JForum Review

(August 3, 2006 13:02)
Last Version 2.1.8 (March 20, 2009). Released under BSD License.
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From JForum website:

JForum is a powerful and robust discussion board system implemented in Java. It provides an attractive interface, an efficient forum engine, an easy to use administrative panel, an advanced permission control system and much more.

Built from the ground up around a MVC framework, it can be deployed on any servlet container or Application Server, such as Tomcat, Resin and JBoss. Its clean design and implementation make JForum easy to customize and extend.

Best of all, JForum is freely available under the BSD Open Source license.

If you or your company are searching for a serious and robust Forum Software, JForum is the right choice.

Key Features

  • Ultra fast
  • Fully customizable user interface
  • Secure and highly customizable permission control
  • Multi-language support
  • Multi-database support
  • Open Source

Review Updates:

  • March 23, 2010: Update the review with JForum 2.18.

JForum is recommended for Medium Community.

(and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

Server & Client Requirements

Server Requirements
Programming Language
Required Architecture and Versions.
  • Java 1.4 - J2EE
  • Java 6 - JEE
Web Servers
How the forum is delivered to users.
  • Apache Tomcat
  • JBoss
  • JoNas
  • Geronimo
  • WebSphere
  • Weblogic
  • Glassfish
  • Jetty
How Forum Data are Stored.
  • MySQL
  • Postgresql
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle
Operating Systems
Systems Supporting this Software.
  • GNU/LinuxGNU/Linux
  • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
  • Apple Mac OSApple Mac OS
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.
Javascript, AJAX.
Languages supported by JForum.
Supported Languages:
Portuguese (Brazilian) Chinese (Simplified)
German Spanish
Hungarian Italian
Korean (South) Norwegian
Polish Portuguese
Russian English (British)
Vietnamese Chinese (Traditional)

You could find Additional Translations on the JForum forum.

JForum uses the benefit of the J2EE platform, with database connection pools, localization, database independent implementation, and even clustering (depending on which Application Server you use).

For example, it is really simple to increase max numbers of connections and JForum developers did not have to implement this, because this is supported by default by the J2EE application servers.

The demonstration has been installed on a Tomcat 5.5.17, proxied under a Apache 2.2 (using mod_jk), which is a really secure and classical solution.

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 Flat Forum Organization
  • Forum Categories
  • Sub Sections
Thread Icons No Topic Tags -
Hot Topics - Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics Yes Sticky Threads Yes
Related Threads - Detect Duplicate Threads No
Announcements -
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.
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
Yes Message Quoting Yes

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation No
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.
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,...).
  • Freemarker

We cannot really say that JForum is modular, because you can extend its model, neither add various features to the default installation. This is really a pity, especially when you know that Object-oriented languages like Java allows to add easily 3rd party extensions.

User Profiles & Options

Some details about JForum 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...)

Users will be happy to find most important features you can traditional find in classical forum software. Administration and moderation are real simple tasks to perform daily.

The Captcha can be sometimes really difficult to read, we hope it will be improved soon.

Moderation & Users Management

Moderation & Threads Management
Moderation No.
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 No.
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 JForum.

The migration is quite easy from:

  • PhpBB

Security & Spam Protection

Security & Spam Protection
Captcha protects your forum against spam bots.
e.g., Syndicate
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.

Customization & Social Networks

Add new features to your forum installation.
Modify the style of your forum easily.
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,...).

Please note that JForum perfectly supports LDAP directory and provides a Single Sign On (SSO) feature, that helps integrating it in a more vast enterprise environment. This is a really good point.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
HTML 4.01.
HTML 4.01
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 A level.
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does JForum correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?

Unfortunately, JForum uses the default PhpBB template, Subsilver, which does not respect the W3C norms.

The power of Java will however give other advantages, like localization, which is bundled by default with the software.

Recommended Books

Unique Features

Key points and major differences that make JForum unique:

  • Supports LDAP and SSO

Final Words


JForum is the best forum software in the Java/JEE world. The installation wizard will help Java beginners to install it. The database connections could use a simple JDBC pool or use an existing JNDI datasource.

You will find in JForum similar features that PhpBB provides, but please however note than JForum does not implement all of them. PhpBB themes are almost compatible with JForum (look like the default theme of JForum).

Even if it has some little lacks, JForum stands for the only forum alternative in the Java world against the traditional LAMP solutions.

For more information, there is a link on JForum website about Who is using JForum?

Additional Resources:

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Comments (5)

Is it easy to install a

Is it easy to install a Tomcat + Apache solution on a Solaris Server?

lastnico's picture

Yes, of course, this not

Yes, of course, this not harder than installing it on a Linux or a Windows server. You just need, obviously, some skills in Solaris world.

FSR Admin - Vote for 2012.


Jforum is incredibly fast and

Jforum is incredibly fast and easy to install & configure. It's my favourite J2EE forum


hi... please tell me .How


please tell me .How to configure jforum with jboss.


It seems like jForum 2.1.8

It seems like jForum 2.1.8 doesnt run on JBoss AS 7, and since this forum system does not have a forum to discuss the product on I have no idea on how to solve it.

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