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Vanilla is a powerfully simple discussion forum you can easily customize to make as unique as your community.
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Vanilla Repo Logo

Build Status

Howdy, Stranger!

Vanilla was born out of the desire to create flexible, customizable, and downright entertaining community solutions. Vanilla has been used to power tens of thousands of community forums around the world and we couldn't be happier if you've decided to use Vanilla to grow yours.

Forum Rich Editor Dashboard
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Every community is unique. Vanilla is a finely-crafted platform on which designers and developers can build a custom-tailored environment that meets your community's particular needs.

5 reasons Vanilla is the sweetest forum

  1. We've reimagined traditional forums for mass-appeal.
  2. Our theming flexibility is second-to-none.
  3. Impossibly good integration options with single sign-ons and embedding.
  4. The best tools available for community management.
  5. Curated features with great plugin options, not the kitchen sink.


Upgrading from an earlier version of Vanilla? See our upgrade notes.


Getting Help

Reporting Security Issues

Please disclose security issues responsibly by emailing with a full description or join our bug bounty program. We cannot award bounties outside that program.

We'll work on releasing an updated version as quickly as possible. Please do not email non-security issues; use the issue tracker instead.

Releases & Branches

The master branch is considered a stable branch capable of being released at any time. Reviewed, stable changes land against master via pull-request.

Our open source release branches are named by version number, e.g. release/2.8. All open source releases (included pre-releases) are tagged.

The release/VERSION+BUILD branches are production-ready branches for our cloud product but are not yet vetted for open source release (alternate platforms & configurations).

Active Release Deprecated Release
Version 2.8 2.6
Initial Release 8 Feb 2019 17 Aug 2018
Last Updated 15 Mar 2019 (2.8.1) 28 Oct 2018 (2.6.4)
EOL Next release 8 Feb 2019

Refer to the OSS changelog and the Vanilla Cloud changelog to track active changes between releases.

Building Releases

Vanilla releases are built using Phing to create a pre-built deploy-ready copies of Vanilla. To build these run the following in the root of the repository.


The following dependenies are all required for building a release.

  • node
  • yarn
  • php
  • composer

License & Legal Stuff

Vanilla is free, open source software distributed under the license gpl-2.0-only. We accept and encourage contributions from our community and sometimes give hugs in return.

Copyright © 2009-2019 Vanilla Forums Inc.

Vanilla Forums is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Vanilla Forums is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with Vanilla Forums.

If not, see Contact Vanilla Forums Inc. at support [at] vanillaforums [dot] com


Just kidding, everything's awesome. dance

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