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A basic overview of running phpBB3 can be found in the accompanying README file. Please ensure you read that document in addition to this! For more detailed information on using, installing, updating and converting phpBB3 you should read the documentation available online.

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A basic overview of running phpBB can be found in the accompanying README file. Please ensure you read that document in addition to this! For more detailed information on using, installing, updating and converting phpBB you should read the documentation available online.

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  • Changed files only
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  • Changed files
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  • Copyright and disclaimer
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  • Anti-Spam Measures >
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  • Disclaimer
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    If you have basic knowledge of using FTP and are sure your hosting service or server will run phpBB3 you can use these steps to quickly get started. For a more detailed explanation you should skip this and go to section 2 below.

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    If you have basic knowledge of using FTP and are sure your hosting service or server will run phpBB you can use these steps to quickly get started. For a more detailed explanation you should skip this and go to section 2 below.

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  • Decompress the phpBB3 archive to a local directory on your system.
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  • Decompress the phpBB archive to a local directory on your system.
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  • Using your web browser visit the location you placed phpBB3 with the addition of install/index.php or pointing directly to install/, e.g. http://www.mydomain.com/phpBB3/install/, http://www.mydomain.com/forum/install/ etc.
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  • Click the INSTALL tab, follow the steps and fill out all the requested information.
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  • Using your web browser visit the location you placed phpBB with the addition of install/index.php or pointing directly to install/, e.g. http://www.example.com/phpBB/install/, http://www.example.com/forum/install/.
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  • Click the INSTALL tab, follow the steps and fill out all the requested information.
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  • phpBB3 should now be available, please MAKE SURE you read at least Section 6 below for important, security related post-installation instructions.
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  • phpBB should now be available, please MAKE SURE you read at least Section 6 below for important, security related post-installation instructions, and also take note of Section 7 regarding anti-spam measures.
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    phpBB3 has a few requirements which must be met before you are able to install and use it.

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    phpBB has a few requirements which must be met before you are able to install and use it.

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  • MS SQL Server 2000 or above (directly or via ODBC or the native adapter)
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  • MS SQL Server 2000 or above (directly or via ODBC)
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  • PHP 4.3.3+ (>=4.3.3, >=4.4.x, >=5.x.x, >=5.4.x) with support for the database you intend to use.
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  • PHP 4.3.3+ (>=4.3.3, >4.4.x, >5.x.x, >6.0-dev (compatible)) with support for the database you intend to use.
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  • Presence of the following modules within PHP will provide access to additional features, but they are not required: --- >
  • These optional presence of the following modules within PHP will provide access to additional features, but they are not required. 161c166 <

    If your server or hosting account does not meet the requirements above we are afraid phpBB3 is not for you.

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    If your server or hosting account does not meet the requirements above then phpBB is not for you.

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    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.

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    Installation of phpBB 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 phpBB archive (in binary mode!) to a directory on your host and unarchive it there.

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    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 doing so will cause errors later.

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    If you do not have shell access or do not wish to use it you will need to decompress the phpBB 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 doing so will cause errors later.

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    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 of language packs, where to obtain them and how to install them please see the README.

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    phpBB comes supplied with 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 of language packs, where to obtain them and how to install them please see the README.

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    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.mydomain.tld and you placed phpBB3 in a directory /phpBB3 off your web root you would enter http://www.mydomain.tld/phpBB3/install/ or (alternatively) http://www.mydomain.tld/phpBB3/install/index.php into your browser. When you have done this you should see the phpBB3 Installation screen appear.

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    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 phpBB in a directory /phpBB off your web root you would enter http://www.example.com/phpBB/install/ or (alternatively) http://www.example.com/phpBB/install/index.php into your browser. When you have done this you should see the phpBB Introduction screen appear.

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    The installation screen gives you a short introduction into phpBB. It allows you to read the license phpBB3 is released under (General Public License) and provides information about how you can receive support. To start the installation, use the Install button.

