Animated GIF avatars no longer supported by default

In order to simplify the Discourse codebase, support for animated GIF avatars will no longer be included in Discourse by default as of the current 2.6 beta.

Note that animated GIFs in posts will continue to work (of course!), we are specifically and ONLY referring to avatars here.

It is possible that a future plugin may re-enable animated GIF avatar support for sites that require it, but we don’t have a timeline for this plugin at the current moment.


I believe we will have a civil war soon :sweat_smile:


I suppose SVG avatar support would allow SVG animation to work.

On Discord, we can’t upload SVG custom emoji because vector drawings can potentially break stuff.

SVGs can be arbitrarily complex to render (imagine an SVG file containing instructions to render hundreds of thousands of bezier curves or something). Which means that someone could craft an SVG that would slow down/freeze the client while it tries to render - and it’d be pretty hard to develop a reliable heuristic for detecting this.

Builtin emojis are OK to be SVGs as they’re obviously not malicious, but we can’t guarantee this for custom emojis.

I suppose that would be the same for any app that allows users to upload SVG files, but I don’t know if some restrictions can be set to limit potential issues.


Oh no! Gosh darn it, my animated profile won’t work on new Discourse instances any more. I suggest you can make a line in app.yml the same as the host name line giving the ability to enable it. Of course, it would take a lot of work and would be in very late future updates.

#GIF_avatars: Y (Default disabled)

Will it cause the same problem if a user upload an animated avatar from an external site via a link?