12 Open Source free Forum Solutions For Communities and Customer Engagements

12 Open Source free Forum Solutions For Communities and Customer Engagements
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Forums are excellent online discussion platforms where users can share their insights, concepts, and viewpoints on a variety of topics. They are commonly used for community building, customer support, and knowledge sharing.

Forum software is a powerful platform that facilitates the creation and management of online forums. It offers a variety of tools for creating discussion threads, moderating user content, and managing user accounts. Some of the most popular forum software options include phpBB, Discourse, and Vanilla Forums.

Forum software can be self-hosted or cloud-based, and provide a range of features and customization options to meet the unique needs of different communities. These features may include user profiles, private messaging, search functionality, and integration with other tools and platforms.

All in all, forum software is an incredibly valuable tool for online communities looking to foster discussion and engagement around specific topics or interests.

Here, we offer you the best open-source free forums' software that anyone can install, setup, self-hosted and use for community discussions, or customer support.

1- Flarum

Flarum is an exceptional, open-source discussion platform designed to be simple yet powerful, providing all the features you need to run a thriving community. It's completely free and straightforward to use, while also being highly customizable. Flarum boasts superior speed, responsiveness, and extensibility.

2- NodeBB

NodeBB is a forum software that uses Node.js and supports Redis, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL. It has traditional forum features such as categories, user accounts, and messaging, along with modern web technologies like web sockets and real-time notifications. NodeBB is mobile-friendly responsive interface and has RESTful APIs. You can customize it with third-party plugins.

3- Discourse

Discourse is a free open-source discussion board and forum software for communities, teams, and enterprise. It can be extending by plugins, integrates with many third-party solutions, and offers a developer-friendly API.

Unlike many forum software, Discourse offers a unique time-line browser for replies, dynamic notification, real-time chat, Markdown support, single sign-on (SSO) and more.

4- Talkyard

Talkyard is a free open-source forum software for companies, teams, communities, and classrooms. It can be installed easily using Docker and Docker-compose. It can be used for instant support, community discussions, ideation, simple onboarding, team chat, and more.

Talkyard also allows you to use it as a commenting platform for static websites, blogs, or CMS.

5- Vanilla

Vanilla forum is an incredibly powerful and user-friendly discussion platform that allows you to customize it according to the unique needs and preferences of your community. With Vanilla forum, you can establish a virtual space where members can freely share their ideas, discuss topics, and exchange valuable insights.

You have the freedom to tailor the platform to suit your needs by selecting from a diverse range of themes, plugins, and add-ons to enhance the user experience and functionality of your forum.

Whether you are creating a forum for your business, organization, or personal interests, Vanilla forum provides you with the flexibility and scalability to create a dynamic and captivating community that can grow and evolve over time.

6- FlaskBB

FlaskBB is an exceptional, open-source, modular forum system crafted with the powerful Flask Python framework. It is the ideal foundation for constructing online communities. FlaskBB is available under the permissive BSD 3-Clause License.

The acronym FlaskBB stands for "Flask Bulletin Board." It is meticulously coded with Python and the Flask web framework.

7- Phorum

Started in 1998, Phorum was the original PHP and MySQL based Open Source forum software. Phorum's developers pride themselves on creating message board software that is designed to meet different needs of different websites while not sacrificing performance or features.


YAF.NET is a free open-source extensible forum solution that is written with .NET framework. It can be integrated with many CMS and frameworks, as it also supports ~ 25 languages.

9- MyBB

MyBB is a free and open-source forum software that powers thousands of engaging, vibrant, and unique communities across the internet. It offers a comprehensive set of features, including private messaging, polls, custom themes, and moderation tools to help you build and manage your online community.

MyBB is highly customizable, with a wide range of plugins and themes available to enhance the functionality and appearance of your forum.

It also features a user-friendly administration panel that allows you to manage user accounts, forums, and threads with ease. Overall, MyBB is an excellent choice for anyone looking to create a robust and engaging online community.

10- phpBB

phpBB is a free and open-source forum software that provides all the features you need to create and manage an online forum. It supports a range of database management systems, including MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL, and provides a user-friendly administration panel to help you manage user accounts, forums, and threads.

phpBB also offers a range of customization options, including a variety of themes and plugins to enhance the functionality and appearance of your forum.

11- FireStorm

FireStorm is an open-source forum engine, with an Elixir+Phoenix backend and an Elm frontend. You can get more details here.

12- Casnode

Casnode is an open-source forum (BBS) software developed in Go and React framework.

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