How to embed private videos?

Hi -

My team is using a private Discourse forum right now, and we’d like to embed videos in our forum. However, we want to keep our videos private so we don’t want to host these videos on YouTube or Vimeo. Do we have any alternatives?



You could launch your own video server or pay someone hosting fees to run one for you. I was running my own video server for awhile that I launched, managed, etc, but since it was more a toy than it was useful, I decided to save the $50/month I was paying for the VPS and took it offline. If you launched Discourse, then you probably know your way around Ubuntu, so you could probably run your own server. You would manage the server as you would Discourse, with a proper load balancer, CDN, etc. Are you expecting high traffic?


For a small private community you can increase the max upload size and upload those to Discourse.

There are some things to consider:

  • videos consume a lot of space so you will want to setup some form of block storage (s3 and the clones) and CDN

  • if you are putting those in a s3-like bucket you could even bypass uploading those to Discourse and just put em on the bucket and oneboxing

  • Be careful on the codecs to ensure your video can be played everywhere

  • You said the videos need to be private. Uploading videos directly will allow people to right click and download the original. Not sure if that will be a problem in your application.



You can use Vimeo for your private videos so that they don’t show up elsewhere. It’ll work for you if you’re ok hosting the data on Vimeo.

Check this out: Video storage, professional review tools, and more | Vimeo PRO


Thanks all. To answer a few questions:

  • We’re looking at about 500 users on the forum.
  • We would like to avoid taking the user out of the forum to view the video. Therefore embedding is a must.

@Destry_Hunt - What does it take to launch our own video server?

It is not hard at all to launch PeerTube. (GitHub - Chocobozzz/PeerTube: Federated (ActivityPub) video streaming platform using P2P (BitTorrent) directly in the web browser with WebTorrent and Angular. ). Those instructions will take you step by step.

If you do not want to be taken out of the forum, though, I cannot remember if PeerTube will render for you within the post. I like PeerTube because since you run the instance yourself, you can be an outlaw and post videos that are too taboo, offensive, and triggering for Vimeo or Youtube, like patriotic or religious videos. That would be funny if it wasn’t true these days.

Let me know if you run into trouble setting up your instance.

Framatube was embedding just fine


Oh Good. I imagine Peertube will probably do the same in that case. Too bad I destroyed my Peertube instance a week ago!

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how do we enable video uploads? right now it only allows pix.

Permit the file extensions and raise the upload file size limit.

got it. also, is there a way to instead of uploading video to just point to it so that a member can use their username and password to view it but no one outside of the forum can?

Stick it in a private Category only viewable by members (Trust Level 0) (not perfect but functional)

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got it. so there is no easy way to front-end something like youtube or vimeo so that the username/password of the user would also allow them to authenticate to view a video but they would not be able to download it or copy them link and send to someone else?

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Why would you want to prevent anyone viewing a publicly available video on YouTube or Vimeo?

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we want that only people who are members of the forum can only view the videos and not forward them or download them to post on the public internet. they are instructional videos on how our app works for doctors and we would prefer our competitors not to have them. :sunglasses:

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Why not deal with that with privacy features on the video sharing site? Admittedly that’s additional admin, but there you go.

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this is what we are pursuing now, when we finalize it, I will post how we did it back here, ok?