How-to get a phpBB2-forum running on a Freesco 0.3.x system

For 95% based on Dingetje's Freesco/phpBB2-howto:
This how-to might also work for 0.2.7 versions of Freesco.

This how-to is written in such a way that (in my opinion) everybody, including people that are new to Linux/Freesco, can use it. This means that for more experienced users this how-to is probably too expansive. Sorry for that ;-) But I remember my first Freesco-days when I read howto's that I couldn't understand because it assumed the possession of basic skills which I didn't have at that time.
In this how-to, commands you'll have to input are in code blocks.

Enjoy, Wimpie

What is phpBB2?

phpBB is a high powered, fully scalable, and highly customizable Open Source bulletin board package. phpBB has a user-friendly interface, simple and straightforward administration panel, and helpful FAQ. Based on the powerful PHP server language and your choice of MySQL, MS-SQL, PostgreSQL or Access/ODBC database servers, phpBB is the ideal free community solution for all web sites.
For more info take a look at the phpBB homepage:

What do I need?

Freesco end:
Well, of course you'll need al working version of Freesco 03x, I'm using 0.3.3 myself. I'm running it on a Pentium 200MMX-64Mb, and that's enough to keep my small phpBB-forum running at acceptable speeds. Keep in mind that if you expect a lot of users you'll probably need a system that is a bit faster.
You need a working Web server with PHP enabled. I use apache_1.3.27_dingetje-package with a kernel (I believe the 6th option) from the kernels-1.3-lightning-package. But you can better use a suitable kernel from the FREESCO kernel page: or one of the other kernel mirrors:

Not sure what kernel to pick? Start with the kernel for your version of FREESCO that has vipc in it's name as a minimum. The reason for the new kernel is explained in this FAQ. You also need the mysql-3.23.37-lightning-package (or the latest MySQL4-beta-package if you feel lucky ;-) ).
Another package you'll need is utils_1.1_dingetje 1). This package contains the tar command you'll need to untar the files you're about to download.
You'll also want a connection to your Freesco box using the standard Telnet-client or (better!!!) use SSH-access opensshd_3.7.1p1_dingetje-package.
Windoze end:
I use putty.exe to connect to Freesco with my windows machine.

If you do not have all the packages required, download them at or 2) and install them ;)


Go to the directory you want to install your forum in, I'm assuming the default web root here, but YMMV:

cd /www

Download the latest stable release of the phpBB2 forum software here: Make sure to download the .gz formatted package. This will result in a sourceforge download page, where you can pick a local mirror. In the example below the Belgium mirror is used because that's closest to my location:


Now unpack the file you've just downloaded

tar -zxvf phpBB-2.0.13.tar.gz

You'll notice that the files get unpacked in a new subdirectory called phpBB2. So, your forum is now located in /www/phpBB2 Now make your forum accessible to the web server (Apache). If you're using standard settings, your web server is running as user nobody in group nobody

cd /www
chown -R nobody.nobody phpBB2/

Create database

If everything is correct, you have a version of mySQL installed on your Freesco-system. You can check the version by typing:

mysql --version

If this command gives an error (command not found or something like that), you are not in the right directory to execute the command. The mySQL binaries are installed in /usr/local/mySQL/bin
If you plan to use mySQL regularly, it might be useful to add this directory to your PATH. How to do this is described here. In this how-to I'll assume that you've done this.

Now you can create the database by using the three lines below.

mysql -e "CREATE DATABASE DatabaseName;"
mysql -e "GRANT ALL ON DatabaseName.* TO DatabaseAdmin@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'Password' WITH GRANT OPTION;"

DatabaseName is the name you'll give the database. Example: Myforum_phpBB.
DatabaseAdmin is the username you'll give admin-access to the database: Example: Plop
Password is the password for the DatabaseAdmin. Example: Tekl)S 3)

Make sure you remember the DatabaseName and the user/password combination. You'll need it to set up your phpBB-forum.

Open the install page

Point your favorite browser to http://my.router.url/phpBB2/install/install.php
And fill in the installation-page

Item Default Value Comment
Default board language English English pick your preferred language
Database type mySQL 3.x mySQL 3.x do NOT change
Installation method Install Install do NOT change
Database server localhost localhost
Database name Myforum_phpBB same name as used in mysql CREATE statement in step 2.
Database username Plop same username as in mysql GRANT statement above
Database password Tekl)S same password as in mysql GRANT statement above
Table prefix phpbb_ phpbb_ Use the default, but it really doesn't matter
Admin email enter a valid mail address
Domain name enter your domain name
Server port 80 80 Use default unless your web server is running on a different port.
Script path /phpBB2/ /phpBB2/ do NOT change, unless you know what you are doing!!!
Admin username pick one
Admin password pick one (and remember!)
Admin password [confirm] repeat password

When you're satisfied with your entries (double check) then and only then click on the Start Install button. This step should populate your mySQL database with the required tables for phpBB2.

Final step

If all went well you'll get the following screen:


Click the and you'll go to the Administration page of your phpBB2 forum where you can set-up your board.
These settings are very well documented in the phpBB manual:

Something is not working!!!

  1. Read this how-to again and verify that you've completed every step successfully
  2. Check the phpBB FAQ for your problem:
  3. Goooooooogle
  4. If you cannot solve the problem, ask at the phpBB forums (search the forums first!):
  5. If you think phpBB works fine, but the problem is Freesco, you can ask your question here (search the forums first!):
1) if you have pacckage utils_1.0_dingetje, that's fine too
2) due to HDD crash not all packages restored yet :(
3) The password isn't really that important, because only access from localhost is granted
freesco/howtos/phpbb.txt (254908 views) · Last modified: 2021/12/26 18:06 (external edit)
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