Section 1: Introduction
Section 2: Installation
Section 3: Administration
Section 4: Using phpBB
Section 5: Moderating
Appendix A: Reporting Bugs

Section 1: Introduction

Welcome to phpBB 2.0. This document should outline all the issues dealing with the installation and operation of the second generation of phpBB. phpBB 2.0 has been a year in development and represents a huge leap forward for the software. This version is truly a professional product that is suitable for use in any environment and is scaleable for all types of implementation. We, the members of the phpBB group, thank you for choosing our software and hope you find it useful in all your endeavors.

Section 2: Installation

Installation of phpBB 2.0 will vary according to your server and database. If you have shell access to your account, you may want to upload the entire phpBB 2.0 archive (in binary mode!) to a directory on your host and unzip it there. If you do not have shell access or do not wish to use it, you will need to decompress the phpBB 2.0 archive to a local directory on your system. From there you must FTP all the files it contains (being sure to retain the directory structure) to your host. All .php, .inc, .sql, .cfg, .htm and .tpl files should be uploaded in ASCII mode, while all graphics should use binary mode. If you are unfamiliar with what this means, please refer to your FTP client documentation. In most cases this need not concern you since many FTP clients will automatically guess the correct mode to use.

If the file extension used to execute PHP scripts on your server is not .php but, for example, .php3 or .phtml, you should first rename all files ending in .php and change the value of $phpEx in extension.inc. In the vast majority of cases this step will be unnecessary.

Once all the files have been uploaded to your site you should point your browser to this location, eg. http://www.mysite.tld/phpBB2 or http://subdomain.mysite.tld/, etc. Of course replace these with the real location! Everything from this point is fully automated.

PLEASE NOTE, you should NOT place phpBB 2.0 files into the same directory as phpBB 1.x! Create a new directory (or move your old phpBB 1.x out of the way); failure to do this will more than likely result in runtime errors.

2.1: MySQL 3 and 4, PostgreSQL 7.x, MS SQL 7/2000 (inc. via ODBC)

Before proceeding with installation you should ensure you have a database available. Ask your provider for details if you are unsure whether you do or not.

2.2: MS Access 2000/XP

Before you install phpBB 2.0, you need to create a Data Source Name. The exact way to do this will depend on your hosting provider; if you are unsure you should check with them before proceeding. In general though, you should create a System DSN which points to the location where you have stored an unzipped copy of the ms_access_primer.mdb file ( ms_access_primer.zip can be found in db/schemas/). The name you give this DSN will be used during installation. Do not proceed until this step is complete!

Please note that MS Access support is not designed for busy boards. If you anticipate more than one or two users being online at any given time, you should upgrade to a more robust server solution.

2.3: All database types

Once you have reached the installation page (as explained above) you should fill out all the fields. Be sure to select the right database type! If you do not have or do not know the database name, database server, etc. please check with your hosting provider. For non-ODBC databases the database server is typically localhost but this is not universal! For ODBC databases you should enter the DSN here. The database prefix allows you to enter a few characters, short name, etc., which all tables used by this installation, will be prefixed with. The default is usually fine, however if you have more than one copy of phpBB 2.0 using the same database, be sure to alter it or you will receive errors during installation.

The remaining information is personal to you and your site. You will need to enter a username and password for the initial administration account (more administrators can be created later). The server name, server port and script path are essential because all emails containing URLs will use these values. The installer will guess initial values, however they may not be correct so be sure to check them!

Once you have checked all the data, press submit. The installation script will create and populate all the necessary tables. It will then attempt to write to the config.php file that will contain the basic configuration data used to run phpBB 2.0. If the installer cannot write config.php directly you will be given the option of either downloading the file or even FTPing it to the correct location. If you choose to download, you should then re-upload the file to your server, overwriting the existing config.php in the process. If you attempt to FTP via the install script, you should supply the requested information. Should FTP fail you will be able to download the file and then re-upload as described earlier.

During the installation procedure, phpBB 2.0 will check to ensure the relevant PHP database module is available and will not proceed if it cannot be found. Should this happen be sure to check you have selected the correct database and/or ask your hosting provider for advice.

2.4: Upgrade

2.4.1: Upgrade from 1.x

Before upgrading we strongly recommend that you do a full backup of your database! If you are unsure how to achieve this, please ask your hosting provider for advice. Once you have backed up your database, you should follow the basic instructions given for New Installations above. However, instead of selecting Install as the Installation Method, you should select Upgrade.

As with install, the upgrade is automated. The config.php will be written automatically (if possible, else you will be able to download a copy as with New Installation above). Once the config.php is in place, everything should proceed without error. Please note that this upgrading process may take quite some time, and depending on your hosting provider, this may result in it failing (due to web server or other timeout issues). If this is the case, you should ask your provider if they are willing to allow the upgrade script to temporarily exceed their limits (be nice and they will probably be quite helpful).

Once completed your board should be immediately available. If you encountered errors, you should restore your original database and report the problems to our bug tracker (see Appendix A: Reporting Bugs)

2.4.2: Upgrade from 2.0 RC Versions

Upgrading from these versions is typically quite easy. First you should rename or copy your existing config.php to a temporary location. Next upload (see Installation for details if necessary) the new 2.0 files to the same location as your previous installation of phpBB 2.0, ie. overwrite the existing files. Next delete the newly uploaded copy of config.php and replace it with your existing copy (ie. rename or move back the copy you saved previously).

You should now run update_to_final.php which, depending on your previous version, will make a number of database changes. You may receive the occasional "FAILURE" during this procedure; they shouldn't be a cause for concern unless you see an actual "ERROR", in which case the script will stop.

MSSQL users, please note that during the update procedure, your existing forums table will be dropped and re-created. All data in standard fields will be retained. However, if you have modified the forums table and added additional fields or altered existing ones, these changes WILL be lost. If this is a significant issue for you, we advise that you comment out the "DROP FORUM TABLE" section in update_to_final.php, and instead manually alter the forum_id column to remove the IDENTITY setting (if it exists).

Once the update_to_final has completed, you MUST proceed to the Administration General Configuration panel and check all the values in General Configuration. This is essential if you were running any version before RC-3 since extra information needs to be entered to enable correct URLs to be outputted in emails.

2.4.3: Changes in language pack format

Please note that changes have been made to the format of both language and image localisations from previous RC's to RC-3. If you were running a version previous to RC-3 you WILL need to download new versions of all non-English language and localised subSilver images. You can delete any existing *_lang.gif files in the root subSilver/images directory since they were moved to subfolders in RC-3. In addition various changes to template variable names has occured from RC-2 through RC-4. It is highly unlikely that a template written for RC-2 will work without some changes in RC-4. Most of these changes are minor and can be found by examining the default subSilver template.

2.4.4: Upgrade from 2.0 Beta

Sorry but no direct upgrade is available from beta-1 (we did warn you!). If you are reasonably confident with the use of SQL, etc. you may be able to make the required changes to the database manually. You will need to examine the CVS check-ins to determine what and where changes are needed.

2.5: Post Installation Tasks

Once you have successfully installed phpBB 2.0, you MUST ensure that you remove install.php, upgrade.php and any update_to_*.php files. Leaving these in place is a potential security issue. Additionally you may delete the db/schemas and this docs/ directory if you wish.

You should proceed to the administration panel, depending on the installation/upgrade, you may have been directed there automatically. If not, login as the administrator you specified during install/upgrade, and click the "Administration Panel" link at the bottom of any page. Ensure that details specified in General -> Configuration are correct! (see section 3.2 General Admin for more information)

2.5.1: Uploadable avatars

If you wish to allow users to upload avatars (this is dependant on your hosting provider allowing it), you should ensure that the directories specified for storing avatars in General -> Configuration exist and have appropriate access rights (ie. for uploadable avatars the directory needs to be world writeable, a+w, 777, depending on your setup). Gallery based avatars are stored in subfolders off the directory specified in General -> Configuration. This allows you to group together common types of avatar. Do not store gallery avatars in the root directory listed in General -> Configuration; they won't appear! (for more information on avatar settings see section 3.2.2.5 Avatar Settings)

2.5.2: Safe Mode

phpBB 2.0 RC-4 introduced support for uploadable avatars on systems running PHP in safe mode. If this applies to your hosting service, you will need to create a sub-directory called tmp in the directory you specified for storage of uploaded avatars (by default this is images/avatars as explained above). Give it the same access rights as for uploadable avatars above. This safe mode support includes compatibility with various directory restrictions that your host may impose (assuming they are not too restrictive and that the PHP installed is version 4.0.3 or later). There is generally no need for any manual setup for safe mode support because it is typically handled transparently (although PHP 3 users may run into difficulties).

Section 3: Administration

phpBB 2.0 is highly configurable. Most configurations are done in the administration panel. To get to the administration panel, log in with an Administrator username and click the link that says Go to Administration Panel at the bottom of any page.

