Beehive Forum Readme

Version 1.5.2 / 5th November 2016

A list of changes since previous Beehive Forum versions can be found in release.txt.

0. Contents

  1. Installation
    1. Requirements
      1. Requirements Notes
    2. Instructions
      1. Manual Installation
        1. Archive Extraction
        2. Database setup
        3. MySQL permissions
        4. Upload
        5. Installing the forum
      2. Installation with Softaculous
    3. Using your Beehive Forum
      1. First use
      2. Adminning
      3. What to do if it doesn't work
      4. Add your forum to our list
      5. Enabling email notifications
    4. Customising your Beehive Forum
      1. Start Page
      2. Stylesheet
      3. Images
      4. The top frame
      5. Emoticons
      6. GeSHi
      7. WYSIWYG Editor
    5. Upgrading from previous versions of Beehive Forum
      1. Upgrading your Beehive Forum installation
        1. Make a back up of your database
        2. Back up your files
        3. Upload new forum files
        4. Run the upgrade script
      2. Skipping a version during upgrade
      3. Upgrading 0.5PR1 to 0.5.
      4. Upgrading 0.3 to 0.4.
        1. Update the database
        2. Update the config file
      5. Upgrading from 0.2 to 0.3
      6. Upgrading from 0.1 / 0.1.1 to 0.2
      7. Upgrading from 0.1 or 0.2 to 0.4
    6. Beehive Forum Error Reporter
      1. Enabling Error Reporter after upgrading
  2. Known Issues
  3. Support
    1. Requests / Bug reporting
    2. General questions and help
    3. Beehive Forums in foreign languages
      1. Translating Beehive Forums into my native language
      2. Completed Translations
      3. Incomplete / Partial Translations
  4. Credits

1. Installation

1.1 Requirements

You need web hosting which provides:

1.1.1 Requirements Notes

1.2 Instructions

1.2.1 Manual Installation Archive Extraction

How you extract the contents of the Beehive Forum distribution archive is very important. At all times please ensure that you retain the directory structure of the archive. If everything has been extracted correctly you should be presented with a directory that looks a bit like this:

    |- docs
    |  |- schema.sql
    |  |- upgrade-01-to-02.sql
    |  |- ...
    |- forum
    |  |- attachments
    |  |  |- ...
    |  |
    |  |- ckeditor
    |  |  |- ...
    |  |  |
    |  |- emoticons
    |  |  |- default
    |  |  |  |- images
    |  |  |  |  |- alien.png
    |  |  |  |  |- ...
    |  |  |  |
    |  |  |  |- definitions.php
    |  |  |  |- desc.txt
    |  |  |  |- style.css
    |  |  |
    |  |  |- none
    |  |  |  |- desc.txt
    |  |  |  |- style.css
    |  |  |
    |  |  |- text
    |  |  |  |- desc.txt
    |  |  |
    |  |  |- README
    |  |
    |  |- include
    |  |  |-
    |  |  |-
    |  |  |- ...
    |  |
    |  |- install
    |  |  |-
    |  |  |- index.php
    |  |  |- ...
    |  |
    |  |- js
    |  |  |- admin.js
    |  |  |- attachments.js
    |  |  |- ...
    |  |
    |  |- styles
    |  |  |- default
    |  |  |  |- images
    |  |  |  |  |- admin_tool.png
    |  |  |  |  |- attach.png
    |  |  |  |  |- ...
    |  |  |  |
    |  |  |  |- style.css
    |  |  |  |- top.html

As you can see the main distribution contains a docs and forum folder. The main forum folder, which actually contains the Beehive Forum files, itself contains several more folders with relevant files in them. If they are not extracted into the right place subsequently uploading them to your server will result in your Beehive Forum not working. Database setup

There are several different ways you can create a database for your Beehive Forum to live in. Some hosts will may provide an administrative control panel such as CPanel or Plesk, others may offer direct access to phpMyAdmin. If available you may also use a program like SQLYog or even the MySQL CLI client.

Use which ever you're most comfortable with. All you need to remember to do is to take note of the database name, and any applicable user credentials, as you will need them when you come to run the Beehive Forum installer.

