Please note that this document relates to Vanilla 1
If you cannot figure it out from the readme included in the download, don’t worry. This is the place to get all your detailed Installation & Setup Help.
This page is meant to hold general information on the install process. For particular information (local installs...), please refer to this page.
The automated installer file is included with every version of Vanilla, it offers users to install vanilla in 3 pretty easy steps. It’s probably the easiest and most painless way to get up and running. Just follow the directions and you should not have any major setup issues.
Pick a folder name and create it on your server which you want vanilla to run from (a folder like “forum” works well, but we’ll leave that one up to you). Providing you’ve already extracted all of the contents from the zip file while leaving their directory structure intact you should be ready to go. Now navigate over to your new folder and upload your files.
Once uploading is complete, Vanilla will need read AND write access to the conf folder, and read access to the extensions, languages, setup, and themes folders. Typically these extensions, languages, setup, and themes permissions are granted by default and you only need to concern yourself with the conf folder permissions.
Depending on your FTP/SSH client these settings shouldn’t be too difficult to apply. Your host might even have a nifty Control Panel option which you can access and manipulate all your files and folders to each of their required permission settings, however this is different from host to host not all have this control panel feature. If your FTP/SSH client has the capabilities, you might be able to select the files necessary, from a “permissions” or “properties” dialogue in the client apply the changes as needed.
If none of the above options options exist for your hosting plan or client, and your host is running under a *nix server with command line access, you still have one more option. You can achieve these permissions by logging in via Telnet or SSH and navigating over to your newly created Vanilla folder.
Once you have navigated to, and are sitting in the root folder of Vanilla, run the following commands to apply the following permissions:
There are many ways to set these permissions. One way is to execute the following from the root Vanilla folder:
chmod 777 ./conf chmod --recursive 755 ./extensions chmod --recursive 755 ./languages chmod --recursive 755 ./setup chmod --recursive 755 ./themes
An unsolicited update:
chown mywebserveruser ./conf
Back to the doc:
Once you have your file permissions set up properly, open up your web browser of choice and point yourself to the location on your server where you uploaded Vanilla to. It will automatically point you towards the setup script. On the first page here, you will be reminded once again to make sure all of the proper files and folders have read and write access.
In step 2, setting up the database will now be done for you. You can either create a new and totally seperate database to install vanilla to, or install it into a currently running database shared by other programs, this is all up to you. To get past step 2, there are 4 things you will absolutely need to know before you can get to step 3:
Not to be confused with your regular server login. While sometimes they are the same, often at times they are very different. Often at times you might not even have a mySQL database to start with, in either case contact your host or provider to make sure of those details or if you need a new database before asking anyone else in the community.
This portion of the setup should be fairly self-explanatory without us really having to tell you what to do. You WILL however have to create an account for yourself if you plan on logging in. While not to say the other fields are optional, you will want them all to be filled in for now. You can always change them later in the Global Application Settings Form.
Once the installer has gathered up enough information about your settings and info, and you see the Vanilla Installation Wizard (Complete) message You’re done! That’s it, now go and LOG IN, then head over to the Global Application Settings Form to tweak out all the neat settings waiting for you inside.
A new version is out, what do you do?
Within each download of vanilla, you should be able to find an upgrade.html file. This file should outline all of the major changes and fixes that have taken place since the last version was released. If you’re one of those who like to modify original source code for whatever reason, that’s fine. Just take into account that any of the changes you’ve made could possibly get lost when you upgrade your existing version of vanilla through either database or file changes. In some cases, both. As long as you make all of your changes to files in the conf folder, your changes will remain intact. Any extensions you have enabled will also remain intact, although some may not work with the new version. You should check at lussumo.com/add-ons for upgrades to your add-ons before upgrading.
Nothing is flawless, as much as we would like it to be. So even before upgrading, take the time and back-up the current Vanilla installation(s) on your server and all it’s files just for safe keeping. Just in case there is any reason later and you want to roll back. The one directory you’ll want to back-up the most is the /conf/ directory. This is where most of your important forum-wide global settings are stored. You should back up that entire folder.
I would say right there, you have been warned if you couldn’t figure it out on your own. So backups are great! Additionally, if you’ve made any changes to your language file, you might want to make a backup of that too.
In the case of a database change or addition, you may also wish to make a backup of either your entire database, or just the tables which are required for Vanilla. This is all really depending upon how you set up Vanilla and how good you are with keeping your own backups in general. To avoid any potentially dangerous screw-ups, we recommend that you get into the habit of backing up your database regularly and before upgrading. It’s just good practice.
Normally if you are on a shared host and you have a mysql database, they will have some sort of user interface where you can access the database and perform backups. Obviously a guide to all of these different tools is beyond the scope of this document. You should consult your hosting provider for help on how to use those tools.
Alternately, if you have command-line access to your server, you can use mysqldump to back up your database, like so:
mysqldump -u yourusername -p VanillaDatabaseName > FileToDumpTo.bak