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Documentation on the different ways to install Winter CMS for your next project.

There are two ways you can install Winter, either using the Web-based installer or Command-line installation instructions. Before you proceed, you should check that your server meets the minimum system requirements.

Minimum system requirements

Winter CMS has some server requirements for web hosting:

  1. PHP version 7.2 or higher
  2. PDO PHP Extension (and relevant driver for the database you want to connect to)
  3. cURL PHP Extension
  4. OpenSSL PHP Extension
  5. Mbstring PHP Extension
  6. ZipArchive PHP Extension
  7. GD PHP Extension
  8. SimpleXML PHP Extension

Some OS distributions may require you to manually install some of the required PHP extensions.

When using Ubuntu, the following command can be run to install all required extensions:

sudo apt-get update &&
sudo apt-get install php php-ctype php-curl php-xml php-fileinfo php-gd php-json php-mbstring php-mysql php-sqlite3 php-zip

When using the SQL Server database engine, you will need to install the group concatenation user-defined aggregate.

Web-based installation

The Web Installer is the recommended way to install Winter for non-technical users. It is simpler than the command-line installation and doesn't require any special skills.

NOTE: If you are a developer, we recommend that you install via Composer instead

  1. Prepare an empty directory on the web server that will host your Winter CMS installation. It can be a main domain, sub-domain or subfolder.
  2. Download the "install.zip" file from the latest release of the Winter CMS Web Installer into this folder.
  3. Unzip the downloaded ZIP file.
  4. Grant write permissions to all files and folders that were extracted.
  5. In your web browser, navigate to the URL pointing to that folder, and include /install.html at the end of the URL.
  6. Follow the instructions given in the installer.


Troubleshooting installation

  1. Unable to connect to the Winter Marketplace API: If your server has a firewall blocking requests to port 443, you will need to allow requests and responses for this port. Contact your system administrator to allow access to this port.

  2. Installer fails on the "Determining dependencies" or "Installing dependencies" step: Under the hood, the web installer uses Composer to process and install the dependencies necessary to run Winter CMS - note, you do not need Composer installed as a CLI tool for this to work. This process may require a larger amount of memory to complete - if your environment restricts memory usage for your applications, consider allowing up to 1.5GB of memory temporarily for the installer, then reduce it after the installation is complete. The installer will try to do this automatically.

  3. Installer does not display or function correctly: The web installer has been built on modern frontend frameworks, and may require the use of a more recent browser version. Consider installing Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome and keeping it up-to-date.

  4. Unable to parse JSON response: Depending on your internet connection, downloading all the source files may take more time than the max_execution_time PHP configuration value allows; causing the download to end with an incomplete file base. Modify the PHP configuration to increase this value and try again.

  5. Unable to determine dependencies for Winter CMS. Your composer.json file is invalid.: This error has been reported by people using shared hosting, and is usually the result of either the proc_* methods being listed in the disable_functions PHP INI setting, or the pcntl extension for PHP not being enabled. Unfortunately, at this stage, there is no workaround, but you may be able to use the Installer on a local development environment that does not have these limitations, and then simply copy the full directory to your shared hosting once completed. We are actively looking into more long-term fix for this behaviour.

Command-line installation

If you feel more comfortable with a command-line or want to use composer, there is a CLI install process on the Console interface page.

Post-installation steps

There are some things you may need to set up after the installation is complete.

Delete installation files

If you have used the Wizard installer, for security reasons you should verify the installation files have been deleted. The Winter installer attempts to cleanup after itself, but you should always verify that they have been successfullly removed:

install/      <== Installation directory
install.html  <== Installation script

Review configuration

Configuration files are stored in the config directory of the application. While each file contains descriptions for each setting, it is important to review the common configuration options available for your circumstances.

For example, in production environments you may want to enable CSRF protection. While in development environments, you may want to enable bleeding edge updates.

While most configuration is optional, we strongly recommend disabling debug mode for production environments. You may also want to use a public folder for additional security.

Setting up the scheduler

For scheduled tasks to operate correctly, you should add the following Cron entry to your server. Editing the crontab is commonly performed with the command crontab -e.

* * * * * php /path/to/artisan schedule:run >> /dev/null 2>&1

Be sure to replace /path/to/artisan with the absolute path to the artisan file in the root directory of Winter. This Cron will call the command scheduler every minute. Then Winter evaluates any scheduled tasks and runs the tasks that are due.

NOTE: If you are adding this to /etc/cron.d you'll need to specify a user immediately after * * * * *.

Setting up queue workers

You may optionally set up an external queue for processing queued jobs, by default these will be handled asynchronously by the platform. This behavior can be changed by setting the default parameter in the config/queue.php.

If you decide to use the database queue driver, it is a good idea to add a Crontab entry for the command php artisan queue:work --once to process the first available job in the queue.

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