Download avatars locally from S3 (shutting down S3 in my site)

Hola! I tried for days to get the info I need searching in the Meta and internet without success.


I´m shutting down S3 due to the costs. I would like to store the user avatars locally to avoid user losing their avatars before switching off S3.

Background (long story short)

  • I have a ~5 years old community. At the beginning storing images locally, and then switched to store them in S3.
  • Today I have the discourse app in, and I migrating it to
  • In the process, I’m reducing the high costs (it is a huge community), and the main one is S3. We don’t care about losing the link to uploaded images to the posts, however, we would like to keep the user avatars.
  • After migrating the forum to I tried just removing the S3 credentials to see what happens. I found that part of the user still having their avatars, and others don’t

So, now I’m struggling to meet the following goals:

  1. Keep user avatars after the S3 disconnection
  2. Disable the upload images to the forum, but allow ONLY upload avatars.

Any input, idea or help will be very appreciated :heart:

There is a rake task that you can search for Migrating uploads from s3 to local.


Are you by any chance using S3 without a CDN? S3 should not be one of the main costs, unless it’s a extremely outlier community, if properly configured with a CDN fronting all traffic.


Good point. Nope, I’m not using a CND. Apart from the AWS, is there any other one commonly used by the community? I will start checking them asap.

Thanks for sharing! however, I don’t know how to scope it only to avatars. If I run a download of all the images from S3, I’d need a mortgage :stuck_out_tongue:

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