Setting up your computer as a local server for a test-board.

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Setting up your computer as a local server for a test-board.

Postby Dogs and things on Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:33 pm

DoobDee wrote:This article is very usefull for those of you who want to install phpBB2 on their computer, or test files on their local host before applying them to a live board. This article tells you about how to do this.

First of all I want to explain briefly how I came to writing this article.

I have been Administrator/Moderator on my own small phpBB for some three years. Until a month ago I had my webmaster taking care of the technical side of my board and website. Because of this I never learned anything about how to set up a board. Unfortunately my webmaster died suddenly and I saw me facing the choise between searching another webmaster or learning to manage my board myself. I choose to do it myself.

To begin with I found out there is an incredible amount of knowledge available on the subject, but I also learned that it´s very hard to find info that is directed to absolute beginners in this fascinating field.

The first I wanted to do was to learn how to set up and manage a board in a manner that couldn´t affect the board I´ve got up and running. Any silly mistake would ruin it.

So I found out that it´s perfectly posible to convert your own computer in a server where you can install and run a phpBB. There´s a few applications that come in perfectly to do this. I choose for EasyPHP, simply because it was the first one I came across. Unfortunately, most of their official site is in French. Nevertheless I found the download of the latest version, EasyPHP 1.8 and also the language-file.

Installing EasyPHP was easy, but how to have it set up so that it worked was another story. It cost me quite some time to find out the few small but important details you need to know to set it up perfectly.

Finally I came across the only manual, Rod´s EasyPHP Tutorial, that really showed in a very clear and step-by-step manner everything, without omiting a single detail, on how to configure EasyPHP.

So there I was, having installed and configurated my own server on my own computer. This converted my computer in "LocalHost" or "Local".

I unzipped my latest version of phpBB, phpBB2.0.21 in the right folder and tried to install my board. But, there was no way I managed. What was wrong???

After a lot of posting on a range of php-Help forums I learned that I needed to install a "Database". I didn´t have the slightest idea about what a database is. Finally it turned out to be so easy.

Once you got your EasyPHP set up and running you´ll see a simbol, a big black S in your tray area at the bottom right of your screen. If you do a rightclick on that S you´ll see a little menu. Point your cursor at "Configuration" and then click on "PhpMyAdmin". This will open a window where amongst other things you´ll see "MySQL" and directly under that "Create Database". What you´re supposed to do now is write the name you want for your database, for instance "My first forum". Remember this name exactly because now you can go start to insatll your board.

To do this go to the zipfile containg your phpBB 2.0.21 and unzip it to a folder named "www" which is located in the rootfolder of your EasyPHP. Once you got your phpBB-folder in place go back to the big S, rightclick on it and then click on Administration. This will open a window with PHP in big white letters.

Just below that you´ll see the word "Apache 1.3.33" and just below that the word "ADD". Click on "ADD" and first of all you can write a name for your forum, any name will do. Below that you´ll have to write the correct path to the phpBB 2.0.21 folder on your computer, which will be something like "D:\EasyPHP1-8\www\phpBB2". Click on OK and you´ll see that where it says "ADD" has appeared the name you gave to your forum earlier. Click on it and a window in your exlorer will open with the first page of your installing proces of your forum. It´s posible you´ll see an error page instead. Don´t worry, click on your browsers´ refresh-button and the first install-page shows up. Here you will be asked to enter a few things, most of them will be no problem once you have gone through all the earlier steps correctly. The one that caused me a slight problem is the one where you´re asked to put the name of your "Database". Here is where has to be filled in the exact name you gave to your database in MySQL.

Next step is clicking at the bottom of the install page to show the next step in the instalation proces, you´re asked to remove the "Install" and "Contributions" folders from the rootfolder, the one that´s called "phpBB" or whatever you called it.

Once done this click on the forum index link and you´ll see your FORUM, waiting for you to start working with it.

I find it very comfortable to work with a board on my own computer because it saves me from having to up- and download things from my server. I believe it´s so much easier to learn how to do things to your board like changing a Template, add MODs, configuring it to your likings etc. Whenever you make a mistake nothing bad happens, you can always start all over again, installing a new board if worst comes to the worst. I´ve reinstalled my board numerous times and am learning so much in a short span of time just by making mistakes.

I also find it´s much easier for me to understand all these things the "exoerts" are talking about, simply because I see what they are talking about. I spend less and less time asking tiny little things and just ask some "mayor things" now and again.

With the above information just about anybody should be able to set up a testboard on his own "Localhost" in a matter of a few hours.

I hope that by offering this info I save others all the sweat, tears and endless searching for basic info that´s so hard to find.

Dogs and things
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