Migrate FROM discourse

Premise: when I try to search on Google using terms like “migrate from discourse”, 99% of the results are about how to migrate from whateverforum to discourse. I really can’t believe that no human on earth has ever tried to do the opposite. Is it so hard? Am I unable to find a proper answer looking on Google (or even this forum)?

I need to move FROM discourse TO BBPress (I know, discourse is way better, but I need to have a better integration with Buddypress than what WP Discourse plugin can offer). So far I haven’t find a solution nor a simple clue on how to do that.
I’ve exported a JSON of a discourse category, but, even if I’ve used Wordpress as SSO, the discourse user id don’t match the user in wordpress, so I even need to find a way to “translate it”. Anyway, is there any brave soul that would like to give me a clue to accomplish that ?

The Discourse user’s external_id will match the WP user_id.


well, that helps, even if in the json file exported there isn’t any external_id. Probably I should be able to get that from the users export json.
Still a pain to figure how to import topics and replies into BBPress.

For the most part, anyone who did move to bbPress wouldn’t be on this forum, now would they? :wink:

We don’t know. We only know Discourse. You could look at the BBpress world and see how people move to bbpress from other forums. You’d start here: Import Forums · bbPress Codex and then use one of those importers to figure out how to write one for Discourse.

It’s probably pretty hard, since I bet bbpress doesn’t know how to read a postgres database, but that’s probably solvable. Though I might do it for less once I looked at what was involved, I likely wouldn’t consider such a job unless the budget was in the $5000 range. It would take me a bunch of time to figure out a bunch of stuff about bbPress that I don’t want to know.

Solving that problem is what people here could help with.


We, the discourse team, have nothing to do with Google search results. If you’re not finding results you may want to try different search terms, or it’s possible that what you’re looking for isn’t indexed by Google.

As others have already mentioned, a forum about Discourse is not the place to look for information about moving from Discourse.

What specifically are you looking for? Have you created a topic in this category asking if it can be added to the plugin? You might be the first one looking for it. It’s also possible that numerous others have figured it out, but didn’t bother writing about it.


This appears to be your first thread here - so I’m wondering whether your forum is quite new/small? If so why not just import the users and start from scratch? I nearly did that for an old vB forum but managed to find a workaround (via importing vB to a different forum platform first then to Discourse - perhaps the opposite might be possible for you in your situation).

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Actually the forum has been onlime for a year now. There are less than 200 topics over there. And to be honest there is only one category that I would like to export to bbpress, with less than 100 topics. I even considered to, litterally, copy and paste the msgs manually by posting them on frontend and then changing the authors in backend, I even started to do so, but it took so much time it would request hours (moving from discourse to bbpress, from a ux point of view, is like getting back to windows 3.1). There’s no need to import users, since, thankfully, I used WP as SSO. My very last resort is to keep “the old” forum as a repository. But i really hoped to find a way to save those msgs. I find so strange that (apparently) there isn’t an easy way to export dara from discourse in a way that is “easy” to import in any other platform. There are a lot of plugin that let you import data but nothing that will do the opposite. I sure it should not be so uncommon to find in a situation where you are forced to consider to switch to a different platform. I don’t want to be so naife to say that it shouldn’t be complex, but it should be doable at least. It would be great to find a middle platform, like you suggested, but I haven’t been able to find it,

Again, there very likely is, but you’re not asking in the right place. Here on meta.discourse.org we discuss Discourse, development of Discourse, feature requests, etc. Asking here for a guide migrating away from Discourse is like walking into Honda car dealership and asking them to sell you a Nissan. Honda’s answer, similar to ours, is to ask Nissan to sell you a Nissan. For a BBPress importer you need to be asking the BBPress community.

There are 2 things we can help with.

First, as mentioned previously, is to try and help make Discourse do what you need it to. You still haven’t shared what is missing from the WP Discourse WordPress plugin that is forcing you to move to BBPress. Knowing that, we might be able to help.

Second, we can, and do, help with exporting data. While we can’t assist with importing data into another platform we don’t control, we feel quite strongly that your data stored via Discourse is your data, and provide multiple options to export it. You can take full DB backups. You can export data via the API. You can access the DB directly and use psql commands. You can run data explorer queries and export data as csv or json.

Again, we’re happy to help where we can, but we’re not going to write importers for other software.


For “export discourse to bbpress” DuckDuckGo gives Topic: moving from Discourse to BBpress · bbPress.org - I’ve not read it so don’t know if it’ll help.

There is probably a reason why not many people are moving in this direction :slight_smile:


Or to sell you an Edsel.

Or to convert your Honda into a Nissan because you like the way that it’s windshield wipers work. :wink:


I’m not interested in migrating from Discourse, but I am interested in this. Can you elaborate where this field is found? Using Data Explorer, I don’t see it under the users table or any other table.

I’m not sure in which table it’s stored, but external_id is part of the users export file from
/admin/users/list/active → Export

EDIT: found it - it’s in the single_sign_on_records table.


To everyone that says that I am asking in the wrong place: you’re (almost) right. Unfortunately the bbPress forum has only two topics regarding migrate FROM discourse TO bbpress, and one of them describes the exactly opposite procedure.
But let me say that an easy way to export data should be a feature of Discourse. In that sense I feel I am asking in the right place. No matter where you want to go, I think that it is important for users to feel that there’s always a way back or at least a chance to change their mind.
To be honest I think discourse is way better than bbpress and I would love to keep it as main forum, but unfortunately (probably due to the different nature of environment) the integration between them is not perfect, and I prefer to give my visitors a much more integrated experience.
But, again, I started this topic here mainly because I was surprised to see how few resources are available when it comes to move from Discourse. And, even if it’s a great forum, I couldn’t believe that none has ever been forced to move away. That’s all.

Guess what… the only reply to that topic on bbpress forum, explains how to IMPORT FROM bbpress TO discourse. Funny eh!?

Yes when I skimmed it I did wonder… maybe they are used to things going in that direction.

I’m not entirely on the high moral ground here. Before starting to use Discourse I convinced myself I could convert the forum contents to a Mailman archive if I ever had to.

Probably the answer is to find something that imports to bbPress from something else, then just tweak it. In a way it’s not too complicated - users, topics and replies.

Which begs the question, should you make that move? :wink: I’m just saying that discourse is a super cool community software with a super cool community in itself.

You can post it in marketplace and we can chat about how to create a blended experience with buddypress and discourse. We would love to help you with that.

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This conversation is going in circles and is not productive. For questions on importing to another software, please ask the other software. If you feel Discourse or a plugin is missing something, please share details on what is missing as a #feature or #marketplace topic.