5 open-source kanban boards to help you get and stay on task

If you're looking for an open-source kanban board solution, Jack Wallen offers up his five favorites for your consideration.

Kanban boards are a remarkable tool that makes managing life, staff, projects and more exponentially easier. These boards have become an absolute must for busy software developers, managers and departments of all kinds. But kanban boards aren't limited to business usages, as they can be applied to managing non-profits, homes, churches and even freelance projects. Whatever kind of project you need to better manage, a kanban board is a sure-fire way to make your life easier.

I recently explained why kanban boards are useful and even offered up my five favorite proprietary kanban board services. This time around, I want to offer up five open-source kanban boards that can help you map out your project and keep it on task. So, without further ado, let's get to the list.

Taiga

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The Taiga kanban solution.

Taiga is probably the best open-source project management tool you'll find, and the included kanban feature is tops. Outside of ease of use and flexibility, one of the best things about Taiga is the UI. The developers and designers have created something very special with this platform. The Taiga interface is not just easy to use, it'll make you want to use it all day, every day. And Taiga makes setting up and configuring simple or highly complex boards a thing of ease. 

The feature set found in Taiga is equally as impressive. You'll find drag and drop, kanban or agile templates, sprints, user stories, type, severity, priority, plugin support, presets, easy user management, permissions control, GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, GOGS integrations, and a built-in backup solution. You can use the hosted Taiga solution for free or pay for either the Premium or managed on-prem versions. You can also install Taiga on a Linux server in your data center (or on a desktop), or deploy it via Docker.

Taiga

Wekan

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The Wekan kanban platform.

If you're a Trello user, you'll appreciate Wekan, as it closely resembles the proprietary solution. Wekan even makes it possible for you to import boards from your Trello account. 

Wekan includes all of the features you need for a reliable and useable kanban experience, including customization, drag and drop, task management, multiple boards, list actions, WIP limits, archives, card sorting, swimlanes, multi-selection, sort, checklists, subtasks, attachments, comments, and labels. Wekan can be installed on a Linux server within your data center, on a desktop machine, or via a Docker container. 

Wekan is free, but you can also purchase commercial support from the developers themselves. 

Wekan

Kanboard

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The Kanboard kanban tool.

Kanboard is a bit more minimalist than you might want, but for the basic kanban functionality, it's about as simple to use as you'll find in this space. The Kanboard feature list includes searching and filtering, subtasks, attachments, commenting and some fairly good analytics and reporting tools. 

Although the Kanboard interface is very basic, don't let it fool you. This is a fully-functioning kanban board that can help make project/task management far simpler. And because it's so basic, anyone can use it. Kanboard can be installed on a Linux server in your data center or via Docker. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the installation instructions on the site are pretty bare, so you'll have to stumble through the installation (at least until I get a how-to written), and configuring your boards isn't quite as straightforward as other tools on the list.

Kanboard

Restyaboard

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The Restya kanban platform.

Resytaboard is an outstanding open-source option for anyone looking to deploy an easy-to-use, but feature-rich kanban solution. Restyaboard includes all the features you need in a kanban board, such as multiple books, drag and drop, list copy, attachments, archive, private and public boards, filters, deadlines, built-in calendar, labels, iCal feed, custom board backgrounds and more. 

Restyaboard is very easy to deploy, using Docker. The one thing you might object to in the installation is having to hand out your phone number to access the docker deploy commands. Restyaboard does offer a hosted plan, starting at under $20/month for unlimited users, projects, business intelligence reporting, chatbots and more.

Restya

Nextcloud Deck

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The Nextcloud Deck kanban app.

If you happen to deploy Nextcloud as your on-premise cloud solution, you'll be happy to know there's a kanban app that can be installed from within the Nextcloud app store. The app is called Deck, and it's a perfect addition to Nextcloud, for anyone who'd like to add kanban boards to the platform. 

Nextcloud Deck doesn't include all the bells and whistles you'll find with the other solutions, but for anyone who already has the platform deployed, and is only looking for a basic kanban solution, this is a great option. Deck includes multiple boards, drag and drop, collaboration, card assignments, archive, due dates, comments, attachments, timelines, markdown support and labels. You can even connect cards to projects.

Nextcloud

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....