Installation Requirements

Ensure that your system meets the following requirements before installing or upgrading CiviCRM.

If you are curious what technologies other organizations are using to run CiviCRM, you can look at the CiviCRM Stats.

Server environment

Operating system

If your server meets all of the requirements described on this page, CiviCRM should function correctly. There are no explicit operating system requirements. However, it's worth noting that CiviCRM is far more widely deployed and tested on UNIX-based operating systems, in particular Linux system (e.g. Ubuntu, Debian, etc.), than it is with Microsoft Windows. Nothing in theory should prevent you from running CiviCRM on a Windows server. But in practice, with a Windows server, you will be more likely to run into problems and less likely to find assistance from other CiviCRM community members.


In general, CiviCRM is a demanding web application which requires substantial server resources. It may not perform well on all hosting platforms. Learn more about choosing your hosting platform.


A CMS, or Content Management System, is a type of application which controls and manages the content of a website. CiviCRM must be installed within one of these compatible CMS platforms.

See our page on choosing a CMS for more information about the advantages and disadvantages of each compatible CMS platform.


  • Drupal 8 - Not yet officially supported

    Work in progress

    CiviCRM functions with Drupal 8 but (as of October 2018) it has some minor bugs, and doesn't have an official release, relying instead on some unofficial tools and processes. See the integration module for more information.

  • Drupal 7 - Compatible with CiviCRM 4.1 and higher.

  • Drupal 6 - No longer compatible (as of CiviCRM 4.3). It might work, but it's not supported.


  • WordPress 3.4.x or newer is required.


  • Joomla 3.x.x is required.


  • Backdrop 1.0 or newer is required.


PHP version

CiviCRM 5.7 ESR CiviCRM 5.x.x stable
PHP 7.3 testing incomplete but preliminary testing did not find any issues testing incomplete but preliminary testing did not find any issues
PHP 7.2 compatible and recommended - but see note below about resaving the SMTP password compatible and recommended but see note below about resaving the SMTP password
PHP 7.1 compatible compatible
PHP 7.0 compatible but not recommended due to to PHP end-of life in Dec 2018 compatible but not recommended due to to PHP end-of life in Dec 2018
PHP 5.6 compatible but not recommended due to to PHP end-of life in Dec 2018 compatible but not recommended due to to PHP end-of life in Dec 2018
PHP 5.5 compatible for patch versions prior to Feb 2019, but not recommended due to to PHP end-of life in Dec 2018 incompatible as of 5.10.0
PHP 5.4 incompatible incompatible
PHP 5.3 incompatible incompatible

** CiviCRM version 4.6 (the old LTS) is compatible with php versions 5.5 and 5.6.

PHP extensions

To install these extensions, you will typically install a separate package within your server's package manager (e.g. apt-get on Ubuntu).

  • PHP Curl - required for many payment processors, the extension manager, and the CiviCRM News dashlet
  • PHP SOAP - required to use the SOAP processor (In turn needed for the popular CiviSMTP service)
  • PHP DOM XML - required by CiviCase
  • PHP Mcrypt - Required for SMTP credentials and other credentials in the database. If you add Mcrypt on after running CiviCRM for a while you will need to re-save your passwords to the database.

    PHP 7.2 Compatibility

    7.2 upgrade warning - 7.2 does not support mcrypt and if mcrypt is not installed the smtp password (if entered) will need to be re-saved once you update your php version to 7.2

  • PHP Multibyte - Required for internationalisation and proper encoding of fields.

  • PHP Zip - Required for unzipping auto-downloaded extensions so they can be installed from the browser.

PHP configuration

  • Set memory_limit between 256 and 512 megabytes
  • Don't enable the deprecated open_basedir or safemode PHP directives. Otherwise you will have an error when automatically installing most of the extensions.
  • Don't use MAMP XCache - Several people have reported "white screen of death" trying to run CiviCRM with MAMP's XCache enabled (check MAMP > Preferences > PHP > Cache).


CiviCRM requires MySQL (or compatible) database software.

MariaDB and Percona are forks of the MySQL project and can mostly be used as drop-in replacements for MySQL.

Other database servers such as Postgres are not compatible with CiviCRM.

MySQL version

Your MySQL version must be 5.6 or greater. MySQL 5.5 works with current versions of CiviCRM and there are no (currently) planned changes that would break it. However MySQL 5.5 is not tested or supported.

MySQL configuration

  • Support for the innodb storage engine is required.
  • The thread_stack configuration variable should be set to 192k or higher.
  • Trigger support is required.
  • The ONLY_FULL_GROUP_BY mode should be turned off.
    • In MySQL 5.7+ the SQL mode ONLY_FULL_GROUP_BY is enabled by default which causes some errors due to some of CiviCRM's SQL queries that were written with the assumption that this mode would be disabled.
    • Administrators are advised to turn off this SQL mode by removing the string ONLY_FULL_GROUP_BY from the sql_mode variable. The following SQL query will do the trick.
      SET GLOBAL sql_mode=(SELECT REPLACE(@@sql_mode,'ONLY_FULL_GROUP_BY',''));
    • See also:
  • If you plan to have multiple lanaguages used in your CiviCRM installation it is strongly recomemnded that you ensure that locale is set to a UTF8 locale and also ensure that you set utf8 as the standard encoding for MySQL. To Alter locale you can configure as per Ubuntu instructions, Debian, CentOS. To set the default encoding for MySQL you should follow the steps provided in this Stack Overflow post

MySQL time

CiviCRM performs various operations based on dates and times – for example, deactivating expired records or triggering scheduled reminders. To perform these operations correctly, the dates and times reported by PHP and MySQL should match. If the dates or times are mismatched, then one or more of the following may be the problem:

  • PHP and MySQL may be running on different servers, and the clocks may be out-of-sync. Configuring automatic clock synchronization is the best solution.
  • PHP, MySQL, and/or the operating system may be configured to use different default timezones. Verify the configuration of each.
  • The content management system (Drupal, Joomla, or WordPress) or one of its plugins may manipulate the timezone settings without CiviCRM's awareness. You may wish to post to Stack Exchange or Mattermost about your problem. Please include any available details about the timezone settings in the operating system, PHP, MySQL, and the CMS; if you have any special CMS plugins or configuration options which may affect timezones, please report them.

MySQL permissions

The permissions you'll need to assign to the MySQL user that CiviCRM uses will depend on your version of MySQL. The following example assumes you have a database called civicrm and a MySQL user called civicrm_user.

ON civicrm.*
TO 'civicrm_user'@'localhost'
IDENTIFIED BY 'realpasswordhere';
Binary logging

If you want to enable binary logging you will need to choose one of the following. Either:

  • Add the following line to your /etc/my.cnf file.

    log_bin_trust_function_creators = 1

    (See the MySQL manual reference for more information.)

  • Or give the SUPER permission (even if your MySQL version is greater than 5.1.6).

    GRANT SUPER ON *.* TO 'civicrm_user'@'localhost';

    (More information on triggers is available in the MySQL documentation about Binary Logging of Stored Programs.)