Administration Panel

You may also go to the page admin/index.php within the phpBB 2.0 root directory.

As an extra security precaution, you will be asked to enter your password again to access the administration panel if you have not already visited it during your current visit to your board.

The admin panel uses two frames. The narrow navigation frame on the left shows the sub-panels available. The main frame shows the panel you are currently using.

There are three uncategorized links at the top of the navigation frame:

Admin Index is the default admin page. It shows Forum Statistics and Who's Online. At the end of this page, you can view the version of the software you are currently running in addition to information on the latest available release of phpBB.

Forum Index will take you to index.php in the phpBB 2.0 root, which shows the list of forums.

Preview Forum will also take you to the forum index, but will keep the navigation frame, making it easier to return to other parts of the admin panel.

3.1: Forum Admin

3.1.1: Forum Management

The Forum Management panel is where most forum configuration is done. Here you will control the organization of forums and categories. Configuration of a forum's name, description, and auto-prune settings is also handled here.

3.1.1.1: Adding Forums

To create a new forum, look to the bottom of the category you want your new forum to be in. Enter the desired forum name in the text box at the bottom, and click Create New Forum. You will be taken to the General Forum Settings panel. (For more information on this panel, see 3.1.1.2 Editing Forums)

3.1.1.2: Editing Forums

To edit a forum, look in that forum's row and click Edit. You will be taken to the General Forum Settings panel. Here you may adjust the following settings: Forum Name - This is the name of the forum. (e.g. General Chat, Movie Reviews, Support, etc.)

Description - Describes your forum. This is the smaller text that appears under each forum name on the Forum Index.

Category - A dropdown list box that will allow you to choose what category a forum is contained in.

Forum Status - A dropdown list box that will allow you to lock or unlock a forum. A locked forum may not be posted to except by moderators and administrators.

Auto-Pruning - Here you can enable/disable auto-pruning. (For more information, see 3.1.1.5 Auto-Prune or3.1.3 Pruning)

3.1.1.3: Moving Forums

A forum's location can be described in two ways. A forum is in a category, and has a location relative to other forums in that category. To change the category that a forum is in, use the General Forum Settings panel, as described in 3.1.1.2 Editing Forums.

To change a forum's position relative to other forums in its category, use the Move Up and Move Down links in the General Forum Settings panel. Move Up will swap the position of the desired forum with the forum above it. Move Down will swap the position of the desired forum with the forum below it. Move Up has no effect on the top forum in a category, and, likewise, Move Down has no effect on the bottom forum.

3.1.1.4: Resync

Some information in the database is contained it multiple tables. This makes the board run faster by reducing the number of database queries on some pages. Sometimes the information in different tables of the database gets out of sync. This usually is caused by a connection problem which interrupts updating of the database.

When this happens, your forum may start behaving in a strange way. Links to topics or posts that don't exist are common symptoms of this problem.

If you are having this problem, you can fix it by clicking Resync in the General Forum Settings Panel. This will recalculate the forum information based on the actual posts that exist. This operation has no harmful effect on the forums, just generates a small amount of overhead while you are doing it. This is a good thing to try if you are not sure what is causing a problem on your board.

3.1.1.5: Auto-prune

Auto-prune is a feature that will cause a forum to prune itself. (For more information on what pruning is, see 3.1.3 Pruning). To enable auto-prune, make sure the checkbox is checked.

You may set the age of posts to prune. All posts older than the set age will be pruned. You may also set the frequency of pruning. For example, you could have the forums prune themselves once a day, or once every seven days.

3.1.1.6: Adding Categories

To add a new category, look at the bottom of the forum/category listing. Enter the desired category name into the text box and click Create New Category.

3.1.1.7: Editing Categories

By clicking on the Edit link next to a category name, you can edit the name of the category. Simply edit the name in the textbox and click the Update button to change the name of the category.

3.1.1.8: Moving Categories

To move a category, click Move Up or Move Down in the category's row. Move Up will swap the position of the desired category and the category above it. Move Down will swap the position of the desired category and the category below it. Move Up has no effect on the top category, likewise Move Down has no effect on the bottom category.

3.1.2: Forum Permissions

In this panel you can control the forum permissions. You can restrict the behavior of different types of users on a per-forum basis. Here you can control who can read and post in a forum. You can also control who can make special posts, like Sticky topics or announcements. To edit a forum's permissions, select the forum in the dropdown box and click Look Up Forum.

3.1.2.1: Setting Simple Permissions

There are seven simple permission levels in phpBB 2.0.0. For more information, see 3.1.2.4 Permission Levels and 3.1.2.3 Permission Types. Here is a description of the behaviors allowed by each of the simple settings.

Simple Permissions

Public - Anonymous users can read and post. Registered Users can additionally edit their posts, and create and vote in polls. Moderators and administrators can make stickies and announcements.

Registered - Anonymous users can read the forum. Registered Users can additionally post, reply, edit their posts, and create and vote in polls. Moderators and administrators can make stickies and announcements.

Registered [Hidden] - Anonymous users may only register. Registered Users can read, post, edit their posts, and create and vote in polls. Moderators and administrators can make stickies and announcements.

Private - Non-Private users may only see the forum. Private Users can read, post, reply, edit their posts, and create and vote in polls. Moderators and administrators can make stickies and announcements.

Private [Hidden] - Only Private Users may see the forum. Private Users can read, post, reply, edit their posts, and create and vote in polls. Moderators and administrators can make stickies and announcements.

Moderators - Anonymous and Normal users can only see the forum. Moderators and administrators can read, post, reply, edit their posts, create polls, vote in polls, and make stickies and announcements.

Moderators [Hidden] - Normal users cannot see the forum. Moderators and administrators can read, post, reply, edit their posts, create polls, vote in polls, and make stickies and announcements.

This table shows the equivalent Advanced Permissions for each Simple Permissions setting.

PublicRegisteredRegistered [Hidden]PrivatePrivate [Hidden]ModeratorsModerators [Hidden]
ViewALLALLREGALLPRIVATEALLMOD
ReadALLALLREGPRIVATEPRIVATEMODMOD
PostALLREGREGPRIVATEPRIVATEMODMOD
ReplyALLREGREGPRIVATEPRIVATEMODMOD
EditREGREGREGPRIVATEPRIVATEMODMOD
DeleteREGREGREGPRIVATEPRIVATEMODMOD
StickyMODMODMODMODMODMODMOD
AnnounceMODMODMODMODMODMODMOD
VoteREGREGREGPRIVATEPRIVATEMODMOD
Poll createREGREGREGPRIVATEPRIVATEMODMOD

3.1.2.2: Setting Advanced Permissions

Advanced Permissions allow you to precisely control all behaviors in a forum. To set advance permissions for your forum, click Advanced Mode after choosing the forum to edit. You are presented with a table that has each permission type with a dropdown box underneath it. You may set each of these permissions to any level you like by using the dropdown boxes.

Advanced Permissions

For more information on permission types and levels, see 3.1.2.3 Permission Types and 3.1.2.4 Permission Levels.

3.1.2.3: Permission Types

There are ten Permission Types. Each of these types refers to a specific behavior within a forum. This is the behavior that each of these permissions grants:

View - The user may see the forum on the forum index page.

Read - The user may view topics in a forum, and read posts in those topics.

Post - The user may post new topics in the forum.

Reply - The user may post replies to existing topics in the forum.

Edit - The user may edit his/her own posts in the forum. It is not recommended that this be set to "ALL", because that will allow any anonymous post to be edited by any anonymous user.

Delete - The user may delete his/her own posts in the forum. A post can only be deleted by a non-moderator if it has not been replied to. It is not recommended that this be set to "ALL", because that will allow any anonymous post to be deleted by any anonymous user.

Sticky - The user may make sticky Topics (for more information, see 4.2.2 Sticky Topics)

Announce - The user may make Announcements (for more information, see 4.2.1 Announcements)

Vote - The user may vote in Polls (for more information, see 4.2.3 Polls). It is not recommended that this be set to "ALL", because that will allow an anonymous user to vote more than once.

Poll create - The user may create Polls (for more information, see 4.2.3 Polls)

3.1.2.4: Permission Levels

There are five permission levels. A user may be a member of more than one permission level. To be in each of the permission levels:

ALL - Every user in the board is in this permission level. This level is used particularly to grant permissions to users who are not registered and/or logged in.

REG - A user is in this permission level if he/she is both registered at the board, and is currently logged in.

PRIVATE - There are two parts to being a private member of a forum. In the forum permissions, there must be at least one permission type set to the permission level PRIVATE. Additionally, in the User Permissions or Group Permissions panel, the user or group must be "Allowed Access" to the private forum (or have permission types set to "ON" in advanced mode.) For more information, see 3.3 Group Admin.

MOD - Someone is in this permission level if they are a moderator of the forum.

ADMIN - Board administrators (and no one else) are in this permission level.

