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vBulletin System Requirements

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  • Wayne Luke
    vBulletin Technical Support Lead
    • Aug 2000
    • 73088
    • 6.0.X

    vBulletin System Requirements

    Updated: September 1st, 2023

    Your server must meet the following requirements before vBulletin can be installed on the machine. Most shared-environment hosting providers meet these qualifications already. If you're unsure, you can always use vBulletin Cloud to host your vBulletin website.

    Minimum Requirements

    vBulletin is a web-based application and as such has a few minimum requirements. To run vBulletin, you need a web hosting provider that includes the following on their systems:
    • PHP version: 8.0.0
    • MySQL version: 5.7.10 (see note below)
      • As an alternative to MySQL, you can use MariaDB version: 10.4+
      • The INNODB Table engine with innodb_large_prefix support is required.
      • Using Strict Mode is not recommended. Especially with no_zero_date enabled.
    • A pre-registered domain name
    • 200 Megabytes of hard drive space
    • Rewrite Engine - A rewrite engine is needed for vBulletin's Friendly URL routing to work. Popular rewrite engines include mod_rewrite on Apache 2.4+ and "URL Rewrite" for IIS 7+.
    • PHP memory_limit set to 128MB or higher.
    • PHP Libraries Required. The following libraries are not installed on all distributions of PHP and are required by vBulletin.
      • MySQLi support - MySQLi is a more robust software library to connect to the database that vBulletin uses. This requires the mysqli and mysqlnd libraries to be enabled in PHP.
      • GD - Image Processing Support in PHP.
      • Hash - Used to generate hashes for various pieces of functionality.
      • JSON library - Needed to communicate with the API and front-end interfaces.
      • XML Processing Libraries - Needed for various data files.
      • mbstring library - A PHP library that helps with character conversion for UTF-8 support.
      • iconv library - A PHP library that provides extra language and character set support.
      • cURL support - Allows secure connections to third-party services like Facebook Connect.
    • An appropriate UTF-8 Locale is required to support languages other than English.
    Test Your Server

    A server testing script is available for download. To use this script, upload it into your server's public_html directory and load it in your web browser.

    Recommended System

    The following settings and software packages are not required but will make your vBulletin experience more enjoyable. Your hosting provider can tell you whether these are available on your server.
    • PHP 8.2 or higher.
    • Argon2 support within PHP.
    • MySQL 8 or greater. MariaDB 10.11 or higher.
    • PHP Opcache library - This is an "opcode" cache that can increase the performance of vBulletin by pre-parsing the PHP files and storing these compiled versions in memory.
    • PHP Imagick library - An advanced Image Processing library that provides more functionality than GD.
    • MemcacheD will enhance the performance of your vBulletin software by keeping commonly used data in memory for rapid retrieval.
    • SSL Certificate for HTTPS access to the site. *Strongly Recommended*

    Sphinx Search (optional)

    A minimum version of Sphinx 2.4.2 is required to use Sphinx Search instead of MySQL for keyword based searches.


    vBulletin uses encryption in a number of places including passwords and random number generation. Due to this, a modern Cryptography library is needed. In most cases, your server will already have one installed.
    • On Windows, » CryptGenRandom() will be used. As of PHP 7.2.0, the » CNG-API will always be used instead.
    • On Linux, the » getrandom(2) syscall will be used if available.
    • On other platforms, /dev/urandom will be used.

    If your server does not have one of these libraries installed then some parts of vBulletin will fail to work properly.


    While vBulletin provides a number of methods for customization knowledge of its underlying technologies will help you create unique sites. Knowledge of HTML and CSS is necessary for moderate level customization. This knowledge also helps with Ad and Static HTML templates. Class-Oriented Programming with PHP and JavaScript is necessary for advanced level customization.

    Supported Browsers
    Mobile Browsers

    These browsers may encounter limitations with some features (e.g. Site Builder and Richtext Editing) due to the limitation of the device.
    • Chrome on Android - Latest Version
    • Safari on iOS - Latest Version

    Browsers not on this list may work. If a browser is not included on this list and has a significant amount of market share (5% or more), then we may evaluate it in the future.

    Note: Browser extensions change how pages are rendered. We cannot test browser extensions.

    Test Script

    This script can test your server and to see if it can run vBulletin 5 Connect. Upload the file to your server and load it in your web browser. Once loaded in the web browser, follow the instructions on the screen.
    Last edited by Wayne Luke; Fri 1 Sep '23, 1:37pm.
    Translations provided by Google.

    Wayne Luke
    The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
    vBulletin 5 API

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