What is Bootstrap Mode

I am the admin of a new forum which has been technically setup for me. I have a fair knowledge of the possibilities and settings in Discourse after reading through the forum and I have to say, I’m very excited about it!
As an admin I get the message about Bootstrap Mode every time I visit. Which is OK. I know it’s an admin-only message. What I don’t get is what Bootstrap Mode exactly is. What does it do and why? Why is it a part of Discourse and what are the positive effects of it? I can’t really get this and I hope someone can shed some light on this.

So I don’t need to know how to turn it off etcetera. I just want to know WHY it is there since I’ve never seen it in other forums.



In Discourse, users mostly gain trust by reading posts. As long as there aren’t enough posts to read, users cannot gain trust and would stay at trust level 0, which severely limits the speed at which they can create posts.

To help a new install get started quickly, bootstrap mode boosts new user’s initial trust level to 1 as long as there are less than 50 members (and for an additional 24 hours after that). After that, you hopefully have enough posts for users to gain trust level 1 naturally :slight_smile:

Additionally, daily email digests are enabled for these users so they are pinged to return to the site a bit more urgently. Once bootstrap mode is turned off (which happens automatically once you have more than 50 members), this digest setting is reverted to its default.


Is there away to extend bootstrap mode if I import 100 users manually? In other words: since I don’t know if and when the imported users will become active and write posts, I would like to extend bootstrao mode to an additional 50 users.

Alternatively: can (are?) manually imported users be excluded from the bootstrap user count?


Simply adjust the site setting bootstrap mode min users :slight_smile:


OK, thanks for the explanation. So if my new userbase is mostly lurkers, I would have to increase the number of 50 in the settings, so more (new) users get level 1?

EDIT: I just read the other replies. We will import a csv with users for a closed group next week with 60 users. I don’t have a feeling they will be active really fast so I think I will increase the setting in bootstrap mode min users anyway… thanks!


You could do that, yes!
Alternatively, if bootstrap mode has turned off already, feel free to set default trust level to 1 until you feel that you have enough initial content :slight_smile:


@Frank_Meeuwsen: Depending on your subject matter and userbase, you may find that your users fall into 3 basic categories:

  • Lurkers (registered and reading, but not writing)
  • Magpies (writing about any damned thing, occasionally related to your forum subject matter)
  • Contributors (contributing to the discussion)

If the Magpies get the upper hand they may scare off the lurkers, or discourage new signups.

It may help to create some “Scratch topics” explicitly for users to try out the functions of the platform. I did this just after we went live, and it localized the off topic chatter. We also have a “pub” for general discussion. I think this helped our forum seem less of a building site at the beginning, and giving everyone a place to practice uploads, composition and such meant that people used that to get familiar with the software, and then once they were in the saddle they started adding content with confidence.


Well I have a different issue — I set the bootstrap count to 0 and restarted everything.

So why does my main page display, “Bootstrap mode will be disabled within 24 hours.”

Is it that hard for the computer to get rid of it?:innocent:


I guess the job just runs once a day…



I’m not sure why there is a delay, but I’m pretty sure that message is only shown to admin users if you are worried about regular users seeing it.