A hint: This file contains one or more very long lines, so maybe it is better readable using the pure text view mode that shows the contents as wrapped lines within the browser window.
Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of your very own Civilized Discourse Construction Kit. 🐣
If you haven't already, launch the setup wizard and go through the steps to configure your site. You can run the wizard as many times as you want, it's completely safe!
Exercise your admin superpowers any time via the admin dashboard at
You can also access it via the "hamburger" ☰ menu in the upper right: Admin functions are generally marked with the wrench 🔧 icon, so look for that.
Staff members are official representatives of this community. There are two kinds of Staff:
To add additional staff members:
Users can log in with traditional local username and password accounts. You may want to add:
You can also set up single-sign on, or even build your own login method.
Email is required for new account signups and notifications. Test your email to make sure it is configured correctly! Visit the admin email settings, then enter an email address in the "email address to test" field and click send test email.
If you'd like to enable replying to topics via email, see this howto.
You have three default categories:
Don't create too many initial categories, as you can overwhelm your audience. You can always add more categories, and easily bulk recategorize topics later. It's better to figure out the organization as you go rather than assuming you'll get it all right from the beginning (hint: you won't).
To add a category, visit the categories page, then click Create Category at the upper right. You can set security per-category so only certain groups of users can see topics in that category.
Every category has an initial "About this category" topic. This topic will be pinned to the top of the category, and the description you enter will be used in a bunch of places. Be sure to give your new category a good, clear description, so people understand what belongs there!
Note that pinning topics does work a little differently in Discourse:
If a pin isn't visible enough, you can also turn one single topic into a banner. The banner topic floats on top of all topics and all primary pages. Users can permanently dismiss this floating banner by clicking the × in the upper right corner.
To make (or remove) a pin or a banner, use the admin wrench at the top right or bottom of the topic.
If your discussion area is be open to the public, new visitors will arrive that are initially strangers to the community. Discourse has a trust system where users can, over time, earn the trust of the community and gain abilities to assist in governing their community.
Discourse is designed to offer safe defaults for public communities, even with no active moderation.
0 (new) → 1 (basic) → 2 (member) → 3 (regular) → 4 (leader)
All new users start out in a sandbox with restrictions for everyone's safety. Trust level 0 (new) users cannot …
Every action a user can take is rate limited for safety, and especially so for new users. But don't worry, new users can transition to trust level 1 in about 10 minutes of reading.
These defaults are safe, but note that while in "bootstrap mode" after you set up your site, all new users will be granted trust level 1 until you reach 50 users.
Be patient; building communities is hard. Before launching, be sure to:
There's more advice at Building a Discourse Community.
One way to get people to visit your site is to invite them via email. You can do this via:
The invite area on your profile page also includes advanced Staff methods of sending bulk invites, and inviting users into groups.
One CPU and 1GB of memory, with swap, is the minimum for a basic Discourse community. As your community grows you may need more memory or CPU resources.
Our Docker container install is the only one we officially support. It guarantees easy updates, and all recommended optimizations from the Discourse team.
You should get an email notification when new versions of Discourse are released. To update your instance via our easy one click upgrade process, visit /admin/upgrade.
Some other things you might eventually want to set up:
For more assistance on configuring and running your Discourse forum, see meta.discourse.org.
Have suggestions to improve or update this guide? Submit a pull request.