FileRun Server - Installation guide

Installing FileRun on a web server doesn't really require any technical knowledge. There is no config file to be edited and absolutely no command line action. You basically just upload the downloaded application files to your server.
Tutorials on how to install FileRun on Ubuntu 16, Ubuntu 20, CentOS 7, CentOS 8, FreeBSD/FreeNAS with Caddy, Synology and more are available on our blog
Get started in seconds with the Docker guide
Linux hosting account? Follow the cPanel guide
Configuring your own server? Check the requirements

Let's assume for this guide that your website is and you want to have FileRun running at “”.

Download the installation zip archive from here:

Option 1 (Recommended): Upload the zip to your server and extract it there:

  1. Create the folder my-files on your web server.
  2. Download FileRun (the server component - it's a small zip archive) and upload it to your server inside the my-files folder as
  3. Download this script file unzip.php (right-click and choose “Save link as..”) and also upload it to your my-files folder, next to
  4. Open your browser and go to

This is the preferred method because it's faster and also ensures that FileRun/PHP has write access to the application folders.

Option 2: Unzip the FileRun files yourself and upload them to your server via FTP (or any other method you prefer). If you have opted for this method, before proceeding with the next step of the installation, you might need to change the permissions of the folder system/data so that PHP can make changes to it. FileRun needs to be able to write temporary files inside that folder.

You should now be presented with the FileRun installation wizard. If not, skip to the troubleshooting section bellow.

The web-based installer will make sure your server configuration is suitable for FileRun and will help you setup the FileRun database. FileRun needs a MySQL database for storing various data and settings. (Note that FileRun never stores files inside the database. Files are always stored in regular folders on the server's drive.)

You will be asked to type in the username and password of the MySQL user account FileRun will use to access its database. We recommend you to avoid connecting FileRun using the MySQL root account. From a security perspective, it is much better to create a separate MySQL user account.

The superuser's account will be created without a home folder.
You will need to edit the user account and set a home folder before being able to upload files.

You can either set the path of an existing folder from your server, as the user's home folder, or create a new empty folder to store your uploaded files in. Either option you choose, it is important that the selected folder is located outside the public area of your web server (ie. outside www), otherwise the files will be accessible directly by their own URL, bypassing FileRun' security.

Once you have FileRun running, it is strongly recommended to follow these steps in order to secure it:

  • The default user account, superuser, is the only account not protected against brute force login attacks, so it is very important that you set a password that cannot be guessed by a computer. Set a long password, containing also uppercase letters, digits and symbols.
  • Accessing the FileRun installation via SSL/HTTPS, instead of plain HTTP will strongly increases your data security. Get a free SSL certificate for your server here:
  • Make sure session.cookie_httponly is set to On, in your server's PHP configuration file, for increased security against cross-site-scripting attacks.
  • Update the configured MySQL user account and remove the “ALTER” and “DROP” privileges. (You might need to add these back before installing any FileRun update.)
  • If you are on a shared hosting service, make sure the permissions of the FileRun application files do not allow PHP (or any other web server application) to make changes to them. Make an exception for the system/data folder and its contents, where FileRun needs to be able to make changes.
  • Make sure display_errors is set to Off, in your server's PHP configuration file.
  • Register your FileRun installation, from the control panel, under Software licensing, to be able to keep the installation secure and up to date!

For a good user experience, we strongly recommend you to enable ImageMagick.

In 99% of the cases problems are caused by a server or PHP configuration problem. Checking the PHP error log for the error information should be the first course of action. The location of the PHP error log is defined in the PHP configuration using the directive “error_log”. If unsure about the PHP configuration, use the recomended settings.

If you suspect a database problem when using FileRun, you can check the FileRun MySQL error log located at system/data/temp/mysql_error.log.

Login loop

If the provided credentials are verified as correct, but you are being returned to the login page, make sure the path set in PHP's configuration for “session.save_path” points to a folder which exists and its permissions allow PHP to write data to it. Also make sure that your disk space is not full.

500 Internal Server Error (on Microsoft IIS servers)

Try removing the “web.config” file from the FileRun installation folder. Make sure the system user under which IIS is running has write permission over the folder “system/data” (and all its subfolders). Finally, enable detailed error reporting in the IIS configuration to get more information about the problem.

"The file ../index.php is corrupted."

Make sure PHP is configured with the latest ionCube version.

"MySQL error: SQLSTATE[42000]: Syntax error or access violation: 1115 Unknown character set: 'utf8mb4'"

You are using a too old MySQL/MariaDB version. You would need at least version 5.6, while 5.7 is the recommended one.

"MySQL: SQLSTATE[HY000] [2002] No such file or directory"

Try using instead of localhost for the MySQL hostname.

Make sure PHP is configured with “include_path” which contains “.”. For more details, please see:

If your server meets the requirements, the file permissions are correct, feel free to contact us.

Make sure you include the error message and a detailed and clear description of the problem. Screenshots are welcome.

For problems that are not related to installation, please use the public forum:

If you wish to receive private tech support services, you are welcome to upgrade to the Enterprise version. It includes professional technical support services provided by our developers.