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Tue, Jan 18, 2011 9:17 pm

Installing SMF 2.0

You can download the 2.0 version of the Simple Machines Forum (SMF) software from After you've placed the software on your server and extracted the files to an appropriate directory (you can use tar -zxvf smf_2-0-rc4_install.tar.gz on a Linux system, if you downloaded the .tar.gz 2.0 RC4 file), you can commence the installation process.

Next, point your browser to the name of the domain and the directory where the forum software was extracted and put install.php at the end of the URL, e.g.

  1. At the first step of the installation process a welcome screen appears. You should see "We've completed some initial tests on your server and everything appears to be in order. Simply click the "Continue" button below to get started." Click on the Continue button.

  2. The next step is the Writable Check. You will be informed of which files should be writable. The installation script will attempt to make the changes for you.

    Some files need to be writable for SMF to work properly. This step allows you to let the installer make them writable for you. However, in some cases it won't work - in that case, please make the following files 777 (writable, 755 on some hosts):

        * attachments
        * avatars
        * cache
        * Packages
        * Packages/installed.list
        * Smileys
        * Themes
        * agreement.txt
        * Settings.php
        * Settings_bak.php

    You will be prompted for the FTP userid and password. This installer can connect via FTP to fix the files that need to be writable and are not. If this doesn't work for you, you will have to go in manually and make the files writable. Please note that this doesn't support SSL right now.

    The Install Path should be the relative path in relation to the FTP login directory, e.g. public_html/forum if you created a forum directory directly under your public HTML directory.

    Click on the Connect button.

  3. You will next be prompted for the userid and password to connect to the database where your SMF tables will be created. E.g., this could be your MySQL userid and password, which might or might not be the same as your FTP userid and password. You will also need to provide the database name for your account and any table prefix you wish to use for the forum. Keep in mind that if you wish to have multiple forums supported by the database, you need to have a unique table prefix for each one. Once you've completed the fields, click on Continue .

  4. At the Forum Settings screen, provide the name you wish to use for the forum. The other default values may already be fine. Change them, if not. Click on Continue.

  5. Next you should see the Populated Database screen and something like the following:

    Your settings have now been saved and the database has been populated with all the data required to get your forum up and running. Summary of population:

    • Created 63 tables.
    • Inserted 779 rows.

    Click on Continue

  6. You will next be asked to create an administrator account for the forum. You need to provide a username, password, and email address for the account. You will need to provide the password that grants access to your database as well (you need that before even installing SMF). Click on Continue when you've completed the fields on this page.

  7. At the last step, you should see Congratulations, the installation process is complete! Make sure you check the box next to Click here to delete this install.php file now. You don't want someone reinstalling your forum software. Just checking the box will delete the file.

You can then access your forum, e.g., if your domain name was and you installed it in a directory named forum underneat your public HTML directory.

[/network/web/forums/smf] permanent link

Sun, Jan 16, 2011 6:53 pm

SMF Packages Not Installing

On two Simple Machines Forum (SMF) forums, whenever I tried to install a package, I would see a message that the package installed successfully, but whenever I checked Installed Packages, I would see "No mods currently installed".

I would click on Browse Packages, then click on Apply Mod.

In some cases, if there was no forum/Packages/temp directory, I would see the message below:

An Error Has Occured!

You cannot download or install new packages because the Packages directory or one of the files in it are not writable!

If I created the temp directory and gave it permissions of 777 with mkdir temp; chmod 777 temp, I would be able to click on Apply Mod and see the Installation Readme page where I could click on Install Now. I would then see a message that I would be redirected to the application's configuration page, if it had one, but I would instead just be redirected to the forum's main page or, if the package didn't have a configuration page, I would see the message below:

Extracting Package

The package was installed successfully. You should now be able to use whatever functionality it adds or changes; or not be able to use functionality it removes.

But when I would check Installed Packages afterwards, the package would never be there.

When I checked the Forum Error Log which is under the Admin link for the forum, I would see lots of entries similar to the following:

fopen(/home/jdoe/example/forum/Sources/ManagePermissions.php) [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Permission denied
File: /home/amy/www/moondreaming/forum/Sources/Subs-Package.php
Line: 1918

Some entries might have fclose, copy, or gzwrite instead of fopen. E.g.,

2: gzwrite(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource
File: /home/jdoe/example/forum/Sources/Subs-Package.php
Line: 2098

Under Download Packages for FTP Information Required, I saw "To download packages, the Packages directory and files in it need to be writable - and they are not currently. The package manager can use your FTP information to fix this." I put in the FTP username, password, and forum information. I replaced "/forum" with the full path to the forum in the Local path to SMF field, e.g., "/home/jdoe/example/forum". The message went away when I tested the settings.

I was then able to select a package from beneath Browse Packages, choose Apply Mod, then Install Now and then see the package appear when I checked Installed Packages.

[/network/web/forums/smf] permanent link

Sun, Jan 16, 2011 5:07 pm

Adding httpBL to Block Forum Spammers

There is a Simple Machines Forum (SMF) module, MOD httpBL, that can help you combat forum spammers. This mod uses the http:BL API from Project Honey Pot to stop spammers from accesing your forum. The mod is completely compatible with M-DVD's MOD Stop Spammer. You can have both mods installed or only one of them to stop the spammers in your forum, but I would recommend you use both.

The developer of the httpBL module describes the differences between the two modules as follows:

As recommended on the httpBL mod webpage, you should read the well-written tutorial prior to installing the module.

There are some steps you need to take prior to using the module as is explained in the tutorial.

Once you've taken the above steps, you can install the httpBL module the way you normally would install an SMF module. E.g., you could take the following steps to install it after you download the httpBL module.

  1. Log into your SMF forum with an administrator account.
  2. Click on Admin.
  3. Click on Packages.
  4. Click on Download Packages.
  5. Under Upload a Package, click on the Browse button to browse to where you've downloaded the module then click on the Upload button once you've selected the zip file you downloaded.
  6. To the right of the module name, which is httpBL, you will see an Apply Mod link; click on it.
  7. You will then see the installation readme file. Click on the Install Now button at the bottom of the page. Provide the password for the administrator account, if prompted. You should then be taken to a forum webpage where you can configure http:BL. If you need to reconfigure it later, you should see the option Mod httpBL listed under Members when you click on Admin.

Note: if you aren't using the default theme, you may need to edit index.template.php manually as explained in the tutorial.

[/network/web/forums/smf] permanent link

Sat, Jan 15, 2011 9:22 pm

Upgrading SMF from Version 1.1.11 to 1.11.12

I was able to upgrade two Simple Machines Forum (SMF) forums from version 1.1.11 to version 1.1.12 without problem, but encountered a problem with a third forum.

[ More Info ]

[/network/web/forums/smf] permanent link

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