SOLVED: Updating phpBB “No input file specified”

phpbb-31-32-upgrade-error-install-non-input-file-specifiedWe have struggled with upgrading phpBB (php Bulletin Board) for years now.  Today was our most difficult upgrade yet, simply moving from 3.2.2 to 3.2.5 we received the dreaded:

No input file specified.

We wrote up a solution to this that worked for us in mid-2018 that you may find useful HERE.  However, to get it working in 2019, we required three far from obvious processes:

1 – Copy ALL Files From Latest phpBB & Update the Database

This is frustrating because the common sense method of automatic upgrades and DIFFERENT FILES ONLY upgrades just did not work… again.

What is the Difference Between a phpBB UpGrade and UpDate ?

Apparently there is a difference between and upGRADE and an upDATE when it comes to phpBB.  Upgrading means migrating from a previous version on a different core like phpBB 3.1 to phpBB 3.2.  Updating means modifying the files and database on the same core version of phpBB, like v3.2.2 to v3.2.5 as I needed to do.  To that end phpBB has written THIS article which I have copied below:

  1. Backup all board files and the database.
  2. Download the Full Package of the latest version of 3.2.x  – NOT the CHANGED FILES or anything else… get the whole install
  3. Unzip to your desktop and open the phpBB3 folder.
  4. Remove (delete) the config.php file, and the /images/store and /files folders from the package (not your site).
  5. Go to the ACP, Board settings, and make sure prosilver is set as the default style. If not, set it to prosilver.
  6. Using FTP, delete the /vendor and /cache folders from the board’s root folder on the host.
    1. If there are any install_config.php, *.lock or migration* files in the /store folder, delete them.
  7. Via FTP or SSH upload the remaining files and folders (that is, the remaining CONTENTS of the phpBB3 folder) to the root folder of your board installation on the server, overwriting the existing files. (Note: take care not to delete any extensions in your /ext folder when uploading the new phpBB3 contents.)
  8. In your browser go to
  9. Follow the steps to update the database and let that run to completion.
    1. If this fails skip to section 2 – Updating the phpBB Database From Command Line
  10. Via FTP or SSH delete the /install folder from the root of your board installation.

2 – Updating the phpBB Database From Command Line

cmd-line-update-phpbb-databaseIf you have the new files in place but cannot upgrade the phpBB database because it when you click the UPDATE link it takes you to a 404 error page, you will need to update the database from a command line, which is not as difficult as it sounds:

  1. Launch Putty (or your other SSH tool) which you can download from HERE for free
  2. Enter the name of your site (the host name you use when you FTP to your site) in the HOST NAME field, and press your ENTER key.
  3. Sign in using your typical FTP credentials
  4. Change into the directory that contains your forum
  5. Copy / Paste this commandphp bin/phpbbcli.php --safe-mode db:migrate and press your ENTER key
    1. If this fails, perform the steps in section 3 – Modify php.ini to allow for paths then try to update your database again

3 – Modify php.ini to allow for paths

php-info-2Because we are hosted on GoDaddy, modifying the php ini file is far from straight forward and in the end, it required an entire article of its own which you can read HERE.  This article is easy to follow.

The nut of it is you need to add or change the cgi.fix_pathinfo entry to 1 (its default is zero) .  You can read more about this fix HERE.

After you have modified (or created from scratch) your php ini, go back to section 2 – Updating the phpBB Database From Command Line.

Questions or Comments?