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15 Best Forum Software For Linux

Are you a Linux user in need of an online forum? If so, we have just the solution for you! With our detailed list of the top forum applications available today, gathering opinions and discussing topics with your peers has never been easier. Whether it’s advice or insights related to professional matters or blogging that you’re after – our compilation provides all that and more. Make use of this incredible resource now to get clear ideas about any item from within your community without delay!

Linux always helps with a lot of applications for free. We researched different sources to find the best open source forum software for your need. Some of them allow you to open a single discussion forum only. On the other hand, some applications support multiple forums. Before going to the central point, we should know something crucial. 

Ideal Characteristics of Forum Software


How can you determine an ideal application for your need if you don’t know the best characteristics? You are going to use a forum for a reason, not to make fun! So, this is essential to gather knowledge by which you may know the ideal features. 

  • Easy-to-use: Make sure the application you are going to use has an easy-to-use interface. It enables a simple and clear understanding at the time of installation and the profile setup. 
  • Update Feature: An ideal forum software ensures the update feature consistent. If it doesn’t provide support, it can be outdated after a certain period. 
  • Text Editor: It’s all about the text in the forum software. Another essential feature of this application is a powerful editor to create posts comfortably. 
  • Secure Messaging: You can call it private messaging also. Sometimes, you may need to send some private text to a specific member or a group. So, it should be secure in the ideal forum software. 
  • Signatures: Signature is kind of fun for forum users. It helps you increase the members’ engagement and linking to external resources.

Best Forum Software For Linux Users


Now, it’s time to provide the resource you are waiting for. We have summarized the list of the best forum software for Linux regarding their features and some specific functionalities. You will also get the official page as well as the download link of the applications here. So, let’s move on to the discussion. 

1. Discourse


Discourse is one of the most popular and feature-enriched forum software in the Linux community. It is an open source forum software with a lot of amazing features your community will love. Discourse is built with JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, Redis, and also with Ember.js framework. Besides a forum application, you can also use it as a mailing list, long-form chat room, and more. It provides internationalization support in different languages.

discourse-best forum software

Noteworthy Features

  • Discourse is a simple, modern, and 100% free open source forum software.
  • Facility to integrate with social logins like Facebook, Instagram, Yahoo, Twitter, and GitHub.
  • It ensures account security through a two-factor authentication system.
  • Discourse Includes a comprehensive API to do the task you see on the screen via API call.
  • This application is SEO optimized for Google indexing and searching.
  • It has a bunch of badges and different emoji sets.

Get Discourse

2. Vanilla


Vanilla is a cloud-based community forum software that provides a modern forum experience. It is easy to install and maintain for both beginners and professional-level users as well. Vanilla has a friendly customization panel with native gamification. It helps the members to participate with badges and reactions.

This free forum software makes the way more comfortable to share data through integrations with MailChimp, Salesforce, Zendesk, Hootsuite, and more. Besides the facilities, Vanilla can be a great resource to drive loyalty and increase customer service for your business. 

Vanilla

Noteworthy Features

  • Vanilla is an easy-to-setup and maintainable software for community members.
  • It is a mobile-ready application that works on every device or screen size.
  • Vanilla enables integration with social networks for easy sharing and login. 
  • It has plenty of themes and plugins to enrich its functionality.
  • It enables data sharing facility with Salesforce, MailChimp, GitHub, and more. 
  • Allows importing content from other forums.

Get Vanilla

3. phpBB- Open Source Forum Software


phpBB is another free and open source forum software used by millions of people daily. You can edit or change anything to the code without any restriction. This application is built with the PHP programming language and the Symphony framework. phpBB offers a user-friendly interface with a comprehensive administration panel with proper documentation. So, anyone can handle this environment without having much technical knowledge. 

phpbb-open source forum software

Noteworthy Features

  • phpBB offers a modern, responsive design that ensures optimal performance and cross-browser support.
  • It provides a comprehensive administration control panel.
  • It enables sending private messages to any member directly via the board.
  • Offers different types of groups like Closed, Hidden, and Open, keeping the option to make multiple group leaders.
  • phpBB ensures strong security at registration via multiple CAPTCHAs, reCAPTCHA, 3D CAPTCHA, and also customizable Q&A CAPTCHA.
  • It provides detailed documentation and helpful video tutorials.

