How To Install phpBB 2.0.17
What is phpBB?
phpBB is a powerful php/MySQL based forum which allows you to maintain a
secure, safe and enjoyable forum for your users to post messages in. You can
set it up to look any way you like, and have any amount of categories and
topics you like. You can also control which users has access to what areas,
ban users if needed or control their posting.
Click here for more information.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are using phpBB version 2.0.11,
Please upgrade immediately! Version 2.0.11 can be easily hacked and thus
hackers can take down your entire forum. phpBB 2.0.17 has fixed this problem and
thus people should be using 2.0.17 or later. Also it is strongly advised that you
consult the phpBB mailing list and support options
to keep up with updates. Install updates as soon as you can after they are released.
To use phpBB, you need to be sure your CGI account is set up. Please
see How To Request A CGI Account.
In addition, you need to have an active MySQL database. Please see
How To Request A MySQL Database.
You will also need to
download a copy of
phpBB. The version used in this tutorial was phpBB 2.0.17.
IMPORTANT SECURITY NOTE!|
Always be sure you have
installed the latest updates and/or patches for the script as well as for any
additional add-ons. Updates are very important to the security and proper
functioning of the script! Our instructions may be for earlier versions of
scripts due to the fact that we are not able to keep up with updates to every
script at all times. It is still up to the domain owner to install and use the
latest version of these scripts.
Remember that only your main account can access CGI scripts on your server. Any
hosting or extra FTP accounts that access these scripts may cause your account
to be deactivated and you'll have to contact
For phpBB to work correctly, please do not put it or it's
directories inside your cgi-bin directory. If you do, the script may not work.
It's best to use a separate directory and leave the cgi-bin directory for your
Extract the files and folders from the phpBB zip file to a folder on your hard
drive. (Windows users can use WinZip
to do this). Do NOT delete this directory or it's files, as you might
need them to modify some of the files, especially if you plan to follow all
steps in this tutorial.
If you want to use another style as the default, be sure to extract the new
style's files and folders into a folder in the phpBB 'templates' directory.
You can find more styles here.
Upload all the phpBB files to a folder in your CGI server using an FTP program.
The host name should be something like cgi.yourdomain.com where
yourdomain.com represents your domain name. Log in with your domain name
as the username and your CGI server password (Not your web FTP password).
In this example, let's assume that you create a folder called forum on
your CGI server and place the phpBB files and folders the forum folder.
Change the file permissions for the config.php file to 666.
Disconnect from your CGI server when done and close your FTP program.
Point your browser to the index.php file. For example, if you installed the
phpBB files into a folder called forum on your CGI server as shown in
the steps above, point your browser to
http://cgi.yourdomain.com/forum/index.php where yourdomain.com
represents your actual domain name and forum represents the folder you
put the phpBB files in.
|Default board language:
||MySQL 3.x (Chosen from drop down box.)
|Choose your installation method:
|Database Server Hostname / DSN:
|Your Database Name:
||yourdomaincom (Type in your actual domain name.)
||yourdomaincom (Type in your actual domain name.)
||(Type in your MySQL database password)
|Prefix for tables in database:
TIP: If you plan to have more than one forum on your domain, you may
want to give each one a different table prefix such as phpbb_forum1_ for
example. Just be sure there's a trailing underscore _ after the prefix name.
Also remember that only you, the domain owner can use your CGI server.
Do not allow your anyone you are hosting on your domain to use any
forums or any other scripts residing on your cgi server for their own sites. If
you do, you may find your domain taken offline until you can disallow their
continued use of your CGI server.
Note that you will also be creating a moderator account for yourself so you
can also administer the board and post and interact with your forum
users. The Admin account you are creating now is one that you use for the more
critical board setup and configurations. It's not recommended that you post
and interact with your forum users while logged in as the Administrator.
|Admin Email Address:
||(Do not use one that you will be using for
your moderator account.)
||(cgi.yourdomain.com) where yourdomain.com
represents your actual domain name.)
(Path to your forum, in this example, /forum/ - be sure to put slashes before
and after the path.)
||(Pick a name for the Administrator login.)
|Administrator Password (& Confirmation):
(Pick a password for your administration account. Be sure to write the username
and password down and store it somewhere safe so you don't forget it.)
Click the Start Install button. Please wait a few minutes for the next
screen to appear, then click Finish Installation.
Use an FTP program and log back into your CGI account. Delete the install
and contrib directories from your phpBB folder. Disconnect from your CGI
account and exit your FTP program.
Administrator Profile Configuration:
Point your browser to your forum's login page which looks something like this:
http://cgi.yourdomain.com/forum/login.php where yourdomain.com
represents your actual domain name and /forum/ represents the folder
you installed phpBB into. Type in your Admin Username and password to log in.
You'll see a default forum. Click on the Profile link found at the top
of the page.
Leave everything set as default, except change the following:
|Always show my e-mail address:
|Hide your online status:
|Always notify me of replies:
|Notify on new Private Message:
|Pop up window on new Private Message:
|Always attach my signature:
|Always allow BBCode:
|Always allow HTML:
|Always enable Smilies:
||(Use default for now. You can change it after you are done setting up.)
