The openSUSE forums move from vBulletin to Discourse

5. Dec 2022 | Victorhck | CC-BY-SA-3.0

The openSUSE forums move from vBulletin to Discourse

Maybe you have read this announcement in openSUSE forums and asked yourself what this will mean for the way you use the forums. Even more when you may not understand, or only vaguely understand, what the words vBulletin and Discourse mean.

You will understand that the website runs software that handles not only the interface with you, but also stores and manages the threads with the posts, and the user administration of the forum members. The software package used is named vBulletin. It is a commercial package and as such brings considerable costs.

Because all software that stays alive will move to new versions, this is also the case with vBulletin. That will mean that all of the adaptions that were made in the openSUSE instance had to be converted to the new version. At such a moment, it is time to look if a different solution might be better. We will not burden you with all the details, but the result is that vBulletin will be replaced by a different and open-source (which fits into the openSUSE philosophy) product: Discourse.

This will not be an easy move for many, including the forums’ staff. Many things will have to be addressed after we switched over, but we can mention a few things that will come up first in most members thoughts (we think).

Accounts: As the login facility is not bound to vBulletin but to the general SUSE login feature, there will be no change there, and all members will be able to login as earlier.

Old threads: Threads will be moved to the new environment and be available. Their layout maybe disfigured here and there, but we expect that solutions to problems will still be understandable. As said, it will look very different, please try to cope with that.

We expect a lot of questions and problems to arise. There is of course an “About the forums’ section where you can start threads. Be prepared that the staff has to deal with all of them in their spare time and will, like you, not feel at home in the beginning.

Planned Forum outage will be from Dec. 11 to 13 for the migration. That includes export and import of users and threads, testing and managing the headache.

Thank you for bearing with us in advance.

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