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Unknown character set: 'utf8mb4'

I am getting this error when trying to connect to the database on the initial install and cannot get past the screen because of this.
Unknown character set: 'utf8mb4'

I am using PHP 7.X and MySQL 5.1.73. Is there a way around this if I cannot upgrade to MySQL 5.5.3 which I think clears this up? Thanks.


  • When you create your database (so before you do anything with Vanilla), is it possible to choose a different default character set/collation?

    I use latin1_swedish_ci, seems to work well.

  • Thanks for your reply. I did go into MySQL and try to change it to something different and tried to install again with no go.

  • Could you add the following lines to config.php and pray really hard it works?

    $Configuration['Database']['CharacterEncoding'] = 'utf8';
    $Configuration['Database']['ExtendedProperties']['Collate'] = 'utf8_unicode_ci';

  • Thanks, could you please explain what this does, each line?

  • It changes the character encoding that Vanilla uses.

    In config-defaults.php you see a list of default configuration options (don't change anything in this file).

    You can change those values by redefining them in config.php.

    These lines are in config-defaults.php:

    $Configuration['Database']['CharacterEncoding'] = 'utf8mb4';
    $Configuration['Database']['ExtendedProperties']['Collate'] = 'utf8mb4_unicode_ci';

    And I'm assuming those are the lines causing you trouble because of your old MySQL version.

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