phpLIST Install

Short instructions

If you are upgrading from an earlier version of phpList, see Upgrading to the latest release.
If you encounter problems during the installation, take a look at PhplistTroubleshooting.

Installing phpList in a few steps:

  1. Unpack the distribution files. Make sure to use "create directories" when unpacking.
  2. This will create a directory called phplist-x.y.x where x.y.z is the version you unpacked.
  3. In this directory, there will be a directory public_html which contains the directory lists. Upload the "lists" directory into a directory that can be accessed via the web. The rest of the files are for reference only and are not needed for phplist to work.
  4. Create a database for phpList to use. phpList needs the name of that database during the installation process.
  5. Configure phpList by opening the config.php file in the lists/config directory in your preferred text editor. See Configuration.
  6. Go to the URL of the lists/admin directory of your phpList installation. A web-based installer will walk you through the rest.



If your website (lets say is mapped to the directory /home/michael/www/, and you have uploaded the phpList distribution files into /home/michael/www/lists/, then you should go to:

Longer version

  1. Download the phpList files from the phpList website. It is recommended to use the latest version marked as stable, unless you are interested in doing beta-testing (which is a good thing to be done, too).
  2. The file is a *.tar.gz file, which means that it is a packed file which you need to unpack. Windows users can use a program like Winzip, 7zip or Winrar for this. Make sure you let it re-create (sub)directories.
  3. Upload the contents of the lists directory, which you'll find in the public_html folder of the unpacked source tree into your web folder (something like www or public_html, for example www-data in Debian, Apache on Redhat Linux); or a subdirectory of that if you prefer.
  4. Create a database which phpList can use. phpList needs the name of that database during the installation process. If you can, use phpMyAdmin for this, but you could also do it from the prompt. If your host won't let you create a new database, don't worry - you can use an existing one and specify a prefix for all the table names in the config.php file so there won't be any conflicts.
    You also need to have (or create) a user for the database with sufficient permissions for phpList to use to access the database; this user needs all the usual permissions for reading, writing, modifying and deleting records, as well as for creating tables (which is what the installer is going to do); being allowed to drop tables (not databases) may also be needed later.
  5. With a simple text editor (not a word processor) open the phpList config.php file in the lists/config/ directory and configure phplist properly. This may take a while. For detailed instructions on how to configure this file, see Configuring phpList.
  6. Point your browser to the web directory where the phplist backend is located, for instance: This will start the initializing process.
  7. Follow the instructions of the installer.