Invite only/closed groups,

Hi All,

I’m considering the use of Discourse at my organisation and wanted to get advice about how users can create private groups/topics/chats.

My use case is, I want to have public open forums, but the ability for users to create a topic or chat and limit who can see and use this topic.


Automative forum (open)

  • Audi Australia group (invite only/closed group)

Any help would be appreciated!

1 Like

You can do all these things using category settings and custom groups.
There are several topics that deal with these configurations, just use internal research

Basically you can create an “Audi Australia” group and you can configure the group so that users can enter only if approved by the owners of the group or only if users register with a particular email domain (e.g.

After that you need to create an “Audi Australia” category and you have to configure the permissions to “create see and reply” only for the “Audi Australia” group.
No one outside the group “Audi Australia” will see that category or see the topics that belong to that category (except for the staff of course).

All the categories with the “everyone can create reply and see” permissions will be public


You can create groups (collections of users) and give them access to categories. The group owner can control membership.

It requires an admin to set stuff up.


Thanks for the responses, is there any way to allow the users to do this? Similar to creating a channel on Slack.

No, users can’t create groups and categories. However, they can (usually) create PMs, and invite whoever they want to those, but they’re not “in a category” in the usual sense.


You also consider that the creation of automatic groups by users can be deleterious.
You could have dozens of groups dealing with the same theme that have a similar name.
Paradoxically, your users could create:

  • Audi Australia
  • Australia Audi
  • Audi Australia group
  • Australia Audi group
  • and so on…

before realizing that there is already an Audi Australia group. Or worse, a user could join the group, find users he does not like and create an Australia Audi group etc…

The simplest thing instead is:

  • create the Audi Australia group
  • make the group visible to everyone
  • configure the group so that users can enter and exit freely
  • giving “create see reply” permissions only to group Audi Australia in category Audi Australia

In this way every user can self-manage himself.