Creating discourse account without email

(Prasad Chitale) #1

Is it possible to create discourse forum account without email id.

(Jeff Atwood) #2

No, that’s not possible.

  • Email is central to identity. When you forget your password, how do you retrieve it? Email.

  • Email is required for notifications. Otherwise you would not know when someone replies to your topic, unless you leave the browser open on the site forever.

(eriko) #3

Let me ask @chitale_prasad a different question. What are you trying to achieve by doing this? That might result in a better suggestion.

(Prasad Chitale) #4

I have provided discussion forum feature to my application users by integrating it with Discourse using SSO. Presently my application users are using email id to register and login. With email id the integration is pretty smooth with Discourse.

However some of my new application users are requesting to use cell phone number for registration and login. Something similar what facebook registration is providing. The main reason for requesting cell number is they hardly use email or some even don’t have email id. My challenge is how to integrate such users with Discourse forum

(eriko) #5

While really clumsy some phone providers have email to text gateways. Something like

That is an interesting problem. Thank you for explaining the reasoning.

(Simon Cossar) #6

If your user’s mobile providers allow sending of SMS messages to handsets by email, they could sign up for and receive notifications from Discourse using an email address based on their phone number. To find the SMS email address you need to know the user’s phone number and their service provider. This article has some information on it: Email to SMS - Send Free SMS via Email

I’ve signed up for my test instance of Discourse with my old LG phone’s SMS gateway email address. I wasn’t able to click on the link in the confirmation email, so I had to manually enable the account. I do receive notifications. For the notification emails to work well as text messages they would need to be simplified a bit.

EDIT - I was so excited by the question that I didn’t notice @eriko had already give the same answer :slight_smile: I’m interested in doing something with this so I have been looking into it some more. There is a ruby gem called sms-easy that Allows you to send free SMS messages in a Ruby app using email-to-sms gateways provided by cell carriers. It seems that it is being maintained.

How to allow login of user through mobile number?
(Simon Cossar) #7

Another approach for dealing with notifications is to use a service like Twilio. I wrote a plugin that sends Discourse notifications as SMS messages using Twilio:

It’s just a proof-of-concept - it works, but the code should be organized differently. It assumes that the user custom_fields ‘enable_sms’ and ‘mobile_number’ have been set through a SSO provider.

User authentication with a phone could be done using Authy. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will.

(Prasad Chitale) #8

Hi Simon,

Thanks. The Authy sounds very interesting.

I have twilio account but never tried Authy. I will now try it


(Bcguy) #9

I really like the idea of using twilio (or similar service) for notifications.

Has anyone tried this yet?

It seems that there needs to be a very specific way to control and prioritize notifications so that:

  1. You don’t overwhelm the user with SMSs
  2. You don’t run up your Twilio Gateway fees to much.

Ideally you’d be able to specify exactly what type of notifications get sent, in order of priority, with a cap in terms of number of notifications per user and total system notifications per month.

The user-entered phone number could also be used for two-factor authentication for user accounts - which would be an added benefit.

Anyone else interested in better notification approaches besides email?

(Kevin Hahn) #10

Hi, I’m looking to do the same thing. In response to Jeff’s 2 points

  • Small community, password reset and user created is done by an admin
  • Our users only really have a phone number, we expect them to just check the forum for updates instead of push notifications by email.

My question after looking into sso, is are there any security concerns? there’s a big warning about email validation. Could I just disable all email notifications and generate a dummy email for people without an address?