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esoTalk – Fat-free forum software

Help develop Flarum, esoTalk's successor. Flarum on GitHub »

esoTalk is a free, open-source forum software package built with PHP and MySQL. It is designed to be:

  • Fast. esoTalk's code was architectured to have little overhead and to be as efficient as possible.
  • Simple. All of esoTalk's interfaces are designed around simplicity, ease-of-use, and speed.
  • Powerful. Despite its simplicity, a large array of plugins and skins are available to extend the functionality of esoTalk.

esoTalk is developed by Toby Zerner in memory of his brother, Simon.


I've put many hundreds of hours and a lot of love into developing and maintaining esoTalk. If you have benefitted from it, why not consider donating some schrapnel? #feedtoby

System Requirements

esoTalk requires PHP 5.3+ and a modern version of MySQL.

The PHP gd extension is required to support avatar uploading.

esoTalk has only been tested on Apache and lighttpd. If you encounter a problem specific to any other web server, please create an issue.


Installing esoTalk is super easy. In brief, simply:

  1. Download esoTalk.
  2. Extract and upload the files to your PHP-enabled web server.
  3. Visit the location in your web browser and follow the instructions in the installer.


To upgrade esoTalk from an older version, simply:

  1. Download the latest version of esoTalk.
  2. Extract and upload all of the files to your web-server, overwriting old ones. (Be careful that you don't lose custom plugins, skins, and languages you've uploaded to the addons directory, though!)
  3. Visit in your web browser and watch esoTalk complete the upgrade.


If you are having problems installing esoTalk, view the Troubleshooting documentation.