Installation of phpBB3 will vary according to your server and database. If you have shell access to your account (via telnet or ssh for example) you may want to upload the entire phpBB3 archive (in binary mode!) to a directory on your host and unarchive it there.
If you do not have shell access or do not wish to use it, you will need to decompress the phpBB3 archive to a local directory on your system using your favourite compression program, e.g. winzip, rar, zip, etc. From there you must FTP ALL the files it contains (being sure to retain the directory structure and filenames) to your host. Please ensure that the cases of filenames are retained, do NOT force filenames to all lower or upper case as doing so will cause errors later.
All .php, .sql, .cfg, .css, .js, .html, .htaccess and .txt files should be uploaded in ASCII mode, while all graphics should be uploaded in BINARY mode. If you are unfamiliar with what this means please refer to your FTP client documentation. In most cases this is all handled transparantly by your ftp client, but if you encounter problems later you should be sure the files were uploaded correctly as described here.
phpBB3 comes supplied with British English as its standard language. However, a number of separate packs for different languages are available. If you are not a native English speaker you may wish to install one or more of these packages before continuing. The installation process below will allow you to select a default language from those available (you can, of course, change this default at a later stage). For more details on language packs, where to obtain them and how to install them please see the README.
Once all the files have been uploaded to your site, you should point your browser at this location with the addition of
/install/. For example, if your domain name is
www.example.com and you placed the phpBB3 files in the directory
/phpBB3 off your web root you would enter
http://www.example.com/phpBB3/install/ or (alternatively)
http://www.example.com/phpBB3/install/index.php into your browser. When you have done this, you should see the phpBB3 Introduction screen appear.
The initial screen gives you a short introduction into phpBB. It allows you to read the license phpBB3 is released under (General Public License v2) and provides information about how you can receive support. To start the installation, use the INSTALL tab.
The first page you will see after starting the installation is the Requirements list. phpBB3 automatically checks whether everything that it needs to run properly is installed on your server. You need to have at least the minimum PHP version installed, and at least one database available to continue the installation. Also important, is that all shown folders are available and have the correct permissions. Please see the description of each section to find out whether they are optional or required for phpBB3 to run. If everything is in order, you can continue the installation with Start Install.
You now have to decide which database to use. See the Requirements section for information on which databases are supported. If you do not know your database settings, please contact your host and ask for them. You will not be able to continue without them. You need:
- The Database Type - the database you will be using.
- The Database server hostname or DSN - the address of the database server.
- The Database server port - the port of the database server (most of the time this is not needed).
- The Database name - the name of the database on the server.
- The Database username and Database password - the login data to access the database.
Note: if you are installing using SQLite, you should enter the full path to your database file in the DSN field and leave the username and password fields blank. For security reasons, you should make sure that the database file is not stored in a location accessible from the web.
You don't need to change the Prefix for tables in database setting, unless you plan on using multipe phpBB installations on one database. In this case, you can use a different prefix for each installation to make it work.
After you entered your details, you can continue with the Proceed to next step button. Now phpBB3 will check whether the data you entered will lead to a successful database connection and whether tables with the same prefix already exist.
A Could not connect to the database error means that you didn't enter the database data correctly and it is not possible for phpBB to connect. Make sure that everything you entered is in order and try again. Again, if you are unsure about your database settings, please contact your host.
If you installed another version of phpBB before on the same database with the same prefix, phpBB will inform you and you just need to enter a different database prefix.
If you see the Successful Connection message, you can continue to the next step.
Now you have to create your administration user. This user will have full administration access and he/she will be the first user on your forum. All fields on this page are required. You can also set the default language of your forum on this page. In a vanilla phpBB3 installation, we only include British English. You can download further languages from www.phpbb.com, and add them before installing or later.
In this step, phpBB will try to write the configuration file automatically. The forum needs the configuration file in order to operate. It contains all the database settings, so without it, phpBB will not be able to access the database.
Usually, writing the configuration file automatically works fine. If the file permissions are not set correctly, this process can fail. In this case, you need to upload the file manually. phpBB asks you to download the
config.php file and tells you what to do with it. Please read the instructions carefully. After you have uploaded the file, use Done to get to the last step. If Done returns you to the same page as before, and does not return a success message, you did not upload the file correctly.
The Advanced settings allow you to set additional parameters of the board configuration. They are optional and you can always change them later. So, even if you are not sure what these settings mean, you can still proceed to the final step and finish the installation.
If the installation was successful, you can now use the Login button to visit the Administration Control Panel. Congratulations, you have installed phpBB successfully. But there is still work ahead!
If you are unable to get phpBB3 installed even after reading this guide, please look at the support section of the installer's introduction page to find out where you can ask for further assistance.
At this point if you are converting from phpBB 2.0.x, you should refer to the conversion steps for further information. If not, you should remove the install directory from your server as you will only be able to access the Administration Control Panel whilst it is present.