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Installation Instructions

Ilios 3 - Frontend vs. Backend

Ilios 3 uses a Symfony (PHP)/SQL backend that provides an API to the Ilios 3 Frontend that is built in javascript using EmberJs. The Ilios 3 Frontend is managed by the Ilios development team and the latest frontend javascript is served to users via the Amazon Cloudfront CDN (Content Delivery Network).


In most cases, you will never need to deploy the Ilios 3 Frontend on your own servers, as the latest version will always be up-to-date at the CDN.

Currently, there is no Frontend deployment documentation available so, if you feel that you must manage the frontend files yourself, please contact the Ilios Project Support Team at support@iliosproject.org or refer back to these documents at a later time for instructions on how to do so.


To build/deploy the Ilios 3 backend, you will need to install the default Ilios database schema and then follow the steps for deploying code to your webserver(s) and configuring them to connect to the database and serve the API.

Database Installation

Currently, Ilios 3 is in 'pre-release' status and the functionality for creating a entirely new database schema is not yet complete, but will be implemented very soon and will be reflected in this document once it is finished. If you are installing Ilios 3 just to try it out, contact the Ilios Project Support Team at support@iliosproject.org and we will send you a database with pre-populated mock data for testing/evaluation.

If you are already running a 2.x version of Ilios, you can upgrade your current database by following the intructions at Upgrading Ilios 2.x to Ilios 3.

Code Deployment

If you have already updated your database schema to the state required by Ilios 3, the following steps will describe how to update the backend code.

These steps assume that you are deploying the Ilios 3 backend via a Git clone from the Ilios repository at https://github.com/ilios/ilios.git and building the install using PHP's 'composer' package manager. For installation from the Ilios 3 source distribution files, please refer to Installing the Ilios 3 backend from distribution file.

All the steps below should be performed in the context of the user that runs your webserver process (typically, 'apache')

  1. Log into your webserver(s) and change to your web server root ('/web/ilios3' for this example).
  2. Clone/update Ilios 3 directory tree to this directory (assuming 'git clone' for this example).
sudo -u apache git clone https://github.com/ilios/ilios.git

This will create a folder named 'ilios' in your server root directory. The entire application source tree will be downloaded to this folder and when this process is finished, the 'web' subfolder should be set as your web server's document root ('/web/ilios3/ilios/web') in your webserver configuration.
3. Change into the newly created folder

cd ilios

You should now be in the '/web/ilios3/ilios'
4. Checkout the correct release version, based on its release tag ('v.3.0.0-beta1' for this example):

sudo -u apache git checkout tags/v3.0.0-beta1
  1. Run the following command to build the packages and its dependencies. This step assumes you have PHP 5.4+ and Composer installed on your system:
sudo -u apache composer install

This will install the required PHP Symfony packages and their dependencies. When the process nears completion, you will be prompted with the following configuration setting options. You should set them as noted:

#default value, set to your value if different
database_driver: pdo_mysql

#Set this to your database host's IP address or hostname

#3306 is the default for MySQL, but your db port may be different
database_port: 3306

#enter the name of your database where your Ilios data resides 
database_name: ilios3

#enter the name of the user login name you use for accessing the database 
database_user: ilios_user

#this should be set to YOUR database password
database_password: 3x@mp73P@$$w0rd

#default values, set to your values if different
mailer_transport: smtp
mailer_user: null
mailer_password: null

#en = 'english', enter your desired language ISO abbreviation, if different
locale: en

#this should be a long string of random characters and letters of your choosing.  If you are 
#running in a load-balanced environment, these need to be the same on all the webservers in
#the group. IMPORTANT:  You MUST change this to your own value as using the default value would
#be EXTREMELY dangerous in a production enviroment!
token: ThisCanBeWhateverYouLike,JustMakeSureYouChangeIt!

#These should all be set to 'false' in a production environment
debug_toolbar: false
debug_redirects: false
user_assetic_controller: false
  1. Update the config.yml file in the Ilios application config folder (/web/ilios3/ilios/app/config/config.yml) to reflect the latest revision of the Ilios frontend. For more info on this process, please see Ilios 3 Frontend Deployment
  2. Now change into the document root folder ('/web/ilios3/ilios/web') and remove the 'app_dev.php' file as this file should not exist on a production machine.
cd web
sudo -u apache rm app_dev.php

That's it! You should now have an updated Ilios 3 backend!