Beehive Forum would prefer it if you could provide it with its very own database, and separate user credentials to use, but if you can't provide them it should work in an existing one so long as there are no conflicting table names. MySQL permissions

To ensure full functionality as a minimum Beehive Forum requires the following privileges granted on the user account it will use for interacting with your MySQL database:


Additionally you can grant the FILE privilege globally for the user account to aid in the creation of the dictionary. To do this will also require GRANT permission on the database you are to install Beehive to. Without the FILE privilege the installer for Beehive Forum will still function but it will take a lot longer to complete. Upload

You should now upload the forum onto your web space. We recommend that you simply upload the "forum" folder directly, either into the root of your web space or into another folder of your choosing. Installing the forum

Once everything is uploaded, you will need to run the forum's install script. This is located in the /install subdirectory of your forum. To access it, you will need to load the file in your browser from the web space you just uploaded to, e.g.:

This will then walk you through the creation of your new forum. Note that you will need your MySQL database's host address, username and password for this stage, as well as the name of the database from step 1.2.2. You should be able to get the information from your hosting provider if you're not running your own server.

1.2.2 Installation with Softaculous

Beehive Forum can also be installed using Softaculous auto-install. If your hosting supports Softaculous, please visit the Softaculous Beehive Forum page here:

1.3 Using your Beehive Forum
1.3.1 First use

If all went well, you should now have a working forum! After deleting the /install subdirectory (as is described by the install script) you can then log in to your newly created administrator account, using the details you specified at install. This account gives you access to everything, so you can create folders, set user permissions and so forth.

1.3.2 Adminning

Now you're ready to create some folders, so click the admin link near the top of the page, then choose folders from the menu on the left, and set them up.

You may also wish to change the access permissions of your forum. In the admin section you will find options for restricting access to your Beehive Forum. The two main options are restricted, where each user account needs to be given permission to access the forum and password protected, where your forum uses a common password that can be given to users to allow them access.

The other links on the left let you set up profile sections and items, where your members can provide information about themselves if they like, and do stuff to users, like ban them, gag them or promote them. You can also edit the forum 'start' page, change the forum style, add forum word filters and so forth. It's all explained in there.

1.3.3 What to do if it doesn't work

Don't panic. Pop over to and ask us for help, but remember, we don't get paid for this, so be nice.

It's helpful if you can tell us your setup when you've got a problem, such as the type of server (e.g. Linux/Apache, Windows/Apache or Windows/IIS, etc) and the version of PHP and MySQL that you're using. If your Beehive Forum threw up an error message, paste that in as well.

1.3.4 Add your forum to our list (optional)

If you like, you can add your shiny new forum to our list of live copies by going to

It could be a bit of publicity for your site, and it helps us to be able to say "Look, all these people are using it!", but if you don't want to, you don't have to.

1.3.5 Enabling email notifications

By default Beehive Forum uses PHP's built-in mail function to send email notifications to users. On *nix, PHP is set up to use sendmail. In order to send email from your forum you will need to install sendmail or a clone such as postfix. On Windows platforms PHP is set up to send mail via SMTP to localhost only. If you are not running a mail server on localhost you will need to edit php.ini and change the SMTP setting in the [mail function] section. Additionally you may also need to change the sendmail_from setting if your ISP / host requires emails to be sent from a specific address.

If your mail server requires SMTP authentication to send email you will need to change the settings in Global Forum Settings under Admin on your forum. Please note that Beehive does not support POP before SMTP (sometimes called SMTP after POP). The settings you need to enter will vary depending on your hosting provider or ISP. If you do not know this information, you must ask for help from your host. Unless the information is public knowledge, we cannot help you with it.

More information on configuring the mail function can be found in the PHP manual here:

1.3 Customising your Beehive Forum

Beehive Forum has user-selectable styles. Basically these are like themes (or skins for WinAmp users) for your forum. There are several supplied styles, and it's easy to create your own.

You can edit the existing styles, but we recommend that you create your own.

To create a new style simply create a new folder in the styles folder, with the name of the new style. For example, to add a style called "fish", you need a folder called "fish" in the "styles" folder.

Then copy in the contents of one of the existing folders to base your new style on (the "default" folder is probably a good start) - style.css, top.html and the images folder with contents.

1.3.1 Start page

To edit the start page you can use the built-in start page editor. This is located in Admin > Start Page.

As of Beehive Forum 1.0 the start page is saved directly to the database and no physical file is saved to the file system. To be able to create more complicated start pages, such as those which include PHP code, you will need to replace the saved information in the database by hand using phpMyAdmin or SQLYog.

Prior to Beehive Forum 1.0, the start page was saved to the file system in the forums subdirectory within another folder named to match the webtag of the folder.

1.3.2 Stylesheet

If you know how to write and edit CSS, you can edit the style.css file in the /styles/[stylename] folder to change colours, fonts and things like that.

We recommend taking a backup first, though, in case you make a mess of it.

As of BeehiveForum 0.8 you can also create per-file style sheets that allow you to give different pages different designs. This would for example allow you to give the thread list a background image but leave the other pages using the same design.

