Firefox PHP

New installation instructions

Posted by Chris Moss 
New installation instructions
February 07, 2002 07:08PM
I looked at Thomas's opening message in this forum and decided to take him at his word. Since my German is very weak, I pushed the instructions he had posted in German through Systran (!) and rewrote them together with install.txt to make the document below.

CAUTION! These are not checked by anyone in the Phorum team (yet) and may be incorrect in some ways - in particular it is hard to check the configuration sequence as it only happens once! I will try and do the administrative and maintenance sections when I understand them a little.

It's posted as a draft for comments.

New Installation Instructions

1. Prerequisites:

a. On the server, PHP (version >=4) must be installed. At present Phorum functions also with PHP3, however later versions will not support PHP3 due to various restrictions.

b. A database is installed. The two databases MySQL and Postgres are currently supported. The following instructions assume MySQL 3.23.x is installed. On a rented Web space you usually use the MySQL implementation of the operator of the server.

You will need the MySQL Hostname (usually a local host if MySQL runs on the same server), the names of the MySQL data base, already created, the MySQL user name and MySQL password.

You only need FTP access to the server to install the basic functions of Phorum (without email) and the following instructions assume this. If you have login access, then you can easily adapt these instructions.

2. Installation:

First unpack the Phorum distribution on your local computer. You will then have a directory (e.g. phorum-3.3.2a) with everything stored in its files. This directory can be renamed (e.g. to phorum3 - which will be assumed below) and should then be transferred by ftp to the Web server with all subdirectories.

At this point you should make three changes to the directory structure.

a. If possible, move the directory phorum3/admin/settings outside of the web home directory. Usually your "home page" is within a directory called something like htdocs, or www or public_html. But this is not the home directory for your ftp account, and you should move the settings file probably to the home directory and you may rename it if you wish.

b. Important! You must now make this settings file and everything in it writeable by all the world by means of the Unix/ftp instruction chmod (e.g. chmod a+rwx <name> or chmod 777 <name>).

c. Change the name of the phorum3/admin directory to something unlikely: e.g. your dog's name! This will cut down unnecessary snooping although there are other protection mechanisms in Phorum. We will assume the name "hound".

Note: The security steps in (a) and (b) only guard against tampering from the web, not from other users on the server. If there is a security risk from other users, then you can cut the risk by (1) using an unlikely directory name (2) restricting the write access to the directory to group or user if your web server can write to the files in this way (3) placing it within a directory that only has execute access (711).

Finally you need to edit the file "common.php" in the phorum3 directory so that it points to the settings file. Probably the easiest way to do this is to change the file on your local machine and upload it to the server.

At about line 7 common.php has the lines:

// location where settings are stored
$settings_dir="./admin/settings"; // no ending slash

Change the second line so that it reads something like

$settings_dir="/home/myaccount/settings"; // no ending slash

where the address is the full address of the settings file you have created

3. Configuration.

The rest of the configuration is done using your web browser. Access the file index.php within the admin directory. (e.g. point at [] .) It may be necessary to include index.php at the end of this address.

You will now be led through a series of simple forms. These are given below though the details might vary a little.

3.1 It will first ask you what type of database you are using. The current choices are MySql, Postgres (v6.5 or later) and Postgres (earlier version).

3.2 You are next asked for details of the database:


The main table can be given any identifier which is unique within your database and does not conflict with any built-in names. Type, server and database name must be obtained from your system administrator who will also agree your user name and password.

If Phorum is able to open the database satisfactorily, you will proceed to the next choice. Otherwise you need to consult your system administrator to check these details.

3.3 You are asked to enter a name and password for the administrator, which you will have to enter again before completing the remaining steps.

3.4 Phorum URL:
Admin Email Address:

The first is suggested but you may have an alternative. The second must be entered if email is to be used at all in the system.

If all goes well, it will now say
"Congratulations. Click here to go to the admin."
and you will be led into the normal administrator's menu to set up remaining options.
Re: New installation instructions
February 08, 2002 02:46AM
Thanks a lot Chris. This sure did help!
<b>Re: New installation instructions</b>
February 08, 2002 06:32PM
<HTML>Hi Chris,

at first, thanks for all your work.
The description looks really good and I have only some small corrections:

1.b the server-name is "localhost" not "a local host" ;-)
2.b the settings-folder (not file)
chmod is also most often a command directly in the ftp-client

3.1 Postgresql is the database called

3.2 no, dbtype is no asked for again, it was asked in 3.1
The system-administrator will provide (and not agree) the username and password



Excellent. Great work.

One of the things I did after expanding the download file was to set up a logical link, ie

ln -s /usr/local/apache/phorum-3.3.2a /usr/local/apache/phorum

Kind of makes it easier dealing with scripts and things, and upgrading versions.

Section 3.2

The main table can be given any identifier which is unique within your database and does not conflict with any built-in names. Type, server and database name must be obtained from your system administrator who will also agree your user name and password.

"who will also agree" -> "who will provide a user name and password. This user must have xxxxx privileges."

I got a bit confused here, I created a user for phorum and then the install script prompted me for another. So I have two phorum admin users in the database.

