Best Forum Software-NodeBB

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While toying with the idea of creating a forum i decided to search for a robust and open source forum software. My criteria for selecting one was very simple

  • It should be open source
  • Decent size community
  • Build with popular development language so that search for a dev is not difficult.
  • Easy to set up and integrate.

Two finalists

After going through multiple open source forum software, I was left with two finalists who were offering best effort vs return ration. Those two were

I tried both of them on my local machine and I was blown away by the simplicity and ease of integration of Asgaros. Asgaros allows you to add a forum to a WordPress site within 15 mins. Together with the WPEverest user registration plugin, It gives you total control and you can get started with a robust forum within minutes requiring no programming knowledge. Though it is excellent for a site already running WordPress, It still looks too mainstream.

After being impressed by Asgaros I was sure I will not get an easier and better option. Then I decided to give it a try to NodeBB.

NodeBB Installation On Intel Mac Running Catalina

Though initially I didn’t intend to get into the installation process but with instructions available I failed twice so sharing what succeeded.

  • Install and run Redis using brew
    • brew install redis
  • Run the Redis server
    • redis-server

Now you have a running Redis database server. Let’s proceed with the NodeBB installation. From here on things get little different.

Clone NodeBB from master branch to your desired location. Specific versions failed to install in my case. So lets clone NodeBB by simply running

git clone https://github.com/NodeBB/NodeBB.git

Now cd into NodeBB folder cd /NodeBB .

Once inside the NodeBB folder run npm install. If you get any warning resolve them by running npm audit fix.

Now you need to run ./nodebb setup, from here on follow the instructions and enter redis as an option when asked for the database.

After you are done with the setup you can start the server by running ./nodebb start. Its like running a node server with nohup. Closing the terminal or pressing ctrl+c won’t stop the server. In order to stop the server, you will need to run ./nodebb stop.

Now you will have a full feature forum running at http://localhost:4567/

NodeBB is so loaded with features, It is an advantage that it is free and an obligation to donate if we can.

Explore your locally hosted forum and fall in love with NodeBB. I will followup with articles about specific features and setup tasks. Do let me know in comments if you want some specific feature to be covered.

A pat on the back !!