Note that GMT is also sometimes abreviated as UTC)
Click the Submit button.
Add Categories and Forums:
Click on the Go To Administration Panel link located at the bottom of
the forum page. On the left side you'll see a menu containing categories with
links to each setup page.
In the Forum Admin area, click on Management. Create a new
category by typing it it's name and clicking the Create New Category button if
you want to split your forums up into different categories. Then return to the
Forum Administration and create your forums.
TIP: Write down on paper a plan of how you want your forum laid out, and
a discription for each forum that you will later enter into the configuration.
Use this as a guide to set up your forum.
Click on "Create New Forum" after you type in the name of your forum in the
Now type in a short Description which will be shown under the forum name.
You can select which Category you want the new forum to appear in from the drop
If you want the forum to autmatically delete old messages, click the Enabled
box for Auto-Pruning. Then set how old the topics (ie. posts) have to be
in order to delete them and how many days to go by before checking for old
posts. Leave Enabled unchecked if you want to save every post in the
Click the Create new forum button when done then return to the Forum
Administration to add more categories and forums. Note that if you click on
Edit next to any forum you will see an additional option called
Forum Status and a drop down with locked or unlocked. If you lock the
forum, users can not post to it.
Click on the Permissions link in the Forum Admin area.
Choose which forum to work with from the drop down box and click the
Look up forum button.
Choose a permission preset from the drop down box. Note that any option that
says [Hidden] means that the forum will not show up to users that do not have
that status set. So for example, Moderator [Hidden] means that nobody
can view that forum unless they are logged in and that user had been set up as
Or, you can select specific permissions by clicking the Advanced Mode
link. From here you can set it so up each action to be carried out by ALL users,
REGistered users only, users with PRIVATE access permissions, MODerators only,
or ADMINistrator only. Click Submit when done. TIP: If you want to turn
off voting or creating polls, just set those to ADMIN since it'll only
make it allowable by the Administrator (you) and not anyone else, not even
Adding More Styles:
Click on the Add link in the Styles Admin area. Click on the
install link next to a style you wish to install. Note that this list
will only show uninstalled styles. Installed ones will not show up in this
list. You have to go through this step for any styles you have uploaded to the
phpBB Full Configuration:
Click on the Configuration link in the General Admin area. This
page is similar to the configuration you saw when you first installed the forum.
However, you have even more settings you can customize. Here are some suggested
changes. All others normally should be left at their default value unless you
are sure of their functions.
General Board Settings:
||(Type in the name of your web site or forum here.)
||(type in a description of your site.)
|Enable account activation:
||(This lets you decide how to allow new users on
your forum. None: Users are allowed access immediately after registering (not
recommended), User: The user is sent and email which they have to click on a
link to activate their account, Admin: Only you the administrator can allow a
|Enable Visual Confirmation:
||(Set to 'yes', a user will also have to type in a
code that is given at random in an image when registering)
|User email via board:
||(Enabled, users can email each other from the
phpBB forum by clicking the 'email' icon in their posts.)
||This is the style you want users to see when they
go to your forum.
|Override user style:
||This makes it impossible for the user to use any
other style than what you picked as a default if set to yes.
- Private Messaging
(Enabled if you want users to be able to send private messages to each other,
that can only be seen by the two parties and nobody else. Moderators and
Administrators can also see those messages, if they need to. But it's best not
read a user's private message unless a reciever is complaining about the
content of a sender's message).
- User and Forum Basic Settings:
||No (This is best for security reasons so
turn this option on, be sure to specify what html tags are allowable. Other
html tags will not be allowed.)
|Allowed HTML tags:
||(Specifiy HTML tags which will be allowed. All
others will be ignored.)
||(Be careful here. Long signatures or those with
code in them can be dangerous! Set a small signature length below to keep bad
HTML and other code out of their signatures.)
WARNING: Be careful here! Do not allow people to use avatars that are
from copyright images as you could be held responsible and may have your entire
domain (including your forum) taken offline! If you want to allow avatars, the
safest is to provide some safe ones for folks to use, and then disable their
ability to use avatars from Remote links (ie. from other web sites). Also be
sure to keep the avatar file size down so that those on dialup won't have
problems loading the forum topics.
COPPA stands for
Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
In this area you can set up your fax or mailing address that parents can send
you permission for their children under 13 years old to access your form.
Otherwise, you must take precautions to not allow children under 13 to access
or use your forum. You can do this with a special downloadable modification
which is addressed later in this tutorial. Otherwise, you will need to create a
COPPA registration form for parents to fill out to give approval for their child
to use your forum.
- Email Settings:
At least fill in your administrator email address (the same as you used for
your administrator's account log in would be a good one). This is an email
where users can contact you in case of problems.
Click on the Word Censors link in the General Admin area.
Click Add A New Word
Add an offending word you don't want your users to use.
Type in a word or phrase to use in place of that word.
Click on the Submit button to add your setting.
If a user uses the offending word, your replacement will be displayed instead.