Get phpBB

4. Simple Machines Forum


Simple Machine Forum is free and professional-grade software with many powerful features. It is built with PHP programming language and MYSQL for database management. Simple Machines Forum provides all the possible features you need from an ideal bulletin board. Its powerful package manager allows you to apply any of the modifications in the database and themes that change the outlook of your site.

Simple Machines Forum

Noteworthy Features

  • Highly customizable with a lot of extensions.
  • It ensures high-quality support through the SMF team and the community members.
  • SMF community provides the facility to search the entire forum within a topic to find your query or solution.
  • Ensures well-documented and structured code and provides optimal performance and scalability.
  • Simple Machines Forum is enriched with security features.
  • It provides internationalization support in over 47 different languages.

Get Simple Machines Forum

5. bbPress- Free Forum Software


bbPress is another free and open source forum software with a good range of features. It offers easy installation and configuration with support in setting up multiple forums. You will get a user-friendly environment that keeps things simple and intuitive for the users.

bbPress has numerous customizable templates to dress up your forums however you like. Besides this, something is interesting in this application. It supports search functionality and shortcodes like the most popular Content Management System, WordPress.

bbpress

Noteworthy Features

  • bbPress is simple to set up and easy to moderate.
  • It Supports several plugins, and RSS feeds.
  • It offers robust security, including spam-blocking functionality.
  • Supports plugins, including Login Widget, Akismet, BuddyPress, Forum List, and more.
  • It provides a subscription facility to various topics and forums.

Get bbPress

6. miniBB


miniBB comes with an interactive open source platform to establish a comfortable, lightweight, and speedy quick web forum. This Mini Bulletin Board is written in PHP programming language and uses MySQL for database management.

It provides you with a responsive layout to cover both small and large screens. Integrating with your website may help you to discuss and solve problems for different purposes. It is a platform to bring more audience to you to increase your business community. 

miniBB- free forum software

Noteworthy Features

  • miniBB offers to create an unlimited amount of member accounts, including messages and topics.
  • It supports guest posts and quick moderation.
  • miniBB consists of clean and optimized code and offers SEO-friendly results.
  • It offers immediate security fixes by miniBB developers with notifications.
  • miniBB is available in over 40 languages, including Arabic, English, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Korean, Malay, Spanish, Polish, and more.
  • Facility to integrate with extra functionality through paid extensions. 

Get miniBB

7. Phorum


Phorum is another one of the best forum software. Since its development in 1998, it has turned into a mature discussion platform. This open source platform is written in PHP programming language and uses MySQL for database management. You can run a single forum here with over 2000 new posts per day.

It shows the versatility of this unique product. It enables the users to make the message board fit into their site. Phorum templates are built with pure HTML, and you can use them as a starting point.

phorum- open source forum software

Noteworthy Features

  • Phorum provides a flexible hook and module system for its users.
  • Enables serving over 200000 messages per day without bogging down servers.
  • Provides the freedom to select forum language, file storage area, and timezone.
  • It provides support for posting in HTML, plain text, and BBCode.
  • Phorum can support Arabic, Danish, French, German, and other languages.
  • It allows sending private messages.

Get Phorum

8. myBB


myBB is an extremely powerful open source forum software with an interactive user interface. It offers an advanced plugin system to add more features to your forum discussion. You will get built-in templates and a theme editor with this free forum software to make the activity easier.

myBB is written in PHP and supports different database systems, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite. It ensures the database backup if anyone from the list fails to provide support. 

mybb

Noteworthy Features

  • myBB provides complete control over the forum’s design via a built-in template and theme editor.
  • Allows participating in private conversations at a time.
  • It ensures database backup through several database management systems like MySQL, SQLite, etc. 
  • myBB has an advanced feature to warn users of improper behavior. 
  • Like email or social networks, it allows private messaging with forum members.
  • Able to extend functionality through a large number of plugins.