3.1.3: Pruning

To prune a forum, select it (or "All Forums") from the dropdown box and click Look up Forum. Specify a number of days in the text field. All posts with no replies to them in the range specified will be removed.

Pruning is typically done to remove old unneeded posts and to save space. If you like, you can set a forum to prune itself automatically. For more information, see 3.1.1.2 Editing Forums.

3.2: General Admin

The General Administration will allow you to perform general board administration tasks. This includes database backup, general board settings, smilies, word censors, and will let you send mass emails to members of your board.

3.2.1: Database Backup and Restore

To backup your database, click Backup Database. In Backup options you should select Full Backup unless you have a specific reason to choose one of the other two. You may include tables not used by phpBB by entering them here. If you enable Gzip Compression, the file will be smaller, but the server will work harder to generate it. Click Start Backup to begin downloading the file.

To restore your database, click Restore Database. Browse to your backup file, and then click Start Restore. The board should return to exactly how it was when the backup was made. Changes in files (MODs, avatars, etc.) will not be affected by this.

3.2.2: General Configuration

This panel is where most of the boards settings and preferences can be changed.

3.2.2.1: General Board Settings

Domain Name - Your domain name, as the end user will see it. For example, if your Forum Index is located at http://www.cheese.com/wheel/log/phpBB2/index.php, the domain name you should enter is www.cheese.com.

Server Port - This setting should be 80 unless you are sure it should be something else.

Script path - The path from your domain to main phpBB 2.0 files. For example, if your Forum Index is located at http://www.cheese.com/wheel/log/phpBB2/index.php, the script path you should enter is /wheel/log/phpBB2/.

Site name - The name of your site. This will appear at the top of the Forum Index page.

Site description - A short description of your site. This will be displayed on the Forum Index page, right below the site name.

Disable board - When Yes, the board is disabled and will not display to anyone. Do not log out before you re-enable the board, or you will not be able to log back in.

Enable account activation - When set to None, a user may log in as soon as he/she registers. When set to User, a user must validate his email address before logging in. The user will be sent an email with an activation link. When the user clicks this link, their account is activated and he/she may log in. When set to Admin, a user's account must be activated by an administrator. For more information, see 3.5.3 User Management.

Enable visual confirmation - When set to Yes, a user must enter a displayed code in order to register. When set to No, a user may register without any checks. If you are suffering from a large number of automated registrations, you may wish to enable this option to reduce them.

Allow automatic logins - When set to Yes your users will be able to opt to have their login details remembered (using a cookie in their browser) so that they do not need to login on every visit. When set to No, this option will not be available.

Automatic login key expiry - This is the number of days a cookie containing auto-login information will be accepted from the last time the user visited your board. If set to 0 they will never expire, if set to any other number the information will expire after that number of days.

User email via board - When enabled, users may email each other through a special form on the board. This keeps a user's email private, and prevents spam bots from gathering email addresses. When this is disabled, user's email address will be shown.

Flood Interval - This is the number of seconds a user must wait after posting before he can post again. This feature is meant to prevent users/scripts from flooding the board with posts.

Topics Per Page - This controls how many topics of a forum will be displayed on the View Forum page. Additional topics can be seen by advancing to the next page of the forum.

Posts Per Page - This controls how many posts of a topic will be displayed on the View Topic page. Additional posts can be seen by advancing to the next page of the topic.

Posts for Popular Threshold - When a topic gets many posts, the topic icon will change to indicate that the topic is popular. This setting will allow you to set the number of posts a topic must have to be considered popular.

Default Style - this is the default style when a new user registers. It will also be the style for anonymous users.

Override user style - When enabled, the user's style setting will not apply. All users will see the default style.

Default Language - This language will be the default when a new user registers. It will also be the language for anonymous users. The board language only affects board messages, not anything entered by users.

Date Format - This is the date format that will be default when a new user registers. It will also be the format used for anonymous users. The date format for the board should have syntax identical to the syntax PHP's date() function uses. For more information, see 4.7.1 Date Format.

Enable GZip Compression - When this is enabled, the server will compress the pages before sending them. This will increase the server workload, but will decrease bandwidth usage.

Enable Forum Pruning - Forum auto-pruning will only work when this is enabled (for more information, see 3.1.1.5 Auto-Prune). Normal pruning will always work (for more information, see 3.1.3 Pruning).

3.2.2.2: Cookie Settings

Cookie domain - The domain of the cookie your board creates. Leaving this field blank will often work correctly; if not, you need to determine the correct cookie domain and enter it.

Cookie name - The name of the cookie used by the board. Make sure the name is not the same as any other cookies used on your site.

Cookie path - The cookie path. Leaving this field with the value "/" will often work correctly; if not, determine the correct cookie path and enter it.

Cookie secure - If your board is running on a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), this setting should be enabled. If not, leave it disabled.

Session length - Allows you to set the session length, in seconds. The session length is how long a user will remain logged in while they are idle. For example, suppose you had the session length set to 3600 seconds (one hour). If a user logs in and keeps his/her browser open, he/she will not be logged out automatically until they have been idle (with respect to the board) for longer than an hour.

3.2.2.3: Private Messaging

Private Messaging - This setting will allow you to enable or disable private messages on your board.

Max posts in Inbox - A number that indicates the maximum number of posts allowed in any user's Inbox. If this number is exceeded, old posts will be removed as new ones come in.

Max posts in Sentbox - A number that indicates the maximum number of posts allowed in any user's Sentbox.

Max posts in Savebox - A number that indicates the maximum number of posts allowed in any user's SaveBox.

3.2.2.4: User and Forum basic settings

Max number of poll options - You may specify the maximum number of poll options to prevent poll abuse.

Allow HTML - Here you may enable or disable HTML for the entire board. If enabled, users may still choose to disable it in their posts. Note: Enabling HTML is not recommended.

Allowed HTML tags - If HTML is enabled, you may specify which tags may be used. This will help prevent users from destroying your page layout with dangerous HTML. You only need to specify the base tag (without angle brackets or closing tags) in order to enable that tag's use on the board. For example; to allow a user to use <span color="red">Red Text</span>, you would add span to the list of allowed tags.

Allow BBCode - Here you may enable or disable BBCode for the entire board. If enabled, users may still choose to disable it in their posts.

Allow Smilies - Here you may enable or disable Smilies for the entire board. If enabled, users may still choose to disable it in their posts.

Smilies Storage Path - To use smilies, you must specify their location in relation to the phpBB 2.0.0 root directory. So if your Forum Index page is at http://www.cheese.com/phpBB2/index.php and your smilies are located in the folder http://www.cheese.com/phpBB2/images/smiles, then your Smilie Storage Path should be images/smilies.

Allow Signatures - Here you may choose to allow users to include a signature on each of their posts. If this setting is enabled, users may still choose whether or not to include a signature on each of their posts.

Maximum signature length - You may specify the max length of a user's signature, in characters. The default value is 255 characters.

Allow Username changes - If this setting is enabled, users may change their usernames when they like.

3.2.2.5: Avatar Settings

Enable gallery avatars - Here you may enable or disable the use of gallery avatars on the board. For more information, see 4.7.3 Avatars.

Enable remote avatars - Here you may enable or disable the use of gallery avatars on the board. For more information, see 4.7.3 Avatars.

Enable avatar uploading - Here you may enable or disable the use of gallery avatars on the board. For more information, see 4.7.3 Avatars.

Maximum Avatar File Size - You may specify the maximum size of uploaded avatars on your board. The size specified is measured in Bytes, and the default is 6144 (6 kB)

Maximum Avatar Dimensions - You may specify the maximum dimesions for uploaded avatar images on your board. The size specified is in pixels, and the default is 80 x 80.

Avatar Storage Path - This is the directory (relative to the phpBB 2.0.0 root directory) that uploaded avatars are stored to. Suppose that your Forum Index page is located at http://www.cheese.com/phpBB2/index.php, and you want avatars to be uploaded to http://www.cheese.com/phpBB2/images/avatars/, then your Avatar Storage Path should be images/avatars.

Avatar Gallery Path - This is the directory (relative to the phpBB 2.0.0 root directory) that your avatar gallery is located. Suppose that your Forum Index page is located at http://www.cheese.com/phpBB2/index.php, and your avatar gallery is located at http://www.cheese.com/phpBB2/images/avatars/gallery/, then your Avatar Gallery Path should be images/avatars/gallery.

Within this folder, you should have subfolders, each of which represents a gallery category. Your gallery avatars should each be located in the proper folder, so that they appear in the proper gallery. Suppose you wanted the avatars limburger.gif, colby.gif, chedder.gif in category Cheese Types. Suppose you also want avatars wheel.gif, cube.gif, log.gif in category Cheese Shapes. Within your avatar gallery path you should have subfolders Cheese Types and Cheese Shapes, with the appropriate avatar image files within each subfolder.

3.2.2.6: COPPA settings

In order for children under the age of 13 to use the board, their parents must mail or Fax their consent to the board administrator.