To do this all you would need to do is create a .css file with the same name as the PHP script you want it to affect, sans it's extension. i.e. for the thread list you would create a style sheet named thread_list.css and place it in the same folder as the main style.css. Beehive will automatically find and use this style sheet in preference to the main style.css.

Please note, prior to Beehive Forum 1.0, when Beehive encounters the per-file style sheet it will exclude the main style.css so any classes you want displayed in all your forum styles must be defined in each of your per-page .css files. With the release of Beehive Forum 1.0 this functionality has been changed to include the per-file CSS file in addition to the main style.css and allows you to make use of CSS precedence to defined when the CSS should be applied.

1.3.3 Images

Feel free to edit the images in the /styles/[stylename]/images folder too, as long as the dimensions remain the same. Again, you might want to take backups.

1.3.4 The top frame

The very top frame is yours to do with as you wish. In each style's folder you will find a file called top.php, which you can edit any way you like, put what you want in there, little Flash movies with solar/lunar cycles or big headache inducing adverts for stuff, it's entirely up to you. Just keep it 60 pixels high or under and it'll fit in just fine.

1.3.5 Emoticons

Beehive Forum uses CSS-styled emoticons. This allows the end-user to have great control, being able to choose from options such as completely invisible, text-only, and the range of graphic sets which can be installed.

To create an emoticon pack first add a subdirectory (named whatever you like - for example's sake I'll choose 'mypack') in the /emoticons directory. In this directory create a file named definitions.php. This file contains the textual pattern definitions of the emoticons. For example, to add a ':-)' emoticon, one would add the following line:

    $emoticon[':-)'] = "smile";

Once you have finished adding your pattern definitions you need to create a file desc.txt (which contains one line describing your pack, e.g. "My Pack") and a style.css file. To add your ':-)' emoticon you will need CSS code similar to this:

    .e\_smile {
        padding-left: 15px; // the width of the image
        height: 13px;       // the height of the image
        font-size: 13px;    // the height of the image
        background-image: url("./images/smile.gif");
        background-repeat: no-repeat;

    .e\_smile span {
        display: none;

Notice the class name 'e_smile' - this is the word you associated with the ':-)' pattern in definitions.php ("smile") prefixed by 'e_'. Be careful not to use the same associated word for different emoticons (it's fine to use the same word for, for example, both ':)' and ':-)', however). Also note that every .e_NAME class must also have the .e_NAME span { ... } class.

1.3.6 GeSHi

Beehive Forum uses several 'custom' HTML tags, including the <code> tag. This tag now accepts a 'language' attribute which will highlight your code, thanks to the open-source software GeSHi 1.0.6 or later from

To include GeSHi syntax highlighting with your Beehive Forum install simply download the latest version of GeSHi and upload it to a subdirectory 'geshi' in your main forum folder. For example if your forum was at you would upload GeSHi to

To change any GeSHi settings edit the file include/

Note: GeSHi is not created nor supported by the Beehive Forum developers.

1.3.7 WYSIWYG Editor

Since release 1.3.0, Beehive Forum uses CKEditor to provide it's HTML WYSIWYG editor. This replaces the built-in HTML editor and TinyMCE that was used in older releases.

CKEditor version 4.5.9 is included with Beehive Forum 1.5.2. You DO NOT need to download and install any additional software for it to work.

Note: Neither CKEditor nor TinyMCE are created by the Beehive Forum developers. Although we will provide support while integrating and using the software with your Beehive Forum, please note that we are unable to fix bugs or help with the software generally.

1.4 Upgrading from previous versions of Beehive Forum

If you're reading this you're looking for instructions on upgrading your Beehive Forum to the latest and greatest available version. Below you will find instructions pertaining to each individual release. Please read them fully before starting the upgrade process.

As with all software installations or upgrades it is highly recommended that you perform a backup of your existing web space and database before upgrading your Beehive Forum. Failure to do so could result in lost data. You have been warned. Don't make us say we told you so.

1.4.1 Upgrading your Beehive Forum installation

Beehive Forum's install script should be used to perform any upgrade from 0.4 or newer. Previously .sql scripts were provided but due to the nature of the software these are no longer viable. Make a back up of your database

You REALLY SHOULD make a back up of your database before you perform the upgrade. We can't stress how important this is. If you don't perform a backup and something goes wrong you'll be up shit creek without a paddle and if things were to get even worse you may find that you loose your boat as well.

The easiest way to perform a back up is by using ssh to connect into your server and using mysqldump to 'dump' a copy of your database to a file. Alternatively if you have access to the files you could also take copies of the MySQL database files, although this is only recommended for the more advanced user.

