Newbie Question - Installation & Template Issues

Hi everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my post. I have searched google and still can't find any exact answers to my questions, so I am hoping someone here may be able to help.

As I mentioned I am really new to elgg but I am impressed with the potential that this software has.

Anyway, last night I was able to get elgg 2.0 working on my computer using xampp with Windows 10 and had no problems. I was able to create a site and become a bit familiar with how elgg works. Now here is where I am running into a problem...

I began downloading a few templates to change the functionality of my site - I am looking to make a wiki-ish page with a lot of information on local hiking trails, where users can rate trails on difficulty and leave comments saying "I hiked here last week, it was nice, etc." I also would like to have a social networking aspect where users can add friends and find hiking buddies in the area.

Anyway, I downloaded several templates and then discovered that most of them were for version 1.X of elgg, and I could not use them with 2.0. I then decided to download the older version (1.12.9) but when I go to install my site, I get this error:


  • Elgg requires the PHP extension mysql.


I have googled and googled and have not been able to figure out how to fix this error!! I have edited the apache config file and uncommented the two lines mentioned in the installation instructions

#LoadModule rewrite_module modules/ #LoadModule filter_module modules/

This didn't work, and after searching on this site I can't find a whole lot of widgets/templates/etc that are compatible with 2.0... so here are my questions...

1) Is there a way I can get v1.12.9 working by changing a config file or something? I would prefer to use this version because it seems that there are a lot more templates available for it.

2) If not, can this problem be fixed by uninstalling xampp and using an older version that is compatible with elgg? If so, which version of xampp should I be using?

3) Are there enough templates and mods that are available for elgg 2.0 to justify using it at this time? I am new to web development but I have a lot of experience with applications programming (C++, PHP, Java, BASIC, VB.NET, etc) so I am going to be relying heavily on templates and widgets here. Am I looking in the wrong places? Or are there just not a lot of templates available for 2.0?

Thank you so much for your help!!!

  • If you're starting a new project you should build it in 2.0.  It's faster and better in almost every way.

    You won't find much in the way of templates (which I take to mean themes?) for any version as they usually end up being custom builds that are site-specific in my experience.  For plugins that provide various functionality there is still more under 1.x than 2.x just because of the length of time that version existed, however the most popular/useful plugins are 2.x compatible and if they were well written for the later versions of 1.x they may still be compatible even if not explicitly stated.

  • Are there enough templates and mods that are available for elgg 2.0 to justify using it at this time?

    You could create your own theme instead! Elgg 2.0 is faster and more secure. Start with this version, don't stay behind!


  • The are 2 php extensions for connecting with a mysql database (mysql and mysqli). The default setup of xampp might be to only load the mysqli extension while the 1.X Elgg versions still use the older mysql extension. I'm not using xampp and therefore don't know what exaxtly you might have to change in the config to get the mysql extension working. Maybe you only need to uncomment the corresponding line in the php.ini configuration file to get the extension loaded.

    Using Elgg 1.X or 2.X is mainly a question of what plugins you require at this time. Do you need a certain plugin in any case and it's not available yet for 2.X? Then you might stick with Elgg 1.X for now. On the other hand, if a plugin hasn't been updated since a long time the developer might no longer support it at this time. In this case, it might be better to not start using it if you have an alternative to use instead or you might not be able to update to Elgg 2.X anytime soon.

    If you are not in a absolute hurry, my suggestion would be to test out Elgg 2.X for a while to find out if you can get it working the way you want it. If a certain plugin is missing (only available for 1.X) you might want to get in contact with the developer to ask if there are any updates planned in near future.

Beginning Developers

Beginning Developers

This space is for newcomers, who wish to build a new plugin or to customize an existing one to their liking