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Since the source code for this site isn't available for purchase or external use, I'm looking for software that can run a Q&A environment similar to Stack Exchange. Are there any such pieces of software available?

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Stack Overflow for Teams, a hosted solution, is available for use. In the past there was an enterprise version of Stack Overflow, but this is now deprecated.

But if that does not meet your needs, there are several third-party tools that try to clone at least some of the functionality here.

Most active that look like the best bets

Open source

Not open source

  • AllAnswered: Django. Include Q&A in its knowledge management system. Not Free.

  • AnswerHub: Java. Live site. Enterprise Q&A by the people who created OSQA. Not free.

  • Confluence Questions: Java. Enterprise Q&A developed and supported by Atlassian. Not free.

  • Haydle: SaaS, free 30 day trial. Haydle is focused on being a private, internal Q&A system.

  • Q&A: Live Site. WordPress Plugin. Actively developed by a company that looks reliable. No longer free; $19 to download (with no membership)

  • Quandora

  • SabaiDiscuss: commercial WordPress Plugin

  • Tribe: SaaS, freemium plan. Tribe allows you to build your own social app (including internal or external Q&A sites).

  • Unity Answers: Allowed topics are the Unity editor and C# (the site is free and in English)

Ones that look sort of finished

  • shapado: Ruby, mongomapper and MongoDB. AGPLv3. Website unreachable, Last commit in 2012.

  • OSQA: Django. GPLv3. Last commit in 2015. 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 2013. Renders very poorly in some browsers; the live site states "I am aware of this site not working properly. I am working on it!".

  • Rootbuzz: (site down) Django, hosting, actively developed, non-free

  • Programlama: Python, flask (In Turkish)

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

  • Coordino: PHP, MySQL. MIT license. feature tour; last commit in 2015.

  • Qwench: PHP. Example site (currently offline). Almost no activity since 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).

  • Solace: Inactive; last commit in 2010.

  • PaizaQA: Demo, MEAN (MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, and Node.js), Not active, MIT license

  • Kliqqi: PHP, MySQL. Different look, hosting available. Not active, CC-BY 3.0 license

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

  • Arrayshift Drupal plugin GPLv2, last commit in 2016.

  • Kunjika: Python, Flask, and Couchbase. GNU GPLv3 or later. Website (not reachable anymore as of October 2019).

Others that seem to be work in progress

  • Asking: Perl, Mojolicious. Perl License (Artistic). Little documentation at this point. GitHub repository README.md in Portuguese.

  • FortyTwo: Python, Django, CouchDB. Example site link leads to a 404. Unknown license. Little information. [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: Ruby on Rails. No example site. Unknown license. Little info. Apache license.

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

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

  • Veaos: MERN (MongoDB, Express, React and Node.js)

Sorted by language

PHP

Perl

Python

Ruby

Java

Scala

ASP.NET

MEAN/MERN (MongoDB, Express, Angular/React, and Node.js)

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

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  • 34
    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, 2012 at 16:55
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    Do all these look like StackExchange sites on purpose?! Apr 3, 2012 at 20:10
  • 2
    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"!) Apr 29, 2012 at 1:12
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    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, 2012 at 11:50
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    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, 2012 at 5:43
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    Shouldn't Discourse be on here? Apr 16, 2013 at 0:17
  • 1
    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). Nov 3, 2013 at 15:58
  • 3
    @disgruntledgoat Why remove QARoR?
    – Pollyanna
    Apr 28, 2014 at 15:07
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    @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. Apr 29, 2014 at 9:08
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    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, 2014 at 8:46
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    Saying AnswerHub is a clone of Stack Exchange is basically saying that any Q&A site with quality is a clone. Following that logic let's add Quora as a clone! May 20, 2015 at 15:43
  • 1
    @Evgeny Thanks for an awesome answer! I'm trying to look for the ones that has an API using which I can include a similar Q&A inside my mobile app. I am still to find an open source one. Do you know one by any chance ? Jul 19, 2015 at 20:14
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    This answer needs an overhaul. Plenty of things are now stale, or not in active development. Jul 2, 2016 at 14:28
  • 1
    Have a look at this github.com/xameeramir/StackOverflowClone then. Completely free Stackoverflow clone
    – xameeramir
    Mar 28, 2017 at 12:28
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    hello - well great thread - but i see it like other: This answer really needs an overhaul. Plenty of things are now stale, or not in active development. –
    – zero
    May 23, 2019 at 8:34
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I am currently following Codidact with some interest.

Codidact is a work in progress and fairly new, but describes itself as:

A community-controlled, open-source Q&A platform.


Further Information:

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    I'm a bit afraid about ASP as core technology... but ok, let it be
    – Arenim
    Jan 16, 2020 at 16:19
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    @Arenim as I understand, that's only an interim measure.
    – OmarL
    Jan 16, 2020 at 16:31
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    there is nothing more permanent than temporary =) Anyway I hope it will be good at their side =))
    – Arenim
    Jan 16, 2020 at 16:32
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    @Arenim, not ASP, but rather ASP.NET Core: "a free and open-source web framework, and higher performance than ASP.NET, developed by Microsoft and the community". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASP.NET_Core. And BTW, it's cross-platform :)
    – Marc.2377
    Jan 20, 2020 at 0:53
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    I joined recently. It seems they are going with what their key developers/contributors are experienced in. I have experience in some of the tech stack they are using, so I plan to consider contributing in the future.
    – mbomb007
    Jan 21, 2020 at 23:00
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    Regarding the above old comments here, Codidact originally started as an C# ASP.NET project, but since they didn't have enough devs familiar with that platform, it was switched to Ruby on Rails using an existing code base, to launch faster, which it still runs on today. It was released in spring 2020 and is a fairly mature site by now.
    – Lundin
    Jan 13 at 13:08

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