Migrating from phpBB 3.1 to IPS4 Community Suite

The µGFX community is growing a lot and with that came the need for a platform that offers more than just a simple forum. After nearly six months of evaluation I finally decided to migrate to the InvisionPower Community Suite – or short: IPS. InvisionPower claims to provide a converter that allows an easy migration from a phpBB 3.x forum to their IPS system. Well, the converter exists and it runs without any problems but the output it produces is unusable on multiple levels. It took a couple of days to find and fix some of the issues. As I couldn’t find much information using Google I decided to note the required steps down so people that face similar issues might have a chance of fixing this.

The following versions were used:

  • phpBB 3.1
  • IPS
  • IPS4 Converters 4.1.2

Please note that it’s possible that the IPS4 Converter got updated in the mean time and possible contains these fixed.

Migrating from phpBB

After converting the following problems existed:

  • Forums didn’t show up anywhere. Not even in the AdminCP
  • Once the forum visibility issue was fixed, adding a post resulted in an error and a double-post

The first problem is caused by the simple fact that phpBB uses an ID of 0 to indicate that a forum has no parent while IPS uses -1. The second problem is a bit more annoying: Whenever a post has been added to a thread that was created on the old phpBB forum, the posting user got an error EX0 and nothing happened. However, upon refreshing the thread the same post was posted twice.

It turns out that both these problems can be fixed by manually executing these SQL commands on the database:

update forums_forums set parent_id='-1' where parent_id='0';
update forums_topics set author_mode=NULL;
update forums_topics set topic_firstpost = (select pid as topic_firstpost from forums_posts where forums_posts.topic_id=forums_topics.tid order by post_date limit 1)

Moving to HTTPS

A couple of days after this drama has been overcome we decided to increase security by using SSL and therefore moving everything to HTTPS. Just a short recommendation for people that want to do the same: Edit the URL in the conf_global.php file. Otherwise it won’t be possible to execute certain actions such as deleting and editing posts.


I am not responsible for any damage caused by following this guide.

comments powered by Disqus