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In your config.php you have to define constant YOURLS_PRIVATE. It can be one of these two lines:

// Private:
define( 'YOURLS_PRIVATE', true );
// Or public:
define( 'YOURLS_PRIVATE', false );


Setting to define( 'YOURLS_PRIVATE', true ); (default setting) will make your admin area (https://sho.rt/admin/) protected by a login/password form.


Setting to define( 'YOURLS_PRIVATE', false ); will make your admin area free to access to anyone with the URL. Use this only if you're running a test setup, or for a setup shared by colleagues on a private intranet, for instance.

Also, since there is no login/password needed, there will be no Secret Token on the Tools page for the Passwordless API.

Private YOURLS + Public Interface

If you want to run your own little bitly, you want to:

  • set your install to private: define( 'YOURLS_PRIVATE', true );
  • install a public interface in the root directory. There's a sample one provided in the package (see sample-public-front-page.txt)
  • read the page about Public Shortening for important tips and advices.