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Extended How-to install Vanilla 2

edited June 2010 in Questions
Hey all,

I love Vanilla 1 to bits and was keen to try Vanilla 2 but kept running into issues which I could not resolve. I've finally got it up and running with the help of some helpful folk on this forum so I decided to write an extended how-to for Vanilla 2 in case you encounter similar problems to me.

I'd like to reiterate the developers' comments first by saying Vanilla 2 is still in development so you should bear this in mind if you intend on using it on a live site. It could be prone to unexpected bugs/behaviour. If you're unsure/concerned, use Vanilla 1 instead.

Extended How-to install Garden/Vanilla 2

1. Download the latest stable release of Garden from GitHub. What's Garden? It's the platform on which Vanilla runs - but don't fret, Vanilla forum is bundled in with this download.

2. Extract the .zip or .tar and copy the contents into the desired folder on your server. Remember to upload the .htaccess file in the root directory which may not be visible to you if you have these types of files hidden. Most FTP programs have an option to show invisible files if it isn't already set by default.

3. In /conf/config-defaults.php consider uncommenting line 47:
// $Configuration['Garden']['Errors']['MasterView'] = 'deverror.master.php'; // <-- Use this error master view when debugging
This will enable verbose error messages and is very useful when installing and setting up. These messages will help other forum users with diagnosing any problems you encounter. Of course, once happy with your setup, it's recommended to comment out this line once again, so users encounter 'pretty errors'.

4. Grant Read/Write permissions (777) to /cache/, /conf/, and /uploads/
[EDIT] If your server is setup correctly, you shouldn't need to change these permissions - doing so is a security flaw. See the rest of the discussion for more info (thanks to those for highlighting this)

5. Create a database (name does not matter).

6. Browse to your install folder in your web browser, and follow the instructions on-screen.

As I said, if you encounter any errors and have completed step 3, you should have a verbose error - post this and any information about your server (PHP version etc.) and the steps you performed leading up to the error into the community forums.

Hope that helps - thanks to @benno and @bean for their help in getting my install working. I used their advice, my experience and the Documentation to provide the above information.

Good luck!



  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    Thanks for the write-up! I'll announce it so it stays at the top for others.
  • Cheers Mark - I was nearly put off what has shown itself to be a great new version because I couldn't get it installed. Hopefully this will get people through to the good stuff :)
  • LincolnLincoln Community Instigator Vanilla Staff
    edited January 2010
    I'm inclined to disagree with step 4. If your server is set up correctly, 755 or 775 permissions can and should be used. It's rare that you'd need to grant write access to "others" and, though I'm no Linux guru, I've seen it described as "insanely insecure."

    I'd call 777 permissions a security flaw up there with not filtering user input before it gets put in a database query.

    An excellent and helpful post otherwise. :)

    Sr Developer at Vanilla Forums [GitHub, Twitter]

  • Thanks for raising that Lincoln - I'm not very savvy with permissions so I can't really comment - all I know is it works with 777 and not without. Perhaps it can be set back after install? Or is there a middle ground between 755 and 777?

    Mark, can you comment on this at all?
  • lucluc ✭✭
    It all depends of the user owning the directory and the user that php is running.

    Most of the time 777 is not needed.
    Directory need 755 (read/execute for all plus write for owner), and files inside can be 644 (read for all, and write for owner).
  • LincolnLincoln Community Instigator Vanilla Staff
    @iamkeir Yes, as @bean said it depends on your setup. Telling people to set permissions to "777" is definitely the easiest sure-fire way of making it work, but it's not a good practice. At the very least, I'd try it with 755 and 775 before giving up and setting it to 777.