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    The initial screen gives you a short introduction into phpBB. It allows you to read the license phpBB is released under (General Public License v2) and provides information about how you can receive support. To start the installation, use the INSTALL tab.

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    The first page you will see after starting the installation is the Requirements list. phpBB3 checks automatically 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 do 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.

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    The first page you will see after starting the installation is the Requirements list. phpBB checks automatically 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 do have the correct permissions. Please see the description of each section to find out whether they are optional or required for phpBB to run. If everything is in order, you can continue the installation with Start Install.

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    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.

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    After you entered your details, you can continue with the Proceed to next step button. Now phpBB will check whether the data you entered will lead to a successful database connection and whether tables with the same prefix already exist.

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    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 English. You can download further languages from www.phpbb.com, and add them before installing or later.

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    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 phpBB installation we only include English. You can download further languages from www.phpbb.com, and add them before installing or later.

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    Usually writing the configuration file automatically works fine. But in some cases it can fail due to wrong file permissions, for instance. 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.

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    Usually writing the configuration file automatically works fine. But in some cases it can fail due to wrong file permissions, for instance. 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.

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    The Advanced settings allow you to set some parameters of the board configuration. They are optional, and you can always change them later. So if you are not sure what these settings mean, proceed to the final step and finish the installation.

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    The Advanced settings allow you to set some 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.

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    If the installation was successful, you can now use the Login button to visit the Administration Control Panel. Congratulations, you have installed phpBB3 successfully. But there is still work ahead!

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    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!

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    If you are unable to get phpBB3 installed even after reading this guide, please look at the support section to find out where you can ask for further assistance.

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    If you are unable to get phpBB installed even after reading this guide, please look at the support section to find out where you can ask for further assistance.

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    If you are currently using a stable release of phpBB3 updating to this version is straightforward. You would have downloaded one of four packages and your choice determines what you need to do. Please Note: That before updating we heavily recommend you do a full backup of your database and existing phpBB3 files! If you are unsure how to achieve this please ask your hosting provider for advice.

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    If you are currently using a stable release of phpBB updating to this version is straightforward. You would have downloaded one of four packages and your choice determines what you need to do. Please Note: That before updating we heavily recommend you do a full backup of your database and existing phpBB files! If you are unsure how to achieve this please ask your hosting provider for advice.

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    Please make sure you update your phpBB3 source files too, even if you run the database_update.php file.

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    Please make sure you update your phpBB source files too, even if you run the database_update.php file.

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    First you should make a copy of your existing config.php file, keep it in a safe place! Next delete all the existing phpBB3 files, you may want to leave your files/ and images/ directory in place. You can leave alternative styles in-place too. With this complete you can upload the new phpBB3 files (see New installation for details if necessary). Once complete copy back your saved config.php, replacing the new one. Another method is to just replace the existing files with the files from the full package - though make sure you do not overwrite your config.php file.

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    First you should make a copy of your existing config.php file, keep it in a safe place! Next delete all the existing phpBB files, you may want to leave your files/ and images/ directory in place. You can leave alternative styles in-place too. With this complete you can upload the new phpBB files (see New installation for details if necessary). Once complete copy back your saved config.php, replacing the new one. Another method is to just replace the existing files with the files from the full package - though make sure you do not overwrite your config.php file.

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    4.ii. Changed files only

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    4.ii. Changed files

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    This package contains a number of archives, each contains the files changed from a given release to the latest version. You should select the appropriate archive for your current version, e.g. if you currently have 3.0.10 you should select the phpBB-3.0.10_to_3.0.11.zip/tar.gz file.

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    This package contains a number of archives, each contains the files changed from a given release to the latest version. You should select the appropriate archive for your current version, e.g. if you currently have 3.0.10 you should select the appropriate phpBB-3.0.11-files.zip/tar.bz2 file.

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    The directory structure has been preserved enabling you (if you wish) to simply upload the contents of the archive to the appropriate location on your server, i.e. simply overwrite the existing files with the new versions. Do not forget that if you have installed any MODs these files will overwrite the originals possibly destroying them in the process. You will need to re-add MODs to any affected file before uploading.

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    The directory structure has been preserved enabling you (if you wish) to simply upload the uncompressed contents of the archive to the appropriate location on your server, i.e. simply overwrite the existing files with the new versions. Do not forget that if you have installed any MODs these files will overwrite the originals possibly destroying them in the process. You will need to re-add MODs to any affected file before uploading.

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    A number of patch files are provided to allow you to update from previous stable releases. Select the correct patch, e.g. if your current version is 3.0.10 you need the phpBB-3.0.10_to_3.0.11.patch file. Place the correct patch in the parent directory containing the phpBB3 core files (i.e. index.php, viewforum.php, etc.). With this done you should run the following command: patch -cl -d [PHPBB DIRECTORY] -p1 < [PATCH NAME] (where PHPBB DIRECTORY is the directory name your phpBB Installation resides in, for example phpBB3, and where PATCH NAME is the relevant filename of the selected patch file). This should complete quickly, hopefully without any HUNK FAILED comments.

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    A number of patch files are provided to allow you to update from previous stable releases. Select the correct patch, e.g. if your current version is 3.0.10 you need the phpBB-3.0.11-patch.zip/tar.bz2 file. Place the correct patch in the parent directory containing the phpBB core files (i.e. index.php, viewforum.php, etc.). With this done you should run the following command: patch -cl -d [PHPBB DIRECTORY] -p1 < [PATCH NAME] (where PHPBB DIRECTORY is the directory name your phpBB Installation resides in, for example phpBB, and where PATCH NAME is the relevant filename of the selected patch file). This should complete quickly, hopefully without any HUNK FAILED comments.

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    If you do get failures you should look at using the Changed files only package to replace the files which failed to patch, please note that you will need to manually re-add any Modifications (MODs) to these particular files. Alternatively if you know how you can examine the .rej files to determine what failed where and make manual adjustments to the relevant source.

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    If you do get failures you should look at using the Changed Files package to replace the files which failed to patch, please note that you will need to manually re-add any Modifications (MODs) to these particular files. Alternatively if you know how you can examine the .rej files to determine what failed where and make manual adjustments to the relevant source.

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    To perform the update, either follow the instructions from the Administration Control Panel->System Tab - this should point out that you are running an outdated version and will guide you through the update - or follow the instructions listed below.

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    To perform the update, either follow the instructions from the Administration Control Panel->System Tab - this should point out that you are running an outdated version and will guide you through the update - or follow the instructions listed below.

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  • Upload the archives contents to your phpBB installation - only the install folder is required. Upload the whole install folder, retaining the file structure.
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  • After the install folder is present, phpBB3 will go offline automatically.
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  • Point your browser to the install directory, for example http://www.example.com/phpBB3/install/
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  • Upload the uncompressed archive contents to your phpBB installation - only the install folder is required. Upload the whole install folder, retaining the file structure.
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  • After the install folder is present, phpBB will go offline automatically.
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  • Point your browser to the install directory, for example http://www.example.com/phpBB/install/
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    These update methods will only update the standard styles, prosilver and subsilver2, any other styles you have installed for your board will usually also need to be updated.

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    This paragraph explains the steps necessary to convert your existing phpBB2 installation to phpBB3.

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    This paragraph explains the steps necessary to convert your existing phpBB2 installation to phpBB.

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    Before converting we heavily recommend you do a full backup of your database and files! If you are unsure how to achieve this please ask your hosting provider for advice. You basically need to follow the basic instructions given for New installations. Please do not overwrite any old files - install phpBB3 at a different location.

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    Before converting we heavily recommend you do a full backup of your database and files! If you are unsure how to achieve this please ask your hosting provider for advice. You basically need to follow the basic instructions given for New installations. Please do not overwrite any old files - install phpBB at a different location.

