Generic PHP application installers

After SemanticScuttle gets better and better, it's time to think about providing a installation/setup wizard for people that freshly install the bookmarking application.

The current steps to setup SemanticScuttle are:

  1. Download release from Sourceforge onto server
  2. Unzip
  3. Open URL in webbrowser
  4. Get error message: Please copy "config.php.dist" to "config.php" in data/ folder.
  5. Copy data/config.php.dist to data/config.php
  6. Adjust data/config.php to custom specifics, i.e. database settings
  7. Open URL in webbrowser
  8. If something does not work, adjust config file again
  9. Repeat

This is not easy for newbies and casual users that just want their own private boomarking site. It also makes it really easy to miss the dozens other configuration options that are not part of the config.php.dist file but are only declared in config.default.php. A better way for setup would be:

  1. Download release from Sourceforge onto server
  2. Unzip
  3. Open URL in webbrowser
  4. Wizard notices no config file exists and leads you through installation, asking for database credentials and allowing to configure further options.

This way of installing SemanticScuttle would make installation less error-prone and more pleasing.

Now instead of writing an installer yourself, there could be tools somewhere out in the web that already to this, right? Something like NSIS , IzPack or WiX , just for PHP web applications? Something like PEAR post-installation scripts, just not only for the command line?

There are some of them, but not a single one that I liked. To save you your own investigation, here is a list of them.

Desired feature set

Here is a list of features I would expect or wish to be in such a setup/configuration tool:

General features


Check and verify system requirements

Collecting configuration data


Existing tools

Tools I found out there on the web, in no particular order. The only actively developed one costs money, all others are or seem to be dead. The commercial one has no features the others don't have either. Plus, all of them do only database setup and file permissions - nothing else.

PHP Easy Installer


NBBS Wizard

Application Installer Wizard Class

PHP Web Application Installer


ZZ/OSS Installer



Written by Christian Weiske.

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