Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

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alancast
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Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by alancast » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:54 pm

Salve, my friends.

Now there are cheap virtual servers (VPS/VDS) out there, so more and more people use them.

For example, on New Year's sales I got 1 Gb RAM, 15 Gb SSD, 2 Tb monthly traffic and so on, just for $15 a year.

That's cheaper and has more power than in most managed hosting plans.

I'm not an IT geek, but during the past week I dedicated my time to reading manuals and setting software up, and now I have almost working PhpBB 3.2.2. :D

People with some interest in IT sphere, likewise, can get interesting experience and useful results. (Of course a registered domain is also needed, but that's cheap too).

But the problem is that with the lack of good documentation you are treading in a dark.

For example, installing PhpBB, I stumbled on issues like:

- BEFORE installing, special Nginx server configuration was needed,
- BEFORE installing, I needed to check for PHP modules for database use (I assumed I had them, but because I tried to install the newest - fastest - PHP, I actually got PHP from a repository lacking some modules),
- BEFORE installing I had to check sending mails (was not working), etc.

Nothing like that was mentioned in PhpBB installation guides (as far as I'm aware).

It is hard to find best solutions when you know nothing and have mostly either manuals for specialists, or random tutorials scattered through internet, most of them of poor quality...

So, my friends, I think a guide on PhpBB for VPS would be useful.

My 5 cents: unless you have very little RAM, better start by installing a free control panel (I used Virtualmin; there are several others). Control panel takes care about setting up all the stuff; unfortunately I used outdated guides and messed up mine a bit (with unnecessary "customizations")...

BTW, Good luck, colleagues!

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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by kinerity » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:11 pm

The problem here is phpBB provides the board software, nothing else. Plus, providing assistance for servers could possibly be a liability issue (not sure, I'm not a lawyer). You wouldn't expect FileZilla to tell you how to install an operating system on your computer, would you?
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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by canonknipser » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:59 pm

I did a lot of phpBB-installs on a dedicated linux server (OK, it's just my personal PC, but's nothing different from a server in the net) without any problems.
Create a database and a db user via DB backend (in my case: phpMyAdmin), copy the phpBB sources to the web path, open Browser (in my case a 127.0.0.1 address) run install, enjoy
I understand that many people need help to setup their server correctly, but I believe that's a bit out of the scope from this board.
alancast wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:54 pm
when you know nothing
You need skilled people to manage a server, so imho for most people creating their own board it's better to use shared / managed hosting and having the hosting company struggling with the server things.

Even if VPS are cheap nowadays, they are not suitable for everybody. It's just less work for the hosting companies - they provide the hardware, but don't support the software.
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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by alancast » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:08 pm

canonknipser wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:59 pm
I understand that many people need help to setup their server correctly, but I believe that's a bit out of the scope from this board.
Thank you for the input. Still, "setup their server correctly" can be very different thing. There can be various configurations, and thus users should know which configuration they need for setup.

It's much easier for an experienced user like you to explain the config than for thousands of newbies to try get it working by trial and error. You had no problem because you had perhaps some complete or standard package. I also have no problems on my PC, because I use a large package. On VPS however most things just aren't installed. And customers definitely need to know and have a right to know how to use a software. I wouldn't say "If you aren't a specialist stay away from VPS". It's not correct and not welcoming people to their future abilities. :)

For example, now I have almost everything running; so I can use it!

My only problem now: phpBB still doesn't send mails. Every time - I get "timeout". I installed PHP package "Mail", and it works. From a test script I can send mails. But phpBB doesn't. I don't even know where to look for errors (PHP error.log shows none).

Any help?

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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by alancast » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:30 pm

PS. Nevermind, I just needed to add protocol to my SMTP server setting. The description should be more clear; but I'll do that via Github. Thanks, and excuse me for any disturbance.

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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by canonknipser » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:38 pm

alancast wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:08 pm
hpBB still doesn't send mails.
Did you set smtp to yes or no in acp? If yes, phpBB doesn't use standard "sendmail" function from the php mail package, but a external mail server service. On VPS, I would recommend to set smtp to "no". And, "Enable board-wide emails" should be set to yes ;)

And for the nginx-config file you linked: the docs-folder is part of phpBB standard package and delivered with every installation ;)
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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by AbaddonOrmuz » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:39 pm

The installation assumes you have a working server, so I don't really think it should provide a guide to setup a VPS for phpBB.

Unmanaged VPS are for people that have some knowledge on it or for those who want to learn, but should not be used on a production website for the latter. There's a lot of guides to install a LAMP or LEMP stack, setup sendmail and securing the server.
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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by alancast » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:54 pm

Thank you, my friends, the issue is solved.
AbaddonOrmuz wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:39 pm
The installation assumes you have a working server, so I don't really think it should provide a guide to setup a VPS for phpBB.
I don't mean that the guide should explain every step of setting up LAMP or LEMP. :) Of course not. But at least it should mention that if you have LEMP, then first you should use proper config file (see github link in my 1st post).

That kind of stuff.

If I may ruminate some more - of course many people get used to having poor documentation (like when they resort to asking questions on a forum every time when they want to do something with some software which theoretically has docs... :| ), but is that a really proper norm to live with? :roll:

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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by canonknipser » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:04 pm

alancast wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:54 pm
but is that a really proper norm to live with?
No, you must not live with it ;)

Every user is welcome to contribute to phpBB (which is, as you already know) a non-profit software developed by people in their free time. You can help improve the documentation with your experiences in setting up a VPS for phpBB
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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by AbaddonOrmuz » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:27 am

alancast wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:54 pm
Of course not. But at least it should mention that if you have LEMP, then first you should use proper config file (see github link in my 1st post).
I agree that is not mentioned or at least is not easily spotted, but "proper" config file is subjective. I help to manage a forum in a subdirectory using nginx, we don't use the example config file because it simply won't work.

Maybe that could be improved too, though seeing that phpBB states that server configuration is out of the scope of this forum, those who use nginx are on their own.
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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by alancast » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:02 am

AbaddonOrmuz wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:27 am
server configuration is out of the scope of this forum
Why is that?

We speak not about server configurations in general, but about what's necessary to use this software.

If Apache is necessary, then that should be clearly said at the beginning. :)

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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by AbaddonOrmuz » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:50 am

alancast wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:02 am
We speak not about server configurations in general, but about what's necessary to use this software.

If Apache is necessary, then that should be clearly said at the beginning. :)
Clearly stated...

https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3 ... quirements
docs/README.html
docs/INSTALL.html
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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by alancast » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:28 am

AbaddonOrmuz wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:50 am
alancast wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:02 am
We speak not about server configurations in general, but about what's necessary to use this software.

If Apache is necessary, then that should be clearly said at the beginning. :)
Clearly stated...

https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3 ... quirements
docs/README.html
docs/INSTALL.html
I don't think so.

The 1st & 3rd links say:

> A webserver or web hosting account running on any major Operating System with support for PHP

"A webserver" == Apache? :lol:

The 2nd link says:

> "please include the following details: Your server type/version, e.g. Apache 2.2.3, IIS 7, Sambar, etc."

"Apache 2.2.3, IIS 7, Sambar, etc." == Apache? :lol:

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Re: Guidance for installing on VPS (Linux, Nginx etc.)

Post by AbaddonOrmuz » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:48 pm

alancast wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:28 am
"Apache 2.2.3, IIS 7, Sambar, etc." == Apache? :lol:
:o :lol:
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