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phpbb3 -> bbpress converter

  • hi !

    am working on moving my site from phpbb3 to bbpress, of course there is no converters out there for that purpose, so i decided to write my own.

    am still testing it and trying to improve the code a little bit. right now it can convert the following :

    1- forums

    2- topics, completely with topic types and status.. announcements and glopal announcements are stickied to front page.

    3- posts, all bbcode is converted into html, smiles are changed into img tags, so you might want to install allow images plugin.

    4- users, including permissions .. notice that bbpress doesn’t support per forum permissions as phpbb3, so it only convert users as following :

    founder -> key master

    inactive -> inactive

    banned -> blocked

    moderators and admins are converted into normal users, so you have to assign them again

    because phpbb3 doesn’t use md5 hashing anymore, the script copies passwords as it is. to solve that problem i modified the md5 insecurity for bbpress plugin to first check the passwords the phpbb3 way, if it matches, it will rehash it using bbpress functions.

    the script converts all the table rows at once, so it’s very heavy and consumes too much cpu depending on your forum size, i strongly suggest that you do the conversion on your own machine, not on a shared hosting account. you might also want to increase the php max execution time on your machine before starting the script cause it takes lots of time converting posts.

    here is the steps for converting your phpbb3 board :

    1- make a backup from your database and files.

    2- install bbpress anywhere, just use the same database of phpbb3. this is important cause the script assumes that all tables are in the same database.

    3- download the script from here. extract it, and you’ll get 2 files.

    4- copy the file phpbb3tobbpress.php to phpbb3 directory.

    5- copy the file _phpbb3_pass.php to bb-plugins directory.

    6- go to http://path-to-phpbb3/phpbb3tobbpress.php and start converting your board.

    7- voila .. all your data is converted to bbpress tables, go to your bbpress installation and login. don’t forget to visit admin->manage->recount to make sure your converted board is updated.

    i can’t stress enough on how consuming is the process of converting posts, my board has 25,000 posts, and it takes nearly 15 minutes to convert them on my local machine, so again : i don’t recommend using this converter on shared hosting.

    ciao !

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 142 total)

  • hhberthelsen


    Sounds awesome, will test it one of the next days. We have nearly 200.000 posts – will be interesting to test, and surely on my own dedicated server 😮

    Any concerns regarding subforums or “hidden” forums, that i should be warned about?

    no worries about subforums, they will appear as with phpbb3, but bbpress doesn’t have the hidden forum option so they will be viewable to everyone after conversion.

    maybe you can use that plugin to hide them again after conversion.

    Its great idea to have sub forums. I agree that bbpress does not have an option for hidden forums, but the discussions can be locked and pinned up for limited conversations.

    I ran this script perfectly. I was running phpbb3 3.0.3 I think, with phpbb-se0 advanced installed. Worked perfect, thanks!


    I’m about to run this script. THANK YOU! So for the md5 hashing plugin, do we need to install that after we convert? Or?

    yes, after conversion. and you don’t have to install it, just copy the file as is and it will be loaded automatically.

    Worked perfectly. Thank you!

    John James Jacoby


    How nicely does this play with WP integration in regards to the users and existing WP accounts? I’m assuming that it would take another dump and update to merge the bb_ table this makes with the wp_ table necessary for user integration.

    i wrote it assuming the conversion is done on a new empty bbpress installation. then integrating it later with WP. they call it reverse integration on this post

    Sheer Progress


    Everything went fine until I went to truncate and then got this message:

    Table ‘robpr3_phpBB3.bb_forums’ doesn’t exist [1146]

    I had all ready installed and integrated bbpress with WP. Does this mean I have to start from scratch? :-(


    i think you are using different prefix for your bbpress tables. if thats it, just modify line 17 in phpbb3tobbress.php into the prefix you used.

    again, i wrote that converter assuming the conversion is done on a new empty bbpress installation, not even integrated to wp. integration can be done after conversion according to this post.

    Sheer Progress


    I am looking at mySQL and my bbpress tables are inside of wordpress (obviously) but with the bb_ prefix, so what would I be changing it to? There are no bb_ tables inside of phpbb3, which is what that error code indicates, or am I thinking of this wrong?

    bbpress and phpbb3 tables must use the same database for the convertor to work!

    Sheer Progress


    OK, before I go and mess with this whole thing, are you telling me I should install bbpress inside of phpbb3? I want the tables to be inside wordpress, not phpbb3…I will eventually remove phpbb3. Please confirm that I should be uninstalling the other copy and putting the new one inside of the phpbb3 database and then tell me how that will affect my integration into wordpress and the removing of phpbb3. Thank you.

    Sheer Progress


    Great. I removed all the bbpress database files from mySQL and all related bbpress files from my control panel. I reuploaded bbpress into the phpbb3 directory and it won’t let me install, says there is an old config.php file. Now I can’t use bbpress at all. Any suggestions?

    Sheer Progress


    I see there are a bunch of bb_files hidden inside the database and I don’t know what to remove and what to keep. Please, please tell me what to do to remove them all. I have an extremely active blog and this is making me quite nervous. Thank you.

    am talking about database tables. both phpbb3 and bbpress should use the same database.

    first, get a backup of all of your files, so you can restore everything back if anything went wrong.

    now install a new copy of bbpress, make sure you use the same database as the current phpbb3 installation is using.

    finish the installation then run the converter, and there should be no problems.



    Hopefully, with an active blog, you have a good database backup.

    I’m confused on this point:

    my bbpress tables are inside of wordpress (obviously)

    That’s not obvious to me, at all. Do you mean the bbPress tables are inside the same database where your WordPress tables are? That’s OK. You can put as much stuff as you want into a database, so long as you use different table prefixes for the different applications. For example:

    WordPress: wp_
    bbPress: bb_
    Joomla!: jos_

    You can call your database whatever you want, then just keep loading tables into it for different application, like WordPress and bbPress.

    If you integrated WordPress and bbPress, then your bbPress installation used two existing WordPress tables: wp_users and wp_usermeta. That’s to allow integrated logins.

    Regarding where you put bbPress files, you said you put them into the phpbb directory. Does it look like this?



    If so, someone else recently found that bbPress finds an existing config.php (the one for phpbb3) and won’t go any further. In that case, just rename the phpbb3 config.php to something else for just a minute, so installation can continue.

    There is some confusion about database names, table names and folders, for me anyway. Any information you can post to help clarify will help. Thanks.

    Sheer Progress


    I know all about databases, I’ve been working with MySQL for years, have had 3 different sites, all with autonomous forums. I’ve had occasions to uninstall and reinstall after removing database tables. Plug-ins shouldn’t leave hidden files like that. Once you remove the tables, they should all be gone, and that’s not the case here. There are still items in my tables that have %bb in them and I’m afraid to delete them because they are so integrated with word-press. I switched to Simple Press and have found it much more user friendly and their support outstanding. I’m having a couple little issues and I’m convinced they have to do with the installation of this plug-in.

    I appreciate what goes into development, so please don’t get me wrong. I just think people should heed the warning before proceeding.

    Hi, Got my phpbb3 converted, only issue I have is that the member names are not showing up on posts within BBpress, all the members are listed on the members page but under the avatar and where it says “started xx minutes ago by” are blank spaces.

    This also happens on new posts I make, no username appears.

    Any Ideas?

    EDIT I’ve actually managed to figure it out, The display_name field is blank in the sql table, not sure if this is brought over as part of the conversion and it just hasn’t worked.

    A million thanks to you. Love you.

    Apologies for my brevity. I did find some technical issues that I should mention here – sometimes the script will fail to import in case forum title or description have the (‘) character like the word don’t,can’t etc. in that case I had to change them to do not, can not etc..

    Once you hit an error you must start from the begining by truncating the bbpress tables else it will throw error about duplicate keys etc. Hope this info helps someone.



    Is it possible to do a fix for this? I just can’t go through the whole DB to change all the special characters.



    @helgetry: What problem are you having?



    I have converted my forum now, without any major problems.

    However, my user account isn’t set to Keymaster… That’s a problem for me now, as I would like to do some admin changes.

    Can anybody help me?

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 142 total)
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