Online Users Status in Realtime?

(Bcguy) #1


My old forum software (from Jive Software) - includes a real-time status of how many lurkers and active registered users there are on the site at all times.

Does Discourse have plans to offer anything like that anytime soon?

Sort of like this.

I know we have a list of registered users in our DIscourse forums Admin area - but I need to know total number of users (even non-registered) and registered.

(Kurtis Rainbolt-Greene) #2

Currently there’s no defined UsersController#index:

But something like that could be done so that it returns a list of users who have a certain state, passed as params. GET /users?session=online if you will.

I’d have it return the normal required fields for a user object to be represented in the front end plus last active and last action. Idle seems like a waste when you can see when they were last active (22 minutes ago), country seems like another useless field, same with posts and time online.

(Bcguy) #3

I agree about the fields - I really only care about the total number of active registered, and active non-registered users.

(Sam Saffron) #4

This is very likely plugin material or at the bare minimum default off functionality. See:

(Jeff Atwood) #5

The /admin page dashboard will show you how many actions (new posts, new topics, likes, bookmarks, etc) were taken in a given time interval – this is much more useful for tracking growth of a forum than “who is online now”, which is basically useless.

(Bcguy) #6

I’m interested in concurrent load issues. One thing I’m wondering is when I need to upgrade my server / RAM, etc. I’m starting off on a small 1 Gig RAM server and plan to upgrade when I need to. The question is - how do I know when I need to…

(Kevin P. Fleming) #7

A snapshot of how many users were online at one time at the moment you looked probably wouldn’t help much with making that decision. As @codinghorror said, the admin page already has some metrics you can use to gauge the overall activity on your forum, and that would be the logical place to add more if there are some that you feel would be useful. If you feel like ‘peak number of anonymous users’ and ‘peak number of logged-in users’ would be useful, that’s where they would live.

(David_Heidrich) #8

You could properly use google-analytics and/or install other long-time monitoring (like Munin) tools on your server that let you know when you should upgrade to a bigger instance.


How many registered users and how many guests is currently online, what’s the most visited day, how many topics and posts are there in total… etc.

This is an interesting stuff for forum users, not just admins. Many old boards like vBulletin have this and its really a cool thing. Plugin or core, im looking forward to it.

(Jeff Atwood) #10

That sort of thing is already available on the /admin dashboard.


Yeah… but it would be great if forum users could have access to some of those numbers as well. Somewhere on the forum frontpage…

(Kane York) #12

Hmm… Maybe not on the front-page, but more of something like /stats?

Actually you could probably make a plugin for this if setting up routing is supported already! Just pull the existing stats from the admin dashboard, maybe calculate some of your own, and ship it out on that new endpoint.

(Billdo O'reilly) #13

My users would really love to have this feature, we switched from SMF to Discourse and this is one of the main things they miss. The ability to show the names of currently active visitors that have logged in the past x # of minutes at the bottom of the homepage or maybe in a drop down near the categories would be beautiful.

(Anton) #14

My moderators say that from their experience some users only ask questions in a forum when they see some key guru are online at that time. Maybe this depends on the national mentality. So for me this is really crucial, and I’m the one who will really appreciate if there a way to show how many / who is online right now, somewhere at the bottom of the forum.

(Rahul Dhingra) #15

and occasionally embarrassing too!

(Anton) #16

There are use-cases when it actually engages people to participate or create new topics. Please see above.

(Kevin P. Fleming) #17

Make a plugin that displays a “Who is Online Now” list that is randomly generated from the list of people who have posted in the category in the last 30-60 days. It won’t be accurate, but that doesn’t matter. You could make the random selection ‘weighted’ towards people with higher trust levels, so there’d always be some gurus supposedly ‘online’.

(Anton) #18

Lie is not so good )) Looking through users’ profile page will reveal everything quickly.

(Dave McClure) #19

Plug-in is probably the way to go. I think the data is there (see the Last Seen info on user profiles)


I think this would be a great feature, although I can see why perhaps it wouldn’t be in the core. I don’t think much of it in terms of charting usage statistics, but it does give a sense of an active community - particularly with smaller and more tight-knit communities. The feedback I have gotten from my forum migration was that it remains the sole feature that is solely missed from phpBB. Seeing that your friend or someone you like is online makes you more likely to post (or someone you want to antagonise :wink:)

My ideal plugin would include a “people” icon at the top right together with the search, hamburger and profile icon with a notification indicator showing how many users are online. Clicking it would then drop-down a menu with a list of the profiles of those who are “seen in the last five minutes”. Unfortunately I don’t know how to add a simple custom link to the hamburger menu let alone code all this. I’d love to see a tutorial for more advanced plugins if one is available.