If you can do this then great, if not you might want to ask your hosting provider if they can do it for you, at least temporarily while you do the upgrade. Then if anything does go wrong you can easily have the the data restored.

If your hosting provider is less than cooperative about doing this then your next best chance of performing a backup is by using phpMyAdmin and making use of it's Export facility to save a copy of the database to your PC using your web browser. Be warned that doing it this way will result in a rather large file being created on your HDD so make sure you have adequate disc space in order to do this. It is also be harder, due to the limitations of HTTP to restore the backup using phpMyAdmin. Back up your files

The easiest way to back up your Beehive Forum files is to take a copy of the forum directory and it's contents. Restoring this back up incase of upgrade failure is then simply a case of uploading the files and overwriting the changes. Upload new forum files

This step is similar to 1.2.4, but you will need to overwrite your existing files with the newer ones provided in the Beehive Forum archive you have downloaded.

Note: If you have made any customisations to your existing Beehive Forum installation, including styles and emoticons packs and any code modifications, you might wish to rename your existing forum directory to something else so that you can easily compare the old and news files in order to reapply any of the customisations you want to keep.

If you do not have any customised styles, emoticon packs or code modifications made to your existing Beehive Forum installation you can simply overwrite all of the files with the new ones. Run the upgrade script

Once you've backed up your database/files and uploaded the new files, you will need to run the upgrade script, located at install/index.php in your forum directory:

Make sure you select the correct 'Upgrade' proceedure from the installation method drop-down list, and then follow the instructions.

1.4.2 Skipping a version during upgrade

Skipping versions during upgrade is unsupported by the Beehive Forum development team. To upgrade from 0.5 to 0.7 (for example) you should first download and upgrade to 0.6 and then upgrade separatly to 0.7. We appreciate that this is long winded and highly inconvienient but it is the only reliable method of upgrading and you should really only have to do it once.

1.4.3 Upgrading from 0.5PR1 to 0.5

0.5PR1 is no longer supported by the development team. If you are still running this version of Beehive Forum please upgrade to 0.5 or a later release.

1.4.4 Upgrading from 0.3 to 0.4

If you are already using 0.3 of Beehive Forum, you will need to update your database. You should first backup by following the steps in 1.4.1. Update the database

Simply run the /docs/update-03-to-04.sql script against the database using phpMyAdmin or MySQL directly. Update the config file

Probably the easiest way to do this is to edit the in the 0.4 download and set the relevant variables again.

1.4.5 Upgrading from 0.2 to 0.3

Follow the procedures as detailed in steps 1.4.4 but when upgrading the database as in step use the /docs/update-02-to-03.sql script instead of update-03-to-04.sql.

1.4.6 Upgrading from 0.1 / 0.1.1 to 0.2

Follow the procedure as detailed in steps 1.4.4 but when upgrading the database as in step use the /docs/update-01-to-02.sql script instead of update-03-to-04.sql.

1.4.7 Upgrading from 0.1 or 0.2 to 0.4 and newer

No direct route exists for 0.1 or 0.2 to be upgraded to versions of Beehive newer than 0.3. To upgrade either of these versions to the latest release you will first need to run the relevant .sql script files in order and then proceed to use the built in installer script.

For example if you are using Beehive Forum 0.1 you will need to run:

upgrade-01-to-02.sql followed by.. upgrade-02-to-03.sql followed by.. upgrade-03-to-04.sql.

This will bring the database up to 0.4 compatibility, and from there you can use the upgrade script built into the newer releases of Beehive to bring you bang up to date.

1.5 Beehive Forum Error Reporter

Beehive Forum includes a comprehensive error reporter which can be used to help diagnose faults and find bugs in the software. This error reporter is indispensable in helping to develop the project and should be used at all times when reporting problems you have with the software.

In older releases the error reporter was enabled by default and set to output error messages to all users but with the release of Beehive Forum 0.8 it was decided the error reporter should at least be partially silenced and the error reports instead sent to the system error log (Apache error_log or similar). This was primarily done to reduce the security risk associated with potentially sensitive data being released to end users.

Because not everyone has access to their server's error log (shared hosting, etc.) we have also implement error reporting by email. With this option you can continue to receive detailed error messages from your Beehive Forum installation with none of the associated risks. It also means you can continue to report bugs back to the development team and get help diagnosing faults.

Due to the nature of the Beehive Forum the error reporter can only be enabled automatically if you're performing a new installation. To do this you simply tick the relevant box under Advanced Options in the installer. The changes will be automatically made to your for you and you are then good to go.

