Confusion on Bootstrap mode

I read these posts about Bootstrap mode. It makes sense but I’m not clear on something.

What I’m not clear on is:

  1. We are self-hosted
  2. I have upped Bootstrap mode from the normal 50
  3. In our config, the default user trust level is set to 0
  4. Our test users are signing up but I see their trust level is at 0 instead of 1

Note: I do not see the admin message that Bootstrap mode is on
Do I need to run the console command line to turn on boostrap mode since I don’t see the admin message at the top?

So do I set the default trust level to 1 and then after we pass our threshold it will auto change to 0? Or do I leave it at 0 but the system auto sets the users to trust level 1?

Thanks in advance

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As far as I can tell you already have 90 users so the trigger of 50 is not going to work.

If you want to bump it up to say 200 we could but we would have to run something locally on your instance.

I recommend you simply avoid using bootstrap mode for now and simple use “default trust level”, set it to 1, when you feel your community is bootsrapped enough set it back to 0.


And if you want to mimic bootstrap mode even better you can set default email digest frequency to daily.


This is a fresh install for our new website. We have an extremely large audience so I’ve bumped it to 2000 for bootstrap mode.

So with that knowledge, and on a fresh install, I’m not seeing the “you’re in bootstrap mode” message which indicates to me that it’s not on? And our test users are still at trust level 0 after they signed up.

So yeah, I could certainly leave default setting to 1 for now… I guess I’m just confused on

  1. is boostrap mode enabled
  2. how it truly functions
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No, the threshhold is a trigger, once passed you exit bootstrap mode.

Raising the number won’t do anything at this point because the trigger has already fired.

No it is not enabled till I log in to your server and kick it on.

It sets trust level to 1 by default and digest frequency to daily by default.

Once the “bootstrap” number is hit it disables itself and sets tl to 0 by default and digest frequency back to weekly.

All it does is saves you from “visiting” the site and changing the 2 site settings.

I strongly recommend you just ignore the setting for now and amend the site settings to suit your needs.


Got it, thanks. We will do it manually then.


I STRONGLY advise against setting your default trust level to 1, as it makes you extremely vulnerable to spammers.

The only case in which you should do this is if every new user is individually vetted as a paying (subscribing) customer.


Is this because of how Discourse is built and the initial settings, or more around the philosophy of an open community? Just trying to understand and make the right decision.

It has everything to do with keeping spammers at bay. TL0 users are heavily rate limited, they can’t upload, they have a limited number of images/links, etc. Additionally, there are other anti-spam protections that only affect TL0 users.


Got it, thanks. And understand.


Sorry to bump this, but I have a question. :raising_hand_man:

After bootstrap is gone, and default digest resets to weekly, do all those users that joined PRIOR get their digest frequency set back to weekly? Or do they get stuck at daily?

It seems that those 50 or so users all have their digest frequency stuck at daily forever – and must be manually fixed.

Is there a Rails command to automatically set all users’ digest frequencies (or at least the first 50) back to weekly?

Sounds like that is a regression, I thought @techapj made it so the setting was reverted for all,new users.

It was reset, so nonregression. I’m just talking about the first 50 users. They still get digests every day instead of a week and must be manually set back to weekly. This seems to be built in behavior.

The setting for all additional new users beyond the 50 gets weekly as planned.

I think those might be “bootstrap mode” members that have special settings intended to help get the forum off to a start.

I understand that. Just sure whether it is intended that those first 50 users should STAY special forever, or should there be a mechanism to revert them back to normal once bootstrap mode is over.

It isn’t too much of a hassle to go in and edit the digest frequency by hand, but some mechanism will be nice, especially wrt some users having changed this themselves.

I wouldn’t expect them to revert “back” because they’ve never been there (it wouldn’t be reverting anything, it would simply be a change). And that change is probably more likely to cause confusion than if they keep their daily setting. From their perspective, that’s how the forum works because that’s how it has always worked for them. If they are annoyed with the daily setting, they can change it any time, regardless of bootstrap status.