Installation Questions and Answers

Although installing Kentico on a local machine is straightforward, you might still need some additional information about the choices you can make.

Most of the options in the Installer have tooltips available, which can help you make the right decisions during the installation process.

This page gives advice about some of the options in the Custom installation:

When to register installed projects into IIS?

When installing new Kentico web projects, you can choose whether to register the projects as applications in the local Internet Information Services server. In most scenarios, we recommend leaving IIS registration enabled – this allows you to immediately run the site without further configuration in IIS. If you do not have IIS server installed, the free IIS Express version is installed automatically for you.

You may wish to disable the IIS registration in certain scenarios, for example:

  • You are a developer who wants to use the built-in web server in Visual Studio to run the project (suitable for debugging).
  • You want to create and configure the IIS applications manually (e.g., if you do not wish to use the default application name and alias). See Manually configuring Kentico applications in IIS.
  • You only wish to prepare the project files on your local computer and then copy them to another server (for example over FTP).

Note: If you disable registration to IIS during an installation using the MVC development model, you need to manually set the Presentation URL of your site in the Kentico Sites application to the URL where your MVC live site is running (see Setting domain names for sites).

How to install Kentico to the root of a website?

If you wish to run Kentico in the root of an IIS website:

  1. Perform a standard installation of Kentico (installs to an IIS virtual directory).

  2. Develop the project.

  3. Deploy the completed project to the root of your IIS website. You can choose one of the following approaches:  

You can find more information about virtual directories in this article: Understanding Sites, Applications, and Virtual Directories on IIS 7

Which .NET Framework version do installed projects target?

Projects created by the installer always target the minimum supported .NET Framework version required by Kentico. If the machine does not contain the minimum required .NET version, it is installed automatically as part of the Kentico installation.

Can I change the Target framework version of installed projects?

Yes. You can increase the Target framework of installed Kentico projects to a higher .NET version.

  1. Open the project in Visual Studio.
  2. Manually change the Target framework version.

If you update the Target framework version for a project, we also recommend consolidating all installed NuGet packages to target the same version:

  1. In Visual Studio, open the Package Manager Console (under Tools > NuGet Package Manager).

  2. Run the following commands:

     Uninstall-Package -Id Rx-Main -Force -RemoveDependencies;
     Uninstall-Package -Id linqtotwitter -Force;
     Update-Package -reinstall;
     Install-Package -Id linqtotwitter -Version 4.0.0

The Update-Package command reinstalls all NuGet packages with the appropriate target framework version for your project. The other Uninstall-Package and Install-Package commands manually remove and add packages that could cause errors during the reinstallation.

Which web project type to choose?

During Portal Engine development model installations, you can choose between the web site and web application project types. Each project type has certain pros and cons. You should consider them carefully before creating your project, as it is quite difficult to convert one project type to another. Please read the Web Application Projects versus Web Site Projects in Visual Studio article to learn about the differences between Web application projects and Web site projects.

Choose the Microsoft Azure project only if you want to host your project in Azure Cloud Services. See Requirements and limitations for running Kentico in Azure Cloud Services for details. For deployment to Azure Web Apps, please choose a standard Web application or Web site project and see Running Kentico in Azure Web Apps for details.

For MVC development model installations, you cannot choose the project type. In these cases, the installer always uses the web application type for the Kentico administration project.

When should I install only program files?

The Kentico program files contain the external utilities (Kentico Installation Manager, Kentico Service Manager, etc.) and are needed to install web projects on your computer. The installation of program files is separated from the rest, so you can install only the program files if you do not want to install the web project, database and website at the same time. When you run the Installer again, you do not need to install the program files and can install a new web project without delays.

You can also uninstall the program files or move them to a different location:

  • To uninstall, use the Uninstall -> Remove only Kentico program files option of the installer.
  • To move the program files, uninstall them first and then use the Custom installation -> Program files -> Install only program files option to install them again in a different location.

The option Install only program files is available only during the first installation of Kentico or after you uninstall the program files using the Installer.

What if I do not install the database with my web project?

Without a database, your web project cannot function at all. If you do not have an SQL server available during the installation process, consider selecting only the Installation with database option. In this case, the free SQL Server 2012 Express LocalDB is installed automatically.

If you do not create the database during the installation process, you can install it later. When you access any page of a Kentico web project without a database in a browser, the system opens a database installation wizard (see Additional database installation).

MVC development model

When creating sites using the MVC development model, the database installation wizard only runs when you access the Kentico administration project in your browser (not the MVC live site). You also need to manually set up your MVC site and project after installing the database in your browser.

How can I access my LocalDB database through Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio?

Use the (localdb)\Kentico server name. The database files (Kentico12.mdf, Kentico12_log.ldf) are physically stored in your user’s profile (e.g., C:\Users\Andy\).

What are Windows services for Scheduler and Health Monitoring?

You can install the following Windows services to further improve the performance of your Kentico web project:

  • The Health Monitoring service – some performance counters require database access for collecting values, which can slow down the health monitoring process. By using this Windows service, you can improve the performance of Health Monitoring. You can also use this service to additionally register performance counters.
  • The Scheduler service – allows you to improve the performance and reliability of some scheduled tasks.

You can also install and uninstall these services separately after the installation using the Kentico Service Manager.

What are performance counters for Health Monitoring?

Performance counters collect information about the performance of a Kentico web project. If you let the Installer register the performance counters in Windows, you will be able to use the data they provide to determine weak spots and bottlenecks of your web project.

However, Kentico does not provide means for displaying the performance information and you need to use an external application for this purpose (for example the Windows Performance Monitor). See the Health monitoring chapter for more information about monitoring the performance of your system.

Can I install and uninstall modules or other components after the installation of my web project?

Yes, using the Modify option of the Installer. See Adding and removing components of Kentico installations for more information.

Which sample site should I install?

For the MVC development model, choose the New site option if you wish to develop a new website. To evaluate the system or find examples for your own development, choose the Dancing Goat sample site.

For the Portal Engine development model, choose the Dancing Goat or E-commerce Site sample site if you want to evaluate the capabilities of Kentico. For development, we recommend the Blank Site, which is best suited for developing websites form scratch. However, you can also install one of the preconfigured sample sites and then adjust them accordingly.

Saving the XML configuration

If you save the configuration of an installation into an XML file, you can load it the next time you need to install Kentico on a computer. You can also use the XML file to install Kentico through the command line. See the Installing Kentico from the command line topic and the Command line installation - XML configuration, where you can also learn how to adjust the XML file manually.

Can I run the Installer if I accidentally delete the Kentico_version.exe file?

Yes, you can run the installer from the Windows Start menu by selecting Kentico Installer from the Kentico folder. If you run the Installer this way though, you will not be able to uninstall the Kentico program files.

To run the Kentico Installer with all options:

  1. Open Windows Start -> Kentico -> Uninstall Kentico.
  2. Select Kentico in the Programs and Features list.
  3. Click Change.

Windows opens the full Kentico Installer.

Where can I find the installation log?

The path to the log is C:\Program Files (x86)\Kentico\12.0\ or the location of the program files.

Where can I get more information?

You can contact our support department, which will gladly help you at