🚨 Self-hosting & server updates 🚨 (Including downtime Friday evening)

Hi all,

@Sean, @megalithicrock and I wanted to give you all a little update on progress since our largely successful migration to our own server. Apologies if some of this seems dull, but transparency is one of the things we all try and hold dear in our community, and most of these updates will affect everyone :slight_smile:

Software Upgrades

We’re now responsible for upgrades to the server software.

Previously Discourse have updated our forum daily, which has led to unexpected changes (and sometimes bugs) on a regular basis, sometimes causing confusion or distress for some of our community when things no longer behave the way we’re used to.

We’ve had a chat amongst ourselves and we’re planning to reduce the impact of this by running updates less frequently - as and when security fixes are available or a new minor release has been made available by Discourse. This is typically around once a month.

This will hopefully make the boards functionality feel a little more stable and allow us to give a little notice before changes do happen. By roughly scheduling upgrades, this will also help both you and those who volunteered as “server admins” to know that any downtime is likely because the upgrade is running and not because something unexpectedly broke.

Which leads me onto:

Server upgrade on Friday evening

There is a new version of Discourse available today, which includes 4 security patches. We’re planning to upgrade on Friday evening, which will include some brief downtime as various components are updated and then should be back as usual, albeit with a couple of new features. If anything seems wrong afterwards, do let us know in the technical issues section.

For the technically minded, or nosey, Discourse’s release notes have the details on what you might see.

Legacy images and migration

To give you all a heads up, the migration wasn’t actually 100% successful. As you’ll have seen, we did manage to migrate with the loss of only half a days posts and minimal downtime. However, for some fairly complicated reasons we’ve not actually managed to bring the images from the old boards across to our new hosting yet. We do have a backup of the images, but have been unable to restore them in the way that Discourse usually recommend, therefore images posted since our migration are hosted on our new infrastructure, but old images are still hosted by Discourse.

@megalithicrock has been in conversation with their support teams and we’re gradually working through steps that they believe should get the images onto our hosting, so if all is well then you should all see no change.

However, it is possible that we’re unable to successfully migrate them and posts before early July will display without images once Discourse switch off our old hosting plan. We’re letting you know as a heads up in case things don’t go well because we know it may cause confusion or worry if old images unexpectedly disappear.

We hope that doesn’t happen, but wanted to give warning that it’s possible.

Discourse / Server admins

To support the migration and troubleshooting issues on Discourse, both @megalithicrock and myself have been promoted to discourse admin status alongside @sean, @wewerewerewolvesonce and @whiterussian.

We are not participating in any moderation discussions or actions - these remain between your previously trusted moderation team, but we wanted to ensure the boards are aware we now have additional access.

We are also in the process of creating a group of server admins who will be able to perform some actions on the server itself in the case of (for example) unexpected downtime or configuration that can’t be done via the website. We don’t currently expect that it will be necessary to make them admins on the boards, so they won’t have access to any moderation tools or most settings. More on this group once it’s fully in place.


Thanks for your backing to help us along the way and for backing @Sean’s Kofi campaign to pay the newly reduced bills.

We’ll try to batch together semi-regular updates on anything we think you should be aware of, so do let us know if this kind of thing is useful and if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the format or any questions about anything above.

@Sean, @megalithicrock and @zeal


Really appreciate the effort and transparency from you all


If anyone does at any issues or has thoughts or suggestions, please pop them on this forum

Where’s your fucking poppy shield? (Sorry, just interested why there’s no indicator any more)


Gonna guess that was a theme component or plugin. I’ll look into it.

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Yeah I’m once more surprised at stuff the Discourse doesn’t include out of the box with their forum software, TBH. Feel like marking out moderators and admins is a useful and important aspect.

However, someone recently said they were a superuser (I can’t recall who) and I’m sure I saw a badge thing next to their name.

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Actually WR does still have a shield
Sean doesn’t. Odd.

Can confirm shield isn’t showing up on me either which I assume is a gross lapse in judgement?


You are a pretty big (Nancy) Deal(s), it’s true.

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Love this communication and thoughtfulness :slightly_smiling_face:


i have a shield


thanks folks

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Check out Captain Scotland over here

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Okay, so moderators are marked with a shield against their name above their posts. This includes whiterussian and wewerewerewolvesonce because they’re in both the admin & moderator groups, they’re not only admins like myself, Sean and megalithicrock.

Admins are not currently marked on their posts, although we do get the same shield icon when you click our avatars to view our mini profiles.

Easiest solution would be to add a flair that appears on our avatars across the boards - like this. Could be applied to both admins and mods so our avatars appear in the same way

Not that I can see

I see that Whiterussian has ‘Site Admin’ in her profile but I think that’s just because she must have put it in her profile text somewhere.

In fact so far as I can see there is nothing at all to make it obvious someone is an admin of the site, which is…odd. I mean you can find out here
but it’s not a page someone would necessarily just go to

I think the flair thing is probably a good idea but the only downside is that there’s no explanation for it from hover over. That said, I assume it’s linked to a group so if there was a Site Admins group on the user page here


that you were all added to I guess that would work? Or else a badge which would then give you a Title to select.

I dunno, certainly this feels like a peculiar thing for Discourse to leave for a site to fix up itself but I guess when you’re hosted by them they enable a bunch of things automatically for you? e.g. I’m sure it was always obvious I was an admin back in the day but maybe I’m fooling myself.

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guys sam saffron emailed and apologised he couldn’t let you know directly but he needs you all to make Ruffers a mod and then the setup will be ready to complete


:wave: Starting the upgrade now. Will post again when done :slight_smile:


And we’re done.

Any problems, let us know in the Site Feedback forum please.


That’s because admin and moderator is different I think

Moved this across to site feedback to ensure none of the elements mentioned are missed