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Tech Helproom

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Advice about setting up a bulletin board.


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I've tried many types of message boards and forums before and although they were ok, I really wanted to have my own forum on my own webspace.

I came across this open source bulletin board package click here and I think it maybe a good solution.

My ISP (Force9) has support for CGI-Bin and mySQL. Which I understand is what makes message boards and forums work.

I don't really have a clue on what to do and was hoping if anyone can give some advice about going ahead with this.

I'm in the process of creating a small website for a clan that I am forming and a message forum would be vital.

I could easily use and probably will use an online free message board host like network54 and bravenet but I would like to know the possiblities and difficulties of me setting up one myself.

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If you want to see one in action, go to my site at click here and click the forum link on the home page.

Having trouble getting members, but it will give you an idea of what you get.

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PHBB2 is one of the best free boards you can install on your site. installation is fairly stright forward, but you can run into one or two errors if your hosts versions and settings MYSQL and PHP are not correct.

First you may want to find out what these are. You can do this quite simply by loading up notepad and type the following line in:

save as somthing like phptest.php ,upload it to your webspace and load it with a browser (ww.yourdomain.com/testphp.php ) You should see a huge list of options and settings.

The PHP version is easy to find. listed right at top, you will have to scroll down a bit to find the mysql section.

Looking at phpbb2 requirements the php version must be 3.0.9 preferbly 4xx and mysql at least version 3.22 if these critera are met you can run phpbb on your webspace

you will need to download the large zip fill and extract it I will assume you know how to do this, if not post agian and someone will tell you how to use winzip etc,

Next upload the file to your webspace All .php, .inc, .sql, .cfg and .htm files should be uploaded in ASCII mode, while all graphics should be uploaded in BINARY mode .. again i am assuming you know how to upload files. its easier to use a FTP programme which allows an automated binary Ascii transfer if your not sure about this ask!

When all uploaded change the permissions on the config.php file to be Writable by ALL you can do this easily with a good FTP programme or control cpanel. when these are set run the install file with broswer:
eg ww.yourdomain/phpbbfolderpath/install/install.php

jsut follow instructions.you must have your MYSQL data base name and password and path but noramlly 'localhost' without quotes, which you obtain from your ISP if they already havnt given you these.

Installation will begin and if everything is correct change the config.php to be only writeable by yourself.

and thats about it.. might seem complicated particlaury if you dont know abotu FTP and file permissions (CHMOD commands) etc but its actully quite simple.

Any questions just ask, and let us know how this went.

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WOW, looks too complicated for me.

I have activated the CGI and mySQl features from my Force9 account yesterday and will have to wait about 4 days until the CGI server is fully active. MySQL however is active immediatly. From what I can make out, I now have 3 servers. My webspace, mySQL database server and eventually a CGI server as well.

I think I have to do research into this as I'm not too sure.

Will I need CGI or mySQL to run the forum?

Regarding unsing FTP and winzip etc. I can do all this fine. I use WS_FTP to upload stuff.

I was wondering, do you have any good links that will help me understand all this properly?

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heh i do tend to go on a bit :) this may have given impression that it all looks harder than it is..

Its good to know you do already know about FTP makes life much easier particulary when you are using WS-FTP like i do!
simpler instructions

1. Download zip file and unzip

2. load WS-FTP. Select menu options then
extensions (hope this same for your version)

3 enter in all the .php .inc etc extensions as mentioned previosuly to be uploaded in ASCII mode.

4 IMPORTANT: check the WFTP AUTO option box and upload the extracted folder.

5 In WFTP find the uploaded config.php select it (left click) and then right click. select option chmod(UNIX) and check all the boxes which say WRITE

6. Run install.php in a browser found in /install folder

7 enter the couple of detials and hit submit.
those details should have been already given to you.

8. Go back to WFTP and select the config.php file and select the chmod again. now uncheck the write options for group and other leaving owner checked.

9. finish by clicking the complete install button.
if everything goes well then it should now be ready to run

This is the link for the PHP Install guide. you might find reading the forums handy if you encounter errors.

click here

hope this helps

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I very much appreciate your help. I have printed out the install guide and will have a read through it. If I run into any trouble, I will post back. I will keep this post unticked just in case.

Thanks again m8.

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I will close this thread now becuase I've managed to finnaly get phpBB forum working.

Thanks Agricola.

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