minibbminiBB or Mini Bulletin Board is a PHP based standalone, open source program for building your own Internet forums. In this tutorial we will install miniBB on a CentOS 7 VPS with Apache, PHP and MariaDB.

Log in to your CentOS server via SSH as user root

ssh [email protected]_IP

and first of all make sure that all packages installed on your server are up to date:

yum -y update

miniBB requires and empty database, so we will have to install a database server. Run the following command to install MariaDB server:

yum install mariadb mariadb-server

Start the MariaDB database server and enable it to start at the boot time:

systemctl start mariadb
systemctl enable mariadb

Run the ‘mysql_secure_installation’ script to secure the database server and set your MariaDB root password.

Log in to the MariaDB server using the MySQL ‘root’ user and create new database and user for miniBB:

mysql -u root -p

CREATE USER 'minibbuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'PASSWORD';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `minibb`.* TO 'minibbuser'@'localhost';

Don’t forget to replace ‘PASSWORD’ with a strong password.

Install Apache web server

yum install httpd

Start the web server and add it to automatically start on the system start-up:

systemctl start httpd
systemctl enable httpd

miniBB is a PHP based application and it requires PHP. So, install PHP on your server:

yum install php php-common

Download the latest stable release of miniBB forum from their official website. At the moment of writing this article it is version 3.2.1.

Unpack the downloaded zip archive to the document root directory on your server:

unzip -d /var/www/html

If you are not sure where is your document root directory you can use the following command to find out:

grep -i '^documentroot' /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
DocumentRoot "/var/www/html"

Change the ownership of the miniBB files:

chown -R apache:apache /var/www/html/minibb

Now, open the ‘setup_options.php’ file which contains almost every common option of miniBB. We will enter the information of the MySQL database we created in this post and create a new administrator user.

vim /var/www/html/minibb/setup_options.php

$admin_usr = 'ADMIN_USR';
$admin_pwd = 'ADMIN_PASSWORD';
$admin_email = '[email protected]';

More information about the options available in the configuration file you can find at miniBB’s official website

Next, create Apache virtual host for your domain. Create ‘/etc/httpd/conf.d/vhosts.conf’ file with the following content

vim /etc/httpd/conf.d/vhosts.conf

IncludeOptional vhosts.d/*.conf

and create the virtual host

vim /etc/httpd/vhosts.d/

<VirtualHost YOUR_SERVER_IP:80>
ServerAdmin [email protected]
DocumentRoot "/var/www/html/minibb/"
ErrorLog "/var/log/httpd/"
CustomLog "/var/log/httpd/" combined

<Directory "/var/www/html/minibb/">
DirectoryIndex index.html index.php
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Require all granted

Restart the Apache web server for the changes to take effect.

systemctl restart httpd

Now, navigate your favorite web browser to to finish the miniBB installation.

Of course you don’t have to do any of this if you use one of our Linux VPS Hosting services, in which case you can simply ask our expert Linux admins to install miniBB for you. They are available 24×7 and will take care of your request immediately.

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