Get myBB

9. Thredded


Thredded is a free forum software built with the Ruby on Rails program. It does not have infrastructure dependencies. Thredded supports SQLite, MySQL, and PostgreSQL relational databases. You can format your posts with MarkDown by default or BBCode, with onebox and <spoiler> tag support.

It offers updates with email notifications, @-mentions, and unread post tracking. It also provides a responsive minimalist theme to run the forum on both small and large devices smoothly.

thredded

Noteworthy Features

  • It enables finding posts quickly using the database with a ‘full-text search.’
  • Thredded Offers private group messaging.
  • It ensures a fantastic page speed score of 99+/100 in user experience and 88+ on mobile device. 
  • It can be easily integrated into the rest of the Rails app as an engine.
  • It supports all modern browsers, including Turbolinks, IE9+, and more.

Get Thredded

10. FluxBB- Free Forum Software


FluxBB is an easy-to-use, stable, and lightweight forum software. It is under GNU General Public License and is an alternative to the traditional feature-heavy forum online tools. FluxBB is a multi-lingual and PHP-based application. It comes with a structured administration panel.

It has increased features focusing on security issues in its latest update. You will get a secure and flexible permission system with this free forum software, including some well-featured plugins to make it more functional. It also allows the group-based permission system for the users.

fluxBB

Noteworthy Features

  • FluxBB provides easy installation and setup for users.
  • It Allows longer SMTP passwords over SSL for powerful security.
  • It provides a clean and straightforward administrative interface.
  • FluxBB Allows lots of community modifications.
  • Provides RSS and Atom feed support.
  • FluxBB provides the authority to ban users by email, IP address, and username.

Get FluxBB

11. PunBB


PunBB is a free and lightweight PHP-based forum software with a user-friendly and flexible layout. It is an open source platform released under GNU General Public License. PunBB has not have enriched features like Vanilla or phpBB but can work as a good alternative for commercial discussion boards.

It offers private messaging, polls, and file attachments like other communities. It also supports essential extensions to enrich its features than before.

punBB

Noteworthy Features

  • PunBB ensures a faster and more lightweight platform compared with other applications.
  • It provides a simple and easy-to-handle layout.
  • Supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite for storing forum data.
  • Consists of structured and well-documented code to read and understand.
  • PunBB is available in different languages, including English, German, Czech, Italian, Polish, and Russian.

Get PunBB

12. YaBB


YaBB is another leading free forum software to communicate with friends, various communities, neighbors, and fellow clubs. It allows you to support your customers and communicate 24/7 with visitors.

You can converse with your members; anyone can join there anytime from your communities. YaBB works like an online bulletin board and can become a consistent communication tool for your professional demands. 

yabbforum

Noteworthy Features

  • YaBB provides customization support to fit your desired design.
  • It consists of built-in security, sensor controls, and spam eliminators.
  • Provides Flat Text Database for ensuring more flexibility.
  • It allows easy integration with an existing website.
  • YaBB provides extra security features with encrypted usernames and passwords.

Get YaBB

13. Flarum


Flarum comes with a full of innovation and beautifully designed PHP-based forum software. It’s something out of the box that enables you to spend less time clicking and more time talking with your community members. Its front end is built with a lightweight JavaScript framework, Mithril.

Flarum provides a two-pane interface to ensure a flexible working environment. You can continue the discussions without opening dozen of tabs. It is entirely responsive by default and optimized for touch, smooth animations, and more.

flarum

Noteworthy Features

  • Ensures easy installation to set up a forum.
  • It lets you develop new functionality with its comprehensive and well-documented APIs. 
  • Provides color scheming to change the color scheme easily.
  • Flarum allows smart notifications.
  • It allows importing your existing data from phpBB, FluxBB, MyBB, and SMF2. 
  • It provides control of the forum with fine-grained permissions.