You could have a lot of fun with this, substituting foul words with clean yet
||Use this area to ban users, IP addresses, email
addresses, etc. so that you can keep out or stop unwanted users from causing
trouble on your board.
||Use this to set up what types of usernames will
not be allowed on the board. Users trying to register with these usernames will
not be allowed to do so and will have to pick another name.
||You can set up ranks that a user can inherit
depending on how many posts they had made. You can name the ranks anything you
like and determine how many posts a user has to make to achieve each rank.
Click on the Add new rank button, then type in Moderator for rank
title. Select yes for Set as Special Rank. For moderators, it's
best not to set a minimum post amount. Click the submit button when done.
Click on the Forum Index link in the Administration area. This
should be at the top of the left side menu. Click the Log Out link at
the top of the page.
Setting Yourself Up As Moderator:
Be sure you have completed the Ranks step in bold in the User Admin
area above. Setting a moderator account for yourself is the best way to
administer the board and also post and interact with your visitors.
Click on the Register link at the top of the forum.
Agree to 13 and over if you're 13 and over.
Register yourself as a new user as you normally would. Avoid using the name
Moderator as a username.
Depending on how you set up the system, you may get an email asking to confirm
your account or to activate a user account. You can do this in the next steps
and just disregard the emails regarding your new user account when you recieve
Log into the forum with your administrator username and password.
At the bottom of the page, click Go To Administration Panel.
Click on the Management link in the User Admin area on the left
Type in your new moderator username and click the Look up user button.
Scroll to the bottom and select Yes for User is active. Click the
Click on the Permissions link in the User Admin area. Type in
your moderator username again and click Look up user button.
For each forum you want to be moderator of (you should actually do this to all
of them), select Is Moderator from the drop down box under
Moderator status. When done, click the Submit button. Note that
if you create any more forums, you will have to come back to this page to set
yourself as moderator of those new forums.
Click on the Forum Index link in the Administration area and log
out as administrator. You can now log in with your moderator account username
and password, and start using and maintaining the forum as moderator.
Setting Up Forum To Not Allow Users Under 13 Years Of Age:
To do this, you need to execute what is known as a MOD or
Modification to the phpBB board system. You can find the modification
to keep out users under 13
Download the file and extract the files using
WinZip or compatible archiver.
Read the text file "13 or older only 1.0.4.txt" carefully.
Scroll down to the area that starts with [ COPY ]. These are the
instructions that you must follow. The instructons may seem difficult, but here
is a key to help you determine the steps:
||Copy the file the specified location
||Open the specified file in your favorite text editor.
||Find the following text in the file you opened.
||Cut and past the text after this heading into the
area after the text specified in the previous [FIND] area.
||Cut and past the text after this heading into the
area before the text specified in the previous [FIND] area.
|[SAVE/CLOSE ALL FILES]
||Save all your files and exit your text editor.
Hopefully you have kept the installtion files to your phpBB forum on your hard
drive after you uploaded it. If not, you'll need to log into your CGI server
and download the files to your hard drive and then edit them. To copy a file,
upload the file from the directory specified from the files you extracted from
the archive to the appropriate directory in your forum directory on the CGI
If you set up other styles in your forum, you must copy the following file
from the archive you extracted to your favorite style's directory:
For example, if using MyTheme style (which would be in your forum's
/templates/MyTheme directory) then you copy the .tpl file to
/templates/MyTheme). This ensures that this works no matter what style
your user sees when trying to register.
The includes/usercp_register.php is the one from your forum directory.
When looking for the "That's All Folks!" line, be sure you add the
[AFTER, ADD] text before ?> symbol in the
If you have more than one style uploaded in the themes directory, you need to
also open any other style's
templates/subSilver/admin/board_config_body.tpl file and make the same
changes as you did to the subSilver Style. Note that they are referring to
your forum files, not files included in the 13 and over archive.
Be sure you have logged out of the forum and closed your browser window before
you proceed with the rest of this tutorial.
Upload the following files to your cgi server in the appropriate directories
where your forum is located. Be sure to set your FTP program to overwrite
the existing files or delete the existing file and upload the new one.
(Note that if you have other styles uploaded in your themes directory, you'll
have to upload the board_config_body.php file for those styles as well
into the style's admin directory).
(Note that if you have other styles uploaded in your themes directory, you'll
have to upload the 13_or_older_body.tpl file to those style directories
Disconnect from your CGI server and go to your forum URL in your web browser
Try a test by registering as a user, only click the link saying
I Agree to these terms and am under 13 years of age. You should get a
message saying that only those 13 and older may register for the forum. You'll
then be redirected to a child-friendly web site.
I get a database error when I try to run [name of program].
Be sure that you have set up the configuration properly. For more information, please see
I get a database error when I try to run a script that accesses the MySQL database.
I get an error saying that the configuration file isn't writable.
Be sure that you have set the file permissions of the config.php file in the
forum directory to 666.
If you have any problems or questions about phpBB, please consult the
Active Web Hosting may not be able to provide support for this program or it's
Below you'll find a list of alternative software that you may also want to try.
Click on the program name to go to the author's site. Click on the 'Tutorial'
link to view our installation tutorial.