COPPA Fax Number - The number of the fax machine that a parent may fax their consent paperwork to.

COPPA Mailing Address - The address that parents may send their COPPA consent paperwork to.

3.2.2.7: Email Settings

Admin Email Address - The email address that any emails from the board will come from. These include registration emails, forgotten password emails, topic notification emails, private message notification emails, and mass board emails.

Email Signature - The email signature will appear at the bottom of every email sent by the board.

Use SMTP Server for email - Enabled this setting if you wish to use an SMTP server for outgoing email.

SMTP Server Address - Enter the hostname or IP of your SMTP server. This setting is only needed if SMTP email is enabled.

SMTP Username - If your SMTP server requires authentication, enter the username here.

SMTP Password - If your SMTP server requires authentication, enter the password here.

3.2.3: Mass Email

In the mass email panel, you may send an email to every user on your board. You may also use this forum to send email to every member of a usergroup.

Recipients - You may select All Users, or any of the Usergroups on your board to receive the email.

Enter the email subject and body into the form, and click Email to send the mass email.

3.2.4: Smilies Admin

In the smilie administration panel you may edit or delete existing smilies, and add new ones.

To delete a smilie, click Delete in the smilie's row. To edit a smilie, click Edit in the smilies's row. You will be taken to Smilie Configuration. Change the settings you like and click Submit.

To create a new smiley, click Add a new Smilie (in the lower left corner). You will be taken to Smilie Configuration. Input the settings you like and click Submit.

Add a New Smilie

Smilie Code - The series of characters used to insert a smilie into a post. Examples of this are :) (happy face Happy) or :wink: (winking face Wink).

Smilie Image File - Select the smilie image you wish to use from the dropdown list. The selected smilie will be displayed on the right, so you can be sure you selected the correct one.

Smilie Emotion - Enter the emotion to be associated with the smilie. This emotion text will be display in a smilie's tool tip, which appears when you hove the mouse cursor over the smilie.

Smilie Cofiguration

3.2.4.1: Importing Smile Packs

You may import packs of smilies into your board. The pack should come in a .zip file. First extract the contents of the .zip file to the Smilies Storage Path (for more information, see 3.2.2.4 User and Forum Basic Settings). Next, go to smilie administration and click Import Smilie Pack at the bottom of the page. You will be taken to the Smilie Pack Import panel. Change the settings as you wish, and click Submit to import the smilies.

Choose a Smilie Pack .pak file - select the .pak file you want to import from the dropdown box.

Delete existing smilies before import - If selected, all of the smilies on your board will be removed. The new smilies will then be added to your board.

Replace Existing Smilie - When this is selected, if any of the new smilies have smilie codes that are the same as any of your existing smilies; the existing smilie will be removed, with the new smilie taking its place.

Keep Existing Smilie - When this is selected, if any of the new smilies have smilie codes that are the same as any of your existing smilies; the new smilie will not be imported, the existing smilie will remain in place.

3.2.4.2: Creating Smile Packs

To make a smilie pack, first make the .pak file. To do this, click Create Smilie Pack at the bottom of the Smilie Administration Panel. Click the Here link to download the .pak file and save it.

After creating the .pak file, create a .zip or .tar.gz archive that contains both the .pak file and the smilie images. You may now distribute this smilie pack to others.

3.2.5: Word Censors

You may have the board automatically censor words for you. To do this, go to the Word Censor panel.

To delete an existing word censor, click Delete in the censor's row.

To edit a word censor, click Edit in the appropriate row.

To create a new censor, click Add New Word.

Each word censor has two parts. The first part is the text to be censored. You may use the asterisk (*) wildcard to broaden your search. The asterisk (*) will match any number of characters. There is also a replacement string for each censor. Each spot where a censor is found will be replaced by the appropriate replacement string.

3.3: Group Admin

This panel will allow you to create and modify groups and their properties. It will also allow you to control Group Permissions. For more information, see 4.4 Usergroups.

3.3.1: Group Management

3.3.1.1: Creating Groups

To create a group, go the Group Management panel and click Create New Group. Here you may input the properties of your new group. For more information, see 3.3.1.2 Editing Groups below.

3.3.1.2: Editing Groups

In this panel you can change the properties of a group. You may control the name and description of the group, how membership is handled, and who is in charge of the group.

Group Name - Short name, uniquely identifies the group.

Group Description - Text that describes the group. The description is seen when the group's details are viewed.

Group Moderator - Username of the user in charge of the group. The group moderator can add/remove users from the group. The group moderator may also control the group status. (For more information, see 4.4 Usergroups)

Group Status - May be one of three settings: Open, Closed, or Hidden. For more information, see 4.4.2.4 Group Types (Open, Hidden, Closed).

Delete the old group moderator? - When you change the group moderator, check this to remove the old group moderator from the group. If this is unchecked when the moderator is changed, the old group moderator will become a normal member of the group.

Delete group - Check this box and click Submit to delete the group.

3.3.2: Group Permissions

This panel will allow you to control a group's access to private forums. It will also let you specify groups as moderators of a forum. If a group is moderator of a forum, then each of the group's members is considered a moderator of that forum.

To edit a group's permissions, select the group name from the dropdown box, and click Look Up Group. To grant moderator access to a group, look in the desired forum's row. In the last dropdown box in the list, choose Is Moderator.

3.3.2.1: Simple Group Permissions

To grant a group access to a private forum using Simple Permissions, Choose Allowed Access in the Simple Permissions for that forum. Choosing Allowed Access is the same as setting all Advanced Group Permissions to ON.

Simple Permissions

3.3.2.2: Advanced Group Permissions

Advanced Permissions will allow you to grant specific behaviors to a group. In the Advanced Permissions panel, there will be a dropdown box for each Permission type that is set to PRIVATE in the Forum Permissions panel (for more information, see 3.1.2 Forum Permissions). To grant the group a specific PRIVATE permission in a forum, simply set the appropriate dropdown box to ON. To grant all PRIVATE permissions of a forum to a group, use Allowed Access in simple mode.

Advanced Permissions - Advanced Permissions

3.4: Styles Admin

Themes are the color/graphic information for a style. This includes the font colors, background color and/or image, and much more. For more information, see 3.4.4.1 Editing Styles.

Templates are the HTML-like files that are used to generate the output HTML of phpBB 2.0. They control the layout and organization of all of the pages, using basic HTML and special template variables.

So for a given template, you may have three or four themes. This results in having three or four styles, each Style = Template + Theme.

3.4.1: Adding Styles

This panel will allow you to add new styles. To add a new style, simply click Install in the appropriate row. This panel automatically detects uninstalled styles in your template directory.

Important: When installing a new template(e.g. one that you downloaded), be sure that your new template directory is nested correctly in the templates directory. It also must have the correct name (case sensitive). For instance, if you had a new template named subCheese, then in the templates directory you should have a folder called "subCheese" (not "subcheese"), and in that folder will be all of your template files (*.tpl files).

3.4.2: Creating Styles

This panel allows you to create new Themes for any template you have installed. This creates a new style, since a Style = Template + Theme.

Theme Name: The name as it will appear in the style dropdown selection box in the Edit Profile panel (see 4.7 Profile Settings) or General Configuration panel (see 3.2.2 General Configuration).

Template: Drop down box that contains all of the currently installed templates. Choose the template that you want the new theme to apply to.

All of the settings below Template are self-explanatory. Color settings must be 6-digit hex codes (as used in HTML). Class settings must be a valid CSS class name.

All settings below Hover Link Color are template-dependent. If these template-dependent settings are not explained by the Simple Name, check the documentation included with the template you have questions about.

3.4.3: Exporting Styles

When you create a style according to the instructions in 3.4.2 Creating Styles, the new information is entered into the database, but is not written to any files. The Style Export panel will export the information from the database into the theme_info.cfg file in the appropriate template directory. Once the data has been exported, you can copy/distribute your template directory, and you will not lose the theme/style information.

To export style info for a template, select the template from the dropdown box and click Submit. It will then write the data from the database into the theme_info.cfg in the appropriate template directory. If it has trouble writing to that file, follow the instructions if gives you. Your template should then be ready to be copied/distributed with all of its themes.

3.4.4: Managing Styles

In Style Management you can edit or delete styles that are installed on your board. For more information, see 3.4.4.1 Editing Styles.

3.4.4.1: Editing Styles

To edit a style, go to Style Management and click Edit in the appropriate row. You are then presented with a form that will allow you to change all of the theme information for that style.

Theme Name: The name as it will appear in the style selection box in the Edit Profile panel (see 4.7 Profile Settings) or General Configuration panel (see 3.2.2 General Configuration).

Template: Drop down box that contains all of the currently installed templates. Choose the template that you want the theme to apply to.

All of the settings below Template are self-explanatory. Color settings must be 6-digit hex codes (as used in HTML). Class settings must be a valid CSS class name.

