Kunena was first released as K 1.0.6 on 10 January 2009. At that time Fireboard had become more closed to the public with many locked forum categories. The development team realised that a new strategic direction was required to address the growing concerns that the Fireboard community had with the reliability and the security of that product and, particularly, to encourage a greater participation between the development team and the user community.

Fireboard became obsolete with the release of FB 1.0.5 RC2 on 27 October 2008. Fireboard was the merge of two earlier products: Joomlaboard and Mamboboard. Although these products are no longer available to the general public - there are still many websites that continue to use this product and there are still some similarities to Kunena in the ways that they work. In December 2008 the Fireboard team decided to close their related discussion forum because users were unwilling to wait for a final release and in the face of criticism about the product.

Project plan

The original plan was not to create a legacy fork of an already popular component for Joomla. Rather, developers realised a need for the community to be able to communicate effectively about bug fixes, ongoing issues and development for the future. The new project eventually became known as Kunena because it sounded catchy and stood for speaking up. It was also an easy domain name to register.

Kunena was released at the beginning of 2009 and has undergone several evolutions. Basically, Kunena is the foundation for the open source implementation of a native Joomla forum component.

K 1.0

The original version was designed to fix the numerous defects, errors and security vulnerabilities with Fireboard. K 1.0 software (like Fireboard) can only be run on Joomla 1.0 websites or on Joomla 1.5 websites running [Legacy Mode]. K 1.0 is now obsolete and there is no development or support for this product. K 1.0.11 is still useful for those websites that continue to run Joomla 1.0.x websites. K 1.0 was superseded by K 1.5.

K 1.5

K 1.5 was designed to be fully compatible with Joomla 1.5. This was a major undertaking and there were few opportunities available to change or improve many of the legacy issues that remained from Fireboard. When K 1.5.3 was released (in June 2009) Kunena had been in existence for a mere 6 months. At around the same time as K 1.5.3 was released, Joomla officially terminated support for Joomla 1.0.x (on 22 July 2009). This was, therefore, a major reason in the planning of that version.

The main features of K 1.5 that differentiate it from K 1.0 are:

  1. Joomla 1.5 compatibility
  2. Streamline and improve the front-end user interface
  3. Simplified installation process
  4. Integration with an extended range of other developers' extensions
  5. Implement a new search capability and search engine friendliness.

K 1.6

With plans already well-advanced to completely rewrite Kunena so that it would move forward with the latest advances in web technology, notably Web 2.0 architecture, a decision was made to produce a transitional release in order to coincide with the planned release of Joomla 1.6. Work on "K 2.0" (as it was called) was suspended in January 2010 and work commenced on a J 1.6-compliant version.

At the same time, it was also decided that some of the preparatory development for K 2.0 would be incorporated into this transitional version.

The main features of K 1.6 that differentiate it from K 1.5 are:

  1. Decouple program logic code from template HTML
  2. Improve server performance
  3. Adopt best-practice development methodologies and prepare the way forward for Joomla 1.6
  4. Improve forum moderation
  5. Extend the front-end interface functionality

K 1.7 

Building on the success of K 1.6, a decision was made to release another transition between K 1.5 and K 2.0, containing fixes for problems in that version as well as several new features, in order to leverage some of the improvements delivered with Joomla 1.7. This choice of the name K 1.7 and J! 1.7 is coincidental because K 1.7 can be installed, like K 1.6 before it, on all of the supported versions of Joomla - J! 1.5, J! 1.6 and J! 1.7.

Similarly, some of the preparation for K 2.0 is incorporated into this transitional version.

The main features of K 1.7 that differentiate it from K 1.6 are:

  1. Single subscription email will be sent to n users using TO/CC/BCC (configurable).
  2. Category ACL now supports Access levels for J! 1.5, J! 1.6 and J! 1.7.
  3. Built-in integration with reCAPTCHA with several new options.
  4. Saving form information in the event of something going "wrong" with post/reply/edit messages.

K 2.0

K 2.0 made removed the last of the remaining Fireboard legacy. The main features of K 2.0 that differentiate it from K 1.7 are:

  1. Database schema optimisation for improved performance and scalability to large forums up to millions of posts.
  2. Improved integration with Jomsocial, Community Builder and other ACL mechanisms for managing front-end access to private categories.
  3. Separation of the BBcode into a self-contained library that can be easily extended and used in other Joomla extensions.
  4. Implementation of category channels: a means of aggregating multiple individual categories into a single view.
  5. Re-instatement of threaded views of topics.
  6. MVC compliance.

K 3.0

15 May 2013

The complete list of changes is too large to be included here.

  1. Major rewrite of the K 2.0 codebase.
  2. Added support for J! 3.''x''.
  3. Removal of old J! 1.''x'' code.
  4. New AJAX based installer.
  5. New Bootstrap-driven backend for J! 2.5 and J! 3.''x''.
  6. Improves security by denying direct access to /component/kunena.

K 4.0

29 May 2015

The complete list of changes is too large to be included here.

  1. Major rewrite of the K 3.0 codebase.
  2. HMVC.
  3. New Template: Crypsis.
  4. Added more new features.
  5. File Protection.
  6. Added ajax attachments upload.

K 5.0

06 August 2016

The complete list of changes is too large to be included here.

  1. Major rewrite of the K 4.0 codebase.
  2. Improvements on HMVC.
  3. Blue eagle template has been removed.
  4. Added the possibility to star topics.
  5. Added the logs action feature with new view in backend to see them.
  6. Added new integrations with easyprofile, easysocial et easyblog.

K 5.1

31 December 2017

The complete list of changes is too large to be included here.

  1. Start of call namespaced from Joomla! where it's present.
  2. Remove deprecated code to prepare support of Joomla! 4.
  3. Added the feature to upload avatar with ajax.
  4. Added suport for openGraph.
  5. More to come...

K 5.2

09 December 2020

The complete list of changes is too large to be included here.

  1. Use CKeditor 4 as default editor with still support of bbcode.
  2. Include a template which can work with bootstrap4: crypsisb4.
  3. Works with Php 8.0.0.
  4. Prevent new users to add links in their messages or their profile signature.
  5. More to come...


Kunena in the "real world"

The design of Kunena is to make it easy to upgrade and to "future-proof" the product. Upgrades for this version of Kunena are automatic so you never have to worry about being outdated. It's quite simple to change from Fireboard over to Kunena. In fact, it's relatively straightforward to convert from many other forum products to Kunena.

Currently, Kunena is operating on over half-a-million websites around the world.

Kunena recommends a reliable Joomla hosting platform that matches or exceeds the minimum system requirements for maximum performance. Ensuring your website is hosted on the proper type of platform helps to avoid complications that could occur during installation or an upgrade. It is also a good policy to always have a backup just in case so your valuable data is saved.

Users appreciate the simple power of Kunena. Communication management is streamlined without being complex. Because Kunena was created by some of the most seasoned software developers, users enjoy high performance with top notch architecture for the best integrated forums around. Since Kunena is worked on by the Joomla team, an impressive list of features is already in development with a bright future ahead for users.

Reliable Joomla hosting brings your Joomla website to the next level with attractive, interactive forums to communicate with customers and engage visitors. Feel the power and performance of a website fuelled by Kunena.

*The name Kunena is from a Swahili word meaning "to speak".