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The main configuration file

The main configuration file where you have to set up a couple of variables is


The first setting in this file regards the PHP error reporting level in ORSEE. Per default, it is set to


which implies that any kind of note or warning will be shown. On a production system, you may consider to either direct such output into an error_log file on your server (you can do that in your PHP configuration), or to set this to

error_reporting(E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE);

such that only serious errors are shown.

In the following we will explain the remaining variables. In PHP, these variables are set by the command:


The quotation marks should be used for all text entries.

Server settings

$settings__root_to_server: Here you have to specify the full absolute path to your webserver's document root, starting with / and ending with your webserver's document directory.

$settings__root_directory: This is the relative path from your server's document root (see above) to ORSEE's root directory. The string has to start with a “/” if ORSEE is located in a sub-directory, and to be empty if it resides in the document root itself.

$settings__server_url: Fill in the URL to the document root directory of your webserver.

$settings__server_protocol: Fill in the protocol by which your system should be accessed, either http: or https:.

Note that the web address of the ORSEE system is calculated by concatenating the strings $settings__server_protocol, $settings__server_url and $settings__server_url.

Database configuration

$site__database_host: The host your database is running on. When on the same computer, it's 'localhost'.

$site__database_port: The port on your host on which MySQL is listening. MySQL's default is 3306, you don't have to set this if you are using the default.

$site__database_database: The name of the database of your recruitment system.

$site__database_admin_username: The username to access the database.

$site__database_admin_password: The password to access the database.

$site__database_type: The database type. Currently we only support mysql.

$site__database_table_prefix: Per default, all tables in the ORSEE database start with the prefix or_. If you want to use different table names, change the table names in the database and then set this variable to your new prefix. This way, you can run two different ORSEE systems within the same database (though that's not recommended, it is much better to use separate databases).

SSL connection to external databases

If your MySQL database is hosted on a different server than the webserver and your ORSEE installation, then you might want to connect to that database using an encrypted SSL connection. In that case, you need to set a number of additional variables for the database connection which will then be used by ORSEE in any connection attempts.

$site__database_use_ssl: Set to true to use an SSL connection.

$site__database_ssl_cert: The path name to the client's (i.e. your web server's) private key file .

$site__database_ssl_ca: Path name to the Certificate Authority (CA) certificate file. If used, this must be the same on client and server.

Timezone setting

date_default_timezone_set(“MyContinent/MyCity”): Since version 5.1.0, PHP requires the timezone to be explicitely set. You can set it system-wide in php.ini, and if you did you can uncomment this setting. But if you didn't (or you want ORSEE to use a different setting than the rest of the system, set it here. You find a list of all timezones that PHP recognizes here:

Email module setting

If you wish to use the email module in ORSEE which retrieves emails from an external email account, then you have to set the access details here.

$settings__email_server_type: This can be either pop3 or imap, depending on the email provider which you are using. (many allow both access options, then use imap.

$settings__email_server_name: The URL of the email server, usually something like or

$settings__email_server_port: The port at which the pop3/imap server is listening. If not specified, then ORSEE will try the standard ports for pop3/imap.

$settings__email_username: The username to access the email account.

$settings__email_password: The password for the email account.

Stop site, tracking, debugging

$settings__stop_admin_site: Stating here y allows nobody to access the system's administration area via a web browser. This may be useful if you do manual database changes or upgrades and you want to prevent anybody from changing any data in the system.

$settings__disable_orsee_tracking: ORSEE includes a small tracking function which accesses once per day (via the regular task functions) and tells where the page is located and which version you are using. Other than that no information is transferred. This helps to keep track of active ORSEE installations. If you don't like this, you can set this to 'y' and the tracking will be disabled.

The following two settings are for debugging purposes only. Unless you are programming, you won't need these functions. On a production system with public access, you should definitely disable them, as they might produce information which you do not want to be in public.

$settings__time_debugging_enabled: If set to y, this will track the time each page needs to load and display this information at the bottom of each page.

$settings__query_debugging_enabled: If set to y, this will track all database queries that are executed by ORSEE when loading the current page/executing the current task. All these queries, including the time they needed, are displayed at the bottom of the page.

ini_set(“include_path”, …: This command is used to tell PHP where to find the ORSEE functions. In most cases, you won't need to change that. So as long as you know what you are doing, leave it exactly as is.

All other configurations can be completed within the administration area of the system.

installation/the_main_configuration_file.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/28 03:00 by bgreiner