Fetch All Posts from a Topic Using the API

:notebook_with_decorative_cover: This is a how-to guide explaining how to fetch all posts from a topic using the Discourse API

The results returned by the Discourse API for many routes are paginated.

For example, the API endpoint for “Get A Single Topic” - Ex: https://examplesite/t/{id}.json will only return 20 posts by default, even if the topic contains more than 20 posts.

Due to this behavior, there are two ways you can use the Discourse API to fetch all posts for a topic using the .../t/{id}.json endpoint.

Append a Query Parameter

The easiest way fetch all posts from a topic is to add a print=true query parameter to the URL you are making the request to.

Ex: https://examplesite/t/{id}.json?print=true

When the print=true query parameter is added, Discourse sets the chunk_size for the number of posts that are returned to 1000. That means that this is a good approach to use as long as you are certain that your topics have no more than 1000 posts.

Multiple API Requests

The other method for fetching all posts is to make multiple API requests to get all of the posts from the topic:

  1. First, you would make an initial GET request to the .../t/{id}.json endpoint. This will contain a posts_stream hash that contains a posts array and a stream array. The posts array will give you the first 20 posts.

  2. Now you need to loop through the stream array which gives you all of the post ids in the topic. Remove the first 20 post ids from the stream (otherwise you are re-downloading them for no reason).

  3. You can then make additional requests to the “Get Specific Posts From a Topic” .../t/{id}/posts.json endpoint, append post_ids[], and pass in all the ids from the stream array in chunks of 20. Ex .../t/{id}/posts.json?post_ids[]=46&post_ids[]=47&post_ids[]=48&post_ids[]=49&post_ids[]=50&post_ids[]=51&post_ids[]=52&post_ids[]=53&post_ids[]=54&post_ids[]=55&post_ids[]=56&post_ids[]=57&post_ids[]=58&post_ids[]=59&post_ids[]=60&post_ids[]=61&post_ids[]=62&post_ids[]=63&post_ids[]=64&post_ids[]=65

Rate Limits

If you encounter an Error: you have performed this action many times, please try again later message when making multiple API calls this indicates that you are running into API key rate limits.

Discourse has a limit on the number of print=true requests that can be made per hour, which is controlled by the max prints per hour per user site setting. This setting defaults to only allow users to print 5 topics per hour. You can set that setting to 0 to disable the rate limit.

Note that the rate limit will not be applied if you use an All Users API key for the requests and supply the username of a site admin for the request’s Api-Username parameter. That means that instead of disabling the max prints per hour per user site setting, you could just use an admin username (for example system ) for the requests.

If you are running into rate limit errors with API requests that do not contain print=true, we recommend adding a timeout to your API script so that you don’t exceed the rate limits. Alternatively, you can listen for 429 (too many requests) error codes and backoff on the requests when you receive that response.

For reference, the default rate limits listed below apply to our standard and business hosted plans:

:grey_exclamation: Self Hosted Only - See: Available settings for global rate limits and throttling for details about adjusting Discourse API rate limits.