Discourse is Open Source Modern Forum Software

Discourse Free Forum Software

On Premise Open Source Discussion Forum Software

Discourse provides several social features similar to Twitter and Facebook. Build, engage and grow your business community in a trendy modern way.


Discourse is a 100% free, fully open source, modern, easy to use, feature-rich community-based discussion forum software. It’s a robust, reliable, and adaptable platform that accompanies a wide range of tools for community discussions. It is designed for building community discussion platforms, mailing list or chat room for your team, clients, fans, supporters, or friends.

All the cutting edge conveniences you’d anticipate from a major social website like Twitter or Facebook are available in Discourse. Mention somebody by @name. Paste in a link or an image, and it makes it marvelous for your benefit. Basic citing and linking of answers and topics. Reply any place you are, online or through email

System Requirements

Discourse is based on Ruby on Rails, Ember.js, PostgreSQL and Redis. Current requirements for Discourse include

  • Ruby 2.5+
  • PostgreSQL 10+
  • Redis 2.6+
  • An outgoing MTA (Discourse does not provide email itself)


Discourse is built by developers of stackoverflow with premium quality. It is ultimate choice of games, education, makers, development, product, media, associations and other. Discourse supports integration with slack, wordpress, zendesk, patreon, github, google analytics and more. Discourse has a vibrant feature set. Major features include

High Quality Design

Design is one of the best feature: discourse is designed to help in the formation of great online conversations. Flat discussions with very much executed quoting systems, expandable/collapsible replies, infinite scroll, clean UI and a lot more features meet up to shape a high quality forum experience.

Trust System

Discourse has a simple user trust system that makes managing the discussion significantly simpler. Users acquire permissions as they acquire trust, which restrains the measure of damage spammers and trolls can do.

Free plugins for Discourse

Discourse has strong community support, wide range of free plugins are available. Plugins are available at www.discourse.org/plugins you can extend and customize your discussion forum with discourse plugins for free. Here are just a few of the currently available plugins.

  • Akismet Anti-Spam
  • Chat Integration
  • OAuth 2.0 & OpenID Connect Support
  • SAML Authentication
  • Canned Replies
  • Sitemap
  • Discourse Translator
  • Discourse Policy Make
  • Calendar Integration
  • Topic Tooltip Previews
  • Expandable Footnotes

Free themes for Discourse

Users can pick between the free themes made available on their instances, and even utilize various themes on various devices. Free themes are available at discourse community hub.

Other Features

Some of other important features are following

  • Dynamic notifications
  • Built-in mobile layout
  • Automatically expanding links
  • Single sign-on
  • Powerful moderation
  • Social login
  • Summarize topics
  • Badges/Emoji
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Diverse plugin options
  • One-click upgrades
  • Comprehensive API


Installation using Github

Clone the Discourse repository

    git clone https://github.com/discourse/discourse.git ~/discourse

Create role with the same name as your ubuntu system username:

    sudo -u postgres createuser -s "$USER"

Switch to your Discourse folder and install the needed gems

    cd ~/discourse 
    source ~/.bashrc 
    bundle install

Now that you have successfully configured database connection, run these commands:

    bundle exec rake db:create 
    bundle exec rake db:migrate
    RAILS_ENV=test bundle exec rake db:create db:migrate

Now, try running the specs:

    bundle exec rake autospec

Start rails server:

    bundle exec rails server

Installation using Docker

After you have logged in as the root user, we can begin the docker install by entering the following commands. You should use the root user throughout the rest of the setup and bootstrapping process.

     sudo -s  
     git clone https://github.com/discourse/discourse_docker.git /var/discourse  

Now, cd into the Discourse folder.

     cd /var/discourse  

Next, you will run the Discourse setup command.


Next, you will be asked a series of questions that are required to move forward with the installation.

    Hostname for your Discourse? [forum.example.com]:
    Email address for admin account(s)? [me@example.com]:
    SMTP server address? [smtp.example.com]:
    SMTP port? [587]:
    SMTP user name? [user@example.com]:
    SMTP password? [pa$$word]:
    Let's Encrypt account email? (ENTER to skip) [me@example.com]:

The Discourse setup will create an app.yml file and kick off the bootstrapping process, which can take anywhere from two to eight minutes. Once this portion completes, you can move on to the browser-based setup.

Congrats! You have successfully installed Discourse