All settings below Hover Link Color are template-dependent. If these template-dependent settings are not explained by the Simple Name, check the documentation included with that template.

3.4.4.1.1: Simple Names

Simple Names are short descriptions of what the different theme variables correspond to. Theme variables with Simple Names are template-dependent; similarly Simple Names are template dependent.

3.5: User Admin

3.5.1: Ban Control

This panel allows you to ban users using several methods. This panel also makes it easy to remove bans.

3.5.1.1: Banning by username

When a username is banned, that user may no longer login to your board. When they login, they will be informed that they have been banned. The user may still view and read the board as a Guest (Anonymous User). To prevent a user from seeing your board at all, you must ban them by IP. For more information, see 3.5.1.2 Banning by IP or Hostname.

To ban by username, simply select the username(s) to ban in the Ban one or more specific users listbox. To ban more than one username at once, simply select all of the usernames you are trying to ban. This is normally accomplished by holding the CTRL key and clicking each name. When all of the desired names are selected, press Submit to add the ban information to the database.

Similarly, to un-ban usernames, simply select the banned username(s) from the Un-ban one or more specific users listbox and press Submit.

3.5.1.2: Banning by IP or Hostname

When an IP or hostname is banned, your board's content will be blocked from any connection coming from that IP or host. Users from a banned IP will be informed of the ban, but may not view the board at all.

To ban by IP or hostname, simply enter the IP address or hostname to ban and click Submit. To specify multiple IPs or hostnames, you may separate the multiple entries with commas (,). For instance, to ban the IP 192.168.8.19 and the hostname banned.cheese.com, you would enter 192.168.8.19,banned.cheese.com

You may also ban multiple IPs or hostnames using ranges and wildcard characters. To ban a range of IPs, use -(hyphen) (e.g. 192.168.8.19-124). Banning a range of IPs will cause each IP in that range to be added to the list, so using specific IPs or wildcards is preferred. The wildcard *(asterisk) will match any characters, so to ban all IPs that begin with 192.168, use 192.168.*.* This also works with hostnames. For example *.cheese.com will ban all hostnames that end with ".cheese.com"

To un-ban IPs and hostnames, simply select the banned IP or hostname from the Un-ban one or more IP addresses listbox and press Submit.

3.5.1.3: Banning by email address

Banning an email address prevents anyone from registering using that banned email address. Any users currently using a banned email will not be affected. To deny the user access to the board, you must still ban their username or delete their account. When someone tries to register with a banned email address, the registration will fail, and they will be informed that it failed due to a banned email address.

To ban an email address, simply enter the email address to ban into the text field and click Submit. You may ban multiple addresses by separating them by commas. You may also use the wildcard *(asterisk) to ban email addresses meeting certain criteria. For instance, to ban all email addresses at hotmail.com, you would enter *@hotmail.com into the field.

To un-ban email addresses, simply select the banned email address from the Un-ban one or more email addresses listbox and press Submit.

3.5.2: Disallowed Username

This panel will allow you to specify usernames that you do not want other people to use. This is commonly used to prevent users from using profanity in their usernames. Another use is preventing users from impersonating board administrators by registering similar usernames. When someone tries to register using a name that has been disallowed, the registration will fail, and they will be informed that the username has been disallowed.

To disallow a username, simply enter it into the text field and click Add. You may use the wildcard *(asterisk) to match any character. For instance, to disallow all usernames that contain "cheese" (with any characters before and/or after), simple disallow *cheese*

To re-allow usernames, simply select the disallowed username(s) from the dropdown list and click Delete.

3.5.3: User Management

This panel will allow you to change settings and information for any user on your board. To use it, simply enter a username into the text field and click Submit.

This panel will allow you to edit any part of a user's profile. The panel is identical to the standard profile panel, with a few extra settings at the end. For more information, see 4.7 Profile Settings.

At the bottom of this panel there are Special admin-only fields that are not part of the standard profile settings.

User is Active - You may deactivate/activate a user. This is most often used to activate a user who is having trouble with email activation. A user may not log in while their account is inactive.

Can send Private Messages/Can display Avatar - Both of these may be turned on or off for each user.

Rank Title - Allows you to specify a Special Rank for a user. If "No special rank assigned" is selected, the user's rank will be determined by the normal rank system. For more information, see 3.5.5 Ranks.

Delete this user? - To delete a user, check this box and click Submit. A deleted user's posts are converted to Anonymous posts with their old username as the name specified.

3.5.4: User Permissions

This panel will allow you to control a user's level, and their access to private forums. You can also specify users as moderators of a forum.

To edit a user's permissions, select the group name from the dropdown box, and click Look Up User. To grant moderator access to a user, look in the desired forum's row. In the last dropdown box in the list, choose Is Moderator.

3.5.4.1: User Level

User - The user is a normal user. They may have special permissions such as group membership or moderation privileges, but they have no access to the administration panel.

Administrator - The user is a board Administrator. This means that they have access to the administration panel, and they have moderator permissions in every forum and group.

3.5.4.2: Simple User Permissions

To grant a user access to a private forum using Simple Permissions, Choose Allowed Access in the Simple Permissions for that forum. Choosing Allowed Access is the same as setting all Advanced Group Permissions to ON.

Simple Permissions

3.5.4.3: Advanced User Permissions

Advanced Permissions will allow you to grant specific behaviors to a user. In the Advanced Permissions panel, there will be a dropdown box for each Permission type that is set to PRIVATE in the Forum Permissions panel (for more information, see 3.1.2 Forum Permissions). To grant the user a specific PRIVATE permission in a forum, simply set the appropriate dropdown box to ON. To grant all PRIVATE permissions of a forum to a user, use Allowed Access in simple mode.

Advanced Permissions - Advanced Permissions

3.5.5: Ranks

A Rank is a special title that appears next to each user's username when they post. It also appears in their profile. Ranks are a way to show how long someone has been posting to your board, or how active they are. Ranks are also a way to indicate something special about a member or a group of members.

There are two types of Ranks, normal Ranks and Special Ranks. Normal Ranks are granted to all users based on their post count. Special Ranks are granted to specific users in the User Management Panel (for more information, see 3.5.3 User Management).

To create a rank, click Add New Rank. Enter the appropriate information and click Submit. For more information on the settings, see 3.5.5.1 Editing Ranks below.

3.5.5.1: Editing Ranks

To edit a Rank, click Edit in the appropriate row. There are several settings to edit for a Rank.

Title - The title the Rank grants to a user of that Rank. The title normally shows up below the user's name in his/her profile and each of his/her posts.

Special Rank - If this is set to yes, then the Rank must be granted specifically to users through the User Management Panel. If this is set to yes, then the Minimum Posts field does not apply to this rank.

Minimum Posts - The lowest number of posts a user must have to obtain this Rank (if it is not a Special Rank). If there are multiple Ranks on a board, a user's Rank will be the Rank he/she qualifies for with the highest minimum post setting. For example, if a user has 70 posts, and there are Ranks:

Bite-Size Cheese (Min Post 10)

Cheese Cube (Min Post 25)

Cheese Wheel (Min Post 50)

The Big Cheese (Min Post 100)

Although the user qualifies for ranks Bite-Size Cheese, Cheese Cube, Cheese Wheel; he/she's title will be Cheese Wheel, because that is the highest rank he/she qualifies for.

Rank Image - This is a small image that is normally shown directly beneath the rank title. The image must be a png, gif, or jpg image, and the path specified must be relative to the phpBB 2.0.0 root directory. So if your forum index was at http://www.cheese.com/phpBB2/index.php, and a rank image at http://www.cheese.com/phpBB2/images/ranks/teh_rank.gif, then you would enter "images/ranks/the_rank.gif" to display that rank.

Section 4: Using phpBB

phpBB 2.0 is forum software. It allows people to post ideas, opinions, and information in an organized way. Posts are organized in a way that makes it easy for people to find the information they are interested in, but without having to wade through unrelated information.

Postings in phpBB 2.0 are organized into three subdivisions:

Post - A post is a piece of information submitted by a single user. It may be a new post, which starts a new topic, or a reply to an existing post. Posts are typically a sentence, paragraph, or a few paragraphs.

Topic - A topic is a collection of posts. The posts are organized in chronological order. The idea of a topic is that there is a single post that contains the topic of discussion. The rest of the posts in the topic are replies to this first post and to other replies. Topics are sort of like conversations, allowing many people to state their opinions about an idea, or debate an issue.

Forum - A forum is a container for topics. Forums often have a general subject that the topics within are about. For instance, you might have a Movie Reviews forum, which would contain topics in which people would discuss movies and their opinions about them.

Navigating through posts in phpBB 2.0 is based on the idea of posts, topics and forums. Generally, a user will start at the Forum Index (index.php). The Forum Index shows a list of forums. If you click on one of the forums, you will be shown the View Forum page, which is a listing of the topics in the forum (viewforum.php). By default they are sorted in chronological order by the most recent post in each topic. If you click on a topic, you will be shown the View Topic page, which is a listing of the posts in that topic (viewtopic.php). The posts in a topic are organized chronologically, with the oldest post first.

