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Migration via Command Line (CLI)#

For forums with more than 250,000 posts, we recommend that you run the import on the command line rather than via the ACP.


This article is intended for customers who run the software independently on their own server or web hosting.


  • SSH access is required
  • PHP extension must be installed as CLI variant on the server
  • Ideally, GNU Screen is also installed on the server (the process continues even if the internet connection is interrupted)
  • An SSH client such as PuTTY or PuTTyTray is required ( respectively

Starting the Import#

Connect to the server with your SSH client.

If GNU Screen is installed on your server, it is recommended that you create a new shell session that is immune against connection loss within screen: screen -S import. You can reattach to the session using screen -x import.

With or without GNU Screen you need to change to the installation directory of WoltLab Suite Core next. Once in the installation directory the CLI interface is launched using php cli.php. It is recommended to launch the CLI interface as the system user that is also used for the web access (e.g. www-data). Doing so avoids issues with file permissions.

Inputs in the Import Wizard#

Username: Enter your username.

Password: Enter your password.

After successful login enter import.

Select data source: Here will be asked what Importer you want to use. Enter the appropriate number.

Import the selected data: Now the data is requested that we want to import. So we start with 1 for users and then say 0 for all. So we choose one by one.

Behavior for colliding user acounts: Depending on whether it is a fresh install or already have users, they should be merged during Import.

Database credentials: Please enter the login information to the source database. These are available in the configuration file of the old forum (e.g.

Table prefix: When importing from a Burning Board 3.x, the prefix is eg wbb1_1_, phpBB usually use phpbb_ etc.

The correct table prefix can be looked up at any time in phpMyAdmin.

Installation path: The absolute server path to the old forum must be entered here.

Now the import starts. Depending on the server configuration and data size this may take a while.

Rebuild Data#

After you have finished the data import, you must rebuild the data. The necessary commands are listed on the Management → Maintenance → Rebuild Data page in the admin panel. This rebuild usually takes about as long as the import itself.