Modern Imageboard Software
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Ichiban: Demo

Modern Imageboard Software

What's this all about?

Every imageboard software has attempted to clone its predecessor. Futaba, Wakaba, Kusaba; It's time for something better than just a clone.

Ichiban is an imageboard designed to retain the feel of its predecessors while fixing the usability issues that have plagued them. The layout attempts to reduce unnecessary distractions and exemplify user content. Ichiban acts more like a board platform than a single imageboard. Users are free to make their own boards and delegate moderator status accordingly.

Local Setup

Ichiban is a Ruby on Rails application so the setup is minimal.


  • Some *nix variant or OSX. I recommend Ubuntu Server or a Debian derivative.
  • Ruby 1.9.3+, preferably using RVM.
  • Heroku Toolbelt (for production use.)
  • Bundler; See Gemfile for gem dependencies.
  • Relevent database dependencies (Postgres, MySQL, etc). I recommend Postgres though MySQL should be fine.

Clone the repository and run bundle. You can use bundle --without test to omit any testing gems as they require additional libraries. The Ichiban documentation assumes that you prepend bundle exec to your commands. I recommend an alias such as alias be="bundle exec" in your .bashrc/.zshrc.

Run rake db:setup. This rake command will load the database schema and seed any necessary defaults.

Make sure you're able to create a database user named 'ichiban'. Postgres on Ubuntu can be a little overzealous and prevent local users from accessing databases without credentials. You can fix the issue by editing /etc/postgresql/9.1/main/pg_hba.conf and change the METHOD column from whatever is listed to trust; this configuration is only acceptable in a development environment.


Make sure to edit your cloudinary.yml file with your account credentials. The free tier should be more than enough for development purposes.

You should be all set to run Ichiban with be rails s.

Production Setup

While there is no reason you cannot setup Ichiban to run on Passenger, the software is built to live on Heroku. Image hosting is done through Cloudinary but uses Carrierwave to create image models. Carrierwave can be configured to store images locally or even resize images and send them off to S3, though that configuration is outside the scope of this guide.


Assuming you have an account and your credentials setup, setup is as easy as creating a new Heroku app. Make sure to add the Postgres and Cloudinary addons at the Heroku control panel or with the Heroku toolbelt. I recommend the Postgres Backup and Log Entries addons too.


Ichiban expects a few environment variables to run in production mode. You can add them on Heroku with the heroku config:add command.

Secret Keys

Your cookie token should be at least 30 random characters. Changing the cookie token will invalidate any existing Ichiban cookies.


Your secure tripcode salt should follow the same rules. Changing the secure tripcode salt will alter all future secure tripcodes.



File an issue report on GitHub if your unable to submit a Pull Request yourself.

Pull Requests

Make sure your code matches the style guide. Ichiban uses the new symbol syntax when possible except when assigning a symbol to another symbol (e.g. foo: :bar). I encourage clarity over fanciness; avoid awkward one-liners and unclear assignment.


For Users

  • Markdown formatting.
  • Post Reporting.
  • Tripcodes/Secure Tripcodes
  • Built in "4chan X"-esq enhancements:
    • Post hiding.
    • Image expansion.
  • Permanent thread archiving.


  • Inline funcitionality:
    • Editable posts.
    • Quick banning.
  • Image deduplication via Cloudinary.
  • Optional reCAPTCHA.
  • Reports:
  • Prevents duplicates.
  • Settable limit per IP.

Thread Architecture

Traditionally, imageboards rely on quote anchors to reply to posts. In Ichiban, a thread is simply a series of replies to a post. A post is an ancestor if it has started a thread. While any direct reply is known as a child, any reply to an ancestor or one of its children are known as descendants. Any reply to a post has parent.


Ichiban by Eric Wright is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at