Basic Installation

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Preconfigured ARK setups are available from the ARK team. If you are unfamiliar with the setup and administartion of webservers along with the security risks to your system and data this entails, please consider contacting us to aquire a fully running ARK. For those of you who have already got a server and want to go though the installation proceedure, we have provided the following notes:


ARK requires the following open source software packages to be installed on your server:

  1. Apache 2
  2. PHP 5
  3. MySQL 5

In order to benefit from the spatial integration offered by ARK, you will also need the following packages:

  1. PHP Mapscript

Apache PHP MySQL

On most Linux distributions these packages will be installed by default. ARK is not particularly fussy about the version numbers of these packages and should run ok on PHP4 and MySQL4, although this may require some minor modifications.

For Mac OSX and Windows, these packages are available as binary distributions. ARK is known to run on MAMP, the binary distribution for Mac and WAMP, the binaray distribution for windows.

ARK runs on top of these packages and does not provide any set up of them or additional seciruty to them. If you are using your server exposed to the internet, it is essential that you follow good standard security practice for the configuration of your packages. This setup is outside fo the scope of this documentation and you are advised to undertake your research carefully.


Mapscript runs on all three major operation systems. The installation instructions vary depending on many factors. Detailed installation instructions are available on the Mapserver website.

Installing ARK

Ark is installed by unpacking the source code into the document root of the webserver where you intend to host it. The second phase of installation is then the initial setup and creation of the empty database.

Download source

Download the latest source code from and unpack it into the document root of your server. If you are unsure of the correct location of the document root, you could try reading the manual of your apache distribution.

Install a database

In order for ark to work, you need to install an ARK database on your MySQL server. Preconfigured sample databases are available for download from the download area of the ark site. At present you must install the sql dump on the server manually using your tool of choice. We think that phpMyAdmin is a good way to do this.