Auto avatars from nice avatar collection?

I am new to discourse and just started a tiny community called frele. From other forum software, I do know an automatic avatar feature.
Means, new users, who do not add a profile pic, will receive a random nice avatar picture from a default collection (not only a boring one with a letter on it).
Is there a plugin or another way setting this up in discourse?

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I think a clever way to solve that might be a font for the boring avatar letter that was some kind of avatar. The first trick is finding out making an avatar font.

But last I looked carefully there was either a fixed set of avatars that all users had to use (did you see that option?) or users could use their own avatar.


@pfaffman thanks for the helpful answer. Just found the option. So there is only default avatar or loading up own avatar and having the letter avatar as standard?

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@georg There is a site setting you could select called selectable_avatars_enabled which let’s you predefine a list of avatars that users can select from.

If you enable this, users will automatically be assigned a random avatar:

More information about that feature here:


This is a nifty idea. There are lots of fonts out there when you search “font with faces.”


“Font with faces”!!! I searched for “avatar font” and found an amusing history of the font selection for the movie “Avatar.” That’s when I gave up. :slight_smile:

I haven’t looked at the code enough to know if this is a good project for a novice or whether you need to go deep into Rails to do it; I’m afraid it’s the latter.


Thank you all! So nice. Think I’ll go with selectable avatars.

I think we’d need to find out where the letter-avatars are created. You’d have to have the font it uses selectable in the admin, and a way to rebake them.

Edit: Found it, lib/letter_avatar.rb

Edit again: If I’m following it correctly, we’d have to add a font to ImageMagick, and then when convert is called, use that font in place of Helvetica in the instructions.


Yeah. It’s more of a sysadmin task than a Discourse one. I still think it’s not a terrible idea, but there might be better ways to solve the problem. (Mine would be to just encourage people to set their own avatar.)

It would be nice for members to have some kind of “If you don’t have one of your own, pick from one of these…” option.