Assign topics to non-staff users

Is it possible to add the possibility of assigning topics to users of other groups than staff?

I would be very much interested in this as well.

In a recent Discourse blog post, there is an allusion to such functionality

We use a category on our internal instance of Discourse to manage tasks. New tasks are written up in the todo category. In some cases they are immediately assigned and in others, we tag a group to give visibility of the task so that a team member can claim it using Discourse Assign.

It does not make sense to me that everybody in their internal Discourse instance is a Staff member…


All our staff on our internal instance are staff barring a few part time people, we may expand the functionality cause we already have assign-public so adding this is not a huge change #pr-welcome for the time being just let me know what you want to call the site setting.


I have installed the assign plugin 0.1, but it is only accessibles for administrators or moderators. How can I make all users assign their question to anyone ? and see the topic assigned to them


Not possible at this time.

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@danekhollas I am actually very mixed on this:

Take for example the following implementation:

  • New site setting assign_allowed_on_all_users (will have to be a client setting) default off

  • Client and server site tests that confirm the behavior.

  • Staff still is the only type of user that can either assign or unassign.

This restriction that only staff can assign is very likely to break workflows, and then we end up needing even more settings for the wormcan:

assign_groups_allowed_to_assign , assign_assigned_user_can_always_unassign and so on.

Plus non staff don’t get whispers so then even more goes into this can.

I am tempted to just reject this as something that would just increase the scope of the plugin too much.


Got it. What if instead of assign_allow_on_all_users you’d have something like assign_allowed_on_groups where you would explicitly list the user groups? I think in that case you could leave the can of worms closed and just let everybody assign/unassign by default?

To better explain my use case: I run a small non-profit and we use Discourse mainly for internal communication. We have a small stable core team and then lots of volunteers coming in and helping us, possibly for a limited time. It doesn’t make sense for us to make them all staff users, but it would still be nice if we could use this plugin (I am not exactly eager to introduce yet another tool like Trello into our workflow). :slight_smile:

That being said, I completely get your concerns here. :slight_smile:


I am kind of OK with a setting for assign_allowed_on_groups that defaults to staff and provides full access to all assign features for the groups selected. I guess from a security perspective this would be nice but I think it is a reasonably big change.


I have a project that would like to expand the scope of Discourse utility to include a task management tool as outlined in

But this feature is pretty much blocking that from happening given the “must be a moderator to get assignments” situation:

Curious if anyone is working on this currently? Or anyone else is thinking about it?


Really hoping this happens too.

My temporary workaround has been to deploy a whole additional discourse instance to avoid any problems relating to making users Moderators of the main instance.


Please do! Assign to users is fantastic when discourse is used as an internal closed employee collaboration board for project or a specific thread/topic management!

Not too useful IMO for public boards, but employee collaboration boards it is for sure

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@Roman_Rizzi adding this to your list after you are done with the current pipeline of tasks for assign.

In particular assign_allowed_on_groups site setting. Any members of those groups can also participate in assign.


Awesome timing, that means I can demote those users before too many more get involved.


Just a thought, but as category moderation is now a thing can that also be tied into assign allowed for those categories? It could be a substitute too for having separate assign allowed groups who don’t have moderation ability.


I just finished working on some PRs to add this feature.

Most of the heavy-lifting was done here because I had to change the admin OR moderator scope to user of an allowed group

Here I added support for multi-group user search which is used by the assign modal. Sadly, older discourse instances running the plugin will only be able to search for staff members since it will be the fallback option.


Just wanted to get an update, are we still waiting on this one?

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Sorry for keeping everyone out of the loop regarding the state of this feature.

The only reason for this not being merged yet is because I want to improve how the setting works. Right now, if a group gets renamed or deleted, the list of allowed groups will be in an inconsistent state.

Hopefully, I’ll make the necessary changes this week and merge it. I’ll keep everyone posted


No worries, had been following the two PRs on github and could see the back-and-forth on the other one. Just wanted to understand if there was some form of blocking issue or bigger problem.

I did the changes and merged it this morning. I have been using the feature a little bit here on meta without problems so far.

To fully work, the feature depends on .beta10 changes. Otherwise, It’ll only work for staff members.


Updated and testing, looks great so far.


The following PR allows staff members to always be able to assign:

There are cases where the staff group is renamed.

I’m leaving this here in case someone has any comments. cc @featheredtoast