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Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 140 Stack Exchange communities.

Listed here are clones of the Stack Exchange sites model.

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Some Drupal project, "SupportDO": drupal.org/sandbox/HedgeMage/1088372 –  Victor Sergienko Sep 26 '11 at 15:50
related: Is the Stack Overflow source code available? –  David Cary Oct 19 '11 at 23:58
What's the actual purpose for this question? –  Lipis Jun 21 '12 at 14:41
@Lipis some companies want to implement their own branded version of this software on their own sites to supplement their support and/or knowledge base and provide a place where their customers can interact with them in a way similar to this network. All the alternatives I've investigated pretty much suck in comparison. –  Aaron Bertrand Jul 12 '12 at 13:15
13 revisions to a 10 word non-question in 3 years on Meta. Makes sense. –  user226059 Jun 20 '13 at 19:02
Everyone wants their Editor and Excavator badges. :o) –  Johnny Bones Jun 20 '13 at 19:31
@user226059 well, since you went through all of the trouble of counting how many revisions there were, surely you noticed that the original question had it stated as a question which has only recently been revised into a statement. –  FizzledOut Sep 28 '13 at 3:11
Isn't StackExchange itself a clone of other Q&A sites? Q&A sites with reputation points for good answers have been around for years - I joined Perlmonks back in the year 2000 (it's still going strong). I see SE as a fairly recent arrival. –  A E Nov 19 '14 at 10:08

32 Answers 32

up vote 475 down vote

Most active that look like the best bets

Ones that look sort of finished

  • shapado: Ruby, mongomapper and mongodb. Live site, also provide hosted sites for a fee. AGPLv3. Seems to be under active development.

  • OSQA: Django. Live site. GPLv3. More actively developed fork of CNPROG. OSQA is in maintenance mode, with security and Django platform updates, but few new features. AnswerHub has replaced OSQA as DZone's primary Q&A solution.

  • openoverflow: Ruby, PostgreSQL, Haml. MIT license. No example site, and I can't find anyone using this one. Not a lot of recent activity; last code commit, May 2009.

  • phpancake: PHP, Zend framework, MySQL. Live site. MIT license. Last activity Jan 2010. Renders very poorly in some browsers.

  • cahoots: PHP, MySQL. GPL, MIT license. Officially inactive; demo site offline; last update Aug 2010.

  • Coordino: PHP, MySQL. MIT license. feature tour;

  • Qwench: PHP. Example site (no pages except question list). No activity since Dec 2009.

  • soclone: Django framework. MIT license. Seems to have gone stale in Nov 2008 (and only started on Google Code at the end of Oct 2008).

  • Plurk Solace: Python. BSD license. No example site, and I can't find anyone using this one. Last commit was Dec 2009.

  • stacked: ASP.NET, Ra-Ajax, ActiveRecord ORM. GPLv3.

  • Arrayshift

Others that seem to be work in progress

  • Asking: Perl, Mojolicious. Perl License (Artistic). Few docs at this point. Github repo README.md in Portuguese.

  • FortyTwo: Python, Django, CouchDB. Example sitelink leads to a 404. Unknown license. Little info. [Last commit in January 2011]

  • kerjakelompok: No example site. Unknown license. Little info.

  • SmartR: No example site. MIT License. Little info.

  • Stack Underflow: C#. No example site. License is "do whatever you want with it" (I haven't defined a formal license yet). Written as a learning project.

  • T002_rails-overflow: Rails. No example site. Unknown license. Little info. Apache license.

  • CNPROG: Python/Django. Project officially closed. Was used as base by OSQA & Askbot.

  • Kunjika: Python, Flask, and Couchbase. GNU GPLv3 or later. Documentation is here.

  • QARoR - open source Questions & Answers platform for Ruby on Rails. Here is the demo and source on GitHub. Released under MIT License.

Sorted by language







Did I miss any? Disagree? Please add a comment or update this answer.

