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I want to host a small message board through my home server. Is this possible and where can I go to get help. RRS feed

  • Question

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     Our local bass club lost its message server through Yahoo groups. I have a Roadrunner connection and a home server. I would want to install a message board software and link to it from the net. How would I go about getting started. If I have to get a static address through Road Runner I will but would prefer not to if possible. I can get to the server through Microsoft right now.

     Any help would be appreciated...

    Tuesday, January 29, 2008 11:35 PM

All replies

  • First off, all of this stuff is unsupported, and may break WHS Smile You'll want to have a decent knowledge of server operations before attempting to do this yourself.

     

    That being said, forum software require two things: a web server and a database. IIS is installed and working on WHS, so you're fine there, but you'll need a database as well.

     

    Have a look at SQL Express and MySQL and see which one you like. You don't need a hefty enterprise-class dbase for this, so free software is ok. I'd install the database on C:\, or a new harddrive not part of the WHS storage pool. Don't put it on D:\ because you'll cause disk I/O contention issues with Drive Extender

     

    For the specific forum software, I've always like phpbb. It runs on Windows/IIS if you install PHP extensions (they've got a pretty good KB that should get you through).

     

    When you install the forum software, the easiest thing would be to make it a sub-site of your main WHS site. So you'd access it by going to https://xxxx.homeserver.com/myforum or similar.

     

    Not using a static IP means that if/when your IP address changes, your users will not be able to access the forum until WHS updates the DNS record at homeserver.com (the lag time could be several minutes or even hours). Also, your ISP might have Terms of Service the forbid you hosting sites from your home connection.

     

    Hopefully that gives you a direction to go, if you're still interested.

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008 12:46 AM
    Moderator
  • I would stick with a hosted solution like Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, etc. They're pretty reliable, you don't have to manage/maintain the infrastructure, and you won't be left holding the bag if your server goes down right before a big tournament and you can't get it back up instantly. Smile
    Wednesday, January 30, 2008 1:19 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ray H..... wrote:

     

     Our local bass club lost its message server through Yahoo groups. I have a Roadrunner connection and a home server. I would want to install a message board software and link to it from the net. How would I go about getting started. If I have to get a static address through Road Runner I will but would prefer not to if possible. I can get to the server through Microsoft right now.

     Any help would be appreciated...



    Ray,

    Do the following:

    Create a directory in d:\

    Do not put anything in d:\shares and for heaven sake leave DE alone!!

    Install mysql and php on the server (Install to c:\)

    You can now go install vbBul or any other php based forum that you want.

    keep mind that the data will not be backed up and if you want to back anything up be sure to xfer data via: \\servername\shares

    DO NOT COPY DIRECTLY INTO SHARES.


    I am currently running this setup for  acustom photogallery I created in php without issues.

    I am able to have the system read from d:\shares\pictures as my album directory but it never writes anything there instead it writes to a mysql db on d:\mysqldata\

    Again staying away from writing directly to those shares is key.

    This is COMPLETELY unsupported and if anything bad happens it is 100% my fault but I know the limits and I know what boundries have been set.

    Follow the guide lines and you will be fine.

    Also MS tech guys told me 3 weeks for data corruption fix as it is in beta testing. Don't know how true it is (phone call)


    Anyhow, hope this helps.
    Wednesday, January 30, 2008 1:21 PM
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     I tried to load a phpbb system and can't get the server to recognize .php files. I also tried a different forum software that uses .asp files and the server didn't recognize them either. I am going to continue to fool with it the next couple of weeks but am looking at Google for the club forum for the immediate fix.

     I don't understand why the php files won't execute though...

    Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:23 AM
  • Did you install PHP extensions on the WHS (again, you're doing this at your own risk, it could break stuff) from php.net?
    Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:32 AM
    Moderator
  •  Ray H..... wrote:

     

     I tried to load a phpbb system and can't get the server to recognize .php files. I also tried a different forum software that uses .asp files and the server didn't recognize them either. I am going to continue to fool with it the next couple of weeks but am looking at Google for the club forum for the immediate fix.

     I don't understand why the php files won't execute though...



    Are you intsalling PHP4 or 5?

    Are you using the setup.exe or are you settting it up manually.

    WHat options did you choose during setup?

    Open IIS snap in and make sure the PHP extension is filled in with proper path.

    If the path says c:\prog~1 then remove it and retype it in manually for some reason the system has issues with ~'s
    Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:21 AM
  • I have actually successfully done exactly what you want to do, so I know it is possible. 

    1. Log into the Administraotrs desktop, download phpbb3.
    1. Decompress the phpBB3 archive to the desktop on your system.
    2. Upload the file contained in this archive (retaining the directory structure) to C:\inetpub\home.
    3. Change the permissions on config.php to be writable by all.
    4. Change the permissions on the following directories to be writable by all :
      store/, cache/, files/ and images/avatars/upload/
    2. download and install mysql 5 community server.

    1. Complete the installation by pressing "Next" all the way thru
    2. Select “Detailed Configuration”
    3. Choose “Developer Machine”
    4. Choose “MultiFunctional Database”
    5. Select path for Data, this configuration used the default location.
    6. Choose “Decision Support (DSS)/OLAP
    7. Enable TCP/IP Networking on 3306 and Enable Strict Mode
    8. Enable standard character set
    9. Install as a Windows Service and set to launch automatically, check “Include Bin Directory in Windows PATH”
    10. Enter a Root Password
    11. Create the setup
    12. Create a database called "phpbb".  (Consult mysql documentation for how to create a database)
    3. Download and install PHP 5

    1. Change the install folder to C:\PHP
    2. Select IIS CGI from the list of WebServers
    3. Expand Extensions and select “MySQL” to install, but note other extensions may be useful but can be added later. Hint: If you plan on using Active Directory authentication later on, be sure to select “LDAP”, “OpenSSL” and “MCrypt” now. If you add them later, not all necessary files are copied. You can get these files by performing a reinstall, but this will mess up your php.ini file.
    4. Install all extras (PHP Manual and PEAR)
    4. Install phpbb

    1. Using your web browser visit the location you placed phpBB3 with the addition of install/index.php or pointing directly to install/, e.g. http://XXXXXX.homeserver.com/home/phpBB3/install/install.php
    2. Click the INSTALL tab, follow the steps and fill out all the requested information.
    3. Change the permissions on config.php to be writable only by yourself


    Here is a link to my forum I am actually hosting on my Windows Home Server right now: http://danielpages.homeserver.com/homepage/phpbb3

    Good Luck
    -drwebster93
    Sunday, February 24, 2008 11:12 PM
  • Actually, you wouldn't have to worry about getting a static IP address, as long as you are configuring your web address using the .homeserver.com feature through the windows home server console.  It automatically updates your ip address to the DNS servers.

    -drwebster93
    Thursday, March 6, 2008 8:04 PM