Import the mailing list?


It would be nice if old posts would be still searchable.
There exists a guide on how to import mailing lists archives here:

However I am not sure if we can import it easily on that hosted instance.


I’d also love to see this. Especially since last time we weren’t able to import the old emails - this would probably encourage even more users to use discourse as all mail history will be searchable.


Do we still have access to the old mailing-list archives?


I bet someone backuped them or most of some.


here we go:


I contacted Discourse’s support, let’s see what they say


I hope this will be possible - plus, and I consider this important, that the ML does not get re-send on import (I mean if I enable mailinglist mode here and you import all the mails from the mailinglist, I get them again… that’d be bad!)


The Discourse team has been generous to provide us with a free hosted instance but it means that I don’t have command-line access to do the import. When contacting support about this, this is the answer that I received back:

According to this would cost us 3600 USD / year.

Another solution would be to host Discourse ourselves.


Anyone have a.tar.zg email archive?


And use webservice ?


Using the API to import would probably spam the users that have the “mailing-list” setting on


The mailing list setting can be turned off by the time the import is being made via API, and then be turned on later?



Sounds good. Who is volunteering for writing the import script?


Well, what is needed?


We need 2 scripts that can import messages using only the Discourse API:

  • one for the mailing-list archive
  • one for the Google Group
    Ideally both would be tested on a local Discourse instance before running them against production. The best way to run a local Discourse instance at the moment is to use this Docker image:


Maybe someone has an email archive from the mail list and Google? Someone who has subscribed from the beginning and is making a backup:)


I spent some time this weekend poking at this and decided it might be easier to coordinate/collaborate on this endeavor via github.

My ultimate plan is that the repo serves as a comprehensive solution for the NixOS Discourse admin to follow which clearly documents how to perform the entire importing process along with any custom tools created.

I found the mailing list archives for 2004-2017 and added a Bittorrent file to the repo for anyone interested.

There are also features/issues to consider when designing the importer, and I anticipate it’ll be easier to discuss them in the issue tracker than here.


There is 0 peer for the torrent. Why not IPFS or use Git LFS?


How big is the archive? Depending on the archive file size it could also be uploaded to GitHub as part of a git tag release. Or even better, added to the git repo.