4.1: User Accounts

phpBB 2.0 is based on a user system. When a user is logged in, his/her username will be shown with each post he/she makes. Each user may also have some custom settings which allow them to control the look and feel of the board as they use it.

4.1.1: Registration

In order to log into the board as a user, you must register a username. To do this, click the small Register link at the top of any page.

Register

You will be taken to the Registration Agreement Terms, which you must agree to in order to register.

You will then be taken to the registration information form. Fill out each of the required fields, and any of the optional fields you like. The settings on the registration form are identical to those in the Profile Settings form, for more details see 4.7 Profile Settings.

When you register, you must specify an email address. All email from the board to you will be sent to that address. If the board is set to User Activation, you must check your email and click the activation link there before you may log in.

4.1.2: Logging In

In order to post using your username and use your custom settings on the board, you must log in. To log in, you must use the small login form at the bottom of the Forum Index page.

Login

Alternatively you may click the small Login link at the top of any page to be taken to the Login Page.

Enter your user name and password, and click Login. You will be taken to the page you were previously using, but will now be able to post with your username, change your profile, check private messages, etc. To log out of the board, click the small Logout [<your username> ] link at the top of any page.

If you are not logged in and attempt to do anything that requires a login, you will be taken to the login screen. After you log in, you will be taken to the page you were attempting to go to before logging in. Things that require login include changing your profile, checking your private messages, posting to forums (if they require it), etc.

If you forget your password, go to the Login Page. Click I forgot my password.

Forgotten Password

You will be taken to a form to enter your username and email address. A new password will be created, and sent in an email to you. When you receive the email, you need to click the new password activation link. The new password activation link exists so that if someone else enters your information into the Forgotten Password form, your current password will remain intact. After you have activated your new password, you may log in with it. You may change your password to what you like in your profile. For more information, see 4.7 Profile Settings.

4.2: Posting

There are two primary ways to create a post. In the View Forum and View Topic pages, you may click New Topic. This will take you to the posting form, and, when you have posted, will create a new topic with your post as the first one in the topic. In the View Topic page, you may also click Reply. This will take you to the posting form, and, when you have posted, it will add your post to the topic you replied to. To reply to a specific post, you may also click the Quote button in the upper right corner of that post. For more information, see 4.2.6 Quoting Messages.

4.2.1: Posting Form

When you post a new topic or post a reply, you are taken to the posting form, where to enter your post.

Subject - The subject of your post. If this is a new post, the subject is required, and it will be the name of the topic. If the post is replying to another post, the subject is not required, but may be added, and will be shown at the top of the post.

Message Body - The Message body is a large text area where the body of your post is input. Plain text is the only thing allowed in this text area, but special formatting, links, smilies (emoticons), images, etc. may be added through the use of Smilies, BBCode and/or HTML (if they are enabled).

Smilies - Smilies (also called emoticons) can be added to posts. You may only use smilies in your post if they are enabled on the board you are using. To see if smilies are enabled, look in the lower left corner of the posting form, you should see "Smilies are ON/OFF". If smilies are enabled and you would like to disable them in your post, check the box next to Disable Smilies in this Post. For more information, see 4.2.6 Smilies

BBCode - BBCode allows you to add special formatting to your posts. You may only use BBCode in your post if it is enabled on the board you are using. To see if BBCode is enabled, look in the lower left corner of the posting form, you should see "BBCode is ON/OFF". If BBCode is enabled and you would like to disable it in your post, check the box next to Disable BBCode in this Post. For more information, see 4.2.5 BBCode.

HTML - You may use HTML to format your posts. The HTML tags allowed may be configured in the administration panel (for more information, see 3.2.2 General Configuration). You may only use HTML in your post if it is enabled on the board you are using. To see if HTML is enabled, look in the lower left corner of the posting form, you should see "HTML is ON/OFF". If HTML is enabled and you would like to disable it in your post, check the box next to Disable HTML in this Post.

Posting Options

Signature - You may add a signature to your post. To do this, check the box next to Attach Signature. You may change your signature by editing your profile. For more information, see 4.7 Profile Settings.

Reply Notification - When you post, you may be interested in knowing when that topic is replied to. If so, you may check Notify me when a reply is posted. For more information, see 4.6 Watching Topics.

Sticky/Announcement - To make a post into an Announcement or a Sticky Topic, look to the bottom of the posting form. There are radio buttons at the bottom that will allow you to set the post as Normal, Sticky or Announcement. These options will only be visible to a user for the top post in a topic, and only if they have permission to make Announcements and Sticky topics. For more information, see 4.2.2 Announcements, 4.2.3 Sticky Topics and 3.1.2 Forum Permissions

Polls - To add a poll, look to the bottom of the posting form. These options will only be visible to a user if they have permission to make Polls. For more information, see 4.2.4 Polls.

4.2.2: Announcements

Announcements are a special type of topic. In the View Forum page, Announcements appear above all other topics (at the top of the forum). Announcements will also appear on every View Forum page. For instance, if you had 75 topics in a forum and 50 on each page, announcements would appear on the page with the first 50 topics and on the page with the last 25 topics.

To make a topic into an announcement, simply select the Announcement radio button on the posting form. The top post of a topic must be specified as Announcement for the topic to be an Announcement. For more information, see 4.1.1 Posting Form.

Topic Types

4.2.3: Sticky Topics

Sticky topics are a special type of topic. In the View Forum page, Sticky topics appear above all other topics except for Announcements. Sticky topics only appear on the first View Forum page.

To make a topic sticky, simply select the Sticky radio button on the posting form. For more information, see 4.2.1 Posting Form.

4.2.4: Polls

Polls are a special type of that allow community members to vote on an idea or issue. Polls can only be made from the top post in a topic.

Poll Question - This is the subject of the Poll, the question that is being answered by the poll. The poll question appears at the top of the topic, above the poll options. This is required for the poll.

Poll Option - Poll Options are the possible answers to the poll question. To add poll options, type the option into the text field and click Add Option. To have a valid poll, at least two options must be offered.

Run Poll for - Number of days to run the poll for. After the specified time has passed, the results of the poll are displayed in the topic, and no one else may vote.

4.2.5: BBCode

BBCode is a system that will allow you to format your posts in special ways. The BBCode system uses tags in a way nearly identical to HTML. The primary difference between BBCode and HTML is that BBCode uses square brackets [ and ] instead of angle brackets < and >. For a more detailed description of how BBCode works, click the small BBCode link on the lower left corner of the Posting Form. You may also go to http://www.phpbb.com/phpBB/faq.php?mode=bbcode.

BBCode

Here is a list of sample BBCode and its output:

[b]Bolded Text[/b]: Bolded Text

[i]Italicized Text[/i]: Italicized Text

[u]Underlined Text[/u]: Underlined Text

[color=red]Red Text[/color] or [color=#FF0000]Red Text[/color]: Red Text

[size=24]Bigger Text[/size]: Bigger Text

[quote]This cheese is delicious[/quote]: Anonymous Quote

[quote="The Cheese Man"]This cheese is delicious.[/quote]: Quote

[code]if ($cheese == "tasty") { return true; }[/code]: Code

[list][*]Cheddar Cheese[*]Limburger Cheese[*]Cottage Cheese[/list]:

  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Limburger Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese

[list=1][*]Cheddar Cheese[*]Limburger Cheese[*]Cottage Cheese[/list]:

  1. Cheddar Cheese
  2. Limburger Cheese
  3. Cottage Cheese

[list=a][*]Cheddar Cheese[*]Limburger Cheese[*]Cottage Cheese[/list]:

  1. Cheddar Cheese
  2. Limburger Cheese
  3. Cottage Cheese

[url=http://www.phpbb.com/]Visit phpBB![/url]: Visit phpBB! (Link URL: http://www.phpbb.com)

[url]http://www.phpbb.com/[/url]: http://www.phpbb.com/ (Link URL: http://www.phpbb.com)

[email][email protected]domain.adr[/email]: [email protected]

[img]http://www.phpbb.com/images/phpBB_88a.gif[/img]: phpBB: Creating Communities

Again, for more info, see http://www.phpbb.com/phpBB/faq.php?mode=bbcode.

4.2.6: Smilies

Smilies are small images that appear in posts. Usually they are small images of faces, and are often used to show emotion.

To use smilies in your posts, you need to enter a series of characters. Common character series are :) for a happy face Happy, :( for a sad face Sad, etc. Another common style for smilie character sequences is :emotion: (i.e. the emotion the smilie shows, with a colon ":" before and after this). Examples of this are :wink: for a winking face Wink, :lol: for a laughing face Laughing Out Loud, etc.

Many templates (including subSilver, the default template) have smilie buttons on the posting form. Normally, this is a grid of the smilies, any of which may be clicked to insert the appropriate character sequence at the current text insertion point. For more information, see 3.2.4 Smilie Administration.

