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What is phpBB? How to install phpBB on a VPSie VPS Server?

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Tutorial on What is phpBB? How to install phpBB on a VPSie VPS Server?

What is phpBB?

A vast number of individuals use phpBB consistently, making it the most generally utilized open-source release board framework on the planet. Regardless of whether you need to keep in contact with a little gathering of companions or are hoping to set up an enormous multi-class board for a corporate site, phpBB has the highlights you need to work in. More up to date clients will value phpBB’s broad organization board, which permits the customization of even the most perplexing highlights without editing the code straightforwardly while progressed clients will esteem the simplicity with which phpBB can be coordinated into existing frameworks. But because phpBB is brought under the GNU (General Public License), this allows clients to change the codes without having to gain any type of authorization from the phpBB Group. The broad information base of the client made expansions makes changing and adding highlights as straightforward as sticking code into the fitting records, while the styles information base contains several styles and picture bundles to redo your board. 

The phpBB team

PhpBB provides multiple types of teams when it comes to their application. For example…

The management team:

 The management team is responsible for overseeing the phpBB project.

The development team: 

The development team is responsible for creating and refreshing phpBB programming software.

The infrastructure team:

 The infrastructure team is responsible for keeping the application in its latest version.

The community team:

 The community team is responsible for keeping the phpBB community smooth-running by overseeing subjects, posts, and clients, and by offering essential help to the Community’s individuals.

The support team:

 The support team is responsible for helping clients by offering help for the phpBB programming discharges.

The customizations team: 

The customizations team is responsible for keeping up the phpBB the Customisations Database by favoring the client submitted expansions, styles, and dialects. They also deal with the phpBB Community’s styles, augmentations, and language/interpreter gatherings.

Features of phpBB

•Measured plan for the Admin Control Panel, Moderator Control Panel, and User Control Panel 

•Backups for multiple frameworks, including MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Firebird, OpenLink Virtuoso, and other ODBC-available DBMS 

•Backing for limitless degrees of subforums 

•Capacity to make especially characterized BBCode 

•Capacity to make custom profile fields 

•Consents framework 

•UTF-8 Support 

•Client Preferences 



•Internet searcher arachnid Handling 

•Uninitiated message following 

•Private Message System 


Is phpBB high-quality?

That’s for you to decide by looking at its ratings.

How to install phpBB on a VPSie (VPS Server)

Step 1: Installing Apache Web Server

phpBB requires a webserver to run. We will install Apache web server because it is fast, reliable, widely known to be secure, and supported, updated regularly. Before you start, please first update the Ubuntu package repositories:

$ apt-get update

Then install the Apache webserver by running the following command below:

$ apt-get install apache2

Press Y and hit Enter when asked to confirm the installation.

Step 2: Installing MySQL Server

phpBB use’s MySQL/MariaDB server for data storage. In this guide, you are going to install the MySQL server using the following command below:

  1. $ apt-get install mysql-server

The MySQL secure installation will ask you a few questions. Enter the response, as shown below:

  1. Setup VALIDATE PASSWORD plugin? Y
  2. Password Validation Policy Level: 2
  3. Root Password: Enter password here
  4. Re-enter password: Repeat password here
  5. Continue with the Password provided? Y
  6. Remove anonymous users? Y
  7. Disallow root login remotely? Y
  8. Remove test database and access to it? Y
  9. Reload privilege tables now? Y

You should see a success text or visual message at the end of the MySQL install.

Step 3: Creating the phpBB Database and User

Your MySQL installation has been completed, and your database is also secured. Log in to your VPSie and create a database and a user for the phpBB forum software.

To log in, run the following command below:

$ mysql -uroot -p

You will be as in the root password of the MySQL server. Then, press Enter to continue.

Once the MySQL command line prompt appears, showing mysql> means you are logged in to MySQL. run the SQL command below to create the database for phpBB:

mysql> Create database phpbb CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci;

A privileged user of your choice will access the database. To create one, run the command below:

mysql> Create user ‘phpbb_user’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘PASSWORD’;

Replace ‘PASSWORD’ with a strong value.

Then, you need to grant all privileges on the ‘phpbb’ database to the user ‘phbb_user’ using the following command below:

mysql> Grant all privileges on phpbb.* to ‘phpbb_user’@’localhost’;

Then, reload/restart MySQL privileges for the changes to take effect

mysql> flush privileges;

Exit from MySQL command line tool:

mysql> exit;

Step 4: Installing PHP

phpBB is written in PHP. You need to install this general-purpose programming language on our server for the source files to be executed and recognized correctly.

Run the command below to install PHP:

$ apt-get install php

Press Y and hit Enter when asked to confirm the installation.

Now run the command below to install all PHP modules that phpBB requires to run on your server:

$ apt-get install libapache2-mod-php php-curl php-json php-cgi php-xml php-mysql

Select Y, then press Enter to continue.

Restart Apache webserver

$ service apache2 restart

Step 5: Installing phpBB software

Your server is now ready to run phpBB. You can now download bulletin board software using the Linux wget command below.

First, go to the /tmp folder directory using the CD command:

$ cd /tmp

Now, use wget to download the latest version:

$ wget

The latest version by the time of writing this guide/tutorial is phpBB 3.3.2. You can also check if there is a more newer version on the official download section of the phBB website:

When your download is finished, you will have an archive file in the tmp directory named ‘’.

You will now unzip this file and send the contents to the root of the webserver. Firstly, we need to install the unzip software:

$ apt-get install unzip

Then, use the unzip command to unzip the zip file.

$ unzip

The files will be unzipped/unarchived to a directory called (phpBB3) We can now copy those files to the root of your PhpBB website:

$ cp -R phpBB3/* /var/www/html

You now need to remove the default Apache file so that it does not interfere with your other files:

$ rm /var/www/html/index.html

Step 6: Setting phpBB File Permissions

Apache web server runs as the same name for username and group www-data, you need to edit using info below for the correct file permissions for the job using the following commands below:

  1. $ chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/
  2. $ chmod 660 /var/www/html/images/avatars/upload
  3. $ chmod 660 /var/www/html/config.php
  4. $ chmod 770 /var/www/html/store/
  5. $ chmod 770 /var/www/html/cache
  6. $ chmod 770 /var/www/html/files

Step 7: Running phpBB Setup Wizard

Using your favorite web browser, enter the forum domain name or public VPSie IP address followed by /install to finish the set up.

  1. http://vpsieip_address/install

On the screen that appears, click Install.

Then, click Install at the bottom of the next section/screen:

Enter the administrator information and press Submit on the next section.

On the next screen, you will be asekd to enter the database details that you created above. Use localhost for your VPSie server name and leave the port field as it is. Click Submit when you are done.

The next step will set up SSL and other features and with your domain name. Then, click Submit.

You can set up an SMTP on the next screen, which is optional. You can leave the details as they are if you do not want to set up email features on your installation.

Select your language on the next screen, and then you need to enter your Bulletin board’s forums website title.

Remove the installation files:

$ rm -r /var/www/html/install

Step 8: Checking the Installation

In a web browser, enter your VPSie IP address or domain name (Hostname) associated with your VPSie server. You should see a website page similar to the one shown below



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