OT: Running a Forum on my own computer

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by Tony, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I am attempting to run PHPBB (forum) on my personal webserver. The server
    is running WindowsXP and Apache 2.0.50 and I understand that I need to
    install PHP, and one of the following SQL systems.

    MySQL (3.22 or higher)
    PostgreSQL 7.0.3 or higher (preferably 7.1.x or 7.2.x)
    MS SQL Server (7 or 2000) directly or via ODBC
    MS Access (2000 or XP) via ODBC

    My question is, which of these above SQL databases is the best to use in
    this situation? Is there a free version of any of these programs that I
    could use to make this system work? I am only setting this server and forum
    up for test purposes for now and to try and gain some knowledge of how the
    system is set up and how it all operates together. Its part of my quest to
    know a bit more about the subject.

    If anyone could help with any of the above, ie where to find a free useable
    version of MySQL etc, I would be very grateful of your help. All this side
    of computers is new to me, but slowly I am working my way through and
    hopefully at some point I will have achieved my aims. Any advice of any
    aspects of setting up a forum would also be welcomed, as I said, this is a
    new game to me and Im quite willing to accept advice.

    I assume that MySQL is the best option seeing as the PHPBB team have listed
    this at the top of their list of options... or am I wrong?

    Many Thanks for reading.
    Tony, Sep 4, 2004
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  2. ..
    MySQL is easiest and most popular and free. You can either go to mysql.com
    get the binaries for Win32, or try


    Which has Apache, PHP, Perl & MySQL all bundled together and preconfigured.

    George Hewitt, Sep 4, 2004
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  3. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Thanks George, I will check that out... Do you run, or are you familiar with

    Best Regards
    Tony, Sep 4, 2004
  4. Tony

    Tony Guest

    George, do you have any help to offer regarding the creating of a MySQL
    database for use with the forum. If one has already been created somewhere
    with default settings, that would do the trick to get me started. It looks
    like I have managed to get everythiung working so far except no Im being
    asked for the name of my database, and I don't think I have one! : - (

    Thanks George, or anyone else who offers me any further help on this.. You
    really are wonderful people.

    Tony, Sep 4, 2004
  5. The link for the package I gave you includes a very nice tool called
    PHPMyAdmin, which is a web-based administration tool for MySQL. I believe
    that in that package, PHPMA is set up to be accessed from
    http://servername/phpmyadmin (http://localhost/phpmyadmin if running from
    the local machine). You may need to setup a root password

    Be aware that you shouldn't use the root for everything, merely for
    necessary admin tasks. You should use PHPMA to setup extra users that have
    permissions to do the things they need to do (but not everything)


    (And PS, yes I have experience with forums, MySQL and PHP scripting in
    general. I run several forums, mostly with phpBB)
    George Hewitt, Sep 4, 2004
  6. Tony

    David Baxter Guest


    Part of the phpBB install routine lets you specify your database type,
    server settings for the database, and table name within the database... It's
    in the very first part of the install routine, before you even get to see
    your new forum. phpBB does all the work for you with regards to setting up
    the database, you just need to point it in the right direction and give it a

    It's asking you the name of the database so you can uniquely identify your
    forum. Imagine if you had a server with 50 phpBB forums on it, all hooked up
    to a single mySQL database. You'd want to uniquely identify each one in the
    database, ie:


    Just give it a name you're happy with. The _phpBB is purely optional - I use
    it because I use my MySQL database for other stuff that isn't forum-related,
    so I know to leave anything with _phpBB well alone!

    (Admin of 3 phpBB forums)
    David Baxter, Sep 4, 2004
  7. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Hi George, Excellent!...

    I will persue the job further later on this evening when the kids have gone
    out... Its bedlam here right now... I really appreciate your input on this.
    I would like if possible to learn a little more about PHP scripts etc, if
    you have any links to useful reading online (somewhere you think is is a
    good place to start), I wouldn't mind having a look. Many Thanks again
    George, I will let you know how I get on later tonight.

    Tony, Sep 4, 2004
  8. Tony

    Tony Guest

    David, thanks for your response. I will be having another go with setting
    up the system later on tonight (hopefully). Ah! I thought it was asking me
    for a database file that I had already created using something else. I
    understand now that that is not the case. I`ll keep you posted on here how
    things go.

    Tony, Sep 4, 2004
  9. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Hi Again,

    I've come unstuck at the first hurdle, I am being asked by phpBB for
    'Database Server Hostname / DSN' in the Database Configuration section of
    the installation and I don't know what to add here....?

    Im also a bit concerned about my entry for script path, I have used:

    C:\apachefriends\xampp\htdocs\phpBB2\ as this is where I have put the files
    for the phpBB

    I am getting the following error message when I use these settings:

    phpBB : Critical Error

    Could not connect to the database

    Warning: mysql_connect() [function.mysql-connect]: Access denied for user:
    '[email protected]' (Using password: YES) in
    C:\apachefriends\xampp\htdocs\phpBB2\db\mysql4.php on line 48

    Warning: mysql_error(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL-Link resource
    in C:\apachefriends\xampp\htdocs\phpBB2\db\mysql4.php on line 330

    Warning: mysql_errno(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL-Link resource
    in C:\apachefriends\xampp\htdocs\phpBB2\db\mysql4.php on line 331
    phpBB : Critical Error

    Could not connect to the database
    Tony, Sep 4, 2004
  10. Tony

    Rob Morley Guest
    Rob Morley, Sep 4, 2004
  11. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Do I have to create a new database with PHPMyAdmin first then Dave? Im
    having problems getting my head around this. If I enter a name for the
    database, it errors and says it cant find the database.

