phpBB is an Internet forum package in the PHP scripting language. The name “phpBB” is an abbreviation of PHP Bulletin Board. Available under the GNU General Public License, phpBB is free and open-source.

Features of phpBB include support for multiple database engines (PostgreSQL, SQLite, MySQL, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server), flat message structure (as opposed to threaded), hierarchical subforums, topic split/merge/lock, user groups, multiple attachments per post, full-text search, plugins and various notification options (e-mail, Jabber instant messaging, ATOM feeds).

This chart bootstraps a phpBB deployment on a Kubernetes cluster using the Helm package manager.

It also packages the Bitnami MariaDB chart which is required for bootstrapping a MariaDB deployment for the database requirements of the phpBB application.


  • Kubernetes 1.4+ with Beta APIs enabled
  • PV provisioner support in the underlying infrastructure

About phpBB®

Millions of people use phpBB on a daily basis, making it the most widely used open source bulletin board system in the world. Whether you want to stay in touch with a small group of friends or are looking to set up a large multi-category board for a corporate website, phpBB has the features you need built-in.

Newer users will appreciate phpBB’s extensive administration panel, which allows the customization of even the most intricate features without having to edit code directly while advanced users will value the ease with which phpBB can be integrated into existing systems.

Because phpBB is released under the GNU General Public License, you may make changes to the code without first having to obtain permission from the phpBB Group. Our extensive database of user-created extensions makes changing and adding features as simple as pasting the code into the appropriate files, while the styles database contains hundreds of style and image packages to customize your board.

The detailed documentation and Flash video tutorials available on this site will help you get phpBB running on your server in minutes. If you have any questions please visit our Community Forum where our staff and members of the community will be happy to assist you with anything from configuring the software to modifying the code for individual needs.

Features of phpBB®

phpBB® is now in its third major version. Version 3.2 incorporates a professional-quality modular design, high security, multiple-language interface, support for a multitude of database servers and complete layout customization, all with a low execution overhead and lightning speed.

General features

Licensed under the GPLv2: phpBB is open source, licensed under Version 2 of the GNU GPL. You can read more about the license here.

  • Written in PHP: True to its name, phpBB was written in the PHP programming language. We have also had the added benefit of being built upon the Symfony framework, using Symfony 2.8 as a framework for phpBB 3.2.
  • Latest Version: 3.2.3: The latest version of phpBB is 3.2.3, released on 2018-09-13.

Basic Features

At its core, what does phpBB offer?

  • UTF-8 Support: phpBB is fully compatible with UTF-8 and uses it as the default character encoding. This ensures complete compatibility with nearly every language on the planet.
  • Extensions: phpBB’s features and functionality can be extended using self-contained extensions. These community built extensions are easily installed via the ACP with just a few clicks.
  • 3.2.x PHP7 Support: With phpBB 3.2 the most recent major version of PHP7 is now completely supported. This will make phpBB considerably faster and moving along to modern times.
  • HTML5, CSS3, Responsive Design: prosilver, phpBB’s default style, utilises the latest specifications for HTML5 and CSS3 for a modern and responsive design. This ensures optimal performance and cross-browser support for all modern browsers on desktop and mobile platforms.
  • User Preferences: phpBB offers a completely modularised User Control Panel to give your users full control over their account on the board. See the Users section for more details.
  • Moderation: An arsenal of tools are at your disposal in order to moderate your board. See the Moderators section for details.
  • Administration: phpBB provides a comprehensive Administration Control Panel which allows you to configure and customize nearly every aspect of your board. See the Administration section for details.
  • Search Engine Spider Handling: phpBB comes pre-loaded with configuration for over 100 of the most common spiders and optimizes your board when they visit. Using the Permissions system, you have full control of what the spiders can see and where they can go.
  • Unread Message Tracking: phpBB keeps track of the topics and posts users have and have not read, even between sessions!
  • Private Message System: Users have the ability to send messages to one another directly via the board. See the Private Messaging section for details.


phpBB offers a fully customizable registration process for your users.

  • COPPA Registrations: COPPA, primarily used within the United States, requires parental approval for children under the age of 13 to register on the board. phpBB can facilitate this functionality.
  • Limit Registration Attempts: A strict limit on the number of attempted registrations (when using the CAPTCHA) can be set.
  • Min/Max Username & Password Length: phpBB allows you to set a required username and password length, or ensure that usernames aren’t too long!
  • Limit Username Characters: Usernames can be limited to a certain set of characters such alpha-numeric or ASCII. Multiple presets are available.
  • Password Complexity: In order to protect the security of your board’s users, you can set the required password complexity.
  • Allow/Disallow Duplicate Emails: phpBB provides the option to either allow or disallow multiple user accounts from having identical email addresses.


The primary purpose of phpBB is to facilitate discussion via posting.

  • Flat Topic Structure: phpBB utilises a flat topic and post structure, rather than threaded.
  • BBCode & Custom BBCode: BBCode is an easy to use and highly effective way that users can format their posts, insert images and links, and post emoticons. In addition to the default BBCodes, phpBB allows you to add new, custom BBCodes to suit your needs.
  • Attachments: phpBB provides the ability to post multiple attachments to posts. The types and size of files allowed to be posted is fully configurable within the ACP.
  • Quick Reply: A simple posting box can be enabled on the board to facilitate faster replies to topics without having to load the Posting page.
  • Smilies & Emoticons: Help demonstrate emotion in your posts with smilies! 😀 You also have the option of adding custom smilies.
  • 3.2.xEmoji: Showing even more advanced emotions than smilies is possible with the use of Emoji! With Emoji, it’s easy to add extra emotion to your post from your tablet or mobile devices.
  • Quoting: In order to help the flow of discussion, phpBB allows users to quote another user’s post within their own. phpBB supports nested quoting, as well.
  • 3.2.xClever quotes: Quoting has been extended in phpBB 3.2 to include links to the user’s profile and post itself. The date and time of a post is also shown to make the distinction between posts extra clear.
  • Word Censors: Keep your board tame by implementing word censors and language filters to automatically eliminate or replace choice words or phrases.
  • 3.1.x Syntax Highlighting: When placing code within a post, using BBCode, phpBB can automatically highlight the syntax to make it easier to read.
  • Post Drafts: In the middle of typing a long reply but can’t finish it right now? phpBB allows users to save unfinished posts to their Drafts so they can finish them later.
  • Polls: phpBB offers a fully configurable Polling feature for topics. Multiple polling options as well as time limits can be set. Users can be allowed or disallowed to change their vote at a later time.
  • Beaten-to-Posting Review: If another user posts a reply while a user was typing theirs, the user will be notified so that they can make changes to the post if necessary.
  • Posting Preview: Not sure how a post is going to look? Users have the option of previewing how their post will appear before submitting it.


Share files by uploading them to the board attaching them to posts.

  • Automatic Image Thumbnails: For larger images, phpBB will automatically create a thumbnail when placing the image in the post to keep things looking neat.
  • Attachment Types: Control what type of files and which extensions are permitted to be uploaded to the board.
  • Multiple Attachments: Multiple attachments can be placed in a single post. The exact number is configurable in the ACP.
  • Attachment Placement: Place links to the attachments anywhere in the body of the post, not just at the end.


Forums make up the organisational structure of the board.

  • Categories: Categories are organisational containers which house the individual forums.
  • Password Protected Forums: Require a unique password to be entered in order for any user to access a single forum.
  • Forum-specific Styles: Set individual forums to use a different installed style.
  • URL Redirect Forums: Make a forum link directly to a specified URL instead of the forum itself.
  • Forum Rules: Customise and display forum rules at the top of a single forum or globally across the board.
  • Subforums: phpBB allows for an unlimited number of subforums in the hierarchical structure.
  • Last Post: phpBB will list who made the last post in a particular topic and when it was made on the forum’s page.
  • Forum Pruning: phpBB provides options for pruning old or inactive topics using custom conditions. This can be a one-time action or be done automatically.
  • Display Active Topics: A list of the most active topics in a forum can be displayed in a separate container at the top of the forum.
  • Subscribe to Forums & Topics: Users have the ability to subscribe to individual topics or entire forums so that they can be notified of any new topics or posts made.
  • Bookmark Topics: Users have the ability to bookmark topics that interest them for quick access at a later time.
  • Topic & Post Sorting: Users have the ability to change the order in which topics and posts are displayed, such as oldest to newest, alphabetical order, or by the number of replies.
  • Topic Participation Tracking: Users will see an indicator next to topics in which they have posted.
  • Print & Email Topic: phpBB creates a custom formatted page that is printer-friendly. Users also have the option to email a topic to their friends.


Users are the backbone of any board. Users have many options available.

  • OAuth Login: Register and login using your Google,, or Facebook accounts. Extensions can easily add other authentication services.
  • Signatures: A signature is a small bit of text or images that are inserted after a user’s post. Each user can customize their own signature if allowed.
  • Avatars: Avatars are a personal image displayed above the user’s username on a post and in their profile. If avatars are enabled, each user can customise their own.
  • Gravatar: Avatars may be fetched from the Gravatar service, in addition to the previously available options.
  • Ranks: User and group-specific ranks are available and fully customisable. Ranks display under a user’s username in a post or in their profile.
  • Users Online List: If enabled, phpBB can list all of the users who are currently online or have signed in during a specified period of time.
  • User Preferences & Profile Settings: Individual users can customize their board preferences, such as the way the board looks, the sorting of topics, or the language used. Users can customize their profile and add additional information such as an email address or IM and social media accounts.
  • Manage Saved Drafts: Saved PM or post drafts are able to be edited from within the User Control Panel.
  • Mange Bookmarks & Subscriptions: Users can view a list of their bookmarks and subscriptions from within their control panel and unsubscribe if desired.
  • Custom Profile Fields: phpBB ships with an assortment of profile fields (such as AIM/WLM/ICQ accounts), but board owners have the option to add completely custom profile fields.
  • Friend/Foe List: Users can decide to add a particular user to their friend or foes list, enabling fine-tuning of whose posts they see while browsing the board.


Moderators help maintain order by assisting users and enforcing the rules.

  • Global Moderators: A Global Moderator immediately has access to moderation tasks for all forums on the board.
  • Forum Moderators: Moderators can be assigned to individual forums on a per-user or per-group basis.
  • Posts/Reports Moderation Queue: Moderators have quick access to a list of any post needing approval or posts which users have reported, and can deal with it efficiently.
  • Topic History: Moderators have access to a full log of a topic’s history, such as when it was approved, locked, or moved to another forum.
  • Forum Topic Logs: Moderators have access to logs of actions that took place in an entire forum or on a per-topic basis.
  • Post Editing: Moderators can have the ability to edit the contents of a user’s post.
  • Post Locking: Moderators can lock individual posts so that the original author cannot edit it any longer.
  • Post Details: Moderators have access to view details about a particular post, such as the IP address used while posting.
  • Change Post Author: Moderators can change the author of a particular post from one user to another.
  • Move Topics: Moderators have the ability to move any number of posts to a new forum. Selecting and moving multiple topics at once is supported.
  • Merge Topics/Posts: Moderators have the ability to merge two topics together or only merge selected posts from one topic into another.
  • Split Topics: Moderators can split a topic into two separate topics, individual which posts stay and which go.
  • Lock Topics: Individual topics can be locked so that regular users can no longer reply or edit their posts.
  • Delete Topics: Moderators can permanently delete a topic and all of its replies from the board.
  • Soft Delete: Posts and topics can be removed from public view without being permanently deleted. This behaviour can be configured per user or group.
  • Copy Topics: Moderators can duplicate a topic to another forum.
  • Global Topics/Announcements: Moderators can create topics which are present as announcements in all forums on the board.
  • Announcement/Sticky Topics: Announcement topics are the most prominent topics in a forum, having their own section at the top of the list of topics. Stickies are less prominent but still remain at the top of the forum no matter when the last post was made.
  • Manage Bans and Warnings: Moderators who have permissions to issue and remove bans can do so from within the Moderator Control Panel. From here, moderators can also issue and emit warnings.
  • User Notes: Moderators can keep a log of notes on a particular user which only other moderators can see.

User groups

User groups allow users to be easily organized on the board.

  • Group Types: phpBB offers several types of groups: Hidden (only members can see it), Closed (everyone can see it, but users must manually be added), Open (anyone can join), and Request (users can request to be added by the Group Leader).
  • Multiple Group Leaders: phpBB supports the option to make multiple users the leaders of a group.
  • Custom Group Colours: Users in a particular group can have their usernames set to a configurable color.
  • Group Ranks & Avatars: Custom ranks and avatars can be set to display for all members in a particular group.
  • Group-based Memberlist Display: phpBB can show a list of users based on their groups from within the memberlist.

Private Messaging

Private messages are direct messages between two or more users.

  • Custom PM Folders: Users can create custom PM folders and create a set of filters/rules to automatically sort PMs.
  • Multiple Recipients: Private messages can be sent to more than one user at a time.
  • Send Blind Carbon Copies (BCC): Private messages can be Blind Carbon Copied to a set of users. To these users, it will appear as if they are the only recipient.
  • Send to Groups: PMs can be sent all users in a particular usergroup.
  • Address Book: Users can quickly send a PM to someone in their friends list.
  • Message Drafts: Unfinished PMs can be saved as drafts and, just like posts, can be edited and sent later.
  • Export Messages: Private messages can be exported from phpBB for archiving purposes.
  • Attachments in PMs: Just like posts, attachments can be placed in PMs.
  • Conversation View: phpBB keeps track of PM replies and displays a chronological view of the PM history.

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