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This is the ElkArte Development repository. If you are looking for the currently released branch go here

ElkArte is a modern, free, powerful community forum building forum software. It is completely free and licensed with an open source BSD 3-clause license.

Initially based on Simple Machines Forum (SMF), it began as an overhaul of the code; to modernise, implement new features and make a forum software more relevant in a time of unprecedented social interaction. It has grown to become a modern and feature rich forum package to meet the demands of today's message board user.

Enjoy the benefits of enthusiasts from around the world who spend time making ElkArte what it is today.

Test ElkArte yourself by visting our support forums at

Contributions to documentation are licensed under CC-by-SA 3. Third party libraries or sets of images, are under their own licenses.

Build Status Current Release License Downloads GitHub commits GitHub contributors Open Issues GitHub issues-closed codecov

A small taste of ElkArte features

  • @Mentioning users including notifications
  • Like system for posts and topics, with a like statistics page
  • Notification system for mentions, quoted posts, likes, PM's
  • Drafts, including auto save
  • Emoji integrated into the editor provides access to 1000's of them 😃
  • Inline Attachments allow displaying of attachment thumbnails inline with the text of the post
  • Two factor authentication
  • Two built in modern, responsive themes
  • Desktop notifications and number of unread notifications "live" in the favicon of the browser
  • Integrated video embedding for YouTube, Vimeo, TikTok and Dailymotion
  • Drag and drop ordering in the administration interface
  • Drag and drop file attachments with live view
  • Built in image attachment lightbox with swipe/arrow navigation
  • Improved Anti Spam measures
  • Improved password security using industry standards
  • Automatic combining and minifying of JavaScript and CSS
  • Posting and replying by Email
  • Ajax previews and responses throughout the user interface


  • ElkArte version 2.0 (under development / this repo) will require PHP version 7.1 or newer
  • MySQL 5.7+, Mariadb 10.2+ OR PostgreSQL 9.5+

On the client side, ElkArte will run & look good with its responsive theme in just about any modern browser, smartphone or tablet.

Setting up an ElkArte Forum:

If you're not here to play with the open source code, but instead would like to set up an ElkArte forum, follow these steps. Since ElkArte is built to be simple to use, its installation is no exception.

  • Create a database for your forum using a tool like PHPMyAdmin or Adminer
  • Get the latest Install Package for ElkArte.
  • Upload and extract the entire file structure up to your web server.
  • Confirm the folders are writable by PHP.
  • Navigate to that folder in your web browser
  • Follow the instructions on screen.
  • Enjoy !

ElkArte is also available to install from cPanel for Softaculous users!

Migrating to ElkArte

Switching to ElkArte is fast and easy!

Simply install ElkArte using our Quick Installer (as outlined above), then utilizing the Open Importer Engine you can migrate to ElkArte from many other popular forums including SMF, phpBB, MyBB, vBulletin, XenForo and more.

Extend ElkArte

ElkArte was built to be extensible, so you can add new features or give it your own custom look, with ease. With 100's of plugin hooks and an event system, adding new features can be done without any involved source edits.

Browse the collections of Themes and Addons created by our awesome community


  • Troubleshoot issues you run into on the ElkArte community forum so others can help & the developers can reference it later.
  • Have a new feature idea or improvement suggestion? Use the forum to discuss it.
  • File detailed issues on GitHub (what you did, and what the actual vs expected outcomes are).
  • Read the Developer's Certificate of Origin if you want to send us code. It means you acknowledge that you can and do license your submissions under the license of the project.
  • Feel free to fork this repository and make your desired changes.

Please see our How to contribute section for more information on how to contribute to the ElkArte Project.

Class / Method / Function documentation

ElkArte utilizes source code documentation blocks to provide descriptions for all of its classes, methods and functions. This API Documentation is available online for viewing and searching.

Site and IRC

Join us on IRC, on #elkarte channel on freenode.

Project site: