Install Synchronet BBS on Ubuntu Server

Synchronet Bulletin Board System Software(link is external)

... is a free software package that can turn your personal computer into your own custom online service supporting multiple simultaneous users with hierarchical message and file areas, multi-user chat, and the ever-popular BBS door games.

Synchronet development began as a personal hobby in 1990 for single-tasking MS-DOS compatible computers and Hayes compatible modems. The program was sold commercially from 1992-1996 after which time it was released (with source code) for both the 16-bit DOS and 32-bit OS/2 platforms to the public domain and development by the author was ceased.

In November of 1999, the author found a renewed interest in further developing Synchronet, specifically for the Internet community, embracing and integrating standard Internet protocols such as Telnet, FTP, SMTP, POP3, IRC, NNTP, and HTTP. Synchronet has since been substantially redesigned as an Internet-only BBS package for Win32 and Unix-x86 platforms and is an Open Source project under continuous development.

Synchronet Version 3.1x for Win32 and Unix (Intel-x86 architecture) can be previewed on Vertrauen (Home of Synchronet BBS Software).

In this article, i walk you through installing the Synchronet BBS Software(link is external) on a Ubuntu(link is external) Server.

1) Drop into super user

sudo su

2) Install dependencies

apt-get install build-essential libncurses5-dev g++ libnspr4-dev libmozjs-dev cvs dosemu dosemu-freedos

3) Create a SBBS folder on the root of the file system

mkdir /sbbs

4) Change to your SBBS folder

cd /sbbs

5) Download makefile to SBBS folder

wget*checkout*/install/GNUmakefile(link is external)

6) Compile SBBS

make install RELEASE=1 USE_DOSEMU=1

7) Set the SBBSCTRL environment variable to point to your "ctrl" directory

export SBBSCTRL=/sbbs/ctrl

8) Configure your BBS


9) Start your BBS


10) Test connectivity

telnet localhost

11) Create SysOp (System Operator) account

Type "New" when prompted for username

You can modify services, ports and interfaces if you take a look at the .ini files in /sbbs/ctrl/.

For a nice ANSI supported terminal, i like to use Syncterm(link is external).

Post your BBS in the comments so i can check yours out!



Linking gcc.linux.x64.lib.release/
/usr/bin/ld: cannot find -ljs
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make[1]: *** [gcc.linux.x64.lib.release/] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/sbbs/src/sbbs3'
make: *** [sbbs3] Error 2

I'm running Karmic server. Any ideas?

Are you using 64bit linux? I don't think it will work on 64bit.

!ERROR loading configuration files: Insufficient User Level Information: 0 user levels read, 100 needed.

Very odd error. You may want to run this by Rob directly,


Still running your BBS?
Willing to answer a few questions?

I am not currently running a BBS, but plan on possibly running a new opensource board in the near future.