alt.bbs.unixbbs Frequently Asked Questions

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Jan 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM1/15/97

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X-Content-Currency: This FAQ changes regularly. When a saved or printed copy
is over 6 months old, please obtain a new one. Instructions in the FAQ
indicate where to find it via NetNews, FTP, World Wide Web, and finger.

This is the UNIX(TM) compatible BBS Frequently Asked Questions Answers.
It is posted on the 1st and 15th of each month.

Please email all comments, corrections, and additions to this FAQ to


1. About this FAQ
2. What is a BBS?
3. What is UNIX?
4. What is Usenet?
5. What BBS Software is covered?
6. BBS software that we need more info on
7. BBS software that isn't covered
8 - N. The packages

Subject: 1. About this FAQ
Date: Fri Nov 1 07:21:45 PDT 1996

Thanks go to Gregory G. "Wolfe" Woodbury (
for the excellent job he did creating and maintaining this FAQ for
as long as he did.

Duane Davis

The FAQ is in Message Digest Format, so that various newsreaders can
automagically decompose it into its component parts.

The latest version of this FAQ can be obtained from several places.
It is posted on the 1st and 15th of each month to the alt.bbs.unixbbs,
alt.bbs, alt.answers and news.answers newsgroups. It is also available
via ftp from, and
via the World Wide Web from You can
also 'finger' at last resort.

Most of the packages listed in this FAQ are now available at a single
FTP site. All unix bbs authors are encouraged to upload new updates
as they are available.

These listings are provided for informational purposes only. I am not
making recommendations (con or pro) here, simply telling what I know
about each package that I have information for. You are encouraged to
evaluate each package for yourself to see if it matches your needs.

to locate the packages listed in the articles below, search for the
short name listed in the Subject: headers.

Also listed are the FTP sites and filenames for known or suspected
copies of the packages.

This FAQ is the product of a lot of research and correspondence with
lots of folks. Here is a partial listing of the folks who were kind
enough to send information and corrections to me for use in this FAQ.
If I've left someone out, write to me :-)

Lars Aronsson(!), Bob Baskerville(!), Bill Brown, Lisa Carlson,
Tom Dell(!), Karl Denninger(!), Aydin Edguer(*), Ken Germann,
Avrum Goodblat, Judy Hallman, David Holland, Bob Kirkpatrick(!),
Hilbert Levitz, Michael Lyons, Stephen Manes(!), Bob Peterson,
Chris Petrilli, Riccardo Pizzi(!), Todd Radel, Gene Saunders,
Greg Seminara, Jay Snyder(!), Chris Stanford, Bill Fenner(#),
Jim Tremblay, Alex Wetmore(!), Sanford Zelkovitz(!), Nick Zimmerman(!)
Thomas Mechtersheimer, Bill Schwartz, Brian Dear(!), Bill Blue(!),
Jared Quinn(!)

(!) Authors of packages providing information
(*) Special Thanks to Aydin Edguer
(#) Bill is keeper of the Waffle FAQ


From: (G. Wolfe Woodbury)
Subject: 2. What is a BBS?
Date: Wed Aug 11 19:29:48 EDT 1993

BBS is an acronym for Bulletin Board System. This is software that allows
a computer to be used as a message posting and reading system that has
some similarities to a bulletin board you might find in an office
or in a grocery store. Users of the system can post messages and read
messages posted by others. Many computer BBSes also allow the users to
send private messages to other users, and to "download" files that are
stored on the computer. Some BBSes also allow users to run other
programs (such as games) in addition to the BBS program.

Some BBS programs allow the individual BBS systems to share messages by
using a communications medium to exchange the messages via a standard
protocol which the BBSes understand. Such systems are "networked"
BBSes. There are several BBS Networks around the world. Among them are
FIDOnet, WWIVnet, RIMEnet, VNET and Usenet.

Some of the commercial computer service providers (e.g. CompuServe,
Prodigy, America OnLine, etc.) provide BBS systems in addition to their
regular services.

Care should be taken to distinguish between the "public" messages of a
BBS system and "private" Electronic Mail message services that may be
provided by a computer service.


From: (G. Wolfe Woodbury)
Subject: 3. What is UNIX?
Date: Wed Aug 11 19:30:11 EDT 1993

UNIX is currently a trademark of X/Open Ltd (*). UNIX was developed
at AT&T Bell Laboratories in the late 1960's and has become the most
portable operating system ever developed. This portability means that
UNIX (or Unix-like) operating systems can run on nearly any computer
that has been developed since 1975. Unix-like operating systems run on
computers from the Intel 8086 through the gamut to computers like the
Cray X-MP and the Connection Machine 5. Programs written for one
Unix-like system can be moved (fairly easily, if written with portability
in mind) from one Unix system to another with some minor editing and
re-compiling of the source code on the new machine.

The history of Unix-like operating systems is quite complicated, and
there are several versions of Unix-like operating systems in existence.
The two major divisions of these are AT&T UNIX systems, and BSD Unix
systems. There are lots of others, but these two versions cover most of
the territory in terms of portability issues. Truly portable Unix
software packages can examine the software environment and automatically
configure themselves when the user compiles the package.

Unix operating systems are flexible and portable for many reasons, and a
detailed examination of that issue is not relevant here. For more
information see the Unix-FAQ posted regularly to comp.unix.questions.

(*) Just who *is* the actual holder of the TradeMark on UNIX is
something that can change with bewildering rapidity. At various times
it has been the "offical" property of: AT&T, Bell Laboratories, Western
Electric and other groups. These names, of course, are also registered
TradeMarks of their respective owners. :-)


From: (G. Wolfe Woodbury)
Date: Tue Dec 14 00:54:16 EST 1993
Subject: 4. What is Usenet?

