Web Design & Development Guide



Latest release: 8.1
OS: Cross-platform
Genre: Content Management System
License: GNU General Public License
Website: www.phpnuke.org

PHP-Nuke is a web based automated news publishing and content management system (a "nuke") based on PHP and MySQL. The system is fully controlled using a web-based user interface. PHP-Nuke was originally a fork of the Thatware news portal system.

The system is released as free software under the GNU General Public License. Until version 7.5, the latest version of the software was freely downloadable from the PHP-Nuke website; version 7.5 is the first version for which a US$10 download charge is made. This is permitted under the GNU GPL (providing the source code is included), but the purchaser of the software has the right to freely distribute the source code of the product. This charge only applies to the latest version of PHP-Nuke; previous versions are available free of charge. Version 8.1 is being distributed for US$12.

Starting with version 5.6, the display of a copyright message on webpages is required according with the GPL license section 2(c) and approved by the Free Software Foundation as explained on the official web site [1].

It requires a web server which supports the PHP extension (such as the Apache HTTP Server), as well as an SQL database (such as MySQL, mSQL, PostgreSQL, ODBC, Adabas, Sybase or InterBase).

Features of PHP-Nuke

The main aim of PHP-Nuke is to allow a webmaster to create a community-based portal (similar to that used by Slashdot), with an automated web site allowing users and editors to post news items (user-submitted news items are selected by editors). Users can comment on these articles using the comments system.

Modules may be added to the PHP-Nuke system, allowing the webmaster to add more features (such as an Internet forum or calendar) to their PHP-Nuke installation in addition to the core modules such as News, FAQ and Private Messaging. The whole system is maintained by administrators using the web-based administration section.

PHP-Nuke is able to support a number of different languages. Its look and feel can also be customized (to an extent), using the Themes system, although some people have found it difficult to make the site look any different from the standard ⅔ column layout (as used by the program's official website [2]).

Lack of security and criticism

PHP-Nuke has in the past been criticized for containing many security holes. SQL injection is one of the most widely-known flaws in PHP-Nuke's security [3], although other methods of gaining access to the admin panel of a site running PHP-Nuke have been found [4][5]. In February 2005, the Webmail module of PHP-Nuke was removed from all versions due to security problems at the request of EV1Servers.net, phpnuke.org's web hosting service [6]. Since it contains a port of phpBB2, it also inherits phpBB's security flaws.


The PHP-Nuke project has been forked many times by different people, for different reasons. Notable forks include:

  • Dragonfly CMS based on PHP-Nuke 6.5 with Coppermine Photo Gallery included
  • Nuke-Evolution Based on PHP-Nuke with many security fixes, custom modifications, and PHP-Nuke modifications pre-installed
  • openPHPNuke based on myPHPNuke
  • phpWebSite project managed by the Web Technology Group at Appalachian State University
  • Postnuke based on PHP-Nuke 5.0
  • XOOPS based on PHP-Nuke and myPHPNuke
  • Xaraya based on Postnuke

These forks, and others, have all had their own ideas regarding several aspects of the system, and thus do many things in different ways in an attempt to produce a better product. Nevertheless, most, if not all of these systems can be used to produce a community portal similar to that which can be built using PHP-Nuke, although it is possible that these systems are better at doing some things than PHP-Nuke (and vice-versa).

External links

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