Moving PHPBB

I have a current PHPBB forum on a Debian sarge box that I would like to move to a Dreamhost sub-domain without breaking it into little unrecoverable pieces.

I have full root access to the source box.

I have perused the instructions here:

I know mysql database name and the user for the forum.

When I went to edit config.php on the source box, the target file wagged it’s finger at me and referred me to another file in the /etc tree on my source box, which of course, I can’t place on the target server, since I’m sharing it with a billion other users.

So, can someone help me make this happen? Should I create a forum using one-click and just try to copy my source files (or backup file) over it? If so, how would I change the config information ont he target box?


Not a huge expert in this area, but I’m assuming you’ve modded the install significantly?

Otherwise, wouldn’t the easiest thing to try be just running the one-click install, the restoring the forum data from a backup generated on your other box? I’d think that would bring in all the relevant user/post/setting data without messing with any of the source files.

If you’ve modded it, then doing the same thing but first overwriting the relevant files in the one-click install with the modded versions would seem to be the easiest way to go, although that precludes you from upgrading using the one-click feature in the future.

Why don’t you just try one of the above and see what happens?

No, it’s not modded at all.

The problem I had with the method you describe is that some pages apparently redirect according to config values (like hostnames) in the database. So, what would happen is I would log in at the new location and be redirected to my old location.

I’m still not 100% sure I’m following the issue, but let me run through what I’m imagining should be the process (I’m assuming that you’re running the same version of PHPBB as the one-click):

  1. You use the One-click install to set up a totally clean PHPBB on Dreamhost. It’s pointed at a completely empty database to begin with.
  2. You get a dump of the database file from MySQL (do you have PHPMyAddmin on your local box? That makes it easy.)
  3. You log into your DH SQL database using the built-in PHPMyAdmin, and upload the database dumps to it, which in turn populates the tables with the data from your old board.
  4. At that point, I would think you could just log in to the admin panel, twiddle a few settings to match DH, and maybe do whatever sort of “clean” feature PHPBB offers to make sure it’s all ok.

But from what I think you’re saying, when you get to step 4 you can’t log in because you’re getting redirected to your old location somehow?

I’d think that PHPBB stores all the relevant MySQL hostname values in config.php (or whatever it’s called), which the DH installer should set up for you, not directly in the database, but perhaps it’s using some leftover database value to overwrite config.php with improper values or something? Could you try removing write permissions from that file, or perhaps searching the database for the bum hostname value and manually changing it?

Yes, step 4 is the hitch. The source box is local on my network. So, when I log in to the admin panel on the target box to adjust the config settings I get sent to the local (source) box. I unplugged it and the session then just times out (there is no alternate fall-back procedure in other words). I think it is just one setting that needs to be changed, i.e., the network location, but I can’t figure out how to do that in a way that is going to translate to the target, since debian keeps this file in the /etc tree, not the phpbb default locale, which is in the web directory tree.

So, here’s what I tried.

I created a new forum using the admin panel. I completed the install via the script. I deleted the contrib and install directories. I uploaded the sql backup from the source box. I try to login and I get:

phpBB : Critical Error

Error creating new session


SQL Error : 1054 Unknown column ‘session_admin’ in ‘field list’

INSERT INTO phpbb_sessions (session_id, session_user_id, session_start, session_time, session_ip, session_page, session_logged_in, session_admin) VALUES (‘82e5ab8e651a7bf5f3c018caa183b20c’, -1, 1150487752, 1150487752, ‘8d9b3f06’, 0, 0, 0)

Line : 187
File : sessions.php