XennoBB Review

(October 11, 2006 12:36)
Last Version 2.3.3 (September 9, 2006). Released under GPL License.
Resources Website XennoBB Website Download Download...
Company Xenno Group.
Price Free.
Jump To:

XennoBB is no longer maintained.

XennoBB no longer exists since 2007, due to non-respect of the GPL License
It is therefore not advised to use it, as no new security issues will be fixed.

What is (was!) XennoBB?

XennoBB is a really young experimentation on the forum software world by its development team. It relies on the MySQL/PHP couple, and is based on a really fresh and usable general layout.

Review Updates:

  • September 2007: Please note that XennoBB no longer exists. In 2007, XennoBB did not respect the GPL License (XennoBB was based on PunBB and Puntal), and after many complaints from original software developers, this project was finally cancelled. Some rumors inform us that the Smurof project could be based on the original XennoBB source.

XennoBB is recommended for Medium 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
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 XennoBB.
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 No.
Thread Icons Yes Topic Tags -
Hot Topics - Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics Yes Sticky Threads Yes
Related Threads - Detect Duplicate Threads Yes
Announcements -
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • Rich Text Editor
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • Plain
  • 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 No
Attachments No Syntax Highlighting -
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,...).
The redirect page can quickly begin boring when you're doing administration tasks. Indeed, each request to the forum causes an HTML redirect (using a <meta> tag). This would be more interesting to directly make a HTTP redirect, which is hidden to the user.

User Profiles & Options

Some details about XennoBB 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...)
You can add a custom icon to your thread, to help people seeing the kind of subject you're posting. This is interesting and replace the post-it we can find in PhpBB and other bulletin board. Some buttons helps you to add a link to an MP3, a video, which can help beginner users to submit what they want. The administration panel is not easy to find the first time you use XennoBB.

Moderation & Users Management

Moderation & Threads Management
Moderation No.
Moderator per section No
Global Moderator No
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 No
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 No

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.
- 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 XennoBB.

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.

Vulnerabilities Advisories Criticality

Secunia Criticality

Secunia Advisories severity affecting XennoBB.

Vulnerabilities Impact

Secunia Impact

Secunia Advisories impact affecting XennoBB.

Customization & Social Networks

Add new features to your forum installation.
Modify the style of your forum easily.
Custom BBCodes No Smiley Packs Yes
Thread Icons
Yes 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,...).
About CMS integration, XennoBB provides a special version of its forum. This version, called XennoBB SE (Special Edition) integrates by default a simple CMS system. This is a particularly useful solution for webmasters that do not want to search for a CMS and a forum software that interoperate easily. For more information, consult the XennoBB homepage.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
XHTML 1.0 Strict.
XHTML 1.0 Strict
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 XennoBB correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?

Final Words


XennoBB is a young project (begun in 2005) that already provides many features that other bulletin boards have.

To conclude, Forum-Software.org's opinion is that you can safely install XennoBB for a small/medium website, for various communities.

The community of XennoBB is today still small, but like Linux, it's always better to use something that not everybody use, to avoid big security holes and worms that try to hack website.

Please note that XennoBB no longer exists. In 2007, XennoBB did not respect the GPL License (XennoBB was based on PunBB and Puntal), and after many complaints from original software developers, this project was finally cancelled.

Some rumors inform us that the Smurof project could be based on the original XennoBB source.

Additional Resources:

Found a Mistake? Tell us »
Comments are closed.

Comments (3)


I installed this one last night, and had it completely configured for regular use and running on one of my sites in less than an 30 minutes.. It has a nice, professional look.. clean code.. great performance.. and built-in html tag features (ads / buttons..) that I usually have to add by hand in most other BB's.. RSS features are an extra bonus.. it's a great setup!!

I haven't tried the SE edition yet.. that's tonights project.. I'll get back to you on that one Wink

boot error.. keyboard not detected, [F1] to continue, [esc] to reboot


Do not use XennoBB!

XennoBB has and always will be fake. It has copied instances of MyBB, phpBB, UseBB, PunBB, vBulletin, and who knows what else. You'll even find that XennoBB's home page no longer exists.

XennoBB is NOT legitimate software; it is illegal.


Yes, this software is long

Yes, this software is long gone now. I was one of the people that helped in taking XennoBB down and owned the xennocommunity.com website. I was on the Smurof team that was going to completely re-do it in brand new code.

Eventually, we had chosen with an existing French Developer not to pursue this ambition as the software was highly damaged from it's past and there was too many risks. The Smurof team were on the same side as the rest of the development world and against XennoBB "as it was with it's rip off of so many forum software's.

SMF and BurningBoard are now my choice of forums. I recommend them.

  Top Top