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Distribution: Ubuntu 11.4,DD-WRT micro plus ssh,lfs-6.6,Fedora 15,Fedora 16
i prefer phpBB (version 2, havn't really played with version 3) because it's free, and customizable and well it simply suited my needs, though i can't make much of an educated comparison because well it was the first one i tried and it suited my needs right away so i didn't really need to try others.
Distribution: Desktop and netbook: Debian Squeeze; Router: DD-WRT
I used to use phpBB (2.x and 3.x). I liked it and found that administration of version 3 was pretty nice, except I never really liked that adding third-party features was done by modifying the code. It seems like a really hairy way to go about such a procedure, and you never know when once mod might overwrite another or an upgrade to the core software might make you redo all your modifications.
I've since found MyBB, and it seems to have a much more sane codebase than phpBB has. Not to mention, it has features that many free and proprietary bulletin boards lack. Regarding a MyBB board I run, I heard praise from a user for the smooth AJAX-enhanced registration procedure the board offers. Also, its administration area is the most powerful and flexible I've ever seen. It boasts things like stylesheet editing, custom BB code tags, custom profile fields, and even custom admin/moderator/user control panel layouts and tools out of the box. The software does things natively that many other packages do only with mods, if at all. It's been some time since I've used it, so I'm probably even forgetting some key features.