Usenet is a network message sharing system that exchanges messages in a
standard format. Messages are arranged into topical categories called
newsgroups. Newsgroups can be thought of as analogous to the channels
in broadcast television. The messages contain plain text information
(which may include encoded binary information) and a series of headers
that define who the message came from, when the message was posted,
where it was posted, where it has passed, and other administrative

Usenet/Netnews is a dual entity. On one level is it merely the messages
being passed from machine to machine using known protocols. On another
level is it the people (the readers and posters of the messages) who
interact with the computers. Care should be taken to not get too
confused when people talk about "Usenet is...." because of this duality.
Usenet should not be mistaken for any underlying transport mechanisms that
provide other services in addition to the transfer of the messages.
That is, Usenet is not UUCP, Usenet is not a particular network or set
of networks (e.g. the Internet).

One should also be careful to not confuse Usenet with any particular
group of users. That is, Usenet is *not* an american network, Usenet is
not a network of computer scientists, and Usenet is not a network of
system administrators. It is a complete cross-section of all the sorts
of folks who use computers either for work or play. English *is* the
common language of Usenet, but there is no guarantee that the users
*know* english particularly well. :-)

By one popular definition, Usenet is the newsgroups in the major
categories of comp, misc, news, rec, sci, soc, and talk. There are a
number of other major "hierarchies" which may be worldwide (alt, bionet,
vmsnet), regional (usa, can, triangle), or even organizational
(duke, ut, sun). These message hierarchies use the NetNews protocols,
and are colloquially called "Usenet", but purists can (and do) argue for
days about the distinctions. I tend to use the term "NetNews" to refer
to the whole suite of programs and all the newsgroups in conglomeration.

There is not enough room here to fully discuss the ins and outs of
NetNews. There are several NetNews groups that are dedicated to
discussion of NetNews itself. (news.* and alt.culture.usenet are
examples, the `*' refers to any newsgroup that begins its name with a
string of "news.")

There are additional regular FAQ (frequently asked questions) postings
in the newsgroup "news.announce.newusers" and the newsgroup "news.answers"
that provide much more information about this topic.


Date: Sat Jan 15 19:26:36 EST 1994
Subject: 5. What software is covered here?

The following packages are covered in this FAQ.

Dial-Up Utils
EBBS (Eagle's Nest)
pbbs (Pink BBS)
PBBS (Pirate BBS)
UBBS (Ultimate)
UniBoard (UnixBBS)
WhatBBS (a perl BBS)


date: Sun Feb 04 11:18:36 PST 1996
Subject: 6. BBS software that we need more info on

Known, but not covered (yet?):
(Ftp site info will be added as I run across them. If you happen to
check any of these out please drop me a message with more info)

Mordor (
No-Name BBS
SBBS (Sigma BBS)


Date: Sat Jan 15 19:26:36 EST 1994
Subject: 7. What software isn't covered here?

Minimal/Nil/No Coverage (by request)

bbs_bk (no longer supported per Bob Kirkpatrick, author)
brand-X (no longer supported per Bob Kirkpatrick, author)
Chris Petrelli's groupware project (by request)
Coconet (no coverage at request of Coconut Computing)
PNN (No coverage at request of Tom True)
Pnet (no coverage at request of B.Blue)
UnAccess (request by Brandon Alberry, the author)
Z/Max Xchange (out of business, no longer available)


From: (Karl Denninger)
Date: Wed Nov 16 22:01:54 PST 1994
Subject: AKCS

AKCS Version 7 commercial product source available
Usenet compatibility

Karl Denninger
1300 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL 60657
+1 312 248 8649 (voice)

demo: up to 14.4Kbps
+1 312 248 0900

"AKCS is a threaded BBS/conferencing package with extraordinary versatility,
ease of use, performance and support." -- Karl Denninger

AKCS can be had in source at License terms and costs
are contained in the archive and on the server.

Fully configurable, threaded messages, termcap/terminfo type support,
private mail, file attachments, upload/download, full screen editor
(custom), external programs, security system. AKCS newsgroups
available to licensees.


Date: Fri May 17 23:48:26 PDT 1996
Subject: AMBBS

AMBBS Freeware C source includ

contact: James Tavares


platforms: Linux. plans to also support BSD and OSF/1.

AmeriSoft is a down to earth, easy to use BBS software for the Linux operating
system. If you would like to try out AmBBS (at no charge, ambbs is free anyways
telnet to and follow onscreen directions. It supports time limits
file areas message bases, and internet email. (More Features that are not liste

Copying-policy: EMail-Ware. Send email to saying you have the
software, and your 'registered'. (GNU General Copying Policy really.. But, I
would _really_ like an email. If no one emails me, I'll stop working on it ;>)


Date: Fri Oct 21 21:00:34 PST 1994
Subject: AWBBS Artificial Worlds BBS
Last_update: 94/10/21

AWBBS Artificial Worlds BBS status unknown

contact: Steven Doyle

platforms: Linux

This BBS had alot of potential but the author is very unreliable.
After paying $50 for the honor of becoming a beta site I found that
the package wasn't even near complete and was very buggy. I got the
author to fix a couple of the problems but it kept taking longer and
longer to get fixes and he kept coming up with excuses for not working
on it. There are fixes that were promised within a couple days that,
more than two months later, still haven't been seen. I've given up on
him and would advise others to stear clear of this one.


Date: Mon, 4 Sep 1995 21:45:12 -0800 (PST)
Subject: BBLinux

BBLinux BBLinux source included

contact: Andreas Schiffler
1230 11th St. E
Saskatoon, Sask
S7H 0G3

BBLinux isn't really a BBS. It is a C program and a few scripts that
allow you to add time limit enforcement to a shell or menu login.
Combined with the BBS-Util package and a menu script, or even Lynx,
you could probably come up with a pretty decent BBS in little time.

