Installation guide for phpBB 3.0.9 on Gandi Simple Hosting

phpBB is one of the most well-known free forum tools available on the web, as well as being very easy to use.

The first step consists of downloading the latest version of phpBB via the official website.

Extract the phpBB archive on your computer, and then upload the content of the folder to the desired location on your virtualhost (website) folder.

For example, if you want your forum to be available directly at then you need to put it in the folde. If you want it on an address like then first make a folder in the virtualhost folder called “forum” and put the files in there.

You now need to temporarily change the permissions of a file and a couple folders (this can usually be done by right-clicking on the file or folder name in your sFTP client).

Change the permissions of the file called config.php to be *666*. You will find this file in the root location of your wordpress directory

The following directories will need have their permissions set to 777:

  • store/
  • cache/
  • files/
  • images/avatars/upload/

Once you have done that, use your web browser to go to the location of your installation directory, */install/*. For example, if you put your phpBB forum directly at then to start the installation process go to

You will then see the installation interface:


Click on the “install” tab at the top of the page. You will see that everything will be fine to install phpBB on your instance, though some options are not initially possible for the moment. The installer cannot find the location of ImageMagick for example, but we will provide that later.

If you followed the previous instructions concerning the file permissions, you are now ready to “proceed to the next step”.

Click “install” to continue. You will then be asked to enter the information concerning your database. If you have not yet created a database, please refer to this page.

If you are not using a database dedicated to just your phpBB forum, it is essential that you choose a prefix for the tables in your database (the one by default, already filled in is fine) in order to prevent a conflict with existing tables.


  • Database server hostname or DSN: localhost
  • Database server port: leave blank
  • Database name: the name of the database you made
  • Database username: the name of the user you made for the database
  • Database password: the password of the database user
  • Prefix for tables in database: you can leave this as-is

Enter your information and if all is well you will get a “Test connection: Successful connection” message. You can then proceed to the next step.

You will now enter the information concerning the administrator account for your phpBB forum:


When done, click on the button to proceed to the next step, and you should see: “Check administrator settings: Tests passed”. You will see another confirmation message and a link to proceed.

You will now see a configuration page. note that your PHP/MySQL instance cannot directly handle SMTP server requests.

The next step will allow the phpBB installer to create the tables of your forum as well as populate them a bit. Click on “proceed to the next step” to continue.

Before you can use your forum, you need to rename your /install/ folder to something else (such as /install-old/) via sFTP in order to protect it.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed phpBB on your instance.

Concerning ImageMagick, you can activate it by providing the path where it is located in your phpBB administration control panel. To do this, click on Administration Control Panel when you are logged in as the administrator, and then go to the “Posting” tab, and then “Attachment settings”. In the “Image category settings” you will find the “Imagemagick path” field. Just enter the following value: /etc/php5/ and then click on “submit”.

Last modified: 10/17/2012 at 00:49 by Thomas S. (Gandi)