Desktop PWA works with Discourse!

How does this relate to the instructions at


Same old wine in a brand new bottle.


Oh this topic was focusing on the ability to install Discourse in Desktops (which is no longer experimental).

The other one was mostly about the experimental Badging API. To use the Badging API you need to install to desktop, so this one here is a pre-requirement.


First post looks quite wrong though? If it is not “experimental” where is that chrome menu item??

Yeah this is totally out of date, no point carrying this topic anymore.

Is a very big killer here usability wise. Now that his is official we should write a proper theme component to make PWA work as expected.


There is one here:

Looks like it’s aimed at mobile iOS.

To get the menu entry in Chrome we must enable the service worker in desktop.

Yes but the tradeoff is that service worker adds a ton of support emails to our work… did you want to whitelist the service worker for Chrome and Firefox or something like that @sam in addition to Android?

I think we should whitelist Chrome now … hold off on whitelisting Firefox till this is done:


Ok @falco can you do the needful on whitelist? We already whitelist Chrome / Android as I recall.


Per Hands-On with Microsoft's New Edge Browser Built on Chromium -

When it comes to features, Edge has the one critical item that always kept me crawling back to Chrome. If you are on a webpage, you can easily turn it into an app, by clicking the three dots in the top right and clicking install app. This is huge, as it allows me to turn Google Calendar, Tweetdeck, and a few other pages into applications on my desktop that makes my workflow, a lot easier.

:thinking: we should definitely whitelist all Chrome based browsers @falco


Looks like Chrome Canary is experimenting with a more in your face install button:

Here is it in Meta when the service worker is working:


Niiiice. We should definitely get this working on Chrome. I like it.


We want to get this working, but the last time we tried with the “You are offline” page wasn’t a great experience. Also we had a lot of suggestions about making reading Discourse possible when you are offline.

Using some libraries from I was able to:

  • Remove the “You are offline” page

  • Make Discourse fallback to cache when a network request fail aka Discourse will allow offline browsing of every previously visited page.

  • Get a perfect score in the PWA Lighthouse audit:

  • Get the “Install Site” on the Desktop working (availiable in Chrome canary for now, will land in stable around August)

Technical Details

The changes are pending in this branch:

A demo site is running at


Here is a demo of Discourse offline browsing on iPad


Can you create topics offline that get synced with the server when the device is back online?

The current changes only affect GET requests, so it will make you able to use the composer, if you ever did it while online.

Discourse already keeps submitting a topic in a persistent “Saving” blue bar, and this doesn’t touch that request, so it should keep the current behavior.

However, getting Discourse to work totally in write mode while offline would require a lot more work and be a long term project involving multiple people. That is not the scope here, which is just enabling installs in Desktop.


cc @falco

In Chrome 76, we’re making it easier for users to install Progressive Web Apps on the desktop by adding an install button to the omnibox.


Okay, this is live in Meta for testing now. Please report any crazyness.

Here is Meta install:


Is there a flag we can set to tinker with this on our own installations?


It’s in the same branch as always here. You could deploy from that branch but it is a lot behind master currently. I can rebase it to master, but I don’t recommend messing with this until it’s proven stable here.

Another cool thing, if you try to use the pwa with a cold cache: