How to enable Avatars picture in PHPBB forum / Solution to “The avatar functionality is currently disabled”

Wednesday, 27th October 2010

The phpBB forum I’ve recently started was not accepting the upload of avatars. In the User Control Panel after I’ve tried to upload an avatar I got this message:

The avatar functionality is currently disabled

Thus it seems that avatars are disabled by default in PHPBB 3.0.2-4 on Debian Linux.
To enable back the avatars and also enable the avatars upload function I had to do few certain things as you can read below in steps:

1. Create the avatars directory in the phpbb document root

debian:~# mkdir /usr/share/phpbb3/www/avatars/
debian:~# mkdir /usr/share/phpbb3/www/avatars/upload
debian:~# mkdir /usr/share/phpbb3/www/avatars/gallery

2. Set proper permissions to the avatars directory to be writtable by the Apache user

I decided to change the owner of the dir to www-data to achieve that.
debian:~# chown -R /usr/share/phpbb3/www/avatars

3. Login with admin user to phpbb and go to Admin Control Panel (ACP)

Admin Control Panel is located on the bottom of the page, so just click over it.

After you’re in the ACP
4. In the general tab click over Avatar Settings

General -> Avatar Settings

5. Change Enable gallery avatars and Enable Avatar uploading and rise up a bit the maximum avatar file size

Set the below two to yes:

Enable Gallery Avatars = Yes
Enable Avatar Uploading = Yes

Here the default size of avatar I found to be very low it was set to: 6144 Bytes that’s only 6kb, so I changed the
Maximum avatar file size = 61440

6. Set the directories to store the avatars and the avatars gallery dir

This two you will have to set to be:

Avatar storage path = avatars/gallery
Avatars gallery path = avatars/upload

That’s should be all necessary to enable the avatars on your phpbb forum and also enable the avatars uploading.
Now just press the Submit button to approve the changes.
Also if you need to change the maximum avatar picture dimensions just configure that before you press the Submit button.

To test the avatars logoff from your admin account login with a regular user and go to:

User Control Panel (UCP) -> Edit Avatar -> Upload from your Machine

Press the choose button and select the avatar picture you would like to have as your avatar.
Last step is to press the Submit button.
Now the avatar image should appear, everytime you wrote a post on the forum 🙂

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