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    Once you made a backup of everything and also have a brand new phpBB3 installation, you can now begin the conversion.

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    Once you made a backup of everything and also have a brand new phpBB installation, you can now begin the conversion.

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    Note that the conversion requires CREATE and DROP privileges for the phpBB3's database user account.

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    Note that the conversion requires CREATE and DROP privileges for the phpBB's database user account.

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    To begin the conversion visit the install folder of your phpBB3 installation (the same as you have done for installing). Now you will see a new tab Convert. Click this tab.

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    To begin the conversion visit the install folder of your phpBB installation (the same as you have done for installing). Now you will see a new tab Convert. Click this tab.

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    As with install the conversion is automated. Your previous 2.0.x database tables will not be changed as well as the original 2.0.x files remaining unaltered. The conversion is actually only filling your phpBB3 database tables and copying additional data over to your phpBB3 installation. This has the benefit that if something goes wrong you are able to either re-run the conversion or continue a conversion, while your old board is still accessible. We really recommend you disable your old installation while converting, else you may have inconsistent data after the conversion.

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    As with install the conversion is automated. Your previous 2.0.x database tables will not be changed as well as the original 2.0.x files remaining unaltered. The conversion is actually only filling your phpBB database tables and copying additional data over to your phpBB installation. This has the benefit that if something goes wrong you are able to either re-run the conversion or continue a conversion, while your old board is still accessible. We really recommend you disable your old installation while converting, else you may have inconsistent data after the conversion.

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    Within the conversion the search index has not been created or transferred. This means after conversion you are not able to find any matches if you want to search for something. We recommend you rebuild your search index within Admin -> Maintenance -> Database -> Search Index.

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    Within the conversion the search index has not been created or transferred. This means after conversion you are not able to find any matches if you want to search for something. We recommend you rebuild your search index within Admin -> Maintenance -> Database -> Search Index.

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    Once you are pleased with your new installation you may want to give it the name of your old installation, changing the directory name. With phpBB3 this is possible without any problems - but you may still want to check your cookie settings within the administration panel, if the cookie path need to be adjusted prior to renaming.

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    Once you are pleased with your new installation you may want to give it the name of your old installation, changing the directory name. With phpBB this is possible without any problems - but you may still want to check your cookie settings within the administration panel, if the cookie path need to be adjusted prior to renaming.

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    http 500 / white pages The conversion is a load-heavy procedure. Restrictions imposed by some server hosting providers can cause problems. The most common causes are: too low values for the php settings memory_limit and max_execution_time. Limits on the allowed CPU time are also a frequent cause for such errors, as are caps on the number of database queries allowed. If you cannot change such settings, then contact your hosting provider or run the conversion procedure on a different computer. The phpBB.com forums are also an excellent location to ask for support.

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    http 500 / white pages The conversion is a load-heavy procedure. Restrictions imposed by some server hosting providers can cause problems. The most common causes are: values too low for the PHP settings memory_limit and max_execution_time. Limits on the allowed CPU time are also a frequent cause for such errors, as are limits on the number of database queries allowed. If you cannot change such settings, then contact your hosting provider or run the conversion procedure on a different computer. The phpBB.com forums are also an excellent location to ask for support.

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    Password conversion Due to the utf-8 based handling of passwords in phpBB3, it is not always possible to transfer all passwords. For passwords "lost in translation" the easiest workaround is to use the "forgotten password" function.

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    Password conversion Due to the utf-8 based handling of passwords in phpBB, it is not always possible to transfer all passwords. For passwords "lost in translation" the easiest workaround is to use the "forgotten password" function.

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    Path to your former board The converter expects the relative path to your old board's files. So, - for instance - if the old board is located at http://www.yourdomain.com/forum and the phpBB3 installation is located at http://www.yourdomain.com/phpBB3, then the correct value would be ../forum. Note that the webserver user must be able to access the source installation's files.

