Discourse Admin

We are running an instance of discourse on septima. User facing documentation: comment.

It was installed by following the discourse install directions, which essentially automate the installation of a docker app.

It's not ideal - since it pulls images from docker's repo, however, the complexity of this app makes a manual installation seem overwhelming.

The x509 certificate is automatically handled by letsencrypt.

The email is relayed via

We login via Discourse's single sign on implementation (which users our control panel to authenticate users).

Logging in

There is a discourse-admin user with credentials in keyringer tied to email address.

Creating Private groups

By default, posts are public. If you want to create a private group for a member, take these steps:

  • Login as discourse-admin (password in keyringer)
  • Create a group and assign the group an owner
    • Hamburger menu -> Groups -> New Group
    • Access: Allow members to leave freely
    • Set visibility to: Group owners, members and staff
    • Who can @mention this group: Group owners, members and staff
    • Who can message the group: Group owners, members and staff
  • Create a category and configure so that it is only viewable by members of the group you created
    • Hamburger Menu -> Categories -> Sub Hamburger Menu -> New Category
    • Enter name of category (make it same as group name)
    • Edit permissions
    • Click Security tab -> x to delete everyone permissions
    • Select previously created group to "create, reply, see"
    • Click add permission
    • Click New Category to save it
  • Instruct members to always post topics to their private category

Replies by email

You can reply by email, thanks to the discourse-replies user account that is configured according to these directions. See #13429.

Roles, Permissions and Trust Level

There are three roles in Discourse: admin, owner and user. An admin can create new private groups. An admin can also assign certain users as owners of a group.

A group owner can add Discourse users to a group.

There is also what is called a "trust level." The more trust a user has, the more permissions they receive. More info at


You can upgrade from within Discourse (while logged in as the admin) which rebuilds the docker application. The email address associated with the discourse admin user gets an email notification when new versions are available.


Backups are configured within Discourse to run once a day and backup to /var/discourse/shared/standalone/backups/default/ - which is configured by backupninja to be backed up to our backup servers.

Last modified 23 months ago Last modified on Dec 4, 2019, 12:13:52 PM