Updated: 09/12/2023 by Computer Hope

BBS may refer to any of the following:

1. Short for BIOS boot specification, BBS is a BIOS (basic input/output system) feature that creates, maintains, and prioritizes all the IPL (initial program load) devices. While the computer is booting, each IPL device is checked to see if it's bootable. If a device fails, the BBS returns to the BIOS and attempts to load the next IPL.

Utah Lowerlights BBS

2. Short for bulletin board system, a BBS is a small computer network that a user connects to by dialing into it. The first Bulletin Board System came online on February 16, 1978, and allows multiple users to communicate with each other, share software and information, play games, and more. Most Bulletin Board Systems were free, but may have required a subscription for extended use or additional features. The picture shows how a BBS may have appeared on a computer. The Lower Lights BBS was a chat-oriented BBS in Utah that came online February 15th, 1991 and ran the DLX BBS software.

Bulletin Board Systems were popular before the wide use of the Internet. Although they are still used, most users today connect to the Internet to share files and data, chat, and perform other tasks that they may have done though a BBS.


See the BBS: The Documentary (2005) for a great look back from various people discussing the bulletin board systems.

3. Shorthand for be back shortly, BBS is used in text-based communication such as chat. Below is an example of how this would be used.

User1: That's pretty funny.
User2: Heh yeah, BBS.
User1: Ok.
<User2 logs off>
<User2 comes back on later>
User2: Ok I'm back.
User1: WB
User2: Thx

BBIAB, Boot sequence, Bulletin board, Chat terms, Computer acronyms, FidoNet, Modem terms, The WELL, Usenet, WB