4.2.7: Quoting Messages

Quoting messages allows you to include other's posts in your own. It is useful for showing that you are replying to a post, or part of a post.

To quote all of someone's post, look at the top right corner of their post and click Quote. This will take you to the posting form, and will allow you to reply to the post. It will also automatically add the appropriate BBCode to your post to quote the post you are replying to.

The proper syntax to quote a post is:

[quote="<name to quote>"]<text to quote>[/quote]

<name to quote> is the source of your quote, and <text to quote> is what you are quoting. So to quote the user Cheese Man saying "Power the behold of cheese."

[quote="Cheese Man"]Power the behold of cheese[/quote]

For more information, see 4.2.5 BBCode.

4.2.8: Editing Posts

Editing posts allows you to go back and fix errors, remove incorrect information, or add new information to your posts. To edit a post, look at the top right corner of your post and click Edit. You will be taken to the posting form to edit your post, and then click Submit to enter it into the database. If you edit a post after it has been replied to, a small message will appear at the bottom of it indicating how many times it has been edited, and when and by whom the last edit occurred.

To delete a post, click Edit and check Delete this Post. Click Submit to finish deleting the post. You may not delete a post if it has been replied to (i.e. it is not the last post in the topic)

4.3: Private Messages

Private messages allow users on a board to contact each other out of the public eye. Private messages can be described as a cross between email, instant messaging, and phpBB 2.0 forum posting.

To use private messaging, you must be logged in to the board. Look at the top of any page, and click You have X new message(s). This will take you to your private messaging center.

Private Messages

4.3.1: Sending

There are three primary ways to send a private message. First, you may go your private messaging center and click New Post. Secondly, you may click Post Reply from a private message you are reading. Finally, you may click the PMlink on any user's profile or post.

The posting form is identical to the normal posting form with a few exceptions:

Username - The username of the person you want to receive the message. If you are replying to a PM, or clicked the PM link in someone's profile, this field will be automatically filled for you.

Additionally, PMs may not be Sticky Topics, Announcements, or contain Polls.

4.3.2: Receiving

There are three ways that one may be notified of a new private message. Most obvious is the Private message link at the top of every page. It will display You have X new message(s), where X is the number of new messages you have. You may click this link to take you to your Inbox.

You may be informed of new PMs by an email sent to the email address your username is registered to. You may also be informed of a new PM by means of a small window that pops up while you are viewing the board. Email and pop-up notification will contain a link to your Inbox. Email and pop-up notification may be enabled/disabled in your Profile (for more information, see 4.7 Profile Settings)

Sometimes you may be informed of a new PM, but when you go to your Inbox, there is no new message. This is not a bug, it simply means that the sender must have deleted the PM before you read it. For more information, see 4.3.3 The Outbox.

You may delete messages by selecting them and clicking Delete Marked. Alternatively, you may delete all messages by clicking Delete All. You may also sort/display messages by age by using the dropdown list box in the upper right corner.

4.3.3: The Outbox

When you send a PM, the message goes to your Outbox. It remains in the Outbox until the recipient visits his/her Inbox, at which point it is moved from your Outbox to their Inbox. While the message remains in your Outbox you may edit or delete your post if you like. The message remains in your control until it is received.

4.3.4: The Savebox

The Savebox is provided as a place to keep important PMs. Often it is used to save valuable messages from the Inbox, and then you can use the Delete All function to discard the rest.

You may save messages in your Inbox by selecting the messages (with the checkboxes next to each message) and clicking Save Marked.

4.4: Usergroups

Usergroups are a powerful feature of phpBB 2.0.0. They allow moderator permissions, private permissions, and any other special user settings to be granted to multiple people. This makes it easy to change settings for a group that has things in common without having to edit each user's individual permissions. It is also possible to make the Group Moderator (controls group membership) someone who is not an administrator, granting power to users without leaving your board's administration panel vulnerable.

4.4.1: Joining a group

There are two ways to join a group. First, you may be added to the group by the group moderator. This is not controlled by the user, but by the group moderator through the group control panel. This is the only way to become a member of a Closed or Hidden group.

To join an open group, click the small Usergroups link at the top of any page.

Usergroups

Choose the group to join from the Join a Group dropdown list shown, and click View Information. This will take you to the Group Control Panel. Click Join Group to request membership in the group. The Group Moderator will receive an email informing them of the request, which they must approve before you become a member of the group. For more information, see 4.4.2 Moderating a Group.

4.4.2: Moderating a Group

For each group, there is one Group Moderator. The group moderator may control membership to the group by adding and removing members. They may also control the Group Type. The group moderator is specified in the admin panel. For more information, see 3.3 Group Administration.

4.4.2.1: Adding Members

To add members to a group, go to the Group Control Panel. In the lower right corner, there is a text field. Enter the username to add, and click Add Member. Additionally, you may use Find a username if you are not sure of the name of the user to add.

4.4.2.2: Approving Members

To approve a user's membership to a group, go to the Group Control Panel. Look at the bottom of the page at the Pending Members section. Check the box next to the member(s) to approve and click Approve Selected. You may similarly select and deny a user's membership to the group.

When a user requests to join a group, email will be sent to the group moderator with a link to the Group Control Panel. This allows the group moderator to be notified, speeding the approval process.

4.4.2.3: Removing Members

To remove members from a group, go to the Group Control Panel. Check the boxes next to the names of members to remove, and click Remove Selected.

4.4.2.4: Group Types (Open, Hidden, Closed)

Group types may be changed by the group moderator or a board administrator in the Group Control Panel. They may also be changed by board administrators in the Group Management section of the admin panel. For more information, see 3.3 Group Administration.

Open - All users may see the group and group members. Users may request membership to this group. For more information, see 4.4.1 Joining a Group.

Closed - All users may see the group and group members. Users may not request membership to the group, but may be added by the group moderator.

Hidden - The group and its members are not visible to normal users. Users may be added by the group moderator. If a hidden group is moderator of a forum, the group will show up in the Moderators list.

4.5: Searching

phpBB 2.0 has a search system that will allow you to find topics you are interested in. To get to the search page, click the small Search link at the top of any page.

Search

4.5.1: Search Query

Search for Keywords - You may search for words in the content of topics. Enter the words to search for into the text field.

If you select Search for any terms or use query as entered, then topic containing ANY of the words you entered will be displayed. You may use the AND, OR, and NOT operators to indicate which words you want to search for. Use AND to indicate that multiple words MUST be found. Use OR to indicate that a word is optional/alternate. Use NOT to indicate that a word should not be present in the topics displayed.

If you select Search for all terms, only topics containing all of the words in the query will be displayed. Selecting this option has effects comparable to using Search for any terms or use query as entered, with the AND operator between each term.

You may use the asterisk(*) wildcard character to broaden your search. The asterisk will match any number of characters. So *cheese* will match cheese, cheesewheel, wheelcheese, or wheelcheesewheel. Likewise cheese*fudge will match cheesefudge, cheeseyfudge, or cheese597fudge.

To increase the speed and decrease the overhead of the search utility, only words may be searched for. Phrases (such as "cheese wheel") may not be searched for, except by their component words. The minimum size for words is four characters, and the maximum size is twenty characters. Any non-alphanumeric character (e.g. white space and punctuation) is a word boundary.

Search for Author - You may search for posts by post author. Simply enter the author's username into this text field. You may use the asterisk(*) wildcard in author's names to broaden your search. Again, the asterisk will match any number of characters.

4.5.2: Search Options

Forum - Select the forum you wish to search in, or All available. To search multiple forums, search by Category.

Category - Select the category you wish to search in, or All available.

Display Results as Posts - Search results will be displayed as a list of the posts. Part of the post that matches the query will be displayed, and the search terms highlighted. For each post there is a ling

Display Results as Topics - Search results will be displayed as a list of Topic titles. For each topic there is a link to the forum it is in, the topic itself, and the author of the topic.

Search Previous - This dropdown box will allow you to specify the maximum age of posts to display as results of the search. There are also radio buttons here that will allow you to search only the body of posts, or the subject(title) of the posts as well.

Sort by - This will allow you to specify how search results are organized. You may sort by Post Time, Post Subject, Topic Title, Author, or Forum. The sort may be in ascending or descending order alphabetically (or chronologically where appropriate)

Return first - When Display Results as is set to Posts, this dropdown box will allow you to control how much of the post is displayed in the search result.

4.6: Watching Topics

You may subscribe to topics in phpBB 2.0.0. When a topic you are subscribed to is replied to, an email will be sent to the email address that your username is registered to. The email will contain a link to the topic that has been replied to. You will only receive one email per topic until the next time you log in to the board.

4.6.1: Subscribing to Topics

To subscribe to a topic, look at the lower left corner of the Topic View page. Click the small Watch this topic for replies link.

