First of all: Nice work with phpBB it is truly Open Source and a cool forum with massive amounts of features and a lively community!

Well done!

one or two problems:

1. i am having a little problem with spam bots always cracking my custom (!) captcha questions… but well i guess hackers and their bots never stop learning)

2. the update process is (if not done daily) not really intuitive or easy or automatic.

needless to say you should do a full backup of all files of your forum and your database before this update process! (argh… that could go automatic too!)

Aaaah! It’s from Germany… that is why…. it is so complicated…
User avatar
Development Team Leader
Development Team Leader
Posts: 5134
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:57 pm
Location: Munich, Germany
Name: Marc

How to update from 3.1.XX to 3.2

If you are running a very old version… you can not go to the latest version straight – you will need to do one upgrade after the other… *seiks*

When logging into the backend you will see something like:

Your phpBB installation is not up to date.
Below is a link to the release announcement, which contains more information as well as instructions on updating. – Re-Check version


4.iv. Automatic update package

it is NOT automatic… it is pretty manual.

  1. go to
  2. click on „Automatic Update“ tab
  3. select version you are running right now, in my case 3.1.10 that resulted into those files:

if you have ssh access you go into the directory were your forum is:

mkdir temp; # make a temporary folder were to store this update stuff

wget; # download the update stuff

bunzip2 phpBB-3.1.10_to_3.2.0.tar.bz2; # unpack step 1

tar fx phpBB-3.1.10_to_3.2.0.tar; # unpack step2

# now you have 3x folders




# you will only need vendor and install

tar fcvz vendor.tar.gz vendor; # pack vendor

tar fcvz install.tar.gz install; # pack install

mv install.tar.gz vendor.tar.gz ../forum; # move them were your forum is

cd ../forum; # go were your forum is

tar fxvz install.tar.gz; # unpack the damn thing overwriting whatever was there before

tar fxvz vendor.tar.gz; # unpack the damn thing overwriting whatever was there before

chown -R admin:admin /home/admin/web/; # you might need to update the access rights so that the webserver can actually use those files

chmod -r o+r /home/admin/web;

# point your browser to were your forum is

# you should see something like this screen and click on update

leave things at their default… just hit submit

panic? scroll down dude…

seems like it works…

even more is working…

oh no! what is this? it is just the link „Take me to ACP“ from previous screen is FAULTY… whatever.

You should be able to see your forum now with this message:

rm -rf install*; # remove the install directory and install.tar.gz

Official Documentation…

This update method is the recommended method for updating. This package detects changed files automatically and merges in changes if needed.

The automatic update package will update the board from a given version to the latest version. A number of automatic update files are available, and you should choose the one that corresponds to the version of the board that you are currently running. For example, if your current version is 3.2.0, you need the


To perform the update, either follow the instructions from the Administration Control Panel->System Tab – this should point out that you are running an outdated version and will guide you through the update – or follow the instructions listed below.

  • Go to the downloads page and download the latest update package listed there, matching your current version.
  • Upload the uncompressed archive contents to your phpBB installation – only the



    folders are required. Upload these folders in their entirety, retaining the file structure.

  • After the install folder is present, phpBB will go offline automatically.
  • Point your browser to the install directory, for example
  • Choose the „Update“ Tab and follow the instructions