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Punbb logo.png
Developer(s) PunBB Team
Initial release August 7, 2003 (2003-08-07)[1]
Stable release

1.4.6  (March 9, 2021; 3 years ago (2021-03-09))

Preview release none [±]
Written in PHP
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Discussion forum software
License(s) GNU General Public License
Website punbb.informer.com

PunBB is a free lightweight open-source Internet discussion board application. The project's primary goal is to be a faster, smaller and less graphic alternative to discussion boards such as phpBB, Invision Power Board, or vBulletin.[2][3][4] PunBB was originally designed to output standard XHTML and do it with speed and simplicity in mind. Features such as private messaging, polls, and file attachments were not originally implemented; however, they have since been released as third-party modifications. PunBB has supported extensions since version 1.3.[5]

Product history

PunBB was founded by Rickard Andersson as a personal project to create an alternative to either over-featured or too-graphic discussion boards. PunBB was originally known simply as Pun because "a pun is a play on words and that's basically what happens on a bulletin board."[6] The BB addition stands for bulletin board.

On August 7, 2003, version 1.0 was released under the GNU General Public License. The developers released version 1.2 in January 2005 and immediately began work on version 1.3.[5]

In 2007 the project's code and rights were sold to Informer Technologies, Inc. The company did not institute any major changes at first other than removing the ability to donate money to the project. The work on version 1.3 continued, and in the beginning of 2008 the beta version was released. In April 2008, Rickard Andersson decided to leave the project due to personal reasons.[7] As a result, some developers followed suit, and initiated the development of their own fork, known as FluxBB. A few days later the company moved the project from the punbb.org domain to its project's umbrella domain at punbb.informer.com.

The work on version 1.3 was resumed and minor changes, as well as some bug fixes were introduced in updates. In March 2011 the company released version 1.3.5, and in September 2011 version 1.3.6 became available to public. The third quarter of 2011 gave birth to a significantly revised version of the engine, 1.4.0.[8]

On June 15, 2015 — after a long hiatus from version 1.4.2, released in January 2012 — an update to version 1.4.3 arrived, making the default theme responsive and adding many bug fixes.[9]


PunBB is intentionally light on features when compared to other forum software, all in the name of keeping it fast and simple. A review of its features can be found on ForumMatrix.

Hardware/software requirements

MediaWiki requires the following:

PunBB is written in PHP and thus requires a PHP processor. PunBB also requires a database in which all forum data is stored. It supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.

Videos, screenshots, and other media

Screenshots for phpBB can be found on OStatic.

Video tutorials for PunBB can found on the PunBB site.

A demo of PunBB can be utilized here.

Entities using PunBB

A small list of PunBB users exists here.

Further reading

External links


  1. Andersson, Rickard (7 August 2003). "PunBB 1.0". Informer Technologies, Inc. http://punbb.informer.com/forums/topic/5407/punbb-10/. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  2. "PunBB". Ohloh. http://www.ohloh.net/p/punbb. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  3. Clarke, Hendrik L. "Top Best free open source forum application Software". CEOWORLD. http://ceoworld.biz/ceo/2009/12/03/top-best-free-open-source-forum-application-software. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  4. "About PunBB". Informer Technologies, Inc. http://punbb.informer.com/about.php. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Project History - PunBB". Informer Technologies, Inc. 29 September 2008. http://punbb.informer.com/wiki/project_history. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  6. Howard (23 November 2005). "Interview with Rickard Andersson". The Admin Zone. http://www.theadminzone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16370. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  7. Andersson, Rickard. "About - Rickard Andersson". Rickard Andersson. http://rickardandersson.com/about. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  8. "PunBB 1.4". Informer Technologies, Inc. 7 November 2011. http://punbb.informer.com/forums/topic/24577/punbb-14/. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  9. Slavok (15 June 2015). "PunBB 1.4.3". Informer Technologies, Inc. http://punbb.informer.com/forums/topic/29469/punbb-143/. Retrieved 02 September 2015.