    Sr Developer at Vanilla Forums [GitHub, Twitter]

  • Thanks guys - like I said, I don't know much about permissions so I'm glad you flagged that... Not quite sure what to put for step 4 now though!
  • Thank you, @iamkeir, that was great help. :)
    @Lincoln I've got a free hoster, shared with a friend, now I can do it! :D

    I've got a 'Kind-of Mate' named Geoff G. He has a site named, it's completly amazing. Plus he used Vanilla 1, but he's got a Thanks button, report Post button and Quote button. You can Ip scan, and more. I think looking at this, it wil really help with new Updates...
  • Wait, with number 4 what does it mean, it's not laid out that well.
  • @iamkeir says:
    4. Grant Read/Write permissions (777) to /cache/, /conf/, and /uploads/

    I do not like this at all. You should work out what user/group needs to write to these directories (I guess www-data in Debian/Ubuntu) and make the directory permission match those. Otherwise, on machine that have many users, this is a security risk as anyone can do whatever they want to this directory.

    Overall, @iamkeir thanks for this!
  • lucluc ✭✭
    edited January 2010
    @yann, it has already been discussed 5/6 post earlier.
  • I'd like to update number 4 but what would people recommend I put here? How does one find out which users/groups need permissions? I'm trying to think of a straightforward piece of guidance for those not well-versed in web server permissions.
  • @bean I give up! Never post before a cup of coffee was ingested. Sorry 'bout that.
  • Hi There
    Can you tell me if the latest version requires Pdo_MySQL
  • RobertW62:
    Hi There
    Can you tell me if the latest version requires Pdo_MySQL
    Yes it does.
  • Fatal error: Call to undefined function ctype_alnum() in [documentroot]/garden/library/database/class.mysql.driver.php on line 58
    PHP 5.2.9 with Suhosin-Patch 0.9.7 (cli) (built: Mar 16 2009 18:29:43)
    Zend Engine v2.2.0
    MySQL Server version: 5.0.85
  • Nevermind, I am retarded. I didn't have ctype enabled
  • If you're on a shared hosting enviroment, such as 1and1, make sure you add in the .htacess the small line of AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
  • edited March 2010
    Great Post!
  • Hello friends,
    today, I downloaded the latest version of Vanilla 2 (Lussumo-Garden-ab7e046). The problem is that when I install it everything works perfectly but I can not log-in. I can not access the administrator user that I put in the installation.

    Thank you very much everyone for your responses. CTW.
  • @ctwkkk
    Maybe you double mistyped your password, so please re-install :). Otherwise add this to your conf/config.php file and post the problem/results in a new thread:
    $Configuration['Garden']['Errors']['MasterView'] = 'deverror.master.php';
  • Hello, my first post :)

    At the step 6, I can see this :
    "Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_OBJECT_OPERATOR in /homez.338/website/www/forum2/index.php on line 30"

    The 30th line is
    and I didn't altered it.

    Another question : This forum is on Vanilla 2 ?
    I have just installed Vanilla 1.1.10, works great but don't have the slide menu at the right, and other things, as here we are. Normal ?
  • This forum is powered by Vanilla 2. Try posting your installation issue in a seperate discussion (with a descriptive title).
  • @Silencer

    Thank you for answering. I will copy the code then.
  • All I end up with is this:

    Fatal error: Class 'PDO' not found in /home/dan/public_html/lussumo-Garden-634f9d6/conf/config-defaults.php on line 16

    Any help?
  • lucluc ✭✭
    As stated in v2 requirements, it does need PDO installed.
    It's even mentionned a few comments above.

    Maybe it will be a good idea to add a link to the requirements (or copy them) on the comment that started this discussion.
  • Just a note of other newbies like me. Make sure your rewrite rules are enable in you virtual hosts file by checking the "AllowOverride". By default this is often set to "AllowOverride None" in the section. Changing this to "AllowOverride All" will solve the problem.

    There may be a more granular way to solve this as well.
  • Hey guys, regarding 4), when I did a new install on my server with the latest garden, I didn't have to change any permissions at all... I'm guessing that this may be because my server is set up correctly that I don't need to change the permissions? It would make sense, because it was with my localhost that I need to edit folder permissions when I first wrote the guide.
  • LincolnLincoln Community Instigator Vanilla Staff
    @iamkeir That would be a good assumption, I think. If your server is well-configured, you should be able to skip step 4 completely.

    Sr Developer at Vanilla Forums [GitHub, Twitter]

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