Free Discourse forum hosting for community-friendly GitHub projects

Originally published at: Free Discourse forum hosting for community-friendly GitHub projects

NOTE: This announcement has should be considered deprecated and out of date, as it has been superseded by “Free Hosting for Open Source v2”. Discourse is proudly and unconditionally 100% open source ever since our public launch just over 3 years ago. Open source does not exist in a vacuum. We strive to be not…


Just to clarify – if your project is on GitHub and you don’t quite meet the threshold criteria of …

  • 2000+ stars
  • 30+ contributors

… feel free to contact us via the form. We’ll work with you. :slight_smile:

The purpose of the thresholds isn’t to arbitrarily keep projects away, but rather to ensure that there’s enough critical mass for a solid discussion community to form around your project. We guesstimate it takes about 5 people :man: :woman: :older_woman: :older_man: :baby: actively participating in the discussions each day for your discussion community to “work”.


That’s great news!

Your users can log in with GitHub logins

Are only GitHub logins supported, or will Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and plain e-mail accounts also work?

Also, I understand custom imports would take too much time, but importing from an existing Discourse instance can be done manually, right?

All of those will also be available.

Yep, that’s entirely doable. Correct me if I’m wrong @team, but we do prefer to have the Discourse backup sent to us so that we can apply it ourselves.


Can this be used as a mailing list replacement, i.e. is it possible to reply to posts by email? I’m using a hosted Discourse already and it works fine, but they don’t have this “incoming email” feature enabled.

Yes, you can configure this yourself, no problems. Additionally we plan to roll out “automatically” configured incoming email in the upcoming months.


When you guys roll out this feature, will we still need to create a separate gmail account?

Uhm, no. There seems to be a misunderstanding here. Did we say anything about Gmail accounts anywhere at all?

My bad, I assumed that was the case based on this post: Set up Reply via Email Support ✉

As of now, is it possible to enable incoming email and reply via email support on free hosted discourse accounts?

Oh my bad, I didn’t realise you were replying to the post right above. No, you will not need to create a separate gmail account for email. Speaking of which, we are gradually rolling out this feature for our customers now. We’re starting in small increments, so the official announcement is still a little ways off.

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My comment might be slightly off-topic, but I wanted to say that I’m amazed at how Discourse team markets their product and applies various strategies to target primarily larger organizations and companies. There is a lot to learn from them - and this topic is just another excellent example of how to make people tempted to move to Discourse. Absolutely amazing stuff. Read it twice - first, as a Discourse (potential) user. Second - as a marketer.


Open BioMedical Initiative is a nonprofit global initiative in which volunteers around the world (we are about 3 thousand) totally online, create and design supports for accessibility and health that are open source, 3d printed and low cost.
We haven’t a github account (we have opened one some days ago) but we have a lot of volunteers in our project ( and
For us it would be very important to have a platform like discourse, so please give us the possibility to have a free plan.

Thank you.


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Hi, I know I’m a little impatient, but is the offer of free hosting for popular open source projects still active? I submitted the request form for free Discourse forum hosting on Monday 11/13/2017 and haven’t heard back yet. I’m requesting hosting for the open source Citation Style Language project (see and our most popular repo. We’re a little low on stars (1000+ across our repos) but have hundreds of contributors and a healthy community. Thanks!


Ask @erlend_sh and see what he says.

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This is doubly true now that we’ve revised our requirements in preparation for the v2 launch of our free hosting:

Tell your friends! :speaking_head: