by mrvautin




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openKB is a Markdown Knowledge base application (FAQ) built with Nodejs and ExpressJS. The application uses an embedded database (nedb) by default but can also use a MongoDB server by changing the config (see below). The application is designed to be easy to use and install and based around search rather than nested categories. Simply search for what you want and select from the results.



If my work helps you, please consider buying me a coffee


  1. Clone Repository: git clone && cd openKB
  2. Install dependencies: npm install
  3. Start application: npm start
  4. Go to in your browser

Running the application in Production using minified code can be done by:

  1. Create the minified/ugly files: npm run uglify
  2. Ensure the minified/ugly files are being used: NODE_ENV=production node app.js

Note: openKB supports Nodejs version 4.0 and above.

Deploy on Heroku



Don't want to manage, upgrade and install openKB yourself? ezyFAQ is a hosted solution with all the benefits and features of openKB and more but using a fully managed/hosted platform.


  • Search: openKB is a search based Knowledge base (FAQ) backed by Lunr.js indexing to create the best possible results on searches.
  • Backend: openKB uses the pure Javascript nedb embedded database by default or a MongoDB server.
  • Design/Themes: openKB is meant to be simple flat design. Themes can be added by creating a theme folder within public/themes/. See the example theme for more information.
  • Responsive: openKB is built using Bootstrap allowing it to be responsive and work on all devices. The admin can be a little difficult editing Markdown on smaller screens.
  • Mermaid: openKB allows for Mermaid charts in articles.
  • Editor: openKB uses Markdown-it which is based off the CommonMark spec. This allows for the very best Markdown experience.
  • Image management: openKB allows for drag and drop of images into articles. The image is automatically uploaded to the server in the background. Google Chrome users can also paste images directly from the clipboard.






Fully Configurable

Fully Configurable

Admin editor


Article view

Article view

Admin article management

Article filtering

Managing files


This is a deliberate rip from to show an example. All design and credit goes to and not openKB.


Live search/typeahead




A new user form will be shown where a user can be created.


Most of the configuration can be done on the /settings page but there are some addition values which require setting manually in the /config/config.json file.

Setting Description route_name Sets the value in the URL for viewing an article (defaults to kb) num_top_results Sets the number of results shown on the home page date_format Sets the global date formatting. Uses moment.js date formatting, see more here: show_view_count Shows the view count next to the results on the homepage and search update_view_count_logged_in Updates the view count if the user is logged in, as well as for anonymous users show_published_date Shows the published date next to the results on the homepage and search sort_by The order to sort articles website_title The title of your website show_featured_articles Whether to show any articles set to featured in a sidebar show_featured_in_article Whether to show any articles set to featured in a sidebar when viewing an article featured_articles_count The number of featured articles shown theme The theme to use for public facing pages. Leave blank for default. locale The language to use for public facing pages. Leave blank for default (English). password_protect Setting to "true" will require a user to login before viewing ANY pages show_kb_meta Whether to show article meta data including published date, last updated date, author etc suggest_allowed If enabled non authenticated users can submit article suggestions for approval show_author_email Controls whether the authors email address is displayed in the meta. Requires "Show article meta data" to be true. mermaid Whether to allow Mermaid charts within articles mathjax Whether to allow MathJax inputs within articles app_context Allows for the website to be run from a non root path. Eg: links_blank_page Controls whether links within articles open a new page (tab) add_header_anchors Whether to add HTML anchors to all heading tags for linking within articles or direct linking from other articles typeahead_search Add live typeahead search results on the search inputs index_article_body Whether to add the body of your articles to the search index (requires restart) show_website_logo Controls whether to show the website_title text or a logo located: /public/logo.png (by default). website_description A short website description when listing the homepage URL in search engines database The database type to use. See Database setup google_analytics Adds Google Analytics to public facing pages. Include the entire code from Google including the <script> tags. style Add any Hex color codes, HTML color names and fonts to style the public pages of your KB.

Data sorting You can control the sort order or articles. You can sort on anything but popular fields are kb_viewcount, kb_published_date, kb_last_updated or kb_votes

Setting the sort_by field in the config.json like so:

{field: 'kb_viewcount', order: -1};

Valid order values are: -1 or 1

1 = ascending order

-1 = decending order

Database setup

By default, openKB uses an embedded Javascript database called nedb for easy installation. This works really well for small to medium sized applications but has it's limitations if you wanted to scale your application to handle many articles and concurrent users. For this reason, openKB also supports using a MongoDB server by simply changing the config file.

Here is the config.json for the embedded database (NeDB):

"database": {
    "type": "embedded"

Here is an example config.json for a MongoDB server. You can use your own localhost MongoDB instance or you may choose a hosted MongoDB server like mLab or Atlas.

"database": {
    "type": "mongodb",
    "connection_string": "mongodb://"

Alternately, for security reasons, you can use the Node environment variable (below) to store your MongoDB connection string.


Public API

An optional public API can be enabled through /settings to allow inserting of documents by HTTP POST using services like IFTTT etc.

Note:The API is disabled by default

Once turned on, the API is hosted on route: via POST of a Object. The JSON schema is:

    'type': 'object',
    'properties': {
        'api_auth_token': {'type': 'string'},
        'kb_title': {'type': 'string'},
        'kb_body': {'type': 'string'},
        'kb_permalink': {'type': 'string'},
        'kb_published': {'type': 'boolean'},
        'kb_keywords': {'type': 'string'},
        'kb_author_email': {'type': 'string'},
        'kb_password': {'type': 'string'},
        'kb_featured': {'type': 'boolean'},
        'kb_seo_title': {'type': 'string'},
        'kb_seo_description': {'type': 'string'}
    'required': ['api_auth_token', 'kb_title', 'kb_body', 'kb_author_email', 'kb_published']

Note: An API access token is required to be able to use the API. If the API is turned on without a token, all requests will reject. Please use a hard to guess token

The return Object from the API will be as follows:

  "result": false,
  "errors": [
    "Any error messages"

The errors value will have any validation or error message which have occured. The result is an approval boolean. Eg: true was successful and false wasn't.

Migrating from NeDB to MongoDB (experimental)

You can upgrade from NeDB to Mongodb by running the following command:

Note: You will first need to setup a valid MongoDB connection as per the "Database setup" instructions.

npm run-script dbUpgrade

please raise a Github issue if errors are encountered

Typeahead search

The typeahead search is great! Your user types in the word or phrase and the results pop up under the search box. But... One of the things to consider is that there is a little more data being transmitted from server to browser to enable this functionality. This is not normally a big issue for most browsers as the data is cached but you may run into issues if the number of articles in your app is quite large.

As a general rule there is about 3KB of compressed data being transferred from server to browser for 20 articles with long titles and keywords. If you have hundreds of articles, the amount of data will increase and could cause performance issues. It is something to consider if your app seems to slow down once the article numbers increase. If this is the case, you can simply just turn it off.


Have design skills? Want to design theme(s) for openKB? Please design and submit PR.

openKB examples

Have openKB running on a public facing server? Submit a PR with your URL and it will be updated here.

Running in production

Using PM2 seems to be the easiest and best option for running production websites. See the PM2 for more information or a short guide here: