Installing X-Forum


Theoretically, you only have to copy the directory structure to make it work. That means you need to extract the downloaded archive, with the 'Use Directories' feature on. However, there are some minor differences when running this program with the Microsoft Internet Information Server, or running it with a UNIX/Linux machine.

However, I recognize there are some more details to explain. First I'll discuss what structure you need to make, then how you can activate the forum.

File Structure

The file structure is created automatically if you extract the files from the compressed archive you have downloaded. There are some differences for Windows, Linux / UNIX (includes Mac OS X):

Microsoft Internet Information Server Notes

There is a bug in MS-IIS (versions 5.0 and before) that causes the script to detect the current-path incorrectly. To avoid it, the x-modules directory structure should be moved to the "website root". Other systems require the files in the cgi-bin directory.

If you have Adminstration access, you can also put those files in the directly in the perl\lib directory.

Some Windows-based web hosting companies require you to contact them if you like to change the permissions of certain files. Most Windows-based web hosting companies do not require this.

Linux / UNIX Notes

Linux and UNIX systems are very strict about file permissions. By default, a user is not allowed to change files he/she doesn't own (which is very safe and even tires virus outbreaks). To allow the webserver to change your forum data, you need to change the file-permissions a little.

The x-data folder (and sub folders) should have the mode 777 or 755 set for their file permissions.

Some webservers require other permissions. You need to look through their FAQ's for the aswer. Some webservers don't allow some permissions. That's because they're not safe; using 777 allows everyone everything. You need to limit the permissions in those situations.

Second, you might find out that you can limit the permissions, by changing 777 into 644. If that's possible, please do so. It's much better.

If a file has permission that include reading and writing, the file can be edited from the administation center. Only language and data files may be edited, using that utility.

FTP-Client Notes

Force your FTP-Client program to use ASCII transfer mode for the cgi-bin files, and use BINARY transfer mode for the x-images folder only. Most FTP-Client programs use the wrong type for unreconized file types.

File Structure Details

Activate X-Forum

Try running it first. Maybe it already works. Type http://your_domain_name/cgi-bin/x-forum.cgi in the location bar of your webbrowser to test it. If you receive a "500 Internal Server error", you need to run a checklist for yourself.

If you receive a error page, but generated by X-Forum, check error message first. That might get you a clue what's wrong with a file. Use the previous checklist as well. Maybe you can even access the error log file of the webserver.

In a worst-case scenareo, X-Forum is looking at the wrong file locations for it's data files. This can be solved by editing the settings in, and change the paths yourself. Note that is using Perl code, and you need to leave the special characters alone (or more errors will appear). Re-upload the file, and start over again.

The script should now open with the main page. If you still can't find out what's wrong, please contact me or send a bug report.

Set up the admin

Once X-Forum runs, you can create the administrator account. This works exactly like every other account; you need to sign-up first using the username admin.

Sign-up as adminstrator

If you haven't changed the password already, generate your admin password. The default admin signup settings are:

(or your new administrator password)

Configure your forum

Change the appearance

You can change the settings from the Admin Center in the forum. To do this manually, edit the file.

Most colors can be changed in the Admin Center, the HTML template defines the page layout. This file can be found at cgi-bin/x-data/forum/settings/xf-template.html. You can change that code in a text editor, and save it. Note the %XFORUM::VARIABLE% labels in the template. You can't remove or subsitute all of them. When using a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, make sure the %XFORUM::HEADER% label won't be removed from the HTML <HEAD>..</HEAD> tags.

Create the subjects

From the admin center, you can add subjects to the forum. Once the subjects are created, everyone can post messages at your forum.

Related tips

Some other adminstration hints:

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