus in a subdirectory called /testing/.

    Upload all the files in the \nucleus 3.2\ folder to the directory you want to install Nucleus in. In my case, I've uploaded all my files to /public_html/testing/ (area in blue square).

    Step 3:  Upload the unzipped files to the directory you want to install Nucleus in.

  4. Next, we'll have to create a MySQL database for Nucleus to use. Login to your server's administration area. For this tutorial, we'll be using the Cpanel interface. Ensim users, please see the Ensim Database Installation Walkthrough.

    Go into the MySQL databases admin area (circled in red).

    Step 4:  Login to your host's admin area and navigate to MySQL databases.

  5. Scroll down until you find the part which allows you to add a database (circled in red). Give your database a name and add it. I'm going to call mine ncls1.

    Step 5:  Add a new MySQL database.

  6. Great, we now have a database! But there's no use having a database if nobody can access it. Scroll down again to create a new user for the database. My database user is going to be "ncls1" with a password of "password".

    Step 6:  Add a new MySQL database user.

    You should get some sort of confirmation to let you know you've done it right.

    Confirmation screen:  user has been created.

  7. The last part of setting up the MySQL database is adding the user to the database's access list (circled in red). Select the user and database you want to pair up. I will be adding lenglui_ncls1 to lenglui_ncls1. Make sure you give your user all privileges.

    Step 7:  Add the MySQL database user to your database's access list with all privileges.

    Again, you should be taken to a confirmation screen:

    Confirmation screen:  user successfully added to database.

    Your MySQL admin screen should now look like this:

    MySQL admin area:  database and user setup completed.

  8. Now it's time to run the install script! To do this, head to, where is the URL to your site. But if you've installed in a subdirectory like me, you'll need to go to where subdirectory is the name of the subdirectory you uploaded your Nucleus files to. Since I installed Nucleus in the /testing/ subdirectory, I need to go to".

    You should arrive a page that looks something like this:

    Step 8:  Run the install script, install.php, under the directory Nucleus files were uploaded to.

  9. Enter in your MySQL login details. Remember the MySQL database and user you created earlier? This is where the information goes. Your hostname will usually be localhost. Mine looks like this:

    Step 9:  Enter your MySQL details.

  10. Nucleus should automatically detect your directories and paths for you. Just check to see that they're the correct absolute paths for your server (if you get a "The path of the administration area does not exist" error later, see this article). You should have something like this:

    Step 10:  Check your directories and paths have been correctly detected by Nucleus.

  11. Next, enter the details for the administrator user and your default blog.

    Step 11:  Enter your administrator user and default blog details.

    Hit submit and go on to the final part.

  12. So that Nucleus knows what your server paths and MySQL details are, copy/paste the information here to the config.php file in your \nucleus 3.2\ folder on your computer.

    Step 12:  Copy the information.

    Step 12:  Paste it into your "config.php" file and save.

  13. Switch back to your FTP program and upload the new config.php file to your server, overwriting the old file. Just a few more things to tidy up:

    Step 13:  Upload "config.php", overwriting the old file.  A few more things to tidy up.

    Delete install.php and install.sql from your server (circled in red). Choose "Yes to all" (circled in blue).

    Step 13:  Delete "install.php" and "install.sql".

Congratulations! You've just successfully installed Nucleus!

By default, Nucleus comes with one blog item already written. You can edit this item to really complete setting up your new Nucleus site.

  1. Login to your Nucleus administration area located at (or if you installed in a subdirectory).

    Login to your admin area.

  2. Click on "Edit/Delete Items" (circled in red).

    Click on "Edit/Delete Items"

  3. Here, you'll see a list of all the items in your blog. At the moment, we only have that first default item. Click on the "Edit" link to edit the item.

    Click on the "Edit" link to edit the item.

  4. Delete the text in the Body textarea as well as the Extended area. Change the title to whatever you want and write a little blurb to introduce your website.

    Editing the item.

  5. Click on "Edit Item" to save your changes. This will take you back to the page listing all the items you have in your blog.

    Saving the changes.

  6. Click on the "Your site" link to visit your new Nucleus site, with welcome message and all.

    Your brand new Nucleus site.

Congratulations! You have just edited your first Nucleus item!

Further reading:
Now that you've installed Nucleus, you probably want to customize it to your own needs. Remember to check out the helpful articles in our "Getting started" section of this FAQ website and see our "Troubleshooting" section if something goes wrong!

To get you started, here are some links to the building blocks.

If you have a question that has not been answered, come and ask us at our very friendly Nucleus Support Forum!
section: Installation & Configuration | submitted by Leng on 2007.Jun.24 | 44198 views

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