Get Flarum

14. Flask- Open Source Forum Software


Flask is a kind of different free forum software that is not PHP-based like the others mentioned in the list. It is an open source application written in the Python programming language.

Another unique and interesting part of this tool is that you will need root access to install this software on your machine. Flask keeps the facility by extending its functional activities with several plugins. You can also create a customized style for your site.

flaskbb- free forum software

Noteworthy Features

  • Flask allows managing the forum efficiently with the management interface.  
  • It allows private conversation with another user.
  • It enables tracking your favorite posts with ‘Topic Tracker.’
  • Flask supports user-translated languages besides English as well.
  • Can be managed the forum via Command Line Interface.

Get Flask

15. ElkArte


ElkArte is another example of an open source forum software like Simple Machines Forum, phpBB, or vBulletin. You will get many advanced features without installing a lot of additional add-ons in this free forum software.

It also provides the facility to migrate your discussion forum using the ‘Open Importer Engine’ from many popular applications like SMF, MyBB, phpBB, and more. ElkArte has the feature to mention any user on a thread and notification. It helps to increase the engagement between the members of the community.

ElkArte

Noteworthy Features

  • ElkArte provides smart notifications to users.
  • It provides a responsive layout that suits any modern browser and device.
  • ElkArte allows autosave, including Drafts.
  • It allows drag and drop of file attachments and ordering in the Admin interface.
  • It enables password hashing using industry standards.

Get ElkArte

Wrapping Up


The software mentioned in this article is all great options for Linux users. Whether you’re looking for a simpler, open-source solution like YaBB, or something more full-featured like Flarum, there’s an option to fit your needs. Each of the Forum Software for Linux solutions listed comes with security features and support for customizations that can help you get the most out of your Linux-based forum platform.

Whichever one you choose, make sure that it has all the features and tools needed to keep your community active and engaged. By choosing the right Forum Software for Linux, you’ll be able to ensure consistent growth on your forum over time. Good luck!

FAQ: Best Forum Software for Linux


Uncertain which forum software is most suitable for Linux? Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions to help you decide.

Q: What is the best Forum Software for Linux?

A: The best Forum Software for Linux depends on your specific needs. Some popular options include YaBB, Flarum, and ElkArte.

Q: Are there free Forum Software solutions available for Linux?

A: Yes! Several open source Forum Software solutions are compatible with Linux operating systems. YaBB, Flarum, and ElkArte are all free Forum Software solutions that can be used with Linux.

Q: What features should I look for in Forum Software for Linux?

A: Look for Forum Software that offers smart notifications, drag-and-drop file attachments, responsive layouts, customizable color schemes, and other features that fit your needs. Additionally, make sure the Forum Software can be easily managed via Command Line Interface (CLI).

Q: Is Forum Software for Linux secure?

A: Yes. Forum Software solutions designed specifically for Linux operating systems usually come with encryption and password hashing features to ensure the security of your forum data. Additionally, make sure to choose Forum Software that is regularly updated with fixes and improvements. This will help keep your forum safe from any potential security threats.

Q: Is Forum Software for Linux easy to use?

A: Forum Software solutions designed for Linux generally have intuitive user interfaces that make them easy to use and customize. Additionally, many Forum Software solutions come with helpful tutorials and support forums that can help you get up-to-speed quickly. With the right Forum Software, managing and moderating your forum should be quick and painless.

By considering the above-mentioned points, you can easily choose the best Forum Software for Linux. The choice of Forum Software is dependent on your individual needs and requirements, so make sure to research all of your options before making a final decision. Good luck!

Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan is a passionate enthusiast for technology. He admires all things tech and loves to help others understand the fundamentals of Linux, servers, networking, and computer security in an understandable way without overwhelming beginners. His articles are carefully crafted with this goal in mind - making complex topics more accessible.

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