Is it possible to use Discourse for e-mail?

I’ve searched Google and can’t find anything directly speaking to this question/idea.

I would really like to use Discourse for Gmail. Think- email for discourse in reverse. Lots of people want to be able to reply to a topic directly from their Gmail account. What I’d like to do is the opposite. I want to manage my Gmail through a Discourse interface.

I like the group conversations, and the modern UI/UX, and the dating system of reading old messages and replies.

This is not only the perfect platform for forum discussion and group conversation, but also 1-on-1 direct email as well. Since 1-on-1 DMs are already supported here, I think it would be great if I had a way of either:

  1. Digesting Gmail through Discourse
  2. Using my own mail server with Discourse as the front-end.

I prefer the former. I do not know how I would even start working on a project like this, but the level of organization this could bring to the lives of millions would change the email world forever- like gmail did decades ago (and ceased to continue doing).


This might be what you’re looking for

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That post has lots of scary “Alpha - we aren’t actively supporting this” messages on it.

This might be more up your alley:

Do be aware that it is limited to groups. You can of course make a group which contains one person, i.e. you.

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But SMTP only allows outbound capabilities. Afaik, one needs to configure both smtp & imap for email sync to work in both directions.


If you read SMTP support for group inboxes carefully, you’ll see that it also covers incoming mail from the same account. I’m not quite sure how (whether IMAP or POP3) as they don’t specify details on that side of things, but it seems to utilise the existing incoming email address functionality of groups.

@martin - are you able to enlighten us further?

That’s exactly how it works – the incoming email forwarded from the SMTP account goes to the group, and when email notifications are sent from that group inbox, they are sent via the same SMTP account. This does not handle full syncing like IMAP (e.g. labels, archiving/unarchiving, deleting) but it probably gets you halfway there. The caveat with both IMAP and SMTP support is that they are both limited to the group inbox.