OJS Installation problem with Local Host

Hi PKP forum,

I am in Editor-in-Chief for a new journal that will commence in late 2018 (www.saunaresearch.org), and am doing DIY installation of OJS3.

The current URL has a “Coming Soon” page (running via WordPress), and I want to leave this here until the OJS page is fully configured. So I am trying to install OJS on a local host to play around with it first.

However, it is not installing properly. The first “OJS Installation” page is loading fine, but when I fill out the details, it keeps flagging this error in the Username field: “The administrator username can contain only alphanumeric characters, underscores, and hyphens, and must begin and end with an alphanumeric character.”

The username is just “Admin”, so it should meet the rules.

Does anyone have advice for how to solve this problem? I am wondering if it might be happening because I’m trying the install on a local host. I’ve done this with WordPress before without issue, but maybe there is something I’m missing with OJS.



HI @jacktsonis,

Can you try with any username other than Admin, let’s see whether it works?

What is the php version of your local host? Is it at least 5.6?

Hi @anupent,

Yes, I have tried with multiple other names aside from Admin.

I should have added that I am not fluent in PHP and other languages. I understand the basics and am in the process of learning, but I am still a newbie. Though I can learn with the right instructions.

I am using MAMP 3.0 as the server, which is running PHP 7.0.

But your question prompted me to check the MAMP log, and there is a long list of error messages that I don’t understand.

E.g. the very first error is: [26-Jan-2018 12:20:23 Europe/Berlin] PHP Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Smarty has a deprecated constructor in /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/ojs-3.1.0-1/lib/pkp/lib/vendor/smarty/smarty/libs/Smarty.class.php on line 64

Also, when I load OJS the first time for installation, above the set-up details it shows the following errors. These error messages do not display when click Install, but they are obviously still there:


Again, I am new to programming languages – but I am keen to learn, so any instructions will be appreciated. If the problem is too complex for me I will seek help from a freelancer or something, unless someone wants to help a not-for-profit sauna association launch a journal.

A diagnosis would be great if someone can see the problem.


It rather looks that installation was not good. A would like to share a couple of remarks before soldving issue:

  1. You should use well tested application that will make all infrastructure conponents available and set properly. When I do testing on localhost I use xampp www.apachefriends.org and I have never had so far any issues with its components i.e. php, mysql, apache.
  2. If you want to install OJS 3.1.0-1 which I strongly recommend you can use with php 7.X but you can choose various options here:
    Download XAMPP
  3. When you install it properly please find php.ini file in /xampp/php folder and increase values for script execution time. Depending on technical specifications of your comp you can choose values 120 or more. More is better in any case. Also, please in any case increase memory teh script can consume. You can put at least 256 or 512MB depending on tech. specifications of your computer. 256 MB will work fine, but put that max execution time is 180 seconds in any case.
  4. Turn off skype, various antivirus programs, registry checkers , disk defragmentation etc. during installation.
  5. I usually create database on my own so enter phpmyadmin and create database, user, user’s credentials and jot them down to be handy when you start installation process
  6. Always install OJS in folder that is completely free from previous installation attempts such as /xampp/htdocs/ojs
  7. Be calm and focused on installation and avoid any thingthat will distract you and do preparatory activities accurately i.e. creation of ojs-data folder etc.
  8. Perform installation and be patient until it is completed. That is 2-3 minutes. Do not interrupt installation. Well, if you interrupt it your computer will not explode but then refer to point 6 and start it again.
  9. Feel free to ask questions when you finish and please start your question like this. I use php version… mysql versio, apache version, browser name and version and my issue is… There will be someone from friendly community who can help you.


I would like to add a point in addition to those of @vvucic,

If you are using php-7, make “mysqli” as database driver in config.inc.php file in your web-root directory. By default it is “mysql”

@anupent thanks on good point. You are right.

Hi @herdelafuente,

Please post this as a new topic (it’s not related to this one), and please don’t double-post – it clutters the forum.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team