UseBB 1 Readme

Welcome to the UseBB 1 introduction document. This file gives some general information regarding UseBB, how to install/upgrade, etc.

What's UseBB?

UseBB 1 is an Open Source forum package developed in PHP 4 and using the popular MySQL database back-end to store data. Unlike other popular forum systems, UseBB does not strive to have as many features as possible, but to be one of the easiest and most usable forum packages, limiting the basic feature set to only the essential. UseBB is pure forum software.

UseBB is an ideal solution for small to medium-sized websites which require an easy to use forum package without the bloat, that produces standards compliant output, is secure and easily configurable.

For a list of features, see the feature list at

Install UseBB 1

Before you install UseBB 1, you have to make sure your host accords to the following system requirements.

Minimum requirements

Recommended set-up

UseBB 1 supports PHP 5 upto the recent versions of 5.3, and was tested with MySQL versions up to MySQL 5.5.

UseBB was also confirmed to work with some other HTTP servers, such as Microsoft IIS, lighttpd and ABYSS. However, there is no guarantee the latest version still does.

Important: If you use MySQL 4.1 or higher, it is highly recommended to use a latin1 collation instead of a Unicode one. Should your host use Unicode as default database collation, please change this for your database using phpMyAdmin or a similar administration tool or contact your host before installing UseBB 1. In most cases though, no action will be necessary.

To install UseBB 1, you have two options.

Note: You must choose only one of the following installation methods. You don't have to follow both lists of steps. If you don't know what to choose, perform the automatic installation.

Automatic installation

The automatic installer is mostly the best and easiest method to install UseBB 1.

  1. Rename config.php-dist to config.php;
  2. Upload/move all the files to their final destination online;
  3. Optional: chmod config.php so that it is writable by the webserver, this will able both the installer and UseBB's ACP to change settings;
  4. Open the installation wizard in your web browser (located at install/ – the previous link only works when reading this file after uploading).
  5. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

Manual installation

Alternatively, you can install UseBB 1 manually.

  1. Execute install/schemas/mysql.sql followed by install/usebb.sql on your database (using a database management tool such as phpMyAdmin);
  2. Rename config.php-dist to config.php;
  3. Edit config.php and adjust the database settings1;
  4. Upload/move all the files except for the install directory to their final destination online;
  5. Optional: chmod config.php so that it is writable by the webserver, this will able UseBB's ACP to change settings;
  6. Register a first user, it will automatically be an administrator.

1Use type 'mysqli' if you use PHP 5 and have the mysqli extension available.

After installation

When installation is done, you can log in and start configuring your forum. The link to the ACP (Admin Control Panel) is at the bottom of the page.

If this is a public forum, it is advised to read the anti-spam instructions and take appropriate measures. By default no anti-spam features are enabled.

Upgrade an existing UseBB

If you run a forum powered by a previous UseBB 1.0 version, you can upgrade as following:

Separate download files can be found at

Upgrading from several (now really old) 0.x versions is not possible without making database changes. Ask for help at the forums.

More information

Important notes

Developer's remark

UseBB 1 and its beta versions 0.x were developed as a hobby project, partially to gain experience with PHP and web development. The first code was written in 2004.

Even though UseBB 1 has proven to be very suitable for small communities and is still maintained, its implementation should not be seen as a good example of the usage of modern (web) development techniques. For example, UseBB 1 lacks good use of object oriented programming and contains a number of design flaws that should be avoided in other (web) applications.

Future major UseBB versions will completely abandon the current v1 architecture. Consider UseBB 1 for what it is: a light and – most important – classic bulletin board system.

External links

If you would like more information about UseBB, check out the following locations.