Who's Online Plugin (discourse-whos-online)

Discourse Who’s Online Plugin

:information_source: Think carefully before installing this plugin. Discourse is designed for asynchronous discussion, and a list of online users can be harmful for some communities

:information_source: This plugin is marked #experimental because it is not optimized for very large forums

discourse-whos-online displays a list of users currently active on the site:

It can also optionally display a user’s online status on their avatar. Either with a “ring”, “glow”, or with a “flair” icon in the top left.
45 39 10

The plugin uses the MessageBus to keep up-to-date, so user status is reflected in real-time. Users which have enabled the “hide profile and presence” setting will not be displayed. You can customize a number of things using the available site settings and language strings:

:wrench: Configuration Options

These are available in the “plugins” section of the admin settings panel.

  • whos_online_active_timeago: maximum “last seen” for which users are considered online (minutes)
  • whos_online_collapse_threshold: number of users before the avatars overlap each other (see gif above). Set very high to disable this feature
  • whos_online_maximum_display: the maximum number of avatars to display. The numeric counter will still count higher than this. The choice of who gets displayed is currently inconsistent
  • whos_online minimum_display: the minimum number of avatars to display. Below this, a “no users online” message is displayed
  • whos_online_hide_below_minimum_display: if enabled, the widget will be entirely hidden when the number of users is less than minimum_display
  • whos_online_display_public: should the plugin be displayed to people who aren’t logged in? Defaults to true.
  • whos_online_display_min_trust_level: the minimum trust level that this plugin is displayed to. Defaults to 0
  • whos_online_avatar_indicator: choose how to display online status on user avatars. Defaults to “ring”
  • whos_online_avatar_indicator_topic_lists: display avatar indicators in mobile topic lists, and the “Categories & Latest” view. Defaults to off.

:speech_balloon: Frontend Language Strings

These are available in the admin panel under Customize–>Text Content (search for whos_online)

  • js.whos_online.no_users | “No users currently online”:The message displayed when the number of users < whos online minimum display setting.
  • js.whos_online.title | “Online ({{count}})”: The text displayed before the list of avatars. {{count}} is the number of users online.
  • js.whos_online.tooltip | “Users seen in the last 5 minutes”: the text displayed on mouseover of the text.

How to Install a Plugin


will there be any update in the future to allow us to be able to change the green circle around the profile picture to a different color?

You can change color with a simple line of CSS

This is good if whos online avatar indicator is set for ring

    html.whos-online-ring .topic-avatar.user-online img.avatar {
        box-shadow: 0 0 0 1px #fff,0 0 0 3px red;

Obviously you need to change the color.


Is it possible to have the who’s online bar above the sub categories?

Here’s a screenshot of how it looks now:

I’d like to swap the “Category” and “Online” boxes around for the layout to make more sense.

Here’s the page on which this happens: Current Game - Thrive Community Forum

1 Like

Yes, using CSS you can move the bar above the sub categories:

.discovery-list-container-top-outlet.online_users_widget.ember-view {
    margin-top: -20%;
    margin-bottom: 15%;
.category-list.with-topics {
    margin-top: 5%;

The code above is only an example, you have to work on it and make it specific just for the categories you need without impacting the homepage


I have multiple top level categories that have sub categories, and they have different number of them. This approach can only work for one of them at a time. I think. I’m not a CSS expert. How would I also fix the main page? I think that this is a situation that can’t be fixed with CSS as you would have to somehow query the height of another element tree.

Even if it works for now, I’ll always dread the next time I have to update discourse as it might break (I have had a ton of CSS related issues when updating discourse in the past).

got a question how can i oweradd some stiles in new theme …

Creting new theme for discourse and like to add some custumisations of online plugin style … but then im adding some in themes style file then geting css errors …
if i adding #whos-online style getting this …
eny solution ?

If you click “Edit CSS/HTML”, you should see a more detailed error.


found the problem the discourse not like #9090909c color codes :smiley:



I can’t discern from the above, so forgive me if this is listed and I’m overlooking it.
Is there an option included that allows users to disable the online status indicator feature from their profile settings in case they do not wish to have their online status broadcast?



It’s a little buried, but yes, they can enable the setting under their “interface” preferences.


How cam I show guests online on my forum. This seem not to be available on the plugin. At least the software should be able to show signed in users online and number of guests online.

1 Like

A reasonable idea, but how are we going to name the guests? Is it going to be something like @Guest1? I think this change will take a long time.

The essence of having guests numbers is not to have the guests names mentioned but to show that the forum is active.everyone wants to see a forum that is active and majority of viewers are not registered. So many forum will show you the users currently online and the number of guests. It will be like this James Stephen Christ and 20 guests online.



Here in my opinion the perfect example: https://www.vbulletin.com/forum/



Very correct. This is what I am talking about. Is this possible with discourse?

1 Like

How to do it on discourse ??

On a user’s profile page, the flair is way off. This is on mobile only.


I’ve got issues with the with the profile page flair on desktop (MacBook Pro 13" Safari).


(I would have opened an issue on the GitHub repo but they are not enabled)

@david Thanks for the awesome plugin!

1 Like

Does the red-black wording “Build Failing” mean this build is failing and no one is suppose to install this build of this plugin?

I tried installing this anyway, but my app-rebuild failed. And after disabling this plugin git path, rebuild succeeded.