NATS Requirements

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Software Requirements

These software requirements are for both NATS4 and NATS5 Please verify the following programs are installed Your host can install any missing or out-of-date programs

  • Linux or Unix, including BSD, Macintosh OS X, and Darwin
    • You must not use control panel softwares such as Cpanel
  • Apache
    • Must not use mod_security or mod_security2
    • Must not use Safe Mode
    • If open_basedir is configured, you need to add the NATS install directory as well
    • Must have FollowSymLinks enabled in Apache for your NATS install
    • Apache must be able to use the directives specified in the nats/www/.htaccess file in your NATS install
  • MySQL version 5 for its database partitioning capability (5.1 through, and including 5.7)
    • Ensure that strict mode is disabled ('STRICT_TRANS_TABLES' and 'ONLY_FULL_GROUP_BY' is not on for @@sql_mode)
    • MySQL must also be accessible from the CLI, which may require changes to the my.cnf file
    • The MySQL user must have all priviliges on the nats DB, grant is optional
    • Ensure that NO_UNSIGNED_SUBTRACTION is enabled
    • Ensure that innodb_file_per_table is enabled in my.cnf
    • Ensure that triggers can be created by the NATS user
        • <NATSDB> = Your NATS database
        • <NATSUSER> = The NATS user
        • <DBHOST> = Your DB host
      • If binary logging is enabled, you may need to set the log_bin_trust_function_creators variable
        • If this is not an option, you may provide SUPER privilege to the NATS DB user
    • Ensure open_files_limit is set to at least 20,000
    • Ensure that the InnoDB engine is supported
      • To see if it is supported run this query:"show engines;"
    • Though MariaDB has not been fully tested and and is not fully supported, a number of clients are using it without issue
      • See MariaDB's article on PHP 5 issues
      • When using MariaDB we recommend using the mysqlnd extension (instead of the mysql extension) to avoid client mismatch errors
      • When using the mysqlnd extension, increase the PHP memory limit, as mysql results are included in the memory limit with the mysqlnd extension
      • MariaDB Galera Cluster will not work with NATS, as Galera only supports InnoDB tables
  • MaxMind GeoIP.
    • You must have at least the free version
      • If you purchased a GeoIP legacy license, than you can install mod_geoip or pecl geoip as detailed on our GeoIP article
      • If not, you will need to use GeoIP2 with the new apache module as detailed on our GeoIP2 article
  • PHP version 7 (7.0 through, and including 7.4)
    • Enable short_open_tag in your server's php.ini
    • Disable session.auto_start in your server's php.ini
    • PHP CLI (should be the same version used by apache and should use the same php.ini)
    • Apache and the CLI must allow exec commands from PHP
    • The following extensions must be enabled:
    • Must have Ctype functions installed
    • Must not use Safe Mode
    • Must not use Suhosin
    • Must not use blenc
    • suggested error reporting
      • error_reporting = E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_USER_DEPRECATED
    • Super global order must be set to this
      • variables_order = EGPCS or GPCS or GPC on PHP < 5.3 (for older releases of NATS)
      • request_order = GPC on PHP >= 5.3
    • ChartDirector The PHP version of ChartDirector appropriate to your OS should be installed in the PHP Extensions directory
      • For NATS and below: Version 5.1 of ChartDirector must be used and can be downloaded here
      • For NATS and above: Version 6.x of ChartDirector must be used and can be downloaded here
    • default_charset must be set to utf-8
  • zip and unzip must be installed in /usr/bin/
  • GNU Tar with Gzip
  • CVS
    • Ensure your firewall doesn't block port 2401
  • MPlayer with all codecs Please ensure the GUI is not enabled

Server Requirements

NATS requires a Web-accessible domain. It should be the domain you plan on using permanently. For example: Your domain must be Web-accessible before we start installing NATS.

Note: Make sure that your installation of NATS is on its own unique domain name. If NATS shares its domain name with any other site or content that uses cookies to store information, you will run into issues.

For example, if your site's domain name is, your NATS installation should be located on another domain, such as

We also require secure shell (SSH) access. Please give us access to the same account you use to log in to the server. The account must be allowed to create files and folders in your user directory and replace the Apache VirtualHost directory with a symlink to your user directory. The user account must also be able to create a crontab entry.

Please create a new database in the current MySQL server. Grant all access to that database to a username and password of your choosing. Please make sure that the trigger privilege is for all the tables in the database. user Commands to create a database and grant all access to a specific user can be found in the MySQL documentation.

Please remove any server administration software. Server administration software might break NATS. We cannot support NATS issues arising from the interaction with server administration software.

Recommended Server Settings

We recommend that you use the following settings to ensure that NATS will run optimally, and avoid as much server stress and slowdown as possible. If your NATS system is getting stressed or otherwise running slowly, try using the following settings to remove on the NATS server and improve overall performance.

  • 256MB memory allocation for PHP
  • Allow Temp Tables to run in Memory (10MB or higher)
  • Increase MySQL Cache Size (10MB or higher)
  • Set up a slave database
    • Our reporting runs off of the slave database, so getting reports and recording statistics will not slow down your join process when using a slave database
    • For more information, please see the "Database Server(s)" section of our NATS Multiple Server Setup wiki article
  • Move your database to another server
  • Add multiple servers for load balancing
  • Use the Memcached PHP function to speed up your database *Highly recommended when using NATS5 and plan to have multiple administrators*

If you are using all of the settings listed above, and you are experiencing more stress or slowdown on your NATS server than you anticipated, please put in a support ticket.

Dedicated Server Required

For numerous reasons, NATS will not be installed on a shared server (this includes VPS systems). Performance issues, load issues, permissions issues, and directory restriction issues are just some of the potential reasons why it has been determined that NATS installations on a shared server cannot realistically be done. It's also common that shared servers will use control panel programs and/or have too many restrictions on functionality to operate properly or predictably.

Installation Information

After you server meets the above requirements, please reply to your install ticket saying that you have met the requirements and have the following information ready when we contact you:

  • The SSH server IP or host address
  • The SSH username
  • The SSH password
  • The SSH port
  • The MySQL host name (even if its localhost, please specify)
  • The MySQL database name
  • The MySQL username
  • The MySQL password
  • The NATS admin and affiliate area domain
  • Note: The document root cannot be a sub directory of another domain
    • Example: You have your domain,
      • NATS can be installed under
      • NATS cannot be installed under
  • The Apache document root for the above domain
    • Please give us written permission to overwrite the contents of this directory

We will email the above instructions to you after you purchase NATS. Please contact us if you have any questions even before your installation begins. Your host can help you with any questions you have about the software on this list.