Excerpts from the README:

The following collection of files and text will help converting a Linux
system into a BBS in (almost) no time. Most of it a quick hack but should
serve as a good starting point. Any help or improvements are welcome ...
I will try to collect them, incorporate them and make them available in the
same package.


README - this file
listcheck.c - kick-out-program
timecheck - shows time left
limitcheck - shows exceeded quotas
newuser - creates an account
xxx.sample - sample file from The Gnu BBS


Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 22:11:36 -0800 (PDT)
Subject: BBS-Util

BBS-Util BBS Utilities source included
Dial-Up Utils

contact: Adam McKee

From a recent email from Adam:

BBS-Util no longer exists (as such). I have renamed the package to
'Dial-Up Utils' (because the package is not specifically oriented
towards BBS administration, but towards the administration of dial-ups
in general). Dial-Up Utils 1.1 contains several features not found in
BBS-Util 1.0 such as "Smart-Boot[tm]" (booting users only when all
lines are busy, and optionally booting at most *one* user per minute
in order to maximize line utilization). You can find the package at:

Adam wrote this package to enhance and add to the functions provided by
the BBLinux package. It adds the following functions:

timeleft: Tells users how much time they have left
daysleft: Tells users how many days they have left before their account
user_add: Creates passwd file entry AND record in the BBS user database.
user_addrec: Create record in user database.
user_del: Removes passwd file entry AND record in the BBS user database.
user_delrec: delete record in user database.
user_data: Shows BBS user record in a readable format.
user_kick: Give a user the boot (i.e. kill all of their processes).
user_login: determine if user is allowed to login now.
user_purge: Remove accounts which have not been used in a certain # of days
user_renew: Resets users daily time used. Handles expired accounts.
user_subscribe: Give a user x minutes / day for the next y days.
user_sync: synchronize the BBS user file with the password file.
user_time: change the expiry date and daily time limit of a user.
user_touch: Modify a user's "last online" field to equal the current date.
user_unsubscribe: Terminate a users subscription.
user_updated: A deamon that boots users off as necessary.
clean_proc: Kills processes left running by users after they logged out.
clean_tmp: Unlinks files in directories you specify.


From: (Charles Roth)
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 1995 15:00:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Caucus

Caucus commercial package source not generally available
Usenet via message import

contact: Camber-Roth
3588 Plymouth Road #223
Ann Arbor, Mi 48105-2603
1 313 482 8710 (voice)
1 313 662 7225 (FAX)

demo: NONE

Caucus is a large and robust commercial package. It is supported on
several hardware platforms and provides a complete networed BBS
solution. User customization is supported.

Caucus Prices as of September 1994

After Educ. or One Year After
Simultaneous Users List Price Gov't Discount Support Discount
------------------ ----------- ----------- -------- ---------

8 (PC only) $ 1,800.00 $ 1,260.00 $ 270.00 $ 189.00
16 (PC only) $ 3,000.00 $ 2,100.00 $ 450.00 $ 315.00
25 $ 4,000.00 $ 2,800.00 $ 600.00 $ 420.00
50 $ 8,000.00 $ 5,600.00 $1,200.00 $ 840.00
75 $11,250.00 $ 7,875.00 $1,687.00 $1,180.00
100 $15,000.00 $ 10,500.00 $2,250.00 $1,575.00
Unlimited $20,000.00 $ 14,000.00 $3,000.00 $2,100.00

This is an overview of Caucus pricing. Pricing is based on hardware,
operating system, and number of simultaneous users. All size licenses
are not available on all systems. Please note that 8 and 16 user
licenses are available on certain PC-based Unix systems only (SCO,
Coherent). Workstation prices start at 25 simultaneous users.

Caucus comes with three months of customer and software support. Support
includes all upgrades to the software released during the covered period,
plus e-mail, on-line, and telephone support. (Telephone support is
provided for two designated individuals.)

The CaucusLink add-on option, which shares conferences across remote
Caucus sites, may be purchased at an additional 50% of the base Caucus
license fee.


Date: Wed Sep 29 20:04:00 PST 1994
Subject: Cafe

Cafe is a modified Citadel/UX. See Citadel/UX for description


From: (G. Wolfe Woodbury)
Date: Sat Jan 15 19:36:41 EST 1994
Subject: Citadel

Citadel various source generally available
some versions have news

Citadel is a whole world unto itself. Citadel code is/was
widely available, and it has been ported to may different platforms and
environments. From PC-clones, to the Amiga, to Unix, they all tend to
work the same way.

Citadel uses a slightly different organizing metaphor. There
are rooms which may contain messages, files and bulletins (in any
combination.) You move from room to room and read the messages or
browse the file lists. You can "forget" rooms to unsubscribe, and there
can be multiple operators on a Citadel system (sub-ops.)

Finding Citadel is problematical, I've been singularly
unsuccessful in several attempts (even using archie.) may be the best bet.

(Authors of specific Citadel [Unix based] packages are invited
to write and gain fame and fortune in this FAQ!)


Date: Wed Sep 29 20:04:00 PST 1994
Subject: Citux

Citux is a modified Citadel/UX. See Citadel/UX for description


Subject: Commune/IX
Date: Sat Apr 3 00:25:03 EST 1993
Updated: 11/11/94

Commune/IX for Linux commercial source available?
NetNews available

contact: Michael Quigley
(address unknown)

demo: no

Michael is developing yet another DOS look-alike UNIX BBS for
the Linux platform. This implies source availability, but since it
looks like he wants to make it a commercial product, it is more likely
to be a binary (object code) distribution rather than source. The
project sounds ambitious, with replacements for the mailer, and
additional modules for connecting to FIDO Technology Networks, in
addition to all the usual BBS features.
Pricing and availability are not known. MQ comments that it
will be a "low cost" system, with per-module pricing.


Date: Wed May 16 22:17:01 PDT 1996
Subject: drealm
Platforms: Linux, SysVR4.2

DRealm GNU License source included

contact: Peter Jones

demo: drealm BBS
+44 (0)181 568 2204 v.34
568 4318 HST/v.32
568 4305 v.32
232 8592 v.22bis

This is the blurb that came with version 2.1 (released 5/96).

drealmBBS is a multi-user BBS system.

drealmBBS runs a separate process for each node, and finds out about
other nodes by interrogating certain files on disk and via IPC. It
needs about 1Mb virtual memory per user.

ALL data is produced and stored as plain ASCII so it can be accessed by
any other application.

It is highly configurable. All menu options can have access controlled
by user level, userflags, areaflags, and min/max times of day. Menus may be
presented in plain text or graphics standards such as ANSI.

You may offer your callers any of eight external file transfer
protocols, any three editors and any three display programs. We have
included our own line editor (isle) and our own display program (pager)
which are both absolutely free of shell escapes and command access.
There is support for output in up to 10 human languages or styles.

Each BBS user has his/her own account in the passwd file, but may of
course run drealmBBS as his shell for security. Security is also aided
by reverting user to login permissions when using external file transfer
protocols, editors or file viewers - and other external programs

Facilities include:

Private inter-user mail, with interface to external mail. A quota of
external mail can be set per person, and mail can be made available only
to users over a certain level or with a certain flag set.

Message areas (forums): Public messages are posted without naming a
recipient and can be read by anyone who may access a particular area.
Areas can be open or private, read only or read/write or moderated.
Each area may have an individual areamask, which represents the flag
settings of the users who may access it. An area may also be restricted
to people of over a certain security level. In the case of a "private"
area access is restricted to only people who are specifically named
within that area. Messages are linked as threads, and may be read
threadwise, numerically, or by "reference" (ie always reading down
through replies first). Messages may be unlinked, relinked in a
different way, and copied to other message areas. Whole threads or
branches may be copied to other areas, retaining their relationships.

Voting: Votes are attached to public messages.

File up/downloads: Functions to descend through directories and
re-ascend. File descriptions held. Files may be posted between
individual users. No internal protocol provided, you can use any which
are available on your system. Rename, delete, edit, view files.
Searches recursively from any named parent directory on filenames or
file descriptions.

Chat: Realtime chat on a message by message basis via pipes and
sockets. Users can chat and listen whilst doing other things. Users
can select chat reception on or off. Menus may disable or enable chat
at any point. Broadcast chat to anyone listening, or a private message
to named person.

Timing: Session timers can be set on, off, or paused. Also total time
per day can be limited.

User defaults: An extensive range of user default choices including
inactivity timeout, hotkey mode, chat message colours. Also interface
with terminfo to allow user to choose his best terminal type for use
with external programs.

Run Unix commands or "doors" either with BBS permissions or with login
permissions, as required for access and security.

All above are under total control of configuration files and the
semi-programmable menus. Each line of each menu can be made available
only at certain times, or only to people with a certain flag set or
security level.

The nodes themselves may be configured to only accept callers fulfilling
certain criteria.


Date: Wed Aug 11 19:55:34 EDT 1993
Subject: EBBS Eagle's Nest BBS
Updated: 11/11/94

EBBS Eagle's Nest BBS source included
Usenet unknown

contact: Raymond Rocker
Guy Vega
(address unknown)

demo: Eagles Nest BBS
login: bbs (no password)
Auggie BBS
login: bbs (no password)
(Wm. Schwartz - sysop)

This is an Extension of the Mars Pirate BBS code to enhance
functionality and provide some network access. It now features an IRC
(Internet Relay Chat) client mode so that users can participate in IRC
if allowed. Usenet may be supported via shell access, but I haven't
tried the demo system or read the code that closely. It is in current
use, so it has some support and merit.

Notes are given to me that EBBS runs in a "chroot" environment. It has
hooks for "doors" and chat. Known systems in use: SunOS4.1.x,
ESIX/SysV, AIX 3.2, Ultrix, Alpha OSF/1, Linux.


Date: Tue Feb 20 20:55:12 PST 1996
Subject: GDXBBS

GDXBBS freeware bbs source included
Usenet is planned
contact: Jay A Snyder

demo: GDX-BBS (home system for GDX)
+1 717-737-3249 (WorldBlazer/PEP/v.32bis/v.42bis/etc...)

This seems to be a fairly complete BBS system that is well-integrated
into Unix (except for Usenet News). The system looks easy to configure
and provides linkages to standard E-mail (via smail or deliver).

Usenet can be provided via external functions (doors).


Date: Sat Jan 15 19:51:29 EST 1994
Subject: Magpie for Unix
Updated: 11/11/94

Magpie for Unix Shareware/commercial source available for $$
NetNews planned

contact: Steve Manes
(address unknown)

demo: unknown

Magpie has a good reputation, but its limited availability
(binaries only for SCO COFF compatible systems) is a drawback. It
supports lots of nice features that are easy to provide via Unix, and
seems aimed at K-12 school systems that want a "real product" for use
with some standard platform.
Installation is via special login account, and BBS users do not
have standard "/etc/passwd" accounts. No pricing was posted for Source
code availability.

I got a posting from Steve Manes, and he points out that the COFF
binaries are a "Shareware" version. NetNews support (using NOV
database) is planned for version 2.4 (no ETA), but version 2.3 has
UUCP/internet mail available for BBS users.

Recently announced was a version for AIX on the IBM RT


Date: Tue Dec 14 00:58:41 EST 1993
Subject: ix/MBox
comp.sources.misc: volume 29 and volume 31

ix/MBox System V Unix BBS source included
Usenet is basis

contact: Volker Schuermann
(address unknown)

MBox is an excellent product, marred only by the lack of decent
documentation in a language other than german. Its basic services are
those provided by Unix, and Unix services are required to run the BBS.
The current version is limited to System V r3.2 Intel platforms, but
should not be too hard to transfer to other System V platforms.

C-News (or B-News) and a mail package are needed.

Volker announced a new version recently, and there is an MBox mailing


Date: Tue Apr 25 11:47:36 EDT 1995
Subject: MajorBBS

MajorBBS MajorBBS for UNIX source not available
news/mail support

Contact: Galacticomm, Inc.
4101 SW 47th Ave, #101
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314
305/583-7846 FAX

Demo: (
305/583-1759 (Motorola V.34 300-28,800 bps)

Overview: The Major BBS for UNIX is a complete bulletin board system
software package for UNIX systems. Includes multilingual/
multiprotocol architecture for language add-ons and graphical
interfaces, full suite of RIPscrip GUI menus, local and Interne
e-mail, forums, USENET newsgroup support, file libraries,
teleconference, QWK-mail support, telnet, ftp, full screen
editor, fully configurable menuing, security and accounting
features, and much more.

Open architecture provides the ability to seamlessly "plug-in"
add-on modules. Current add-on modules available:

* Entertainment Collection -- Includes the Action
Teleconference, a chat extravaganza with action verbs
for users; Teleconference Poker, Bingo, and Blackjack;
multiplayer text adventures, ANSI-graphics and
teleconference games; and more.

* Spanish Language -- Allows users to choose Spanish as the
language for the messages and prompts they see on your

Other add-ons to follow from Galacticomm and existing third-
party community (200+ Developers).

Development layer permits C programming at API level for
creating add-on applications that seamlessly integrate into
the baseline package.

Worldgroup MS-Windows client/server interface will be
available 3rd QTR 1995. Pricing starts at $1,695 for
an 8-User license fully bundled. Moving up to higher license
counts only requires paying difference in price. Special
4-User Linux version starts at $995.

Optional yearly support and software update programs availale.

Supported operating systems: Solaris 2.3, Solaris 2.4 (SPARC/x
BSD/OS 1.1, BSD/OS 2.0, SCO ODT 3.0, Linux 1.1+


Date: Tue Sep 29 23:30:00 EDT 1992
Subject: MBS
Updated: 11/11/94

MBS Unix C language BBS source included
(In alpha test) Usenet planned

contact: Willam Davidsen
(address unknown)

MBS is a new Unix based BBS. Reminiscent of Citadel (there are rooms)
the implementation is totally new and interesting. All the basic
functionality for a networked BBS is there, but it's still in
development. Usenet will be via message importing/exporting programs
now being developed. (Development has slowed down for a while.)


Date: Thu May 16 23:00:00 PDT 1996
Subject: Monochrome

Monochrome Commercial BBS Package No Source Available

contact: David Brownlee

demo: telnet://

The public access site is probably the UK's largest
Internet BBS. Monochrome is a client/server based system
currently running under SunOS, Solaris, and various flavours
of 4.4BSD.

Highly configurable menu based interface, extensive termcap /
terminfo support, private mail, full screen editor, talker,
external programs, text animation language.


Date: Thu Oct 1 00:40:00 EDT 1992
Subject: pbbs (Pink BBS)
alt.sources: Mar 04 00:17:00 GMT 1992

pbbs "Pink" shell BBS partial source
Usenet via unix cmds

contact: unknown

Pink BBS is a bare bones shell (bourne) BBS that relies heavily on
external programs for its functionality. The notable missing piece in
the alt.sources posting was the "mkacct" program which apparently
collected the information and installed a new unix uid account
interactively. This is NOT a secure system.


Date: Wed Aug 11 19:45:04 EDT 1993
Subject: PBBS (Pirate BBS)

PBBS "Mars" Pirate Unix BBS source included
Usenet not supported

contact: unknown

demo: none

The "Hotel Mars" bbs at Mississippi State was a legend in its own time,
mostly for the furor it created on the internet. Part of this was due
to the unfortunate choice of name for the software, and the activities
of a similar nature that occurred at one time. I thought I had a copy
of this one, but it isn't on-line here, so I apologize for the short
schrift it is getting. It does provide a complete BBS solution in
messages, files and upload/download.

Once again, the Mars BBS is down, and supposedly for good this
time. (Boo) The code lives on in EBBS and several others.


Date: Thu Nov 25 14:07:48 EST 1993
Subject: QueBBS

QueBBS Unix C language BBS source included
Usenet via import/export
contact: (address unknown)
North Dakota State University
Student ACM - SIGBBS

QueBBS was written for the North Dakota State University by members of
the Studen ACM chapter there. It is a complete BBS service, with
messages, files and private mail. Usenet support is via special
programs that import and export articles to/from the BBS and the news
system on the computer. Upload/download protocols depend on what is
available, and are configurable. Online help is available, menus are
hard coded.

There is a little confusion about whether the NoDak bbs is the same as
the "quebbs" that is listed as available for Coherent.


Date: Thu Nov 11 01:25:35 EST 1993
Subject: TEAMate

TEAMate Commercial UNIX BBS source NOT available
Usenet by import/export
Bob Baskerville
MMB Development Corp
904 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
1 310 318 1322

demo: ( [telnet]
1 310 318 8437 (8N1 vt100 1200-9600)
1 310 318 5302
login: public

MMB is agressively pushing TEAMate as the "premier" Unix based BBS
system in the country. My inquiries netted me two copies of PR
materials and several phone calls about the product. The package looks
complete, with a full-fledged conferencing system, file support, and
full configuration management. There is a (MSDOS) client program for
it called TEAMterm, that they say is freely distributable, but I
don't know where there is a copy on the net. I had some problems with
the manual, which was obviously written by/for someone with absolutely
no knowledge of the Unix underpinnings. The system is full screen,
form oriented, and uses the Unix termcap/terminfo libraries.

Prices are steep(*), a single cpu intel license starts at $2000, and the
full package starts at $5500. More users bring the cost up rapidly,
with an "unlimited users" full package totalling $63,000. (Price list,
july 1, 1992) Systems supported include: Intel, Sun, HP-UX, DEC (RISC),
IBM RS/6000, ATT 3b2, Sequent, DG, Silicon Graphics, and Tandem (UNIX).
[Sequent 4+ cpu starts at 15,000, full: 40,200. Most systems are going
to be 4000-7500/12,800-21,900.]

* - recent mail from TEAMate folk say that a new lower cost (8-line)
entry-level version is available starting around $2000.00.
Additionally, they report new educational pricing and discounts.

A GUI client/server version is planned for showing in August 1993.

User support is friendly and knowledgable, I called to clarify the
ability to include Usenet messages. It would take a programmer a bit of
time to do it, but it seems easy enough.


From: (via Dave Nause)
Date: Wed Aug 11 19:56:42 EDT 1993
Subject: TERM from Century Software

TERM commercial source $$$$
Usenet possible?

contact: Century Software
(no email)
5284 South 320 West
Suite C-124
Salt Lake City UT 84107

demo: unknown

TERM is a commercial terminal emulation package for UNIX and DOS
that supports file transfers and script driven interfaces. According to
a brief conversation with one of their folks after hours (good service!)
the system *could* be used to create a BBS system. FTP support is
available in the package, and more literature is being sent to me for


Date: Tue Feb 20 20:56:12 PST 1996
Subject: UBBS

UBBS (Ultimate) free (?) source available?
NetNews available (not yet)

contact: Jean-Francois Gagnon

demo: unknown

This is a "clone" of Remote Access for Unix, written by JF for
his public access Unix system in Quebec. It has an email bridge, and he
plans support for Usenet messages. Write to JF for more information.


From: (Riccardo Pizzi)
Date: Sun Nov 13 16:45:29 PST 1994
Subject: UniBoard (UnixBBS)
Gopher-site: [USA Dist. Site]
Login: bbs (no password)
+7 351 265 3601 ( (Chelyabinsk Russia?)
see alt.bbs.unixbbs

support: svr3 - SCO, ISC and other SVR3 on INTEL processors
svr4 - Unixware and other SVR4 on INTEL processors
sun - SunOS 4.1.3 or Solaris 2.3 on SUN SPARC processor
linux - Linux 0.99.14 or greater
FreeBSD - FreeBSD 2.0

UniBoard is a decent Unix BBS according to most reports. Pricing is
reasonable, ranging from $50 to $500 (2 user to unlimited), with an
8-user license costing $140 (US).

Here is the current blurb (as of 11/14/94)

UniBoard is a BBS package with Usenet and Email capabilities that looks
very similar to most popular DOS-based BBS systems like Opus, RA, etc. If you
are looking for a unix BBS software that doesn't scare your users, this is wh
you need! Even the most inexperienced user can read/post news and mail, witho
having to learn how to use mail(1), rn(1), or any other UNIX program.
In addition, all the other well-known BBS features as file upload/download,
doors (games), bulletins, and so on are available.
UniBoard is not a true "commercial" program, but you will have to register it
if you want to use it on a regular basis. Prices are as low as $50 for a
2 users licence, with full unlimited upgrades + email support (I would prefer
to call this "donation" instead of "price"). It is distributed in executable
form only. Please do not ask for sources, they will not be released!

The package requires a customized activation key in order to run. A demo
key is supplied with the package, but you will have to change your nodename
and clock setting to use it. If you cannot (or don't want to) change anything
you can email me and I will send you an evaluation key with a limited lifetim
that will let you use all the program's features while you decide whether to
buy it or not. The key will work on the licensed host only and includes info
like sysop name, key licensee, etc. that will be customized for you.

Where to get it?

Latest version is always available from the development and support site:
"the Nervous XTC Public Access UNIX", located in Rimini, Italy.
The number is +39-541-27135 (14.4k/V32bis) or, if you are on X.25, just call
the NUA (2222) 954123111.
Just log in as 'bbs' and register with us, then go to file area #8: UniBoard
can be downloaded from the 1st call.

If you are located within the continental US, you may want to get the stuff
from the US distribution site. This site has also an anonymous FTP access,
so that you will be able to get UniBoard via FTP instead of downloading
it via modem. For further info about the US site, please see the 'avail' file

Upgrades will be made available on those sites as soon as they are released.
Usually, it takes from one to two weeks for a new version to appear on the
US mirror site. If you are impatient, get it from nervous and do not stress
the US sysop (he is helping me for free in his spare time -- thanks, Zbig).

The features list (quite out-dated):

- available with 2, 4, 8, 16, 64 and 254 users licence;
- pretty robust code, no core dumps;
- easy-to-use and highly intuitive interface for unexperienced people; very
similar to the popular MSDOS program "Opus";
- runs on top of the popular netnews packages, either B-News or C-News are
supported, full/true Usenet support;
- very easy setup and configuration; a complete system can be set up in
roughly 30 minutes (if you already have the netnews package up and running)
- Fidonet support provided (still in alpha version, though);
- tree-structured message base, access privileges and other parameters are
assigned in hierarchical fashion (child newsgroups inherit all parameters
from their parents if not otherwise specified); unlimited # of newsgroups
- logoff message area can be either a news group or a user mailbox;
- Internationalization support: the user will be able to choose his/her
preferred language at the beginning of the bbs session; up to 99 different
languages can be added by the sysop, two are supplied with the package
(english and italian);
- all constant strings in UniBoard are customizable, including colors,
using a normal text editor (e.g. 'vi').
- 65536 different privilege levels;
- 16 additional access flags for all bbs options, for file areas and external
- activity monitor program supplied with the bbs; uses IPC and can show from
to 16 users simultaneously on any tty; sysopuser chat function included;
- indexed user database with error recovery and automatic backup; a separate
maintenance program 'bbsmaint' is used to add/delete users, modify users
access level/status/parameters, etc.
- unlimited file areas with independent up/download directory, access level,
download level, unlimited download feature for specified areas, per-area
"download forbidden" time slots, CD-ROM "copy-before-download" support, etc
- private user file areas, allow users to exchange files privately; also
useful for programs that need a work directory, like uqwk.
- /bin/sh is not used in any way, external programs are spawn using the
exec(2) family system calls; the bbs program is directly spawned by init(1)
through getty(1)/login(1), without any parent shell;
- the Sysop can define what ttys can be used for bbs and the working time of
each port; minimum access level settable to avoid newcomers if desired;
- full color support using ANSI sequences, if the caller supports them;
- true multi-user, dynamic Chat, features automatic capture of called user in
chat mode (no need for the paged user to go to Main Menu and enter the
Chat Room), virtually unlimited users can chat simultaneously, "do not
disturb" option available in the Setup Section to avoid the chat;
- separately definable time-per-call, calls-per-day, time-per-day and
download limit for each of the 65536 available privilege levels;
- all Menus are user-definable, can have ANSI color sequences in it that will
be skipped if the caller does not support them; an ansi compiler/decompiler
is supplied with the package;
- different menu sets can be specified for each of the 65536 privilege levels
- several different Sysop-definable support texts are shown in some circum-
stances, like file upload/download, login/logoff, and so on; ANSI color is
supported within these text files too;
- extended character support is provided in menus and text files;
- full 8 bit input can be enabled, allowing UniBoard to run with extended
charsets when needed (e.g. ex-SU countries)
- each menu option is sysop-definable: minimum privilege level and key requir
to activate the option can be changed;
- the unix system "sees" the bbs as a remote system; each bbs user can send
and receive unix mail and has his own private mailbox. No need to add entri
to your /etc/passwd file for bbs users!
- message base maintenance directly handled by the netnews package
(expire, addgroup, etc);
- external programs (doors) menu with definable access level, ANSI flag
and interactive or batch mode; full user data dump in /tmp allows you
to write your own interfaces to popular utilities and programs;
- any number of external programs can be defined for each menu;
- customizable transfer protocols menu, sysop can add or remove protocols
as need arises;
- batch file transfer security: uploads will have path forced to a temporary
- customizable archivers menu, sysop can add or remove archivers as need
arises (archivers are programs used to show contents of archive files
e.g. unzip, arcl, unarj, etc);
- detailed logging of all events in a log file; the verbosity level is
- both full-screen and line-oriented editors supplied; sysop can choose his
own preferred editor (e.g. 'vi' or 'emacs') to edit messages;
- unread messages download feature, can be used to save callers connection
time (messages are compressed before download);
- built-in "Preferred Groups" reading mode, very similar to the 'rn' interfac
(although very simplified);
- "motd" feature allows you to set up (using a single file) messages regardin
the system that will be shown to each caller ONLY ONCE, based on their
last login date;
- bbs email and news traffic can be monitored by the sysop, including
- Session logging utility included (dumps a session to file);
- Full accounting includes account expiration dates and usage counters on a
per-user basis; these can be combined i.e. you can assign both an expiratio
date, and an usage limit in minutes to each user. Upon expiration the user'
access level can be lowered to a specified value or its status can be
changed denying him/her access to the board;
- "Wheel of Fortune" gadget allows users to play with their time limit,
daily download amount, etc, adding more fun to a bbs call;
- Handles (nicknames) can be enabled where desired on a per conference basis;
- File tagging allows users to tag files and download them throughout
several calls;
- Amazingly fast keyword search allows instantaneous searches throughout
the entire BBS file system;
- Sending from a personal file is allowed for both email and news articles...
uuencode is automatic if file is not ASCII;
- and more...

Many features are probably missing from this list. The best thing I can
suggest is to grab the package and try it out yourself!

For any additional info, question, etc. feel free to email


From: (Unidel Administrator)
Date: Mon Jul 12 13:20:43 EDT 1993
Subject: Unidel, a UNIX/UseNet BBS and news/mail reader, part 1 of 7

Unidel Unix Citadel-like BBS Source included

[I'm simply including the front end of the release notice from its
posting to alt.sources last year. - gww]

Archive-name: Unidel/part01

If I keep saying I'll wait until I get this cleaner before I post it,
it may never get posted. And prompted by yet another thread of "Where
can I get a UNIX BBS with UseNet news?" I figured more fuel for the
fires can't hurt :-). What we have is this:

* UseNet news reader
* UseNet/UNIX/Internet mail reader (w/multiple mail areas)
* Looks like a Citadel room-based BBS system
* Secure shell (controlled access to external programs, uses rsh)
* External editors, file-transfer, chat/talk, CB
* Newsgroup and file permissions (r, r/w, hidden and invite-only)
* Freely-redistributable
* Has compiled once or twice each on SVR2 (Microport), SVR3,
SunOS 4.1 and UHC SVR4
* Can be used with CNews, BNews, SMail, Deliver, talk, rz/sz,
kermit, vi, emacs and more
* still contains a few, uh, unnecessary, uh, features yea that's it.

You can play with it and download the source from Bitsko's Bar &
Grill BBS, +1 801 566 6283 (Telebit), login 'guest', type RETURN for
password. Source and discussion is in the Unidel room.

Results of Archie search at

Search request for 'unidel'
Host (
Last updated 16:54 25 Jun 1993

Location: /unix/network/tools
FILE rw-r--r-- 117883 Mar 26 1992 unidel.tar.Z

Host (
Last updated 23:29 29 Jun 1993

Location: /pub/archives/alt.sources
DIRECTORY rwxrwxr-x 512 May 3 1992 unidel-1.0

Host (
Last updated 01:57 14 May 1993

Location: /misc
FILE rw-rw-r-- 153656 May 4 1992 unidel-1.0.tar.Z
FILE rw-rw-r-- 124801 Nov 18 1991 unidel.tar.Z

Host (
Last updated 03:33 14 May 1993

Location: /disk0/unix/bbs
FILE rwxrwxr-x 127147 Dec 31 19:15 unidel.tar.Z

Host (
Last updated 02:34 11 Jun 1993

Location: /pub/net/unix
FILE rw-rw-r-- 117883 Nov 18 1991 unidel.tar.Z
Location: /pub/unix/network
FILE rw-rw-r-- 117883 Nov 18 1991 unidel.tar.Z


Date: Feb 24 23:30:00 EST 1993
Subject: VA-PEN

VA-PEN freeware source included
NetNews available

contact: Tim Sigmon
Academic Computing Center
Gilmer Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville VA 22903

demo: none officially

VA-PEN (Virginia Public Education Network) is a message system developed
at UVa for the state's K-12 computer program. It is based around C-news
as the underlying conferencing mechanism, and support configurable
menus, various upload/download protocols, and extensive on-line
documentation. The software (with modifications) is used on the
Tallahasee Florida FreeNet machine.

(I remember Tim Sigmon as a Duke Grad Student in the early days of
Usenet. :-)


Date: Feb 23 02:00:00 EST 1993
Subject: Waffle
FTP-site:[]:~/pub/waffle/ (Dos version)

Waffle Low Cost Unix BBS Source Included (Unix only)
Usenet support via OS

contact: Tom Dell

Demo site:

Waffle is one of the premier Usenet BBSs for DOS, but there is
relatively little activity about Waffle/Unix on the newsgroup.
Waffle has a whole Usenet News newsgroup (comp.bbs.waffle) for
discussion about it, and there is an excellent FAQ that is posted there
periodically by Bill Fenner. The author of Waffle is Tom Dell.
Unix Waffle requires the presence of C-news or other native Unix-like OS
NetNews support software.


From: (G. Wolfe Woodbury)
Date: Tue Dec 14 00:28:47 EST 1993
Subject: WhatBBS
Updated: 11/11/94

WhatBBS free? source provided
NetNews unknown

contact: Jared Quinn
(address unknown)

demo: unknown

Jared Quinn posted some information about a Perl BBS to alt.bbs
some time ago, and I haven't heard anything else about it for a while.


From: (Sanford Zelkovitz)
Date: Mon Nov 14 14:24:37 PST 1994
Subject: XBBS
comp.sources.misc: Volume 32 Issue 16 xbbs/partNN

XBBS v7.243 Freeware source included
NetNews via external
commands (doors)

contact: Sanford "Sandy" Zelkovitz

4530 Eileen Court
Colorado Springs, CO

demo: yes at alphacm
719-548-0782 (8N1 1200-Telebit PEP)
719-548-0757 (8N1 1200-28.8K)

XBBS is a decent BBS system for System V'ish systems. The code
is rather monolithic, and the menus are embedded in the code. The
system has similarities to the WWIV BBS in style. Configuration is via
static files that are position dependent. Limited access groups are
available, multilevel security is supported. Access to NetNews is via
shell escape(!) and might be insecure. I've got XBBS running here at
the Wolves Den (actually it is now the ISIS BBS :-) with a fair number
of modifications in place. XBBS's user base is handled seperately from
the Unixen /etc/passwd file, and runs as a "startup shell" from a "bbs"
The provided configurations allow for 99 message areas, 99 file
areas, 99 "special interest groups", and individual messages are limited
to 99 lines each. There is no message import or export function. The
builtin text editor is all that is available. Some of the support
programs will require heavy modification if you change the directory
structure of your layout from the "standard." The "sysop" shell
support command needs some work too.

Download/upload protocols are limited to Xmodem, Y modem, Z
modem and kermit, and requires the installation of the RZ/SZ package
from the net, and Unix Kermit. XBBS can be brought up quickly and
fairly easily if you can match the "standard layout" that Sandy


From: (Alex Wetmore)
Date: Wed Dec 7 19:25:35 PST 1994
Subject: yabbs - Yet Another (UNIX) BBS

YABBS free source available
NetNews NOT available

contact: Alex Wetmore

demo: not currently

Yabbs is a server/client BBS system for Unix. It is designed to run
efficently with many online users. The current version supports
unlimited users, multiple talk channels, 26 public message bases,
one email message base, and gopher access. It currently comes with a
unix server and client. An X-Windows client is in development, although
there is no projected release date for it. A Windows NT port of the
server and client are also planned for the near future.

It should port to any Unix system that provides POSIX complaince and
sockets. It has been tested on: FreeBSD, NetBSD, Linux, HP/UX, SunOS,
and Ultrix. The source is fairly well commented.

I ran a development-yabbs system on my NetBSD machine for two years, so
the system has been well tested and is currently very stable.



End of UnixBBS Software FAQ
-- UnixBBS FAQ maintainer

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