Housing documents

Does anyone use Discourse to house and share documents? Or is it only for online discussion?

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It’s not really designed for co-editing documents, but it makes it very easy to upload files (drag and drop), so as a place to present and talk about documents, it does quite well. You need to do some tweaks to allow file types and increase upload size.

I’ve also had clients configure other file sharing tools to automatically create Discourse topics when a new document is added.


Discourse isn’t a document management system, it doesn’t protect uploaded files either.

Some sites do use Discourse to manage knowledge, transferring documentation into posts, rather than simply attaching files. There are obviously added benefits here, particularly around search.

It might be easier if you told us about the problem you’re trying to solve, rather than the way you’re thinking of solving it. Someone will be able to tell you if Discourse fits your use-case and if they’ve seen similar things done elsewhere. That approach will let you tap into the shared knowledge which makes Discourse (and this community) so great.


I’m looking for a platform that allows for discussion posts as well as a ‘file library.’ If someone uploads a file, is there a way to put it in a folder - ie, making the uploaded documents easy to search in the future?


This is a good point. The filenames are obfuscated, but anyone with the link can download the file.

No.[quote=“mbowzer, post:4, topic:64909”]
making the uploaded documents easy to search in the future?

There is no way to search inside the files. If you put keywords in the topic that includes the file you can search for those words, but not inside the files themselves.


The only structure within Discourse comes from categories and tags.

You can convert your documents to markdown posts, categorise/tag them as necessary, and include links to .doc/docx files within the post, but that’s it.

Discourse is not a document management system. It can absolutely do the above and provide you with the discussion tools around documents, but it can’t manage those documents for you. That would have to happen on another system - depending on your security requirements that could be as simple as FTP, Google Drive, Office365, or may require a dedicated DMS.


And if you couldn’t herd your group to using a single system for sharing documents, Discourse could be a good way to collect them all in one place.


At least for discussion, yes. As Discourse doesn’t allow direct editing of uploads you’ll likely end up with links to multiple versions being valid, which typically creates a lot of confusion amongst the less technical.

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Basecamp has pretty good support for this. Close integration with google docs and similar.

Can any post on a discourse system be addressed by accessing the direct link? Even in a closed area?

No. Knowing the URL of a post is not enough to be able to see it. The permissions system works.

But there is a new site setting “prevent anons from downloading files”


What does the warning mean? Could attached Word-Documents for example not being downloaded/opened anymore?

Attached Word documents would not be downloadable for users that are not logged in.



Apologies if this has already been answered in the thread but is there a way to upload a word document on the forum? One of my members would like to upload a word doc on a particular thread but I can’t see any way to do this.

Any help on this will be much appreciated!


Search settings for “extensions” and add docx.


Melanie - Did you find a platform that met your document needs? I have been searching for the same.

We;re looking at integrating Nextcloud with Discourse/NodeBB. If it works out I’ll let you know! If I remember to come back here…


What exactly do you mean by “integrating” here?

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I use discourse and nextcloud. I have fantasies about hosting discourse and nextcloud on the same droplet, with sso and ability to see/manage discourse uploads in nextcloud.


And @tobiaseigen

I think we’re doing something more basic than that; using Nextcloud as our Document Manager and then disabling file uploads onto NodeBB (Maybe Discourse, haven’t decided yet what we’re using for our website with the developer yet); but essentially having SSO between the forum and Nextcloud so that people can upload to Nextcloud and then link to the files on the forum. It’s an extra step but will keep us much more organized.

What Tobias is talking about would be amazing; having the user being able to reference a nextcloud file in Discourse/NodeBB without switching interfaces would be pretty sweet.

If the workflow is smooth and it’s a successful innovation I’ll post a better description here. Might be 6 months plus though.