Installing GFI HelpDesk
In this topic, you get a walk through the steps necessary for installing GFI HelpDesk on your own server.
View our how to install video here.
Before installing GFI HelpDesk on your server, you'll need to check to make sure your server environment meets all of the requirements.
The first part of the installation process is to download the product files, extract them on your local machine, and upload them from there to your server:
- Download GFI HelpDesk from the following location depending on the required edition:
- Click the link to the product and save the file to your machine.
- Extract the package locally.
- The extracted folder contains a sub-folder named 'upload', which contains all the files required to install your helpdesk.
- In the root directory of your web server, create a new folder for your GFI HelpDesk installation to live in and name it, for example, 'support'.
- Using either the command line or an FTP client of your choice, upload all of the files from the 'upload' folder into your newly created 'support' folder.
If you are using an FTP client, make sure it is uploaded using binary mode.
Now that the product files are up on your web server, it's time to do some setup on the backend.
Your next step is to create a new MySQL/MariaDB database on your server that GFI HelpDesk can use.
You need root-level permissions to set up a new database on your server.
Using command line
If you are using the command line, you can use the following commands to create the database and user credentials you need.
ALTER DATABASE gfihelpdesk DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_unicode_ci;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON gfihelpdesk.* TO 'gfihelpdesk_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED by 'password_of_your_choice';
Enter an actual password in place of 'password_of_your_choice' in the above command.
Using phpMyAdmin or other graphical server configuration tool
If you are using phpMyAdmin or another graphical server configuration tool, you have to use their create database function to do the following:
- Create a new database called
gfihelpdesk, set to use
utf8_unicode_cifor its table collation.
- Add a new user to the database called
gfihelpdeskwith a password of your choice.
localhostwhen prompted for a hostname
- Grant all privileges to that user.
With your database ready and waiting, there are a few last configuration steps you have to take.
Before you begin the GFI HelpDesk installation, the database configuration and the license file should be correctly set up.
To avoid accidental overwriting of
config.php which is located in
__swift/config/ and contains important data, the default name for the file is
config.php.new. Rename it to
config.php before continuing.
The 'config.php' file must be manually edited for configuration of the helpdesk's database connection.
The following variables in this file need to be edited:
$_DB["hostname"] – Unless you have supplied a different hostname when creating your database, this variable should be set to
$_DB["username"] – Unless you have supplied a different user name when creating your database, this variable should be set to
$_DB["password"] – The variable should be set to the password that you supplied when setting up your database user.
$_DB["name"] - Unless you have supplied a different user name when creating your database, this variable should be set to
An example of what the database details in your
config.php file should look like:
/** * DATABASE HOSTNAME */
* DATABASE USERNAME
* DATABASE PASSWORD
define('DB_PASSWORD','enter password of your choice');
* DATABASE NAME
The rest of the settings in
config.php should be left unchanged unless you are very familiar with the system.
After editing, save the file.
In order to activate the product, download the
key.php file corresponding to your registered domain and upload it to the root folder in which the rest of the helpdesk files have been uploaded.
Set folder permissions
GFI HelpDesk needs write permissions, recursively, for five directories:
Now, choose the section below that corresponds to your operating system if you are unfamiliar with changing permissions on directories.
It is usually possible to change directory permissions using an FTP client, but that is out of the scope of this document. Please consult your FTP client's documentation to learn how to change a directory's permissions using that tool.
On a Unix-based system, the
chmod command to set permissions to '
777' on the above mentioned directories:
From within the
chmod-Rf 777 files cache geoip logs library
From within your GFI HelpDesk root directory (for example, 'support'):
chmod-Rf 777 __apps
Make below two adjustments if GFI HelpDesk is run on a Windows-based server:
- In the
php.inifile, set the
C:\Windows\TEMP. Open up your
php.inifile, search for
upload_tmp_dirand make sure it looks as below:; Temporary directory for HTTPHypertext Transfer Protocol - A protocol for exchange of hypertext documents in HTML. uploaded files (uses system default if not specified).
upload_tmp_dir = C:\Windows\TEMP
Set some specific folder permissions for Microsoft's IIS. For the user account of the application pool used for GFI HelpDesk, grant full permissions to the following folders:
It is recommended to keep the Application Pool Identity as the Application Pool itself, and add that identity to the list of authorized user accounts with full control permissions for the above folders.
For more information about Application Pool Identities, refer to the IIS Documentation. Otherwise, you would usually need to add the 'IUSR' user account to said list. For help with this, also refer to the IIS documentation.
Now that your server is prepped, you're ready to start the installation itself:
- Open up your browser and go to your GFI HelpDesk directory /checklist.php.Important:
For example, https://www.yourdomain.com/support/checklist.php.
- Ensure that there are no errors / warnings prior to proceeding with the installation (by clicking Install GFI HelpDesk).
- Click Setup to begin the installation process.
- Once you agree to the license terms, and then the setup utility checks to make sure your server meets all the requirements. When it is done, click Next.
- The next step is to create credentials for the default administrator account and supply some important details for the helpdesk. The Product URLUniform Resource Locator is the address of a web page on the world wide web. should the publicly accessible URL of your helpdesk. For example -
- Once the details are filled, click Start Setup to begin the automated setup procedure.
The automated portion of the setup script may take quite some time. Do not interrupt it for any reason else the installation can be corrupted and you have to start over again.
Once setup has completed, a success screen is displayed, and you only have one more step before you are ready to start using GFI HelpDesk!
Once the setup process has completed successfully, remove the
setup directory from your server, as a security measure. You may receive warnings if you do not delete it.
This completes installing GFI HelpDesk!