Install phpBB 3 on a Debian Wheezy VPS

In this tutorial we will show you how to install phpBB on a Debian Wheezy VPS.

phpBB is an Internet forum package written in the PHP scripting language, it is easy to use, powerful, and highly customizable. The name “phpBB” is an abbreviation of PHP Bulletin Board.

Features of phpBB include support for multiple database engines (PostgreSQL, SQLite, MySQL, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server), flat message structure (as opposed to threaded), hierarchical subforums, topic split/merge/lock, user groups, multiple attachments per post, full-text search, plugins and various notification options (e-mail, Jabber instant messaging, ATOM feeds).

Before you start the installation, please make sure that you have LAMP stack installed on your server. If not, follow our excellent tutorial about how to set up LAMP (Linux, Apache, MariaDB, PHP) stack on Debian Wheezy


We will be using our SSD 1 Linux VPS hosting plan for this tutorial.


Login to your server as user ‘root’ and make sure your Debian 7 (Wheezy) VPS is fully up-to-date:

# ssh root@hostname
# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y


The current version of phpBB in the writing of this tutorial is 3.1.2. You can check that from their website. For our purposes we will download phpBB in to the opt directory by issuing the following commands:

# cd /opt

# wget --no-check-certificate https://download.phpbb.com/pub/release/3.1/3.1.2/phpBB-3.1.2.zip

After the download is finished, unzip the archive.

# unzip phpBB-3.1.2.zip

Let’s copy the installation files into Apache’s document root:

# cp -R phpBB3/* /var/www/


Enter Apache’s document root:

# cd /var/www/

With the command below we will set the required file permissions:

# for files in config.php cache files store images/avatars/upload/; do chmod 777 $files; done


Next thing we need to do is to create a MySQL database for phpBB.

Enter MySQL as root and create the needed database:

# mysql -u root -p

mysql> CREATE DATABASE phpbb;

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on phpbb.* TO 'phpbbuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your_password';


mysql> quit;

You can now finish your phpBB installation by opening your favorite web browser and navigate to: http://your_ip_address/install

Enter the required database credentials like database name, database username etc…

You should see a successful database connection. Then, setup your admin username and password and in the following step if you have a custom SMTP server setup your email settings.

After finishing the installation it is recommended to delete the install directory in your Apache’s document root:

# rm -rf /var/www/install

That is it. You have successfully installed phpBB on your Debian Wheezy VPS.

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 phpBB for you.They are available 24×7 and will take care of your request immediately.

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Categories: Tutorials

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