Discussion Forums with Vanilla Forums

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This guide has been deprecated and is no longer being maintained.

Vanilla is a lightweight and flexible web-based discussion forum engine. Written against the popular LAMP stack, Vanilla combines simplicity and ease of use with a rich and customizable feature set.

Before beginning this guide we assume that you have completed our getting started guide. If you are new to Linux server administration, you may be interested in our introduction to Linux concepts guide, beginner’s guide and administration basics guide. To complete this guide, you must also install a web server. This guide will assume that you have completed the appropriate LAMP guide for your operating system.

Installing Prerequisites

If you’re running Debian or Ubuntu systems, ensure that your system’s package repository is up to date, that all installed packages have been upgraded with the latest bug fixes and security patches using the following command sequence:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get install php5-gd php-pear unzip

On CentOS and Fedora systems issue the following commands to ensure your system’s packages are up to date, and that all required packages are installed:

yum update
yum install php-pear php-gd unzip

For the purpose of this guide we will assume that you have virtual hosting configured for the domain example.com with all publicly accessible resources located in the document root /srv/www/example.com/public_html/. In this document you will install Vanilla into this document root. Modify all of the instructions below to agree with the architecture of your deployment.

Install Vanilla

This document contains specific instructions for installing version 2.0.1 of Vanilla. Check the upstream source to confirm that this is the most up to date version of the software and that there are no vulnerabilities or bugs. Issue the following sequence of commands to download, extract, move the Vanilla files to your web server’s document root, and properly configure file permissions:

mkdir -p /srv/www/example.com/src/
cd /srv/www/example.com/src/
wget http://vanillaforums.org/uploads/AXAFETUQOHQN.zip
mv AXAFETUQOHQN.zip vanilla-2.0.1.zip
unzip vanilla-2.0.1.zip
cp -R vanilla-2.0.1/* /srv/www/example.com/public_html/
cd /srv/www/example.com/public_html/
chmod -R 777 ./conf ./uploads ./cache

Now visit http://example.com/ in your web browser and follow the setup procedure provided by the Vanilla’s web based interface. When the setup process has completed, issue the following commands to remove the setup files:

rm -rf /srv/www/example.com/public_html/setup/

Congratulations! You have now successfully deployed Vanilla.

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

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This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.