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Stack Overflow clones

I know this question was asked a million times before. I can delete it once someone points me to a similar one. Basically whatever I found was pointing to Stackoverflow clones in .NET and Django... I am interested only in a PHP clone...

I found these:

http://array-shift.com/ Problem: Nothing.. but I don't want a heavy Drupal sitting in the background...


http://anantgarg.com/2009/12/09/php-stackoverflow-clone/ Problem: My last option if nothing else exists...

And the cahoots one... But I can't seem to be able to find a demo site for that... Any pointers on where I can find open source PHP clones that I can use for my own purpose?

  • Edited my question... I was talking about open source projects that I can actually use for my own internal purposes.... But thanks anyways...
    – Legend
    Mar 31, 2010 at 4:55

3 Answers 3


Stack Exchange clones

Most active that look the best bets

  • cahoots. PHP, CodeIgniter, Zend framework, MySQL. GPL, MIT license. Example site. Seems to be under active development (v2.1 RC2 released 1 Feb 2010, as of Feb 2010).

Relatively new but very active

  • Lampcms. PHP 5.3, MongoDB. LGPL 3 license. Example site. The only one that uses PHP and MongoDB. Extremely fast and scalable. Good OOP design, all classes have good comment blocks. Source on github Uses Event driven design making adding custom modules very easy. Custom modules must extend LampcmsObserver class and listen to any custom events. Built-in support for mobile site templates.

Ones that look sorta finished



  • Question2Answer hardly took 20 mins to setup..
    – TechDog
    May 9, 2019 at 11:39

Incase you were not entirely clear on what waffles said, here is the breakdown:

StackOverflow, Serverfault, Superuser, and Meta StackOverflow were created by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. They all run on the same software.

After these sites became popular, and after many people asked how they could run their own Q&A site with a similar format, the owners developed the existing software into a product called StackExchange. We'll talk about that later.

The software behind StackOverflow is not open source. Many people don't like that. This is because everyone on the internet expects things to be free. Unfortunately, Jeff and Joel buy into the idea that when you put effort into making something that gets really popular, you deserve to eat, sleep in a house, and generally be able to make a living.

Of course, many people do not subscribe to this theory, and they have attempted to clone StackOverflow. Some people claim it can be done overnight, and some people have actually done things that are similar to StackOverflow. However, they do not have the polish or the community that StackOverflow has, so they are not really that great. You can read Jeff's post on this subject, and you will quickly realize why these don't work.

Now, the good stuff:

StackExchange is a site that allows you to pay money for your own Q&A site running on very similar software to StackOverflow and the like.

You get reputations, up votes, and bounties. You do not get the ponies. The ponies and bacon are reserved for Meta, My Personal Series of Rants, and OMG Ponies.

Currently StackExchange is building up its features and polishing the rough edges to make it ideal for starting up communities.

So what have we learned?

  • Ponies and Bacon are Reserved for Meta StackOverflow Rants, as well as April Fools Day Pranks.
  • StackOverflow, Serverfault, Superuser, and Meta all run the same software.
  • This software may attempt to be duplicated, but ultimately fails
  • StackExchange.com is the best way to get a Q&A site similar to StackOverflow.
  • My mistake... just updated the question.. Thanks for your time...
    – Legend
    Mar 31, 2010 at 4:56
  • And yeah... about your point from Jeff and Joel... respects to them... I don't want SO to be open source either.. :) A near clone would suffice...
    – Legend
    Mar 31, 2010 at 4:58
  • +1 good answer, but it's a bit unfair to suggest that all open source fans find it a disgrace that SO is closed source. I'm a huge fan of FOSS, run it almost exclusively, and still I'm 100% fine with the SO team not opening their code. And I suspect that I'm not the only one.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Mar 31, 2010 at 6:16
  • @balpha I wasn't trying to point to open source fans. We have quite a few questions on Meta about SO being open source, as that seems to be the trend with a lot of sites. I was mainly pointing at them. And I am totally with you on the SO thing. I run mostly FOSS stuff, (except my OS), but am perfectly fine with SO wanting to charge for their services. Mar 31, 2010 at 6:26
  • Closed source is, at best, a potential virus. Ironic this is on meta :P Ive now accumulated tens of thousands of points on these stupid sites and learned only the comments are safe. Jess and Joel havnt yet learned that open source != money you can sell it.. Either way i look at the big picture. Closed source is evil. lampcms.com Thats just one of the many better Q&A forks out, and its open source so you can even learn, contribute, or do whatever! :) ok, off to contribute. Feb 19, 2015 at 4:14
  • BTW OSI split from FSF specifically as an marketinng ploy to teach people that free = freedom fiat hasnothingtodo with open source source should be free. Anyway OSI just calls it open now instead of free since humans tend to get a bit greedy cough in reality the free software and open source software people are the same. Feb 19, 2015 at 4:17
Any pointers?
  1. The site you linked for was a stack exchange site
  2. If you are not willing to download the source and try out the product, I do not think open source is for you
  3. Don't restrict yourself to a language or platform
  4. Software as a service is way more appealing
  5. There is no open source clone of SO that even come close to covering the same amount of features
  6. Waffles

See: Stack Exchange clones

  • Waffles is always relevant Mar 31, 2010 at 4:41

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