    Tony, Sep 4, 2004
  12. Tony

    Tony Guest

    After spending six or more hours, I still have not managed to create a
    database for my forum. George is what I'm trying to do expected of a newbie
    to PHP? As I seem not to be getting very far. I would really like to get
    my forum up and running, and generally with computers I consider myself
    better than average but so far this task seems to be beating me.... Would
    you expect someone who has no experience with php to be able to manage
    setting up a phpBB forum? I'm sure I must be doing something seriously
    wrong at this side trying to get this to work. I'm not one to let something
    beat me, but this one is really challenging me so far : - )).... Still I`ll
    keep trying, as I said, I don't like giving up on something once I start....

    Tony, Sep 4, 2004
  13. Yes, you need to make a new database first - the phpBB install can't do this
    bit, it'll only populate the database with the tables etc.

    Just for the record, btw:

    Data is stored in fields
    A group of data is called a record
    Records are stored in tables
    Databases constist of multiple tables
    Servers can have many databases

    Field > Record > Table > Database > Server

    And in response to the above question, since you are running the webserver
    on the same machine as the database server, the database host will be
    'localhost' (or

    George Hewitt, Sep 4, 2004
  14. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Thanks George, I will have another go with it tomorrow... I assume that I
    have to decide on what fields I want in the database then? Like First Name,
    Surname, Address, etc etc? I have never done this before.... Do you know of
    anywhere that has a standard database that is ready done? (as a last resort
    of course)... But it might come to that : )

    Tony, Sep 5, 2004
  15. Tony

    David Baxter Guest

    Step By Step to phpBB 2.0.10

    Note I've done this installation so many times I may have missed a few
    things I've started to take for granted. I'm sure someone will fill in any
    missing gaps.

    1) Extract the zip file you downloaded from phpbb.com
    2) Copy all the files up to a server. Make sure you use ASCII transfer for
    ..php, .inc, .sql, .cfg and .htm files, and BINARY transfer for everything
    3) Set permissions on config.php to "666", or -rw-rw-rw. You can use your
    FTP client for this, most support doing this.
    4) Using MySQLFront (MySQL Admin tool), log into your MySQL server and
    create yourself a database to be used by the phpBB. Call it whatever you
    4) Go to http://yourdomain.com/forum/install/install.php
    5) Fill out all the fields in the form.
    --- Database server: IP address of domain name of your MySQL server.
    ( or localhost should do the job if it's on the same -machine,
    otherwise try the external IP of the machine, or as it's serving up web
    pages too, its domain name).
    --- Your database name: the name of the database you created in step (4).
    --- Database username/password: the username and password needed to access
    your MySQL server.
    --- Prefix for tables in database: not necessary if the phpBB install is the
    ONLY user of the database you just created. If you're sharing the one
    database, then you can change this to suit, or leave it as-is. Remember you
    can create multiple databases in MySQL. I use one database per phpBB forum.
    6) Hit "Submit"
    7) Set the permissions on config.php to "644", or -rw-r--r--. Use your FTP
    client, or whatever you used to set the permissions earlier.
    8) Hit "Complete Installation".
    9) phpBB will remind you to delete the install and contrib directories, do
    10) Hit "refresh" in your browser. If it asks, allow it to re-submit the

    Voila, there's your admin panel. You probably want to go to "General Admin"
    / Configuration and set stuff like site name and description, etc. Use
    "Forum Admin" / Management to set up the individual categories and forums.

    Hope this helps,
    David Baxter, Sep 5, 2004
  16. No, I was just giving that as information that might be useful since you're
    trying to learn as you go along.

    The phpBB installer simply needs an empty database - it makes all the tables
    and fields etc itself

    George Hewitt, Sep 5, 2004
  17. Tony

    Tony Guest

    George... I'm with you, OK thats great. Now then, I just need one more bit
    of info before I start again. As I said earlier, I intend to host this forum
    on a computer at home, so with that in mind, where is the best place to
    locate the forum files?, or maybe more to the point, is there a place where
    they should be going that will make everything work better?

    Thanks George
    Tony, Sep 5, 2004
  18. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Thanks very much for this detailed info Dave... I`ll be letting you know how
    I'm doing later on...
    Time to print out your last post I think!

    Tony, Sep 5, 2004
  19. Where is
    Doesn't matter, as long as the directory structure is still intact (as it
    was in the compressed archive you downloaded).

    You can point Apache to look at it wherever.

    George Hewitt, Sep 5, 2004
  20. Tony

    Tony Guest

    How and where do I setup a password in MySQL? I have created a database
    called 'mainforum' using phpMyAdmin but I don't see anywhere to set up a
    password and username Dave.... : - )

    Tony, Sep 5, 2004
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