a fun, simple and experimental network
This page lists known BBS projects, both active and inactive, and is a work in progress. If you spot something that should be added, edited etc. please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ENiGMA½ BBS is authored by Bryan Ashby aka NuSkooler. The project began in October 2015, driven through a lack of diversity in the BBS scene and no modern open source solutions being available.
ENiGMA½ is written in Node.js, and has a very active development community with other developers contributing to the ENiGMA codebase and multiple boards spun up.
Written by Andrew Pamment (apam) Magicka BBS is not being actively developed but bug fixes are still updated. The author is now developing Talisman BBS.
Magicka BBS is a free opensource BBS system for Linux/macOS/FreeBSD, other operating systems such as NetBSD and OpenBSD may work. Magicka is known to run on x86_64, arm and aarch64 platforms.
MBSE BBS is a fully FTN-capable ANSI BBS package including a mailer (ifcico clone), BinkD daemon, mail tosser, TIC processor, filefind, and other utilities allowing access via modem and the Internet using telnet, ssh, http and ftp.
The software was written by Michiel Broek with a desire by the author to have a system that met his needs and not wanting to run shareware software any more. The first version appeared in 1998 with the first public release available from September 1999.
Broek ceased development in August 2013 but others have carried on with the project. The current MBSE Development Team is Andrew Leary (ajleary), Michael Dillon (gsvalore), and Sean Dennis (digimaus).
Mystic BBS was conceived around 1995 and first released to the public in 1997 after the author James Coyle aka g00r00 became frustrated with the lack of customization available with Renegade, and the lack of stability in many more flexible software packages.
It is a popular BBS software for those who share a common interest in ANSI art and BBS modding. With the fall of MS-DOS and the decline of BBSes in general, Mystic released an OS/2 and Windows 32 native version in 1998. Mystic was the first of the non-commerical MS-DOS based BBS softwares to integrate directly with the Telnet protocol. It also went on to release a native Linux version in 1999, and the first to introduce a standardized platform for DOOR games across all 4 operating systems.
In 2011, Mystic removed its DOS version, added a native Mac OSX version, and went open source for several years. The author has worked hard to better integrate with Internet protocols. It now has internal Telnet, RLOGIN, SSH, NNTP, POP3, SMTP, FTP and BINKP servers.
In early 2015, Mystic introduced a stable release for Raspberry Pi with 1.10 and went closed source again. Mystic now provides the only integrated BBS and echomail solution for the Raspberry Pi (ARM Linux) and OS-X (Macintosh) platforms. The project is still being developed in Free Pascal by its original author.
Renegade BBS is a DOS based Bulletin Board Software. Created in 1991 by Cott Lang. Various updates were released until 1996. In 1997 Lang ceased work on the codebase and passed it on to Gary Hall and Patrick Spence. They maintained the code for nearly three years and released three updates.
In 2000, Jeff Herrings was offered the code to address various YZK issues within the code and released one update. After this, Herrings assumed the BBS scene was dead and laid Renegade to rest. In 2003, T.J. McMillen contacted Patrick Spense in a off-shoot chance to get some minor code updates to make Renegade somewhat more flexible with today's changing userbase.
October 2003, Spence gave the code to McMillen stating he did not have the time nor want to add these requests. McMillen soon added the help of Chris Hoppman to quickly add some features. In 2004, Hoppman grew tired of coding, and stepped down from the project. In late 2004 Jeff Herrings saw that the Renegade code he laid to rest was given out by the previous author. With a deep hurtful feeling of trust issues, Herrings decided to release his Y2ka2 source code to the pubic to get back at Spence for not respecting his wishes.
With the Y2Ka2 Renegade Source Code out in the wild, this presented a few problems if anyone took off with it. There were two updates since the Y2K version of Renegade was release. The other problem was if someone started coding by themselves without the official hand down, there would be two forks of the codebase and it would confuse people when trying to upgrade.
Lee Palmer contacted McMillen in late 2004 to see if he could help with the code as he was a former third party developer for the T.A.G. BBS Software. His utilities looked interesting and he was soon added to the team. Various updates such as File Tagging and Light bars were added. Sometime around 2011 Palmer disappeared.
With little time to play with Renegade, McMillen finally decided to lay it to rest once again and put the source code for v1.19a on GitHub for anyone to work on. People flocked to grab this code and make their own fork. But after 7 years, nothing was really, done with the code. McMillen was disappointed and with a bit more free time due to the pandemic, started work on Renegade once again. Two more releases were made since McMillen's return.
In 2021, McMillen found some hope, and added Lee Woodridge to the Dev Team after seeing his fork of the v1.19a codebase. Work is being done to merge the two code bases, add features, and fix some long outstanding bugs.
Synchronet Bulletin Board System Software is a free software package that can turn your personal computer into your own custom online service supporting multiple simultaneous users with hierarchical message and file areas, multi-user chat, and the ever-popular BBS door games.
Synchronet development began as a personal hobby in 1990 for single-tasking MS-DOS compatible computers and Hayes compatible modems. The program was sold commercially from 1992-1996 after which time it was released (with source code) for both the 16-bit DOS and 32-bit OS/2 platforms to the public domain and development by the author was ceased.
In November of 1999, the author Rob Swindell aka Digital Man found a renewed interest in further developing Synchronet, specifically for the Internet community, embracing and integrating standard Internet protocols such as Telnet, FTP, SMTP, POP3, IRC, NNTP, and HTTP. Synchronet has since been substantially redesigned as an Internet-only BBS package for Win32 and Unix-x86 platforms and is an Open Source project under continuous development.
Written by Andrew Pamment (apam) Talisman is a telnet style bulletin board system for Linux & Windows. It is a system that mixes the best bits of his previous BBS systems (Magicka BBS / Titan BBS). Talisman is opensource and licensed under the GNU GPLv3.
Written by Andrew Pamment (apam) Titan BBS was an experimental BBS written in C++ for Linux and Windows. It utilized parts of C++17 found in Visual Studio 2019 (and recent versions of Visual Studio 2017) and GCC 8+. On Linux CMake was used to configure.
Titan used sqlite3 for messages, user bases, file bases etc. It came with it's own FTN message tosser TitanFTN. Titan also relied on third party utilities for some features. SEXYZ for file transfers and InfoZIP for archiving.
WWIV is computer bulletin board system (BBS) originally written in Basic, ported to Pascal, C and finally C++. WWIV v5 is Open Source released under the Apache License version v2.0.
Written by Jeff Quast and Johannes Lundberg in Python, x/84 was an experimental python 2 Telnet (and SSH) BBS. The primary purpose of x/84 was to provide a server framework for building environments that emulate the feeling of an era that predates the world wide web. The project is Open Source.