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Requirements to run and use miniBB-based forums

miniBB is a forum software with its specific requirements, which include server-side requirements for executing the software itself, client-side requirements for using the software with the maximum effect, installation knowledge for setting up the program on the web-server, and administration knowledge for maintaining the virtual community. Please study these conditions carefully, for being sure miniBB meets all requirements on your side.

Server-Side Requirements

miniBB is not a standalone application. It can be executed only on the web server with installed libraries, packages and programs which are interacting with each other using miniBB's interface and scripting files. These libraries are offered by any level Web hosting service. So, you will need the following to run miniBB:

  1. A web server. This is the main program supporting your web-space. A web hosting provider, which you have chosen for keeping miniBB forums, should prefferably offer Apache-based server, "The Number One HTTP Server On The Internet". However, server's type doesn't matter a lot when we speak about running miniBB. It also supports Microsoft's Internet Information Services and probably any kind of other server, which is correctly interprets cookie headers and just outputs webpages.
  2. PHP - the most popular hypertext preprocessor nowadays. Initial PHP version to run miniBB begins from 4.1.0, PHP 5.x (incl. 5.4.*, 5.5.*) are supported as well. Small additional modifications will allow to run miniBB even with lower PHP version like PHP 3, but we think such old PHP libraries are already not supported even by PHP developers. The only requirement about PHP is that magic_qoutes_runtime and magic_quotes_sybase settings of php.ini should be set to OFF, as they are set by default.

    miniBB does not use PHP functions like exec, system, passthru, shell_exec, proc_open, popen, show_source, curl_exec, curl_multi_exec, parse_ini_file, and even eval construct, which all may be blocked by the web service provider for security reasons. That means, you can execute miniBB with the extra secured php.ini configuration, or if there is a Suhosin Patch installed for PHP. It also works in Safe Mode of PHP.

    If you are going to use mailing functions of miniBB, like new reply notifications, PHP also must be compiled with sendmail or similar SMTP program. Additional miniBB modules like C.A.P.T.C.H.A. or Image Galleries also require GD Graphics library compiled with PHP, preferrably with Freetype module. These specific requirements, however, are offered by the most Web hosting service companies nowadays.
  3. mySQL - the most known branded open source database. miniBB uses very native and simple mySQL commands, so mySQL version doesn't matter a lot. It could be from 3.x, 4.x, 5.x or hopefully any other .x series as well. It is possible to extend miniBB scripts so it uses other type of database, however miniBB developers are supporting currently only mySQL as the most promising database technology for its purpose.

If we speak about Operating System - miniBB should work with any major OS, supporting the programs mentioned above. Those recommended by miniBB team are Linux or FreeBSD; users have reported, that it also executes on Windows or Mac OS X with no problems.

Client-Side Requirements

miniBB is a collection of pre-processed scripts, which produce the W3C-valid HTML output. On the client side it is accessed by any kind of modern web browser. Browsers we recommend are Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer (supplied with Microsoft Windows OS by default), Opera, Safari or Google Chrome. They are most widely used in Internet; however, if you are using some kind of other specific browser, it also shouldn't bring a big problem in viewing miniBB-forum pages. MiniBB just has nothing specific and heavy to make troubles.

Though we would mention some specific browser's requirements:

  • Cookies should be enabled. Authorization routine used by miniBB, uses cookies for storing username, encrypted password, and identity protection information. Despite you may browse miniBB forum pages with cookies disabled or not available at all, it will be impossible for you to log-in, and/or post the messages in the forum which is set up for registered members only.
  • JavaScript should be enabled. While posting a message, user could use few basic JavaScript functions for text attributes and quoting.

If RSS feed is available on miniBB-based forums (i.e. the RSS add-on is installed), you probably will need the RSS Feed reader. We recommend the one supplied with Mozilla Thunderbird.

Installation Knowledge

Despite miniBB it free and it is called 'mini', it doesn't mean you can just take it and install pressing the few buttons. Installation and setting up is a process which will require some technical experience and preparation. This means that you should know:

  • how to work with plain text files, i.e. open, edit them, cut and paste the codes;
  • how to properly edit PHP files, having basic knowledge about their structure;
  • how to work with FTP client, having FTP access to the hosting server;
  • if required, how to create mySQL database and assign necessary user privileges to it, like for example from cPanel;
  • finally, how to backup your forums and files for archiving purposes, using external software.

It is also preferred that you know English, since miniBB documentation and support, basically, are provided in English only.

If you are a professional coder or administrator, most probably these requirements will make you smile. Yes, they are very common and basic - but from our experience we could say not everybody wanting to make his own forum, is meeting them. On miniBB.com, we are not providing free lessons or support about the mentioned topics. If you would like to install miniBB, but do not know how, please refer to our qualified paid support or hire the person, who'll do the things for you.

Administration Knowledge

Some users think by mistake that they could just install the forums and forget about their existence, making profits or collecting information automatically. That is not true definitely. If you care about quality of your forums, they will need an each-day, each-hour or even each-minute constant moderation. The person who moderates the forums could be you, i.e. the same administrative person who has installed them; or you can give administration privileges to other persons as well, called moderators. What each forum moderator should know, are basic principles of how any forum software functions. You must understand, what the term "Internet forum" actually means, before installing the software like miniBB.


If everything above seems clear and affordable for you, welcome to Download or Compile miniBB, and have your own forums running in just few minutes! Do not forget that buying exclusive paid extensions for miniBB, you are supporting it's future life, and investing in your own forums at the solid level.

Thank you in advance for understanding and choosing our software.

What forum owners say about miniBB: I really like miniBB, actualy is one of the very few boards I liked and I did try a lot of them. as written by... Sakis
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