PhpBB forums installation

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NOTE Due to excessive attacks from spammers, the forums have become impossible to administer. We have been forced to close them down. The wiki and mailing lists will be used instead. For now, the forums will stay online, but in read-only mode. The documentation on this page will be kept as a record.

The gvSIG CE project uses the great phpBB open source software to power its user forums. The version documented here is 3.0.8.



This documentation contains a full protocol of all installation steps. This information can be used to understand and replicate the installation in case of problems. There are no passwords or other confidential information on this page. Never publish sensitive information on our Wiki!. If you wish to take over administrative tasks for gvSIG CE, contact one of our project members directly.

Command line work

Note: Please make sure to read the page on Working with Project Web first, before attempting to replicate the steps detailed here.

The mantis installation lives in /home/project-web/gvsigce/htdocs.

Change to the project directory:

 cd /home/project-web/gvsigce/htdocs

Download and uncompress the software:

 wget -c
 tar -xjvf phpBB-3.0.8.tar.bz2

Set a symbolic link to the phpBB files:

 ln -s phpBB3 forums

Change into the new directory:

 cd forums

In the following, this directory will be referred to as the phpBB root dir(ectory). All shell commands printed here assume that the current working directory is the phpBB root dir.

Web-based configuration

Start the web based installation by browsing to

Click the "INSTALL" tab to start the installation process.

Click "Proceed to next step".

On the next page, test results of the web server capabilities will be displayed. Check the last two sections, which report on write access to some important files and directories. Make sure that write access is given to these (from the shell):

 chmod g+w config.php images/avatars/upload/ cache/ files/ store/

Then click "Test again" and check to make sure all is OK.

Click "Start install".

The next screen displays the database settings. Set the following (remember to include the prefix "" in the database name, see Working with Project Web.):

 Database type = MySQL
 Database server hostname = mysql-o
 Database server port = (leave blank)
 Database name = [MySQL prefix]_phpbb
 Database user name = [MySQL admin name]
 Database password = [MySQL admin pwd]
 Prefix for table = (leave as-is)

Click "Proceed to next step".

NOTE: If you get an error message "Unknown database '[prefix]_phpbb'", then create a database with that name manually (e.g. via

You should no get a "Successful connection".

Click "Proceed to next step".

The next page is about the "Administrator details".

Choose an administrator user name and password, enter email details.

Click "Proceed to next step" until you get to the "Advanced settings".

Configure the "E-mail settings":

 Enable board-wide e-mails = Yes
 Use SMTP server for e-mails = Yes
 SMTP server address = tls://prwebmail
 SMTP port = 465
 Authentication method for SMTP = PLAIN
 SMTP username = gvsigce
 SMTP password = [ project email password]
 Contact e-mail address =
 Return e-mail address =

Note: Theses settings can also be made later, from the Administrator Control Panel (ACP).

Leave the rest as is.

Click "Proceed to next step", until you get to the "Final stage".

Click "Login" to test the new board installation.

Delete the "install" directory:

 rm -rf install

Configuration (web-based)

Log in as "admin", click the link "Administration control panel" at the bottom of the page.

Now make the basic settings (Page "GENERAL"):

"Board Configuration -> Board settings":

 Site name = gvSIG Community Edition Forums
 Site description = Discuss releases, new features and usage
 Guest timezone = UTC + 1

"Client communication -> E-mail settings":

 Enable board-wide e-mails = No

"Board Configuration -> Board features":

 Allow subscribing to topics = Yes
 Allow subscribing to forums = Yes

"Board Configuration -> Load Settings":

 Enable birthday listing = No

New users are first put into group "Newly Registered Users". As such, all their posts have first to be approved by a Moderator, before they are put online. This changes, by default, after 3 posts. To turn off this behavior, and allow all posts to go through without approval:

  1. Go to the "Administration Control Panel" (see above)
  2. Go to General -> Board configuration -> User registration settings
  3. Set the field "New member post limit" to "0" (zero).
  4. Click "Submit"


The settings for the logo are in the configuration file for the (default) "prosilver" theme: styles/prosilver/imageset/imageset.cfg.

The settings is:

 img_site_logo = site_logo.gif*52*139

However, even though it looks like logos with different dimensions can be used, the template will always scale ("squeeze") them into 139*52 pixels. So the easiest solution is to design a new logo with the exact same dimensions and upload it to: styles/prosilver/imageset/site_logo.gif.

The footer template is in cache/tpl_prosilver_overall_footer.html.php.

It is easy to include an external (small) logo. Change the footer definition (starting ca. line 34) to read:

 	We request you retain the full copyright notice below including the link to
 	This not only gives respect to the large amount of time given freely by the developers
 	but also helps build interest, traffic and use of phpBB3. If you (honestly) cannot retain
 	the full copyright we ask you at least leave in place the "Powered by phpBB" line, with
 	"phpBB" linked to If you refuse to include even this then support on our
 	forums may be affected.
 	The phpBB Group : 2006
 <div class="copyright">Powered by <a href="">phpBB</a> © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group; Hosted by <a href=""><img src="" align="top" width="80" height="15" alt="Get gvSIG Community Edition at Fast, secure and Free Open Source software downloads" /></a>
 		<?php if ($this->_rootref['TRANSLATION_INFO']) {  ?>
<?php echo (isset($this->_rootref['TRANSLATION_INFO'])) ? $this->_rootref['TRANSLATION_INFO'] : ''; } if ($this->_rootref['DEBUG_OUTPUT']) {  ?>
<?php echo (isset($this->_rootref['DEBUG_OUTPUT'])) ? $this->_rootref['DEBUG_OUTPUT'] : ''; } if ($this->_rootref['U_ACP']) {  ?>
<strong><a href="<?php echo (isset($this->_rootref['U_ACP'])) ? $this->_rootref['U_ACP'] : ''; ?>"><?php echo ((isset($this->_rootref['L_ACP'])) ? $this->_rootref['L_ACP'] : ((isset($user->lang['ACP'])) ? $user->lang['ACP'] : '{ ACP }')); ?></a></strong><?php } ?> </div> </div>

Usage hints

Users can click on "User Control Panel" for their own settings.

For moderator tasks, log in as "admin" (or another user with a moderator role) and click on "[ Moderator Control Panel ]".

For all other admin tasks, click the link "Administration Control Panel" at the bottom of the page. Under "MAINTENANCE", you can find all logs (must be logged in as "admin").