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Developer(s) XenForo Limited, Kier Darby, Mike Sullivan, Chris Deeming
Initial release March 8, 2011 (2011-03-08)
Stable release
2.0.9 / July 24, 2018; 21 days ago (2018-07-24)
Written in PHP
Platform PHP, MySQL
Available in English
Type Forum software
License Commercial proprietary software
Website xenforo.com

XenForo is a commercial Internet forum software package written in the PHP programming language using the Zend Framework. The software is developed by former vBulletin lead developers Kier Darby and Mike Sullivan. The first public beta release of XenForo was released in October 2010. XenForo 1.0.0 Stable was released on March 8, 2011.[1] XenForo has several search engine optimization (SEO) features built in.

On November 12, 2014, Chris Deeming officially joined the development team. One of his products, Xen Media Gallery, now XenForo Media Gallery, joined the XenForo family of products. [2]


One of the developers of XenForo, Kier Darby, originally served as a lead developer for the community platform vBulletin. The original owner of the software, Jelsoft, was acquired by the American new media company Internet Brands in 2007. Disagreements occurred between the developers and the new management over matters involving the next major release of vBulletin, version 4.0. While the team wished to make 4.0 a complete rewrite of the platform, Internet Brands insisted on using agile development atop the existing code instead. These internal conflicts resulted in most of the vBulletin developers stepping down from employment at Internet Brands in 2009. As part of a new team, Darby and other former vBulletin developers began work on a new platform known as XenForo.[3][4]

Internet Brands lawsuits[edit]

One day before the originally scheduled release for the first public beta of XenForo in October 2010, Internet Brands announced that it would file a lawsuit against the XenForo team in the UK, claiming: copyright infringement of property acquired by Internet Brands, that code in XenForo was refactored from vBulletin code, breach of contract, and engaging in unfair business practices.[4] Representatives also claimed that XenForo "unfairly stands on the shoulders of more than a decade of development", development which had become the property of Internet Brands through the acquisition. In November 2010, Internet Brands sued XenForo and Darby in California District Court in the United States, additionally claiming that Darby had not returned confidential information from Internet Brands regarding the vBulletin software, though failing to provide evidence to back this claim. The XenForo team has denied the claims made by Internet Brands in these lawsuits. Internet Brands also denied that the timing of the lawsuit was to coincide with the first public beta of the software.[5]

XenForo and its developer Kier Darby made three motions to dismiss the case on grounds of forum non conveniens, non-subject matter jurisdiction, and personal jurisdiction in California (arguing that the California lawsuit is duplicative of the UK action). On February 7, 2011, Judge Manuel Real denied all three motions. On April 4, 2011, Judge Real granted a motion by XenForo to dismiss the 7th and 8th claims of the litigation which dealt with alleged violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and California Penal Code § 502.[6]

On October 17, 2011, the plaintiff Internet Brands amended their complaint to alter several new allegations based on newly discovered information, and further added new individual defendants to the case, including developer Mike Sullivan and Business Manager Ashley Busby. The defendants' motion to dismiss this amended complaint was denied by Judge Real.

On January 4, 2012, Judge Real granted in part and denied in part the defendant's motion to dismiss claims in the amended complaint. The following claims were dismissed: "Violations of California Business and Professional Code", "Conspiracy", and "Violation with regards to RICO". All other claims, including "Violation of CFAA", which was initially denied by the same judge earlier in 2011, remained standing.

On March 26, 2012, the plaintiff cited their intention to issue a third amended complaint to alter claims against developer Mike Sullivan.


On February 28, 2013, XenForo announced that the lawsuit had been settled between the parties in both the UK and the US. Although specific terms of the agreement are unclear due to its confidential nature, Internet Brands withdrew both the US and UK lawsuits.[7] As a "Thank you" to customers who patiently awaited the result of the lawsuit, XenForo announced that all license holders with a valid license from June 19, 2012, would receive an additional 255 days of support and download access.[8]

XenForo 2[edit]

The second major release of XenForo is XenForo 2.0. In November 2016, a demo version of the alpha was launched by XenForo. In February 2017, the first two developer previews were released by XenForo. The developer previews are unsupported releases targeted at developers to review the new codebase, and as such contain no web-based installer or import features. In September 2017, the first beta was made available to all active customers. On 28 November 2017, the first stable release of XenForo 2.0.0 was made available.

Release history[edit]

Legend: Old version Older version, still supported Current stable version Latest preview version Future release
Version Release date Notable changes Latest release
Old version, no longer supported: 1.0[9] March 8, 2011 Initial release 1.0.4 [10] July 12, 2011
Old version, no longer supported: 1.1[11] November 22, 2011 Thread prefixes, RTL, etc. 1.1.5 [12] May 21, 2013
Older version, yet still supported: 1.2[13] July 30, 2013 Template modification system,[14] route filters (route changing),[15] post edit history and logging[16] 1.2.9 [17] July 27, 2015
Older version, yet still supported: 1.3[18] March 11, 2014 Custom BB codes, Google+/Twitter registration, user change logging, multi-quote, etc. 1.3.9 [19] October 20, 2015
Older version, yet still supported: 1.4[20] September 9, 2014 Selective quoting, sitemap XML generation, thread reply bans, custom help pages, poll improvements, new profile post features, etc. 1.4.13 [21] August 30, 2016
Older version, yet still supported: 1.5[22] August 18, 2015 Thread tagging, responsive admin control panel, two-step verification, floating notices, profile post comment improvements, etc. 1.5.21 [23] 24 May, 2018
Current stable version: 2.0[24] November 28, 2017 New user interface, emoji support, what's new section, etc. 2.0.9 [25] 24 July, 2018


  1. ^ "Nearly There..." XenForo. Retrieved March 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ Feedback from XenForo blog Archived May 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Metz, Cade. "vBulletin denies busting downloads in paid-up protester ban". The Register. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Metz, Cade. "vBulletin sues ex-devs over 'from scratch' competitor". The Register. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ Metz, Cade. "Forumware giant vBulletin sues ex-devs (again)". The Register. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ "A Statement Regarding the Current Litigation". XenForo. Retrieved April 15, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Grace+Grace LLP Celebrates Dismissal of Internet Brands Litigations". Grace+Grace LLP. Archived from the original on March 3, 2013. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  8. ^ Darby, Kier. "Lawsuit Over...Next!". XenForo. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  9. ^ "XenForo 1.0 released". 
  10. ^ "XenForo 1.0.4 released". 
  11. ^ "XenForo 1.1 released". 
  12. ^ "XenForo 1.1.5 released". 
  13. ^ "XenForo 1.2 released". 
  14. ^ "Template Modifications and Comparison". XenForo. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Route Filters". XenForo. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Post Edit History and Logging". XenForo. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  17. ^ "XenForo 1.2.9 Released (Security Fix)". 
  18. ^ "XenForo 1.3 released". 
  19. ^ "XenForo 1.3.9 Released (Security Fix)". 
  20. ^ "XenForo 1.4 released". 
  21. ^ "XenForo 1.4.13 Released (Security Fix)". 
  22. ^ "XenForo 1.5.0 Released". Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  23. ^ "XenForo 1.5.21 Released". Retrieved 2018-05-24. 
  24. ^ "XenForo 2.0.0 & Add-ons Released". 
  25. ^ "XenForo 2.0.9 Released". XenForo community. Retrieved 2018-07-24. 

External links[edit]