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    Path to your former board The converter expects the relative path to your old board's files. So, for instance, if the old board is located at http://www.yourdomain.com/forum and the phpBB installation is located at http://www.yourdomain.com/phpBB, then the correct value would be ../forum. Note that the webserver user must be able to access the source installation's files.

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    Once you have successfully installed phpBB3 you MUST ensure you remove the entire install/ directory. Leaving the install directory in place is a very serious potential security issue which may lead to deletion or alteration of files, etc. Please note that until this directory is removed, phpBB3 will not operate and a warning message will be displayed. Beyond this essential deletion, you may also wish to delete the docs/ directories if you wish.

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    Once you have successfully installed phpBB you MUST ensure you remove the entire install/ directory. Leaving the install directory in place is a very serious potential security issue which may lead to deletion or alteration of files, etc. Please note that until this directory is removed, phpBB will not operate and a warning message will be displayed. Beyond this essential deletion, you may also wish to delete the docs/ directories if you wish.

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    With these directories deleted you should proceed to the administration panel. Depending on how the installation completed you may have been directed there automatically. If not, login as the administrator you specified during install/conversion and click the Administration Panel link at the bottom of any page. Ensure that details specified in Admin -> General are correct!

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    With these directories deleted you should proceed to the administration panel. Depending on how the installation completed you may have been directed there automatically. If not, login as the administrator you specified during install/conversion and click the Administration Panel link at the bottom of any page. Ensure that details specified in Admin -> General are correct!

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    phpBB3 supports several methods for allowing users to select their own avatar (an avatar is a small image generally unique to a user and displayed just below their username in posts).

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    phpBB supports several methods for allowing users to select their own avatar (an avatar is a small image generally unique to a user and displayed just below their username in posts).

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    Two of these options allow users to upload an avatar from their machine or a remote location (via a URL). If you wish to enable this function you should first ensure the correct paths for uploadeable avatars is set in Admin -> General -> Board Configuration -> Avatar settings. By default this is images/avatars/uploads but you can set it to whatever you like, just ensure the configuration setting is updated. You must also ensure this directory can be written to by the webserver. Usually this means you have to alter its permissions to allow anyone to read and write to. Exactly how you should do this depends on your ftp client or server operating system.

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    Two of these options allow users to upload an avatar from their machine or a remote location (via a URL). If you wish to enable this function you should first ensure the correct paths for uploadeable avatars is set in Admin -> General -> Board Configuration -> Avatar settings. By default this is images/avatars/uploads but you can set it to whatever you like, just ensure the configuration setting is updated. You must also ensure this directory can be written to by the webserver. Usually this means you have to alter its permissions to allow anyone to read and write to. Exactly how you should do this depends on your ftp client or server operating system.

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    For apache there are .htaccess files already in place to do this for you. For other webservers you will have to adjust the configuration yourself. Sample files for nginx and lighttpd to help you get started may be found in docs directory.

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    For Apache there are .htaccess files already in place to do this for you. Similarly, for Windows based servers using .ASP.NET there are web.config files already in place to do this for you. For other webservers you will have to adjust the configuration yourself. Sample files for nginx and lighttpd to help you get started may be found in docs directory.

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    7. Anti-Spam Measures

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    Like any online site that allows user input your board could be subject to unwanted posts, often referred to as forum spam. The vast majority of these attacks will be from automated computer computer programs known as spambots. The attacks, generally, are not personal the spammers just try to find accessible targets. phpBB has a number of anti-spam measures built in including a range of CAPTCHAs. However, administrators are strongly earged to read and follow the advice for Preventing Spam in phpBB as soon as possible after completing the installation of your board. >

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    7. Copyright and disclaimer

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    8. Copyright and disclaimer

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    This application is opensource software released under the GNU General Public License v2. Please see source code and the docs directory for more details. This package and its contents are Copyright (c) phpBB Group, All Rights Reserved.

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    This application is opensource software released under the GPL. Please see source code and the docs directory for more details. This package and its contents are Copyright (c) phpBB Group, All Rights Reserved.