IceBB Review

(March 29, 2007 10:46)
Last Version 1.0 (December 2, 2010). Released under GPL License.
Resources Website IceBB Website Download Download...
Company XAOS Interactive.
Price Free.
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What is IceBB?

IceBB is a powerful, fast, free, and open-source forum solution powered by PHP and MySQL. IceBB targets simplicity and easy of use, like its main competitors: PunBB and FluxBB.

IceBB has a clear white ("pure as snow") design and an high readability default theme, which is really convenient if you plan to integrate it into an existing website.

Review Updates:

  • January 5, 2011: IceBB 1.0 review updated.
  • February 16, 2010: Update the review with IceBB 1.0rc10

IceBB is recommended for Small Community.

(and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

Server & Client Requirements

Server Requirements
Programming Language
Required Architecture and Versions.
  • PHP 4
  • PHP 5
Web Servers
How the forum is delivered to users.
  • Apache 1.3
  • Apache 2.0/2.2
  • Microsoft IIS
How Forum Data are Stored.
  • MySQL
Operating Systems
Systems Supporting this Software.
  • GNU/LinuxGNU/Linux
  • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
Browser & Client Requirements
Compatible Browsers
List of Compatible Browsers.
Mozilla FirefoxMozilla FirefoxInternet ExplorerInternet Explorer
Google ChromeGoogle ChromeOperaOpera
Apple SafariApple SafariKonquerorKonqueror
Mozilla SeaMonkeyMozilla SeaMonkey
Required Plugins/Technologies
Additional or Basic Requirements from Client Side.
Languages supported by IceBB.
Supported Languages:
German Danish
Spanish French
Italian Russian
Turkish English (British)
English (American)

IceBB is another classical LAMP alternative to PhpBB. The goal of the IceBB, according to its authors, was to create a free alternative to expensive Invision Power Board and vBulletin forum software.

Compatibility with Smartphones
Compatible SmartPhones
Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
Application Distribution / Type
How it is distributed / App Store Availability

Forum Threads & Posts

Forum Threads / Topics
Forum Style Threaded Forum Organization
  • Forum Categories
  • URL Redirection Forum
  • Sub Sections
Thread Icons Yes Topic Tags Yes
Hot Topics No Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics No Sticky Threads No
Related Threads No Detect Duplicate Threads No
Announcements Yes
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • Formatting Buttons
  • Preview Button
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • HTML
  • BBCode
Spell Checker
Checks typos on posts and topics.
Image Attachment
How Images can be Attached and Displayed in Message Posts.
  • Upload via Classic Attachments. Images are all at the end of the post.
Embedded Videos
Videos and Media Websites Supported in Message Posts.
Posting Features
Quick Reply Box Yes Smileys Yes
Attachments Yes Syntax Highlighting No
Message Rating
No Message Quoting Yes

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation Yes
Private Messages
Users Can Communicate using an Internal Messaging System.
Instant Messaging
Discuss with Visitors and Members in a Chat Window.
Topic, Member Birthdays, Events are available from the perspective of a calendar.
Online Users List
Connected User List (Often Found in the Forum Footer).
Members List
Search and Consult the List of Members.
Technical Features
Bundled Software
Additional Software Available with the Forum.
  • Portal
RSS/Atom Syndication
Posts and Threads Exported to Feeds Aggregators Syndicate.
Friendly URLs
URLs are clear and contain information about the topic (title, message,...). Highly recommended for SEO purposes.
Post by Email
Post Directly From your Email Box.
Remote Control
Remote Control from External Software/Websites.
Cache System
Cache pages to optimize bandwidth and load times.
Template Engine
It is easier to theme a forum using a known template engine (more docs & examples,...).

IceBB will fulfill stickler administrators and moderators with its impressive list of controls of members. This is particularly useful for huge community management.

Please note that the portal is not enabled by default.

User Profiles & Options

Some details about IceBB features regarding members.
Member Options & Features
Bookmark Threads
User Profiles Keep a List of Followed Posts and Topics.
Email Notifications
Receive Emails When New Messages are Posted in Followed Threads.
Export private messages
Private Messages can be Downloaded by Users.
Payment Subscriptions
Paying Membership Subscription.
User Profiles
User Profile
User Information and Settings.
Pictures of Members, Useful to Easily Identify their Posts.
Signatures Added at the Bottom of Each Message.
Tags and Labels Identifying the Members, based on specific criteria (Total Posts Count, Credits, Moderation Level...)

Moderation & Users Management

Moderation & Threads Management
Post-Moderation The moderation is done afterwards, if an administrator notices a problem or if a member reports something wrong. Each message is therefore directly published.
Reactive Moderation By reporting any problems, members are reactive against moderation problems. Moderators' main objective is to regularly check user reports, without having to follow each threads.
Distributed Moderation By organizing the forum around moderators, who are usually power and experienced users, moderation is self-powered and only depends on the community.
Moderator per section Yes
Global Moderator Yes
Move Threads
Move Threads from Topics
Shadow Topics
When a thread is moved, the previous position is kept in order to inform users of this modification.
Close/Lock Threads
Close/Lock Problematic Threads
Users Management
User Groups
Organize and define groups of users, and apply different actions and settings on them.
Common Groups: Guests, Members, Moderators, Administrators,...
User Registration
  • Free Registration
  • User Account created by Administrator
  • Confirmation sent by email for validation
Limit Features For New Users
Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
Guest Posting Yes
Multiple Administrators Yes
Send Warnings to Users
Inform users by email or PM that they infringe the board rules, and could be excluded for such behavior.
Forum/Section Restricted Access
ACL could be use to determine if a user or a group of users can access (in read only, post message) to some sections and topics.
User Banishment Yes

Administration & Support

Database Management
Backup Database
Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
Prune Database
Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
Restore Database
Restore a backup of your database if the previous install crashed.
Administration Tools
Statistics about posts count, users, traffic...
Yes Error/Notice Log Viewer
Forum Logs could be consulted.
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
No Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
Installation & Upgrading
Installation Method
How this forum software could be installed.
Installation Wizard
Upgrading Method
How this forum software could be upgraded.
Upgrade Wizard
Updates Notifications
The Admin Panel informs you when a new version is released.
Forum Migration
Convert an existing forum to IceBB.
  • Invision Power Board 1.3.x
  • Invision Power Board 2.1.x
  • PunBB 1.2.x
  • Simple Machines 1.x
  • phpBB 2.x

Security & Spam Protection

Security & Spam Protection
Captcha protects your forum against spam bots.
e.g., Syndicate
Complexity: [++[ Normal
Abnormal Behavior Detection
Detect users or request strange behaviors, and try to process proactive actions.
Words Filtering
Offensing Words are automatically replaced.
User Blacklist
Prevent specific user accounts to register (based on email address, name,...) and disable potentially harmful members.
IP Blocking
Prevent access to spam robots and other scripts that could attempt DDOS or Brute Force attacks on your forum.

Vulnerabilities Advisories Criticality

Secunia Criticality

Secunia Advisories severity affecting IceBB.

Vulnerabilities Impact

Secunia Impact

Secunia Advisories impact affecting IceBB.

Customization & Social Networks

Add new features to your forum installation.
Installation: [++[ Normal
Modify the style of your forum easily.
~1 Available Themes.
Custom BBCodes No Smiley Packs No
Thread Icons
No Additional User Profile Fields
Ask more about your members with custom fields.
Integration with Applications, Social Networks, Intranet...
Social Networks
Users can share information from their social network account...
CMS / Blog Bridges
Integration with existing Web publishing tools.
User Accounts Integration
Do users be able to log in with their corporate, Google, Facebook,... accounts?
Content Aggregation
Forum allows to integrate news and content from other website, using an aggregation protocol (RSS, RDF, Atom,...).

IceBB has not a lot of integration features currently. Authors seems to focus their time to fix bugs and release the 1.0 version.

The connection using OpenId is a really good idea, that we do not find often on forum Software, that generally prefer implementing their own mechanism.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
XHTML 1.0 Transitional
Click to see if it respects HTML norms.
CSS Stylesheets
CSS 2.
Click to see if it respects CSS norms.
Accessibility (WAI)
Web Accessibility ensures that the forum is usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.
Conformance to AA level.
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does IceBB correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?

IceBB respects W3C norms, and uses some Scripaculous / Prototype features, which makes it sexy to use and consult.

Unique Features

Key points and major differences that make IceBB unique:

You will find classical forum software features on IceBB, no more and no less.

Final Words


IceBB is a good forum software, has many qualities and is really simple to use. Even if some people could find it too simple compared to main forum software solutions, it provides at least exactly what a small community generally requests, which is, actually, exactly what we could expect from IceBB.

The final 1.0 version has been released, which finally means IceBB could be considered as bug free.

Additional Resources:

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Comments (4)

Great review! Thank you so

Great review! Thank you so much!


Hello, I think your website

Hello, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
When I look at your website in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet
Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads
up! Other then that, amazing blog!


IceBB seems to be dead. The

IceBB seems to be dead. The listed website is gone, and the only the it's sourceforge page hosts, is a sort-of theme file. I have not been able to test it for that reason.


Hello, You can download from

You can download from the google code site

We will be migrating to soon. At the moment, IceBB is being rebuilt from the ground up.

Eric H.
Lead Developer
XAOS Interactive

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