How to install UBB.threads on your site

There are already many install guides laying around on various sites, including the main site at UBB.central and I would highly recommend you reading it before proceeding here.

It provides everything you really need to install a fresh copy of UBB.threads on your site and really precludes the need from reading further here! ;) As a matter of fact, when I did my first installation about 10 years ago, I use the UBB.central one and had no problems at all. It works fine, lasts a long time.

However, I am making this document to serve multiple purposes:

  • Practice out my blog writing tool (Windows Live Writer)
  • Add pictures, which might enhance the process of understanding

Now, you won’t get any ‘hidden nuggets’ from this tutorial, but it might just be the format that aids you better in some way. Regardless, on to the task at hand, as they say!

First things first. I assume you downloaded the latest UBB.threads .zip file. For purposes of this tutorial, I’ll be using the latest release (7.5.5), but this applies to all installs prior with VERY small changes that are too insignificant to even mention here:

Simply open this file and unzip to a directory on your local hard drive. In my case, I put it in ‘E:\www\\forum’. I do this, because I also will install it locally on my webserver as a development replica of the actual production site. You may not need this and can choose any directory you want.

I will show you how to get a local wampserver up and running for local development in a how to at a later date. For now, if you just can’t wait, go here and read all about it! Yes, I know that some people might be saying “but what about XAMPP or some other package?”. I have nothing against them, but I’ve chosen WAMP for my needs and that will be what I discuss. No biggie anyway, really.

Next thing you will need to do is fire up your preferred FTP client and upload the files to your web site. Personally, I prefer FlashFXP and have used it for many years, but this isn’t a free program and you might prefer to avail yourself of a free alternative. The sky is the limit for choices and I will only point you to two other choices, which are:

Both should be easy to install and configure. I won’t go into any more detail here and assume you know how to input the information your web host gave you to at least get connected! For the rest of this tutorial, however any screen captures of FTP sessions will be of my FlashFXP client.

So, fire your client up and connect. Once connected, you’ll want to upload from your hard drive all the directories that came with the zip file you downloaded from the members area:

The left side is my local hard drive directory (named ‘forum’) and I’ve also created an exact same named directory on the web server called ‘forum’ as well.

One small thing to point out here is the remote site has a ‘web root’ and for most servers, it will either be called ‘public_html’, ‘www’ or ‘httpdocs’. Just make sure you note which is your case and proceed accordingly.

Ok, now fire off the transfer and go take a break. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to upload all the files.

When done, make sure you have the Mysql database username and password as well as the actual database name. This should be provided you by your webhost in some cases or in most cases, you were probably given some sort of administrative login to your website that allows you to create databases yourself. I won’t get into all that here and will assume you are able to accomplish your goal before moving on.

Now it’s drumroll time and maybe even some fear and trepidation, but you really are only minutes away from having created your forum! :o

Navigate to your website address in your browser and specifically to the install directory and run the php installer. For my case, the url was [ [nosmiley][/nosmiley] ] (note: it doesn’t exist anymore for anyone thinking they would click! This will lead to a later how to on a custom 404 page. What I have right now is fairly generic and can be enhanced to give the user a slightly better experience. )

Just replace ‘’ with ‘’ in the url and you should be ready to go.. and now what happens?

Oh…     my…     gawd… I done kilt it!  :shocked:

Not really, however.

This is one new thing that I’ve noticed in the installer and I like it. It forces you to get all your directory and file permissions right BEFORE proceeding. This is very helpful in making the rest of the install process go smooth. So, let’s just get rid of all that red FAILED stuff why don’t we.

Your FTP client is just what is needed:

The above picture shows me CHMODing the includes directory as required to 777. You’ll be doing the same for all the red FAILED messages on directories to follow. Feel free to make the first change and click the ‘Check Again’ button to slowly start to see more GREEN in the picture. It will only get better! :D

There is one other thing to note and that is the actual file permissions inside the directories. They only need to be CHMODed to 666 to satisfy the installer. An example of this is shown below:

That wasn’t so hard, was it? Anyway, proceed to change all the directory permissions and keep checking again, until you get the following screen:

A beautiful thing! :wub:

When version 8 comes out later this year, all the permissions checking and CHMODing will be a thing of the past, since there will be an optional use of FTP from the php code to do this automagically for you! That’ll be nice and easy, won’t it?

Proceed to next step! and you’ll see the next screen:

Enter your MySQL login credentials and “Check database settings”. You should really never change ‘localhost’ or the ‘Tablename prefix’. If you DO want to, go ahead, but I’ll assume you know why and really don’t know why you need to read this tutorial then. I assume you get the joke.

After aiding a new buddy with an install of his forum on a shared hosting environment, the above statement doesn’t always apply. In the larger shared hosting environments nowadays, you frequently have another server solely dedicated to mysql and they give you that information.

In that case, ‘localhost’ won’t apply and you’ll need to use the username, database name and password terminology for the particular hosting company.

I will add two quick tutorials for a cPanel example and also a LunarPanel example at a later date.

If all goes well and you’ve put the proper information for the database, you’ll see this next screen:

Everything should be filled in for you and you can actually go on and click ‘Check settings’. One thing that I personally do is to fill in the Custom cookie prefix. It just differentiates the forum install from colliding with another one on the same domain. Yes, I know this is the 1% rarity, but since I’m a developer I run into this frequently on my personal sites and I inspect cookies in my debugger a lot to see what’s ‘under the hood’. Feel free to leave it blank and nothing is really harmed.

Ok, you’re almost there now as you get the next screen:

Create your admin user is the only option I’ll cover here, since this is a fresh install!

Fill in your particulars and remember your password! I also suggest you use a ‘strong’ password and not something like username: admin password: admin, if you get my drift ;)

You’re just about to enter into another world of administrating your forums, but before you ‘click here’:

Please delete your install directory!

You don’t need it anymore and as a security measure, it is a wise thing to wipe away. After doing that and clicking the link, you’ll see the following:

I didn’t know that the dark theme was default now, so that’s a surprise to me. Anyway, that doesn’t really matter, because you’ve successfully installed the best forum software out there. You’ll be able to configure things the way you want them by clicking ‘Control Panel’. You will see something similar to the following:

There you are in your newly created forum and you are the all powerful ‘user number 2’ (don’t ask about 1 !! yes, it’s an oblique and not so subtle reference to a UK series called ‘The Prisoner’ from days of old. :hihi: ) admin and now you don’t know where to go from here!

Well, don’t worry. The next tutorial will go into detail on how to setup your basic skeleton, which involves:

  • Creating categories
  • Creating forums within each category
  • Adding any (optional) user groups
  • Get your portal up / running
  • Learn your way around the Admin Control panel in general.
  • … and much more!

All this and more will be discussed in the next installment. Matter of fact, this might turn into a series, since the final goal will be your customizing your UBB.threads forum to look very much like the WordPress CMS that you are reading right now!

Stay tuned to this blank space, for there will be a link to the next in the series suddenly appear with no advanced warning.

I will however recommend you do two administration items.

  • Close your board and
  • Suspend registrations.

This will give you the peace of mind knowing you have full control of the board as you configure it for first time use. It also prevents wayward travellers from accidental sign-ups while you might not yet be ready.

Since the basic admin panel setup article hasn’t been written yet, there is another one that I just generated in this series and it might be desireable to read. It addresses setting a new style to the board and is another ‘how to’ kinda format.. go [ Here ] and read up, if you want ;)

Comments are closed.