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Remote server image/attachment database hack Details »
Remote server image/attachment database hack
Mod Version: 1.00, by 99Percent (Member) 99Percent is offline
Developer Last Online: Jul 2013 I like it Show Printable Version Email this Page

This modification is in the archives.
vB Version: 2.2.x Rating: (0 vote - 0 average) Installs: 2
Released: 02 Jun 2002 Last Update: Never Downloads: 15
Not Supported Is in Beta Stage  

This is my first vBulletin hack. I have tested it only in my own vBulletin implementation. Let me know if it worked for you.

What this hack does:

I created this hack because I plan to use my vBulletin website mainly for storing and searching thousands of images that can be uploaded by many different people. Since images take up a lot of space and bandwidth I thought of a solution whereby vBulletin saves attachments on a remote database and provides links to these attachments or if images are going to be shown in messages that the remote server generates them directly to the end browser.

Another requirement is that the attachments not be available outside vBulletin itself in order to conserve the privacy of them. So what I did is create temporary permissions only provided from within vBulletin itself before requesting the files to be downloaded. These permissions are then immediately deleted by the remote server once the files are delivered. If the files are not delivered within a specified time, the permissions are automatically eliminated.

The benefit of this hack is that you will be able to provide virtually unlimited space for your attachments for almost zero cost.

What you need in order to implement this hack:

You will need a separate server from the one where you are hosting vBulletin with http, php, and mysql services. I tested the hack on MS IIS on a server connected with regular DSL.

You will need a fixed ip address or a domain name of your webserver where the images are stored. If you don't have one you can get dynamic DNS service (I use for about $24 a year - works great).

Your vBulletin server must be able to communicate to your remote server mysql database. This is crucial.

Your remote server must be able to communicate with the vBulletin mysql database server, if not it will not be able to update the view/download count (not terribly important).

If you ISP blocks ports you might be able to get around them by using alternate ports for everything. I think the hack should be able to support alternate ports.

Steps to implement the hack:

1. First, of course, do a back up of everything

2. Apply the hacks to your current vBulletin implementation using vbHacker.php. Hacks include about 18 code alterations and 3 template alterations and no database alterations.

3. Edit the changed config.php supplying the necessary information about the remote web server and database server.

4. Upload the edited config.php to the /admin directory of the remote server.

5. Upload riattachment.php below the /admin directory of the remote server. riattachment.php is the program that delivers the attachment to the end browser, it is a heavily modified version of the original attachment.php. attachment.php is no longer used after applying the hack (I think).

6. Create the database and tables of the remote server using the createattachdb.php utility.

7. If you already have attachments stored in your vBulletin database you will need to transfer them to the remote database using the provided transferattach.php utility.

future possible enhancements to this hack:

1. Check the availability of the remote server and if not there gracefully disallow uploading of new attachments and disable viewing/downloading of attachments. I think this is important since usually the remote servers will be connected via consumer internet and will be home computers so connectivity is not going to be very stable to say the least.

2. Have the option of showing thumbnails stored at the main server and then if requested transfer the large size images stored at the remote server.

3. Store the remote database connection info in the setting table so that it can be changed from within the control panel.

4. Make a fully comprehensive install program, possibly adding the required information of the remote server to config.php directly instead of hacking it.

5. Possibly eliminate the need of fixed ip/domain name by having the remote server automatically update its ip address at the vBulletin database server each time it connects to the internet.

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[Linux] loadsock (retrieve server load from remote server) fastforward vBulletin 2.x Full Releases 5 18 Mar 2002 11:55

Old 13 Jun 2002, 01:33
99Percent 99Percent is offline
Join Date: May 2002
BigJohnson, you will need to install three PHP files (vb_mysql.php, riattachment.php and config.php) in the server where the images/attachments are going to be delivered from.

Fazle, what is the non vbhacker version? You mean you just one a set of instructions on how to edit the PHP files?
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Old 26 Jul 2002, 01:55
Martin64's Avatar
Martin64 Martin64 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
This sounds like the perfect hack for me, as I have just moved my vBulletin (that uses roughly 30 GB/month) from my primary server to my secondary one (see signature). My primary server allows 400 GB of transfer per month for a set fee (and I'm not even using 300 GB right now), while my secondary only allows 40 GB per month. question is: How much bandwidth could/would I save through this? What has it done for your boards? Does attachments really account for a lot of bandwidth usage? Thanks.
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Old 18 Oct 2002, 05:11
snyx's Avatar
snyx snyx is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
setting up my config file im having some problems..

Block Disabled:      (Update License Status)  
Suspended or Unlicensed Members Cannot View Code.

but I get numerious errors..

and on my other server I have it setup like

what else do I need in these folders?
sorry but I really need this

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Old 18 Oct 2002, 05:30
99Percent 99Percent is offline
Join Date: May 2002
What errors are you getting exactly?
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Old 25 Nov 2002, 10:37
camikazi2k camikazi2k is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
where is the install file
and does this work on 2.2.9 or .8
waiting this the hack i been looking for for ages
let me know
thank you
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Old 12 Feb 2003, 17:13
Martin64's Avatar
Martin64 Martin64 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Great stuff, just installed it.
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Old 05 Mar 2004, 23:35
Bulent Tekcan Bulent Tekcan is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Is this hack work in VB3 RC4 ?

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Old 08 Apr 2004, 21:23
Bulent Tekcan Bulent Tekcan is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Anybody answer me ?
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Old 29 Sep 2004, 02:17
forumdude's Avatar
forumdude forumdude is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Has anyone released this for vb3?
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Old 29 Sep 2004, 15:12
TCB's Avatar
TCB TCB is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Originally Posted by forumdude
Has anyone released this for vb3?
If this would be released for VB3 then it would be a dream come true. It's only a matter of time before I have to shut down the attachment option because I've ran out of webspace. I still have about 900mb left on another account, so it would be fantastic if that one could be used for the attachments.
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Old 29 Oct 2004, 23:39
camikazi2k camikazi2k is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Is there same hack but for Vb3?
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Old 30 Oct 2004, 22:19
camikazi2k camikazi2k is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
is there one for vb3.0 same hack?
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Old 30 Oct 2004, 22:19
camikazi2k camikazi2k is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Guess there is not.
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