The state of BBS Software

I’m interested in dabbling with BBS operations again and want to launch my own BBS. Here is a brain dump from what I’ve seen in the last few years, and I’ll be updating this info with new findings:


Renegade – my first interest, since I ran Renegade back in the day. Back in the 90s, RG was popular overall for 1-line/2-line BBSes, it was well-rounded in functionality (message bases, file areas, door game support) and cool for the “scene” bbses. it was described as a “telegard hack” and I remember development seemed stalled in the late 90s , new releases were rare.

I know it got updated for y2k support and maybe not much else since then, the source code had been passed around. ?? Not sure the current status, it looks like there are two competing forks: has Renegade 1.30 for DOS, and the author still has an active board The Titantic BBS (Rick Parrish) hasn’t been touched in 9 years

Mystic BBS

Mystic. I think I was in high school (circle 2000) when I first came across Mystic, the author g00r00 sounded impressive bringing a hard-hitting new BBS at a time when everything was dying out. Mystic seems to have been running the marathon and delivering lots of value over the last 20 years, including a sweet telnet bbs client called Netrunner. Mystic is used by one of my favorite boards, distortion.

The latest release (dated Dec 2021, 1.12 A47) supports Windows, Linux and Mac.


Synchronet. Synchronet seems to span a bit more time period, I remember it being used back in the dialup days, and is still developed and maintained now in 2022, which is very impressive. The author, Rob Swindell, was featured in the BBS Documentary.

The latest version 3.19b is available for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD. Older versions for DOS and OS/2 are available for download.,


MajorBBS– there has been an interesting project in the last few years to re-develop MajorBBS. They have released a new “v10” and have an active forum. It is neat to see the community, but my interest in MajorBBS is as a user not an operator.

Author: admin

2 thoughts on “The state of BBS Software

  1. Well, we are on the same quest. Searching for information on what software to run, I came across your page. Looks like you have given up on that quest. Like that you have put together all this info on one page. How did you make out?

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment. As mentioned in the post, Mystic and Synchronet lead in popularity these days. I have been encouraged seeing Renegade updates from the team. I’m currently using their Renegade 1.30 and customizing it.

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