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How To Install Mambo

What is Mambo?

Mambo is a content management system or portal which allows you to easily create a content-rich, interactive web site that also allows you to have registered users, polls, a news board, links and more. It is nearly identical to Joomla, which is based on Mambo.


  1. A CGI Account
  2. A MySQL Database
  3. Latest stable release of Mambo (Version 4.5.4 was used for this tutorial.)

This tutorial might not have been written during the release of the most current version of this script, but may work with newer versions. It is the domain owner's responsibility to be sure that any script that is run on their CGI server is secure and stable. This means making sure that the script and all it's associated files are of the most recent stable and secure version available.


Remember that only your main account can access CGI scripts on your server. Any hosting or extra FTP accounts that access these scripts may cause your account to be deactivated. To reactivate your account, you'll have to contact support.

For this script to work correctly, please place it's files in a directory created in your CGI server's root directory. Do not place this script in your cgi-bin directory, if you have one.

Working With A Pre-Made Installation:

Due to the fact that the Active Web Hosting server has php safe_mode ON, you will not be able to install Mambo Components. If you need to use a component, it is best that you design your site on your own private web server, and then upload it to your CGI server.

If you do this, you will need to export your database and import it to your Active Web Hosting database. For this you will need PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin, and a web server. Windows XP Professional and Linux both come with a web server you can install separately. After the database is exported, you will need to edit any paths that pointed to your local server, so that they point to your CGI server. Be sure you get absolute paths correct. Please see Setting Up CGI Scripts and Paths for correct path names. Generally, anything not starting with http:// will need to be changed to an absolute path. http:// URLs will need to point to your CGI server URL.

After you have uploaded your site and imported the database using phpMyAdmin (depending on how large the database is, you may need to import sections of it until finished), but before you run your Mambo site, you will need to change any paths in your configuration.php file to point to your CGI server. It's best to comment out your existing local paths so you can change them back when needed. Then add in your new paths.

If you are installing the Remository component, you will need to first install it offline on your own server as mentioned here. In order for it to work on the Active Web Hosting server, you will have to open the admin.remository.html.php file found in the Remository component directory in Windows Notepad or a text editor that saves to the Windows ACII text format (cr/lf format) and resave it. The file was created with a different text format and thus may not work if you switch servers.

Creating your site offline may also avoid undeletable directories that may occur when installing Mambots and Modules, since they will already be installed and set up when you upload your entire site and database.


  1. After downloading the Mambo package, create a directory on your hard drive and extract the files from the Mambo archive into this new directory.

  2. In the directory where you extracted the files, create a blank text file named configuration.php

  3. Log into your CGI server, and create a directory to put your Mambo files into. Upload the files and directories you extracted from the Mambo archive to this new directory.

  4. Set the file permissions for the configuration.php file to 666.

  5. Change the permissions of the following files and directories to 777:


  6. Point your web browser to Replace with your actual domain name and mambo with the name of the directory you uploaded the Mambo files to. Please note that for security purposes, we have Safe Mode set to on.

  7. Click on the Next button at the top right of the page.

  8. Please read the Mambo license. If you agree, click the box next to I understand that this software is released under the GNU/GPL License at the bottom of the page. Click the Next button at the top right of the page. Fill in the following:

Host Name: localhost
MySQL User Name: yourdomaincom (Your domain name without the dot.)
MySQL Password: Your MySQL Database Password (type it in again in the box).
MySQL Database Name: (This is the same as your MySQL User Name.)
MySQL Table Prefix: jos_
Drop Existing Tables: Unchecked
Backup Old Tables: Unchecked if first installation.
Install Sample Data: Checked
  1. Click the Next button at the top right of the page. When prompted, click the OK button. The database tables will now be added.

  2. Next type in the title or name of your web site. Click the Next button at the top right of the page.

  3. Be sure the following is set correctly:

    URL: (Replace with your actual domain name, and mambo with the name of the directory you installed Mambo into.

    Path: /var/www/sites/ (Make the same replacements as you did above.)

    Your E-mail: (Any E-mail sent to the site administrator will go to the E-mailaddress you type in here. You must provide a valid E-mail address here.)

    Admin password: (Pick a password for your administrator account. Note that the username will always be 'admin' unless you change it within Mambo after installation.)

    Leave the CHMOD options at default (Don't CHMOD). You can always change them later in the Mambo configuration.

    Click the Next button at the top right of the page when done.

  4. You'll see a page that says "Congratulations! Mambo is installed" next. Note that there is also a form at the bottom for you to contact the Mambo development team. This form is optional and does not need to be filled out in order for you to use Mambo.

  5. Do not exit your web browser yet. Log back into your CGI server and remove the installation directory from your Mambo directory.


Log Into Adminsitration System:

After you have deleted the installation directory, click on the Administration link in the top right of the page in your web browser.

Log in using admin for a user ID and your admin password you had entered in the installation instructions above.

Administration (Back-End) Page:

To access the Mambo Administration page in the future, log into:

Edit the above to reflect your site's actual URL.

Public Site URL:

Your public Mambo site is located at where represents your actual domain name and mambo represents where you uploaded the Mambo files.

Setting Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you would like to enable Search Engine Optimization to help search engines get the correct URL to your site pages, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your CGI server.

  2. Rename the htaccess.txt file to a .htaccess

  3. Log into the Mambo Administrator page in your web browser.

  4. Click on the Global Configuration icon.

  5. Click the SEO tab (last one on the right).

  6. Select Yes next to Search Engine Friendly URLs.

  7. Click the Save icon in the upper right of the page.

How To Use :

When logged into the Administration area, you'll see there are a good many options available for your site. This tutorial will cover only the basics to get you started. To learn more about configuring and using Mambo, you'll want to consult the Mambo Web Site. We also have a series on how to use Mambo and Joomla called Working with Mambo / Joomla.


This is the help section which can help you with most of Mambo's features and operations.

All Content Items

This is where you can add, remove, or edit each content item on your site. Use the drop down boxes at the upper right of the listing to further sort which area(s) you want to select from. Click on any item's link to view and edit the item.

Static Content

This area is where you can add, remove or edit any content that is not in any category or section. These items can only be visible from a menu item, and not as part any blog area or section or category page since they are not parts of these areas.


Use this area to customize the front page or first page people see when they view your Mambo site.


Use this area to create, edit and remove the different sections of your site. It's best you create your sections first before you create any categories.


Here is where you can create, edit and remove categories on your site.


Use this area to organize images and other items that are uploaded to your site.

Warning: Active Web Hosting does not allow certain types of images or files on your CGI server, nor do we allow your visitors to upload any files to your server. For more information, please see File Types Allowed On The CGI Server.

Important: You may have to set the write permissions of any directory you upload to in the media manager. It is suggested that you set the directory permissions to 777. You can do this by logging into your CGI server and moving to the stories directory in your Mambo directory, then changing the directories in there to 777. The reason this happens is that we have the server set up a certain way for security reasons.


This is like the "recycle bin" on your computer. You can permanently delete or undelete things from here. This is handy should you make a mistake with content or even menus.


Use this area to create, remove or edit menu names for your site. Click on the icon in the Menu Items column to edit the menu.


You can use this area to add, remove or edit information for any registered user.

Global Configuration

This area affects the entire site and allows you to make changes to the way Mambo works. Be very careful when changing anything in this area.


I get a database error when I try to run this script.

Be sure that you have set up the configuration properly. For more information, please see I get a database error when I try to run a script that accesses the MySQL database.

I tried to upload a file in Media Manager and the upload failed.

Log into your CGI server and move to the /images/stories directory in your Mambo directory, then change the directories in there to 777. The reason this happens is that we have the server set up a certain way for security reasons.

I tried to create a directory in Media Manager and it gave a bunch of text errors about fopen() and other warnings instead.

Due to security features on the CGI server, you will not be able to create directories in the Media Manager. You need to create them manually using your FTP program. Be sure to add them to the Mambo /images/stories directory and set the permissions to 777. In your web browser, click the back button to return to the Mambo media page. The new folder should now show up and you should be able to upload to it normally.

I tried to delete or edit a file in Media Manager but I got an error about permission being denied, or an empty directory not empty.

You will have to make these changes to manually using an FTP program. Be sure to change the file permissions of directories which hold the files you're trying to delete to 777. The directories for the Media Manager are in your Mambo images directory on your CGI server.

I tried to manually delete a directory that I could not delete in Media Manager but it failed with permissions denied.

  1. In the Mambo Administration, Click on the Home link in the top left.

  2. Click the Global Configuration icon.

  3. Click on the Server tab.

  4. In the File Permissions box, select CHMOD new files to 0666.

  5. In the drop down information, be sure that all the boxes next to write are checked.

  6. Click in the box next to Apply to existing files.

  7. Do the same for Directory Permissions.

  8. Click on the Save icon in the top right of the page.

You should now be able to remove the directory in your FTP program. When done, please change the CHMOD settings back to Don't CHMOD new files. This helps keep your site secure. Note that you should not use this method unless you have no other choice.

NOTE: Changing all files and directories to writable may mean you have to go back and set directories that are not to be set at 777 (see installation instructions above) back to 755. The files may also need to be changed back to 644 except those mentioned in the installation instructions above which should be kept at 666. Double check the permissions of your directories after you complete this procedure.

I get an error when I try to install a template or do anything else in Mambo.

Be sure first that the directory file permissions that Mambo needs to write to is set to 777. For security reasons, most directories are not set to write. Only set those that you need to by logging into your CGI server and changing them manually from within your FTP program.

I can not (re)publish an article. It won't change the status.

If you developed your Mambo site offline, and imported the database, you may have a different server time setting than Active Web Hosting server's settings. This is why the article may not publish. To fix this, find the article in your Administration system and click on it to edit it. Find the Override Creation Date and click on the [...] button. Click on the current date and save the article.


If you have any problems or questions about , please see the Mambo Web Site.

Active Web Hosting may not be able to provide support for this program or it's installation.

Alternative Software:

Below you'll find a list of alternative software that you may also want to try. Click on the program name to go to the author's site. Click on the Tutorial link to view our installation tutorial.

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