Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

FOSSWhat? Isn't this BoxBilling?

In a word, No.

The BoxBilling project does still exist but it is almost entirely unmaintained and has many security vulnerabilities (you can search for it on GitHub). FOSSBilling was forked from BoxBilling and has numerous improvements across the board. Many of the team behind FOSSBilling had previously tried to revive and update BoxBilling but found that for various reasons, mostly about project ownership, etc. that it was not possible.

We wanted to move forward and create a usable and dependable open source billing solution that will be well maintained and not commercialized which resulted in FOSSBilling being created in 2022.

If you're interested in quick overview of the significant differences between the two projects, please check the table in the section below.

BoxBilling VS FOSSBilling

At a very quick glance, here are some of the important differences between the two:

Comparison CategoriesBoxBillingFOSSBilling
Last ReleaseGitHub Release Date - Published_AtGitHub Release Date
DevelopmentGitHub commit activityGitHub commit activity
PHP Support7.4 & 8.0Officially Supported Versions (opens in a new tab)
Average Vulnerability Resolution Time*71 Days6 Days
Security Features***Very OutdatedGood and Constantly Improving

*Based on published vulnerability reports only.

**BoxBilling translation sources are out of date and generally full of errors. FOSSBilling introduces support for plural translations, automated language detection, improved handling of date/time localization, more portions of the software can be translated, and the base strings have had many spelling and grammatical fixes. Additionally, FOSSBilling translation functionality is more reliable and will work for everyone out-of-the-box unlike BoxBilling's.

***FOSSBilling introduces new functionality such as prevention against session hijacking, enforced session expirations, proper usage of the HTTPS only flag for cookies, a HTTPS only mode, and more while also having resolved numerous security vulnerabilities which still effect BoxBilling.

Can I migrate from BoxBilling?

Yes, although we've made significant changes compared to BoxBilling and a migration may not go 100% smoothly. Create a backup of your filesystem and database and then follow the migration guide (opens in a new tab).

Please also be aware that any extensions and themes that were created for BoxBilling are outright incompatible with FOSSBilling without first being updated.

Is FOSSBilling stable?

FOSSBilling is very much a work in progress. Right now we are busy squashing a lot of bugs, improving security, and at the same time working on a major rewrite of large sections of the codebase.

Right now, FOSSBilling is in a far more stable and secure state than it was just a few months ago and definitely more secure than the last releases of BB were. We don't generally recommend using it on production sites just yet unless you know what you are doing, but as long as you have some basic understanding then you probably could. If you do, then please be aware that there may be breaking changes somewhere in the near future, even though we aim to make migration to future versions as easy as possible.

If you are using it in a production environment then please download and use the latest stable release from the FOSSBilling website (opens in a new tab) or GH releases (opens in a new tab), and DO NOT use the latest pre-release commits, unless they fix an explicit issue you are facing and you are sure they do not introduce any new issues. As always, backup and test things in a staging environment.

There is no definite timeline for the 1.0 (production ready) release but you can keep track of progress using the project roadmap on GitHub (opens in a new tab).

When will FOSSBilling have [the magical feature I want]?

We would love it if FOSSBilling could do everything that everyone will ever ask of it, but in the real world that just isn't possible. The main focus of the team at the moment is to make sure that the basics are right and that FOSSBilling is stable and secure.

Even though the specific thing that you particularly need might not be available in core, FOSSBilling is designed to be easily extendable. If you have the knowledge to build an extension yourself then we would love the contribution, if not then we recommend reaching out to the community and seeing if someone else will be willing to build or update it for you.

You can search for existing feature requests (opens in a new tab) and add new ones (opens in a new tab).

But WHMCS does it already, why doesn't FOSSBilling?

There are two reasons, the first is that FOSSBilling was never intended to be a clone of WHMCS and doesn't always aim to have feature parity with it. Just because something is the popular solution doesn't mean that everything it does is the right or the only way.

The second reason is that WHMCS is a commercial (and increasingly expensive) product that has been around for over 20 years with a (presumably) decently paid team of full time developers working on it, and a large ecosystem of third party module providers. FOSSBilling is FOSS without a paid team and with a very limited number of community contributed modules to date.

Does FOSSBilling work with Pterodactyl?

FOSSBilling does not support Pterodactyl and we currently have no plans to provide official support for it. Just to repeat for absolute clarity, there are no plans now or in the future for official support for a Pterodactyl integration. However the community is more than welcome to build an integration of their own for FOSSBilling. Also see here (opens in a new tab)

Do I need to pay for FOSSBilling?

No, you do not and never will need to pay to use the core components of FOSSBilling.

The clue is right there in the name: FOSS stands for Free and Open Source Software. It means that the source code of the software is open for anyone to freely use, study and modify. If you want to know more about the principles and history of Free and Open Source Software then the Wikipedia aticle (opens in a new tab) is actually a really good place to start.

Third parties are free to develop commercial modules/extensions for FOSSBilling which they may charge for but the basic software will always remain free in all senses of the word.

If you use and appreciate FOSSBilling and you do want to give something back then you are very welcome to sponsor the project with a financial donation or to contribute in other ways.

How can I contribute to FOSSBilling?

Whether open-source projects live or die completely depends on community participation and involvement. This one is no exception, so we appreciate and welcome every contribution.

There are so many ways that you can be a part of the future of FOSSBilling. You can obviously contribute code, but we also need people to be a part of community discussions, write documentation, and sponsor the project.

You can find out more about how to do all of those things here: Contributing to FOSSBilling (opens in a new tab)

How can I sponsor or donate to FOSSBilling?

We are always happy to receive financial support, whether it is just one time or a recurring donation. You can donate money to the FOSSBilling project using either our GitHub Sponsors (opens in a new tab) or Open Collective (opens in a new tab) pages. Funds collected through GitHub are regularly paid out to the Open Collective account so that it all ends up in the same place.

What is money donated to FOSSBilling used for?

Money that is donated to the project is used to buy tools and services that are essential for the continuing development of the project, e.g. software licenses. Currently all of the project hosting needs are being met by using free services or being donated to the project by individuals and companies and these are not being paid for with the accumulated donated funds.

Additionally funds may be used to pay individuals for development hours which are outside of what they would normally be able to give to the project for free, in these cases it will be for blocks of time to complete specific tasks, i.e. large tasks that are release blocking or developing a specific feature.

All of the expenses that are paid out, together with descriptions, are publicly visible on the FOSSBilling Open Collective page (opens in a new tab).

I've installed FOSSBilling and it doesn't work, what should I do?

A lot of the time things not working is down to server configuration issues, most commonly with .htaccess or nginx config files.

Many problems can be solved by referring to the instructions in the Troubleshooting section (opens in a new tab) of this documentation, and that should be the first place you look for a solution.

If you can't resolve your problem using the troubleshooting instructions, then try searching for your specific issue on the FOSSBilling Forum (opens in a new tab) or in the Official Discord (opens in a new tab), and if you can't find the answer there, then feel free to reach out using either the forum or the Discord server and the community will do their best to help you.

If you believe that the cause of your problem is a bug in FOSSBilling rather than any kind of config or setup error, then please open an issue on Github (opens in a new tab) and report it.

Where can I find (error) logs?

FOSSBilling uses the /data/log directory for logging.

In this directory you'll find a file named php_error.log which will contain PHP errors (and some other logging statements), however there are also that there are various directories in that folder.

These directories represent specific logging channels and can contain errors, warnings, general information, or alerts. The logs in these channels are automatically rotated daily and up to 90 days of logs will be retained.