Error secret in install elgg

I'm trying to install ELGG.
I went through the database screen and then I get the error
"The site secret is not set."
What am I doing wrong?
I am in version 3.3.14



  • 1 - Check the MySQL and servers error log

    2 - Check the read+write permissions on the directory/file where Elgg will install

  • I can give more details about my server and maybe it will help solve the problem
    I have a VM private server that has ContOs7 installed on it and this system has free web hosting of the type
    The domain is a full domain and not a sub subdomain or subdomain folder.
    All files are in 777 permissions including DATA folder (I called it by another name and outside of installation folder)
    Please note that I am now getting an HTTP ERROR 500 server error

    I enclose an excerpt from a log I found on the server (I changed the identifying details to a mark **)


    2021/01/08 12:13:41 [error] 32451#32451: *1742 FastCGI sent in stderr: "PHP message: [2021-01-08 12:13:41] ELGG.WARNING: Deprecated in 3.3: 'simplecache_lastupdate' config option is deprecated. Use 'lastcache'  {"backtrace":["[#9] /home/admin/z****/vendor/elgg/elgg/engine/classes/Elgg/Config.php:409","[#8] /home/admin/z****/vendor/elgg/elgg/engine/classes/Elgg/BootService.php:103","[#7] /home/admin/z****/vendor/elgg/elgg/engine/classes/Elgg/Application/BootHandler.php:99","[#6] /home/admin/z*****/vendor/elgg/elgg/engine/classes/Elgg/Application/BootHandler.php:47","[#5] /home/admin/z****/vendor/elgg/elgg/engine/classes/Elgg/Application.php:215","[#4] /home/admin/z*****/vendor/elgg/elgg/engine/classes/ElggInstaller.php:872","[#3] /home/admin/z****/vendor/elgg/elgg/engine/classes/ElggInstaller.php:92","[#2] /home/admin/z****/vendor/elgg/elgg/engine/classes/Elgg/Application.php:545","[#1] /home/admin/z****/install.php:11"],"process_id":5623,"memory_peak_usage":"8 MB","memory_usage":"8 MB","url":"/install.php?step=settings","ip":"**.***.***.***","http_met" while reading response header from upstream, client:, server:, request: "GET /install.php?step=settings HTTP/1.1", upstream: "fastcgi://unix:/opt/configs/php-fpm/sock/php73m-admin.sock:", host: "******.ml"


    And also the RewriteBase section from the .htaccess file

    -- #RewriteBase /sites/elgg/
    RewriteBase  http://******.ml
    # here, only without the # in front.
    # If you're not running Elgg in a subdirectory on your site, but still getting lots
    # of 404 errors beyond the front page, you could instead try:
    RewriteBase /


  • Try this tutorial.

    1. Let's say your Elgg root installed directory is:


    And data directory is:


    Then your Elgg config is located at:


    If you can't find this file then copy file from:


    And paste + rename it on:



    2. Open your Elgg config file and fill out these params (I did it with some examples):

    $CONFIG->dataroot = "/var/www/elgg/data/";
    $CONFIG->wwwroot = "/var/www/elgg/www/";
    $CONFIG->dbuser = 'root';
    $CONFIG->dbpass = '12345';
    $CONFIG->dbname = 'elgg';
    $CONFIG->dbhost = 'localhost';
    $CONFIG->dbport = '3306';
    $CONFIG->dbprefix = 'elgg_';

    Of course, you should create a database 'elgg' with utf8mb4 encoding.

    I recommend to delete the existing Elgg database before.

    NoteYou can learn more reading the comments in the mentioned file.


    3. Go to /var/www/elgg/data/ and delete all folders/files.


    4. Find out your webserver username.

    Usually, www-data or apache or httpd.

    Note: Learn this tutorial to find this name.


    5. Let's say your webserver name is:


    Now use these commands via console:

    chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/elgg/data/
    chmod -R 750  /var/www/elgg/data/
    chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/elgg/www/elgg-config/



    Now you've a manual pre-setuped Elgg and can try to install it again skipping some steps.

    If you've errors then check your server logs again.

    Note: there're already discussed topics about CentOS fails - please read them before start using this tutorial.

    Good luck!