Close this search box.

How to Install phpBB forum on Debian 12

Table of Contents

Hey there! 🌟 Ready to spice up your website with some interactive discussions? Look no further! In this guide, we’ll walk you through the super simple steps to install a phpBB forum on your Debian 12 system. phpBB is a popular platform for creating online forums where people can chat, share ideas, and connect. So, grab your Debian 12 setup, and let’s dive in! 




First, let’s begin by creating your VPSie Account if you haven’t already done so, and then proceed to install the Debian 12 server as per your requirements.

To start the installation, kindly access your Debian 12 system via SSH. Our initial recommendation is to ensure your system is up to date before proceeding with software installation. To do so, please execute the following command:


sudo apt-get update

Install LAMP Server


phpBB, coded in PHP, employs MariaDB as its database backend. Therefore, the setup requires installation of the Apache webserver, MariaDB database server, PHP, and additional packages onto your server.


Alternatively, VPSie provides LAMP server and numerous other marketplace servers. Upon setting up your account, you can execute the installation with just one click.


Now let’s install LAMP by running the following command:

apt install apache2 mariadb-server php libapache2-mod-php php-gd php-curl openssl php-imagick php-intl php-json php-ldap php-common php-mbstring php-mysql php-imap php-sqlite3 php-net-ftp php-zip unzip php-pgsql php-ssh2 php-xml wget unzip -y

Once you’ve installed all the packages, you can initiate and activate the Apache service using the subsequent commands:


systemctl start apache2
systemctl enable apache2

Configure MariaDB Database



You will now need to establish a database and user for phpBB. Begin by accessing the MariaDB shell using the command below:



After logging in, execute the following command one by one to create both a database and a user:


GRANT ALL ON phpbbdb.* to 'phpbbuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'my-password';


Replace my-password with your password.

Install phpBB


Please navigate to the official phpBB website and acquire the most recent version of phpBB by executing the following command:



Extract the downloaded file using the command below:



Transfer the extracted directory to the Apache web root directory and adjust both ownership and permissions by running the following commands:


mv phpBB3 /var/www/html/phpbb
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/phpbb
chmod -R 775 /var/www/html/phpbb

Create Apache Virtual Host for phpBB


To set up hosting for phpBB, you’ll have to create an Apache virtual host configuration file using the provided command:

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/phpbb.conf


Add the following lines:

<VirtualHost *:80>
      ServerAdmin [email protected]
      DocumentRoot /var/www/html/phpbb
      <Directory /var/www/html/phpbb>
                Options FollowSymlinks
                AllowOverride All
                Require all granted
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/phpbb_error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/phpbb_access.log combined




Replace with your domain name if you have one, or just paste the above contents into the file. Please save and close the file once you’re done.



Enable the Apache virtual host and rewrite module:

a2ensite phpbb
a2enmod rewrite


Disable Apache default configuration file:

a2dissite 000-default.conf


Finally, restart the Apache service to apply the changes:

systemctl restart apache2


Access phpBB Web Interface

Now, please launch your web browser and navigate to the phpBB web UI by entering the URL http://{your-domain} or if you don’t have domain simply using your server’s IP address. Upon doing so, you should be directed to the following page:


Click on the INSTALL tab.

Click on the Install Tab.

Configure your administrator username and password, then proceed to click on the Submit button.

Now please specify the database host, port, database name, username, and password. Then, click the Submit button.

Please specify your protocol, website domain name, port, and path, then proceed by clicking on the Submit button.

Please input your SMTP details and then click the Submit button.

Please choose your preferred language, board name, and provide a brief description before clicking the Submit button.

Click on the Take me to the ACP button.

You are now on phpBB control panel, Now you can start working on phpBB forum. Thanks for reading this article!.

Make a Comment
Share on
VPSie Cloud service

Fast and Secure Cloud VPS Service

For a month

The First 1 orders gets free discount today! Try Sign up on VPSie to get a chance to get the discount.