I think it would be simpler if the user prompted for here was the phorum admin user, and the prompt later in the script was removed.
In the security item a/c.

I think it is simpler to leave the directory where it is and protected it with .htaccess if you are using apache. I also have mine accessed via https: link.

Another point on section 3.2

"If you are the database administrator the specify database root user and its password. A phorum admin user will be created in the next step."

Thanks again
Re: New installation instructions
February 11, 2002 11:24PM
I am a very very novice hacker so i kinda need things spelled out to understand them. So could you please explain exactly what i need to do in mysql in preperation for phorum? So far i have created a database called phorum, and a user called phorum who has no privileges. I also made a table called forum inside the phorum database. Does the index.php setup script do any of thiis for me?

thanks alot
You need to remove the phorum user from mysql.

Go back to 3.2
and specify the mysql details, the user here should be root since you have control of the database, the host should be localhost I assume.
Then in the next step you are prompted to specify the phorum administrator and password. Here you can specify phorum. The install script will then create the mysql user.

Hope this helps
<b>Re: New installation instructions</b>
February 14, 2002 07:26PM
<HTML>sorry phorum itself does not create any mysql-user.
the database and user has to be created before.
Phorum creates only its tables in the given database.</HTML>
Re: New installation instructions
February 15, 2002 02:48AM
I do not have any problem with the installation, however, after installation is completed, Phorum does not run.

The error from apache log is below, Phorum does not load up and internet explorer browser continue to search for ever.: - - [14/Feb/2002:17:43:42 -0800] "GET /phorum3/index.php/list.php?f=1 HTTP/1.1" 302 5
when I try to go into forum (by: []).

I do not have problem with other php scripts.
Apache is running in php mode ( in httpd.conf:
LoadModule php4_module c:/php411/sapi/php4apache.dll
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php )
I don't know if this is causing any problem or not.
<Confused again>
Yes, sorry I am getting confused with the phorum admin user.
Chris - what a wonderful job you've done to help everyone out! This is really a great BBS, and I'm sure more people would use it, if it were easier to set up. I think one of the easiest I've ever set up was phpBB, but I still prefer Phorum at this point. I just wish it were as easy to set up for clients as phpBB.

Chris's article should be of help to anyone that does not have telnet or ssh access for their server. That was the most difficult thing to figure out when trying to set Phorum up for a client without telnet access.

Hat's off to Chris for the great work
and hat's off to Thomas for a great script!

Re: New installation instructions
February 19, 2002 02:45PM
Ok, what do you do when the stage after the "what database server are you using" results in a web page like this?

HTTP Error 405
405 Method Not Allowed

The method specified in the Request Line is not allowed for the resource identified by the request. Please ensure that you have the proper MIME type set up for the resource you are requesting.

Please contact the server's administrator if this problem persists.


... I have installed MySQL version 3.23.47-nt, running on IIS 4 (WinNT 4.0). This web server does work, and currently hosts some other web crap (successfully). I must agree with the other posters here ... THE DOCUMENTATION FOR GETTING THIS UP-AND-RUNNING IS PATHETIC !!!! (sorry for venting, but I've been at it for 3 hours now)

Thanks in advance for any help I may receive.


<HTML>Well Jim,

It would appear that your web server is set up to not allow a POST to happen in that dir. This is a server config issue and can not be forseen by the Phorum team.</HTML>

Re: New installation instructions
February 23, 2002 08:58PM
Thanks very much for the code and the site. Using these instructions and the faq of the host site, I found installation very easy and couldn't see how it could be simpler.

It took me longer to decide which discussion forum to try... Free/Threads/PHP/Support. (I didn't know PHP existed until a couple of days ago.) I had heard some negative comments about phorum (ugly, poor documentation), but this site and seemed to contradict that.

The key point in the installation for me was to realise all the database information and setup had to come from the host site - my job was to just supply this info to the install script.

Thanks again.
March 13, 2002 10:33PM
I have followed you the instructions so far but when I select the MySQL Server option I just get a page that says "Phorum Install Script"

Re: Help
March 14, 2002 01:11AM
Re: New installation instructions
September 20, 2002 08:22PM
I've been at this 2 days now, phorum went up like putting cheese on crackers. =)

The server I am using has both MySql , and PostgresSql installed. Only thing is, well nobody has ever set either one up and since i'm the first to want to use it i'm kinda getting dubbed the one to mess with the setup, wonderful right? *raises brow*

I'm on XP working with a remote server running freeBSD with Sftp if that makes any difference to anyone? I have a linux box local i'm testing everything on. Any help is appreciated. Email it or post it, email is

probbly looking at using postgres most likely. *shrug*
Re: New installation instructions
September 28, 2002 01:00PM
i really need some help on this step.

3.2 You are next asked for details of the database:


i dont know that to write on servername and name i only get this msg "Error: Could not connect to database. Check your settings again." i have tested many things, so can anyone give me an example what to write in this feilds ?
Re: New installation instructions
September 28, 2002 01:25PM
you should ask your ISP about your servername and the other settings there.
he could provide you with a mysql-database but you can't simply guess these settings if you don't have them given.

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