NOTICE: FluxBB has not seen an update in a very long time and the developer has moved onto another project - use with caution.
FluxBB started out life as a fork of the once-popular PunBB which was apparently purchased by a commercial entity and per the usual ended up alienating its userbase. FluxBBs goal was seemingly to push forward the existing codebase to support much-needed features like UTF-8, IPv6, SMTP over SSL and a lot more see this page on the FluxBB site which breaks down some of the key improvements.
FluxBB uses a single install screen to get things going and consists of the usual database credentials, admin/main user information and the board title, description. I have to say that when I hit install and it instantly said done I figured something had gone wrong so went to check and yep the tables were all present and FluxBB was fully functional.. it was split seconds of an install - I would argue this would be less than a minute to install... very very quick.
FluxBB based on what I can read was a fork of PunBB 1.2, so if you're a fan of what PunBB was once upon a time then FluxBB will be very familiar to you, its top-down approach to configuration makes sense given the simple approach to features - FluxBB is meant to be set up and deployed very quickly and offers a limited but complete set of features.
The options are well organized using category headers and are mostly dropdowns, radio buttons and a few areas of input, it's really hard to go wrong with Flux but the question of using outdated yet still functional software is a hard sell (see summary)
Mods / Plugins / Styles
FluxBB has several built-in styles that don't so much change the visual display in terms of layout but more in terms of colour themes and you can find a couple hundred more on the FluxBB styles section. Apparently, a plan for the future of FluxBB was to introduce plugin support which based on the way other systems make use of plugins, would mean the end of core code hacks, however, it seems plugins never came to be and modifications are plentyful but they do require changes to the code itself which is always fun when it comes time to update.
It's really hard to criticise FluxBB and it's ONLY on this list because the original post I disliked (see hub post) went into great detail about how this is a good basic forum and it is! However, the developer of FluxBB so far as I know has moved on to working on Flarum along with the developer of esoTalk
So despite how good FluxBB is, should be using a product for the web that has not been updated in 3ish years? probably not. If you are interested in FluxBB however all is not lost forks do exist and based on what I can see the most notable of these is ForkBB.
- Scary fast and light
- Way more features crammed into a very small setup
- Supports SQLite making it incredibly portable.
- Does not appear to be maintained
- Mods require code hacking
- No PHP8 support (PHP 7.4 seemed to work fine)
This post is part of our "best forums 2022" series, you can see the hub post here and you can also use that post for suggestions on other forums we should look into.
Otherwise, let us know what you think of our review of this forum in a response below, did we make a mistake? has it evolved in some massive way so needs a re-review?