Watch Topic

Additionally, if you post or reply to a topic, you may check Notify me when a reply is posted to subscribe to a topic.

4.6.2: Unsubscribing from Topics

To unsubscribe from a topic, look at the lower left corner of the Topic View page. Click the small Stop watching this topic link.

Stop Watching Topic

Alternatively, you may look at your notification email. At the end of the email (right above the signature) there is a link that will unsubscribe you from the topic.

4.7: Profile Settings

To edit your profile, click the small Profile link at the top of any page.

Profile

You must be logged in to edit your profile. To make changes to your profile, change the values on the form and click Submit at the bottom of the page.

Username - Your username on the board, the name you use to log in. You may change this name if the board administrators allow it. For more info, see 3.2.2.4 User and Forum Basic Settings.

Email - The email address your account is registered to. All emails from the board to you will go to this email address. You may change the email address if you like. If you change your email address and the board is using User activation, then you will need to activate your changed email address. You will be sent an email (to the new address) with an activation link if this is the case.

Password - The password you use to log in. If you change your email address or password, you must enter your current password. If you are changing your password you will need to enter the new password twice to verify it.

Fields in the Profile Information are self-explanatory.

Always show my Email Address - If Yes a link to email you will appear in your profile. If set to No, the link will not appear.

Hide your online status - If Yes you will not be visible to normal users in the Who is Online? list at the bottom of the Forum Index.

Always notify me of replies - If Yes then the Notify me when a reply is posted checkbox on the posting form will be checked by default. You may still uncheck it each time you post.

Notify on new Private Messages - If Yes an email will be sent to your registered email address each time you receive a private message.

Pop up window on new Private Messages - If Yes you will see a pop up window notifying you of new Private Messages you receive while browsing the forums.

Always attach my signature - If Yes then the Attach signature checkbox on the posting form will be checked by default. You may still uncheck it each time you post.

Always allow BBCode - If Yes then the Disable BBCode in this post checkbox on the posting form will be unchecked by default. You may still check it each time you post.

Always allow HTML - If Yes then the Disable HTML in this post checkbox on the posting form will be unchecked by default. You may still check it each time you post.

Always enable Smilies - If Yes then the Disable Smilies in this post checkbox on the posting form will be unchecked by default. You may still check it each time you post.

Board Language - Selects the language of board messages/text. Any text from other users or administrators is unaffected.

Board Style - Selects the style that the board. This setting will not work if the administrator has turned on Override user style (for more information, see 3.2.2.1 General Board Settings)

4.7.1: Date Format

phpBB 2.0.0 allows you to specify the date format that you see on the board. This is done by allowing you to specify the format using the PHP syntax. For full details on how this works, see http://www.php.net/date.

The date string is a series of letters and punctuation. Each letter will be replaced with a part of the current date and time, and the punctuation is used to organize this information in a way that makes sense to you.

The default string for this field is "D M d, Y g:i a" This will display your date in the form Sat Apr 09, 2002 4:09 am. All of the punctuation and spacing remains intact, and each letter is replaced with part of the date/time.

D is the first three letters of the day of the week. M is the first three letters of the month name. d is the numerical date, with leading zeroes. Y is the year, four-digit format. gis the hour, 12-hour format without leading zeroes. i is the minutes, with leading zeroes. ais am/pm, in lowercase letters.

To see the complete list of letter substitutions, go to http://www.php.net/date.

4.7.2: Time Zones

To have the board time show correctly, please select your time zone. The time in phpBB 2.0.0 does not work with Daylight Savings Time, so if you have Daylight Savings Time, add 1 to your GMT modifier. So if you are in GMT-5 and have DST, you will need to set your time zone to GMT-4.

4.7.3: Avatars

Avatars are small pictures that display each post. Each user may choose his/her own avatar. However, permission to allow users to have avatars is controlled by the board administrator. Each of the following settings may be enabled/disabled in the Administration Panel (for more information, see 3.2.2.5 Avatar Settings).

Gallery Avatars - You may choose your avatar from a gallery of avatars. The gallery is a collection of avatars stored on the server that the board is running on. To select an avatar from the gallery, click Show Gallery. You may use the dropdown list at the top of the gallery to navigate between categories of avatars. To choose an avatar, check the radio button underneath it and click Select Avatar.

Remotely Linked Avatars - You may use an image that is hosted on another site as your avatar. To do this, just enter the URI into the text field. It is recommended that the images are small and do not deform tables or distract people. Administrators have the ability to block specific users from having an avatar (for more information, see 3.5.3 User Management)

Uploaded Avatars - If you have an image that you would like to use, you may upload the image to the server that the board is on. You may upload an image on your computer by clicking the Browse button. You may also upload an image by entering the URI that the image is located at. Uploaded images have an admin-controlled limit on file size and image size (for more information, see 3.2.2.5 Avatar Settings).

Section 5: Moderating

Moderation allows content on your board to be controlled. A moderator of a forum may edit, delete, split, or move topics in that forum. A moderator may also edit or delete any post in a topic in that forum. A board administrator automatically has moderator permissions to every forum on that board. Moderator permissions for a specific forum may also be granted to a user or group of users. For more information, see 3.3.2 Group Permissions and 3.5.4 User Permissions.

5.1: Moderator Control Panel

To get to the Moderator Control Panel, click the small moderate this forum link. This link appears in the lower right corner of Forum View and Topic View pages that you have moderator permissions in.

Moderation Control Panel

5.1.1: Moving Topics

In the Moderator Control Panel, you may move any number of topics from the current forum to another forum. To do this, check the boxes next to each topic and click Move. Select the forum that you would like to move the topics moved to. Select if you would like to leave Shadow Topics, and click Yes to complete the move.

5.1.1.1: Shadow Topics

Shadow Topics may be left when a topic is moved from one forum to another. Shadow topics exist so that when someone commonly checks a topic, they will not be confused when it gets moved. A shadow topic appears in the original forum, and links to the topic in its new forum. The text "Moved: " will appear in front of the shadow topic in the old forum. A shadow topic will not be marked unread when new replies are posted to the topic, so it should eventually move down the forum as new topics are made and replied to. The actual topic (in the new forum) will be updated as replies are posted.

Suppose there was a topic titled "What kinds of cheese do you like?" in a forum named General Discussion. Suppose that a moderator moved that topic to the Cheese Discussion forum, and left a shadow topic. In the Cheese Discussion forum, there will be the topic named "What kinds of cheese do you like?" This topic will be marked unread as replies are posted to it. In the General Discussion forum there will be a topic named "Moved: What kinds of cheese do you like?" This topic will link directly to the topic in the Cheese Discussion forum, and will not be marked unread as replies are posted.

5.1.2: Deleting Topics

In the Moderator Control Panel, you may delete any number of topics. To do this, check the boxes next to each topic and click Delete. You must confirm your decision by clicking Yes.

5.1.3: Locking and unlocking topics

In the Moderator Control Panel, you may lock or unlock any number of topics. To do this, check the boxes next to each topic and click Lock or Unlock. A locked topic may only be posted to by moderators and administrators.

5.1.4: Splitting Topics

In the Moderator Control Panel, you may split a topic by clicking on the topic title. You will be taken to the Split Topic Control Panel. You may select the posts to split; they will then be removed from the topic and put into a new topic. This will allow you to move off-topic posts to another topic, keeping your topics more organized.

New Topic Title - The title of the new topic created by the split.

Forum for new topic - The forum that the new topic will be located in.

To split only specific posts from a topic, check the box next to each post and click Split selected posts.

To split a post and every post after that one, select the first post to split and click Split from selected posts.

5.2: Moderator Quick Actions

Moderator Quick Actions are small buttons at the bottom of each topic.

Mod Quick Actions

They allow moderation tasks to be performed quickly for the specified topic.

5.2.1: Moving Topics

To move a topic, click the Move Topic button.

Move Topic

Select the forum to move the topic to, select whether a shadow topic will be left, and click Yes to complete the move. For more information, see 5.1.1 Moving Topics.

5.2.2: Deleting Topics

To delete a topic, click the Delete Topic button.

Delete Topic

You must confirm the delete by clicking Yes.

5.2.3: Locking and Unlocking Topics

To lock or unlock a topic, click the Lock Topic button or Unlock Topic button.

Lock Topic - Unlock Topic

The appropriate button will be displayed based on whether the topic is currently locked or unlocked. A locked topic may only be posted to by moderators and administrators.

5.2.4: Splitting Topics

To split a topic, click the Split Topic button.

Split Topic

You will be taken to the Split Topic Control Panel. For more information, see 5.1.4 Splitting Topics.

Appendix A: Reporting Bugs

If you find a bug while using your copy of phpBB 2.0, and want to help the phpBB Group fix it quickly, file a bug report. To file a bug report, open http://www.phpbb.com/bugs/index.php in your web browser.

To submit a new bug, click Submit a Bug at the top of the page.

To file a good bug report, consider these tips: