Discourse Setup for KDE

KDE is the original and best Linux on the desktop project and we are meeting this week in Milan. There is plenty of support for moving our forums and mailing lists to Discourse and I’ve set up a testing site to give it a go. We have a few questions.

Our current forums use phpBB with some customisations. They cover many topics and sub categories ranging from applications and various features therein to entirely localised sub forums for different languages.

  • Deployment with Docker means we are putting lots of trust in the Discourse Docker creation process. How responsive is the team behind the Docker images to updating for security issues in the underlying libraries? (libpng was given as a relevant example which has had issues in the past.)
  • We have a custom addition to phpbb for our artwork app Krita which shows an image along with the topics list, is somthing similar possible for Discourse? Work in Progress Artworks • KDE Community Forums
  • We’d like to move developer mailing lists over to Discourse but currently the separation between forums and mailman lists prevents many loud and unhelpful users annoying the developers, is there a way to separate different lists so there is some barrier to moving to the other type?
  • For mailing lists it’s common to already have a list of e-mails of people to add in. Can we add in e-mails into a Category in Discourse or does each user need to faff around adding themselves? Maybe there is a way of inviting people to a category?
  • Can it support multiple domains for incoming e-mails?
  • For a forum with an incoming e-mail address how does a user find out what that address is? I could not work out a way to do this.
  • What are the tools to remove identifying info for users who request it?
  • Is there a command line tool to review the moderation queue to approve or discard posts? We currently use this a lot with Mailman.
  • We have a guided posting page which directs users towards the right forum in a fairly user friendly way, is there any equivalent https://forum.kde.org/guided.php?stage=1
  • We have sub-forums where app categories (see graphics and Krita forums) contain app forums which then contains some sub-forums within that. Is a stepped categorisation method possible?
  • Is it possible to not deploy on Docker? Our sysadmin has expressed a preference for being able to use our own deployment tooling.

Sorry to ask so many questions, pointers to docs are good answers too of course :smile:


The image definition is also open source and we update dependencies in response to CVEs. Pull requests are also welcome :slightly_smiling_face:

This is quite similar to this plugin Topic List Previews

Check Anonymizing Users in Discourse

We recently reworked our moderation queue UI and API. There is no cli client for it, but something for that could be easily doable with out API support.

Currently you can only go up to two levels deep for categories, plus cross-categories tags.

It’s open source, so everything is possible. However, we recommend following our official docs and reserve the right to not provide support for deploys who use custom tooling.

I will let the mailing list question for someone more familiarized with it :sweat_smile:.

We at Discourse would love to see KDE using our software! Looking forward to working with the KDE community.


You can have private categories that allow only members of a certain group(s) to read, read/reply, or read/reply/create-topic.

You can add users to a group via a CSV or as part of an import process.

Depending on what you mean by “support”.

You’d have to tell them. One way would be to put that information in the category description.

Search here for “anonymize”

Well, it’s not that friendly, as you have to create an account to see it. :wink: You can create a topic that tells people where to post.

You probably want to read It's Time We Talked About Tags

As Rafael said, it’s possible, but it’ll be painful. You’ll need to budget 5-10 hours/month for doing upgrades and reading every commit to see what libraries have been updated.

Also, note that there is an importer for your mailing lists.


Many thanks for your answers, I’ll see if I can take this forward in KDE.