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Installation / Quick install

Note: You are currently reading the documentation for Bolt 3.7. Looking for the documentation for Bolt 5.0 instead?

If you have command-line access, you can easily install Bolt by executing a few commands. The "Quick install" is a Composer-based distribution package that allows you to rapidly set up a Bolt installation, making use of the command line and the official distribution files. After initial setup it can be updated using this same method, or by simply running composer update in the project folder.

First, create the directory where you want to install Bolt, if it doesn't already exist.

Enter the directory where you want to place the files, and execute the following commands:

curl -O https://bolt.cm/distribution/bolt-latest.tar.gz
tar -xzf bolt-latest.tar.gz --strip-components=1
php app/nut init

If all goes well, you'll be greeted by the following:

Welcome to Bolt! - version 3.7.X.

View this short screencast, to see it in action:

If this set of commands didn't work because your server doesn't have curl, use wget instead.

That's all!

Note: We recommend installing Bolt outside the web root, following commonly accepted best practices setup for web applications. You can read more on this here. If this is not possible on your server environment, you can use the so-called "Flat distribution", as an alternative.

Next Steps

Web server configuration

After extracting the Tar or Zip file, you'll end up with a structure, similar to this:

├── app/
├── extensions/
├── public/
├── src/
├── vendor/
├── README.md
├── composer.json
├── composer.lock
└── index.php

These are the folders that contain all of the Bolt code, resources and other files. Most of them are placed outside of the so-called web root. Only the 'public' folder needs to be accessible in the browser. After the first installation this folder is named public/ but as you read on, you will see that you can rename it to www/ or whatever your web server requires.

To do this, configure your web server to use the public/ folder as the web root. For more information about this, see the pages on configuring Apache or Nginx, or simply use the bundled configuration for PHP's built-in server:

php app/nut server:run

If you bump into trouble setting this up, or you have no access to change your web server's configuration, read the page Troubleshooting 'outside of the webroot'. If this is not possible on your server environment, you can use the so-called "Flat distribution", as an alternative.

If you wish to manually alter the directory structure, so it fits your needs better, see the section on configuring Bolt's structure using .bolt.yml.


Bolt needs to be able to write data to a number of folders. For example the cache/ folder, and the files/ folder where uploaded images and other files will be saved.

Generally, servers should be fine with the default permissions. If your server needs to have the permissions set manually, you'll immediately notice when opening your new install in a browser window, because you will greeted by an error, and the message that you should fix this. If this happens, and you require guidance on setting up permissions, see our File System Permissions page.

Finishing Set-up

After extracting the files, checking the folder structure and setting up the vhost on your web server, your Bolt installation should be good to go. Skip to the section Setting up Bolt.

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