And I don't really want to get into listing clones, but I have just come across Answer Bag which seems to be an all-encompassing clone covering everything from aviation through programming to religion. Or maybe that was there first? And Just Answer is another...

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Not sure where this comment belongs, but I recently deployed and customized Question2Answer in 15 minutes, whereas OSQA took hours and still isn't working right. FWIW! –  goodytx Mar 8 '12 at 16:55
Do all these look like StackExchange sites on purpose?! –  Marco Demaio Apr 3 '12 at 20:10
I noticed how Java was the only language without an entry. According to meta.stackexchange.com/a/109004/160875 Qato is written in Java. (The original question asked for web apps inspired by the StackExchange system, but didn't specify open source. Some of the other answers mention non-open source implementations of SE, but I had my eye on that None known spot under "Java"!) –  Ellie Kesselman Apr 29 '12 at 1:12
After getting tired of OSQA and its django dependencies, I installed question2answer and worked great so far: pretty complete, lots of plugins. –  Deigote Jun 6 '12 at 11:50
Do any of these clone SE's excellent chat? For my Q&A needs, I'm OK with using the SE family, but that chat is fantastic and I'd love to see it (or something like it) start replacing IRC. –  KRyan Dec 7 '12 at 5:43
Shouldn't Discourse be on here? –  Ian Carroll Apr 16 '13 at 0:17
shapado only receives translation updates for over a year now, gitorious.org/shapado/shapado/activities. Likewise, OSQA also isn't very active with a mere 5 commits this year (github.com/dzone/osqa/commits/master). –  Nico Schlömer Nov 3 '13 at 15:58
@disgruntledgoat Why remove QARoR? –  Adam Davis Apr 28 '14 at 15:07
@Adam although there is a section for "half finished clones" that one didn't look very developed at all. Also it looks like the person who added it is the developer; I thought that would count as spam. If others think the project is fine, go ahead and put it back. –  DisgruntledGoat Apr 29 '14 at 9:08
Hello, Im the QARoR developer and put it into this topic. What can i say more about development... StartX Stanford already use QARoR, so its not that bad right? There are few apps here which "didn't look very developed at all" for example T002_rails-overflow. DisgruntledGoat, give people a proper choice. @AdamDavis if you think its interesting app, do us a favor and put it back. Thank you! –  mateuszdw Jul 12 '14 at 8:46

I might as well throw my two cents in. I've developed a site from scratch which uses the Stack Overflow model, but it is based on a completely different subject matter (Super Street Fighter 4):


Some differences/extensions:

  • There is an events section which allows for users to search on events related to the game (as well as vote up/down)
  • There is a podcasts section (again, podcasts and episodes can be voted up/down)
  • There is a notes section. Notes differ from questions in that they are one-way projections, there are no replies. Almost like blog entries, but on a specific topic that's indexed all the same.

And there are plans around other forms of data around the game as well.

I've asked a number of questions about (and on, not directly related to) Stack Overflow to help shape functionality:

All of these were used to help shape the development of the site.

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@rjb It is not. The new site, One Frame Link is in development, but will probably do Q&A last (I'm focusing on other tools, and as you can see, I need to do design work). Also, I'd probably do the engine much differently than I did it the first time around. However, I might make the original open source, as I don't have much use for it anymore. –  casperOne Feb 19 '13 at 12:19

The beta O'Reilly Answers site.

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I think the folks at O'Reilly were just doing their thing. i don't think they were trying to clone SO. –  Ben Oct 30 '10 at 19:15

HashCode (Russian: ХэшКод) - Russian clone of SO.

Also there are RootCode (РутКод) and BitCode (БитКод) related projects, which clone SF and SU respectively.

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It's based on OSQA confirmation here. –  niki-timofe Jun 8 '12 at 18:19

I wouldn't call my communitytracker an SO clone, but it is inspired by it. I got tired of the noise that is phpBB. I am starting to feel the pain now, I need a meta site.

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Doctype launched recently, they a have a similar concept to Stack Overflow.


But the visual design focuses too much on the person and not enough on how good an answer is…

DocType closed on 2013-02-14, and they didn't bother to release their codebase.

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DocType whats that??? blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/08/stack-overflow-and-doctype –  jjnguy Aug 13 '09 at 14:57
Pretty surprising that a site for web designers would chose a text size/weight that makes it look like everything is in bold for emphasis... almost as bad as everything being in caps IMO. –  U62 Aug 13 '09 at 16:22
uh-oh no OpenId ... –  user132619 Aug 16 '09 at 22:29

Stack Overflow clone in PHP -- "Qwench"

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Inspired by SO: http://www.iFixit.com/Answers

Jeff mentioned them in one of the SO blogs, http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/02/our-sidekick-ifixit-com/, although he got it wrong, http://ifixit.com has been around for a while (2003 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IFixit), while Answers had recently been released.

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Here's another, called Verious.

Original Q:Getting 503 Service Unavailable when trying to generate discovery document

Clone: http://www.verious.com/qa/getting-503-service-unavailable-when-trying-to-generate-discovery-document/

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Quick Answers at Code Project: http://www.codeproject.com/script/Answers/List.aspx

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In fact, SO is a clone of Quick Answers :-) Quick Answers is launched in 2005, but Stack Overflow is launched in 2008. –  ProgramFOX Oct 31 '13 at 8:56

qato.com - not open-source, apparently clones the SE 1.0 model as well (hosting SaaS Q&A sites). It took me a while to notice why the DynDNS community support pages felt familiar.

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Why did you not add to the main Answer? –  Tshepang May 16 '11 at 12:30
@Tshepang: if you mean this, it specifically says "open source"; I'm unable to get at qato's source anywhere, leading me to the conclusion that it is closed-source, and thus doesn't really fit there. –  Piskvor May 16 '11 at 14:27

I have created one as a WordPress plugin, if you are interested. Demo here: http://demo.sabaidiscuss.com/

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Polish version of StackOverflow. It's look like SO year or 2 years ago. The site looks like author don't update anything on page. Even years on foot are out date.

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There is also MetaOptimize's community QA site. It is clearly based on the SE model in its design, style, functionality, etc. It's content is a mix of Stack Overflow programming questions and Cross Validated machine learning & data visualization questions, with perhaps bits of other SE sites thrown in. Their self description is:

Where scientists ask and answer questions on machine learning, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, text analysis, information retrieval, search, data mining, statistical modeling, and data visualization!

The design is almost identical. Just replace rep with karma, badges with kudos, and tags with...well, tags. They even have diamond mods and green boxes for accepted answers!

A user profile:

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Squarespace has a QA site that looks very similar to SO's model


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Worth reading this. osqa.net is already discussed here, e.g. here. –  Shadow Wizard Mar 20 '14 at 14:28

Like many others, I build a Stack Overflow clone as well, mostly as a learning exercise. This one might be the only open-source clone written in C# / ASP.NET MVC.

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My open source project of a Stack Overflow clone is hosted on GitHub.

It's under heavy development. And will add more functions compared to Stack Overflow.

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Seems fairly similar, I don't know if it infringes directly. See the question I posted on this site.

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I managed to get Qwench (a PHP Stack Overflow clone) from inscripts / anantgarg working under IIS 5.1 - with IIRF. Extending to provide search and additional adminstration functions to manage Q&A should make the application more useful.

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Arrayshift is a Drupal project that replicates a lot of the SO functionality. It's currently in Alpha.

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codingstack.com seems like a new attempt, no risk for SO though...

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It's in production, but anemic, and prone to spam questions and answers. There's probably a better chance to get bada answers at SO proper.

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s41.codeinspot.com Complete with question title, original formatting, images, and profile pics... For || Comparison

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Ask Fedora -- an SE-style website on Fedora Linux.

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actually it is based on askbot, as their web site mentioned: (askbot.com) –  Tomofumi Jun 13 '14 at 4:12

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