DotNetNuke Installation Guide

DotNetNuke is the Web Content Management Platform to build web sites and web application. Powered by the .NET development platform, DotNetNuke features powerful modules and interface making it stand apart from its CMS competitors.

This tutorial, being an introduction for establishing a DotNetNuke site, will take you through the important steps to get your site up and running.

This tutorial is for installation of DotNetNuke Community Edition.

For the purpose of introduction to DotNetNuke installation, the database instance used in the tutorial is SQL Server 2005 / 2008 / 2008R2 / 2012 Express with user instance database.

The operating system used to install is Windows Server 2008 R2.

Step 1: Requirements and Installation Media

The requirements for DotNetNuke are as follows:

  • Supported Operating Systems
    Windows XP
    Windows Server 2000
    Windows Server 2003
    Windows Vista
    Windows 7
    Windows 8
    Windows 2008
    Windows 2008 R2
  • Web Server
    Microsoft IIS 5.0, 5.1, 6.0, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0 
  • Database Server
    Microsoft SQL Server 2005
    Microsoft SQL Server 2008
    Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express
    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express
    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express R2 
  • .NET Framework
    3.5 SP1
  • Recommend Environment
    Windows Server 2008 R2
    IIS 7.5
    SQL Server 2008
    .NET Framework 3.5 SP1

Installation Media:

Obtain the installation media from the following link:

In this tutorial, DotNetNuke 06.02.03 release is used.

Step 2: Prepare the DotNetNuke Environment.

    1. Once you’ve downloaded the latest stable release from the link provided above, extract the contents of the zip file to a folder on your computer.
    2. Create a directory in the C:\inetpub\wwwroot\ location named DNN.
    3. Copy the contents extracted from the package downloaded to this newly created directory.
    4. Right click on DNN directory; select properties. On the security tab, you’ll be presented with following screen.Ste2_4
    5. In this step, we will be adding the permissions for the appropriate user, in our case, as we are using Windows Server 2008 R2; we are required to add permissions for user “Network Service”.  Note: Windows XP uses the local ASPNET account, Win2003/Vista/2008/7 use the local Network Service account
    6. So, on the above screen, click on Edit. On the proceeding screen, click on Add. Now you will be able to see the following dialog box.Step2_6
    7. In the “Enter the object names to select:” field, type in “Network service”. Click on Check Names. You’ll be able to see Network Service underlined in the same field. This shows the user which you’ve entered is valid.
    8. Click Ok, you’ll be able to see the previous screen where Network Service will be listed under Groups or user names.
    9. Under permissions for NETWORK SERVICE, check select allow Full Control.
    10. Click OK, also click OK on DNN properties screen! All OK!
    11. Now, it is time for the most crucial step in the DNN installation. IIS MANAGER!
    12. Click Start, goto Run.. And type in “inetmgr”.Step2_12
    13. You’ll be presented with a calm screen of IIS Manager.
    14. Expand Sites, you’ll be able to see the “Default Web Site”.Step2_14
    15. Expand it too!
    16. Right click the directory, DNN. Select “Convert to Application”.
    17. Click OK on the dialog box that appears.
    18. Hooray! The necessary steps for preparing the environment are complete!

Let us move on to the next step where we’ll be installing the DotNetNuke.

Step 3: Installing DotNetNuke


  1. Browse to the site using http://localhost/DNN
  2. The following screen will be shown. Make sure under installation method, Typical is selected. Click Next to continue.Step3_2
  3. On the File Permissions screen, make sure you are able to see the following message-
    Your site passed the permissions check.
    Yes, you should be able to see it in green ONLY!
  4. Click Next to continue.
  5. Next Screen is the database connection configuration. We don’t have to do anything out here as the default option selected is SQL Express Database. Click Next.
  6. It will start building the database for your DNN site. It may take a while.
  7. When you’re able to see following screen, the installation of DotNetNuke site with database as SQL Express is DONE!!Step3_7
  8. Click Next to contiue.
  9. Next screen will let you set a host account for DNN site.
  10. Enter the password, a valid e-mail address to finish the installtion. Click Next to finish.

Your DNN site is created, the Getting Started screen is shown.

As described initially, this guide is for the DotNetNuke installation with SQL Server 2005 / 2008 / 2008R2 / 2012 Express with user instance database.

In the next edition of the DotNetNuke guide, I’ll be taking you through the DotNetNuke installation with SQL Server 2005 / 2008 / 2008R2 / 2012 or Express edition with attached database.

🙂 🙂  Happy New Year 2013 🙂 🙂  !!


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