To enable the error reporter for upgrades please follow the instructions below.

1.5.1 Enabling Error Reporter after upgrading

This process applies to Beehive Forum 0.8 and newer only. Please note that older versions of the software already have the error reporter enabled by default.

To enable error reporting after upgrading you will need to manually edit the file generated during the installation process of your Beehive Forum. You will find this file within the include folder on your web space. Please do not use the file from the distribution archive. This is a template file used by the installer and will not work without further changes.

To begin, download the using FTP and save it somewhere on your PC. As good place as any is your desktop. Once you have it downloaded make a copy of the file just in case something goes wrong and then open it using a text editor. Windows users are recommended to use Notepad. Please do not use Microsoft Wordpad or Microsoft Word, or any other word processor for that matter, unless you know what you're doing, as these may cause problems with the format of the file. *nux users, we're sure you'll do just fine with vi or vim or even gedit.

To actually enable the error handler you need to change two variables. The first variable to be changed is named $error_report_verbose and should be changed from false to true. Second is the $error_report_email_addr_to variable. This is where you should enter your email address. Once changed the variables should look a bit like this:

    $error\_report\_verbose = true;
    $error\_report\_email\_addr\_to = '[email protected]';

Once you've made the changes save the file. If given the choice save the file as UTF-8 encoded with PC / Windows line endings. This will make the file more portable and easier to edit later.

Finally upload the modified making sure to replace the existing copy and check that your Beehive Forum continues to function. If it does, sit back and wait to see if you receive any error reports. If you don't it's quite possible you're not actually getting any errors which is a good thing, but if you suspect you should be check that the email address is correct.

If you can't get the error reporting to function or if you break your Beehive Forum you can simply restore the copy of you made earlier or try again. If you continue to have problems please seek assistance at Teh Forum, a link for which you find below in the Support section.

2 Known Issues

Please see release.txt for issues pertaining to each individual release.

3 Support

3.1 Requests / Bug reporting

Please report bugs on Teh Forum Here you'll find most of the developers of Beehive Forum hanging out. Feel free to post any questions or queries you have and we'll do our best to answer them.

3.2 General questions and help

As above, you can try visiting, where you can ask for help or check on the progress of the next version and see and test previews of the new features. If you need help don't think twice about posting, although please keep Beehive-related enquires to the 'Project Beehive Forum' folder.

We've also added a wiki to help us document Beehive. Check it out here:

You can also follow us on Facebook, by visiting:

3.3 Beehive Forums in foreign languages

Since the release of Beehive Forum 0.4 multiple languages have been supported, but because we're all very busy doing other things the number of languages that actually ship with Beehive Forum are few and far between. We hope to rectify this over time, but in order to do so we require volunteers. If you would like to help translate Beehive Forum into your native tongue please see below.

3.3.1 Translating Beehive Forums into my native language

Unfortunately the Beehive Forum coding team consists primarily of born and bred English men who have enough trouble speaking our own tongue as it is. Because of this, we're on the look out for people to start translating Beehive Forum for us. If you feel you have the necessary skills to do this (no babelfish / direct from dictionary translations please) feel free to drop us a note. With any luck your language file may end up being distributed with future versions of Beehive Forums and you may even get to see your name in print, or at the very least bundled here amongst the other credits.

3.3.2 Completed Translations

Current complete translations are as follows:

English British.

3.3.3 Incomplete / Partial Translations

None currently.

4 Credits

4.1 Coding

Matt Beale, Andy Black, Chris Hodcroft, Mark Rendle, Rowan Hill, Andrew Holgate, Peter Kelly, Mike Franklin, Ben Sekulowicz.

4.2 Website

Peter Boughton, Rowan Hill, Matt Beale, Mike Franklin.

4.3 Design/CSS

Kevin Yip, Mike Franklin, Simon Roberts, Matt Beale.

4.4 Graphics

Nigel Moore, Kevin Yip, Andrew Holgate, Mike Quigley, Matt Beale, Andy Black.

4.6 Official Beehive Forum Pimp

Mike Quigley

4.7 Bug finders extraordinaire

Ken Kauffman, Speakez.

4.6 Other Contributions

Frnht451, Michael @ Hermitscave

4.7 Project Lead

Matt Beale

4.7 Special Thanks

The Teh Forumers for testing, moral support, saying nice things and just generally being teh cool.

Michael from Hermitscave for taking the time to find all those nasty exploits.

JimL for beating Mike in our being obsessed with Beehive Forum competition.

Github and Sourceforge for providing top-notch facilities to us (and to thousands of other projects) at absolutely no cost.