Server system upgrade from Debian 11 to 12

Server OS Upgrade is complete.
We now use our own mail service. read more

It’s been two years since our last server upgrade was completed. Now we’re going to upgrade the OS to stable release. The downtime should be short—famous last words—and will happen during the European night.

On the menu:

  • Upgrade to Debian Bookworm
  • Removal of unused software
  • New Discourse plugins including moderation tools
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Upgrade to Debian Bookworm

The VM now runs Debian 12. It’s pending a reboot though.

Removal of unused software

We saved about 15% of disk space on the system disk.

New Discourse plugins


  • Data Explorer allows to run SQL queries against the Discourse database. It can be used by @staff. Notably, it’s used to display existing configured emails for categories and groups.
  • Staff Alias allows to use @well-being user for @staff, @moderators and members of the to avoid personal exposure when dealing with headstrong people.
  • Discourse ActivityPub plugin now includes support for public feeds and replies.

New email system

Since our previous email providers is changing its plans, we have setup a new email system based on and Discourse mail-receiver.

more info about new email setup

Email now tend to be replaced with but both should work (with some known exceptions that will be fixed if someone complains. :wink: Some older email have been removed (e.g., those for old event categories and related groups – but the forum access remains for them.)

In a :peanuts: shell, everything should be transparent for you, except when you reply to an old conversation via email where exceptions may occur: in this case, try to use the forum once and reply to the newly assigned email address.

All email supports SPF, DKIM and DMARC.

Please report any weirdness you may encounter!



Looks like the anti-email service GMail started hard-failing our new emails. Really. They’re signed and all. Just unknown to the evil corp…

Nice, I love postal and discourse. I adapted a plugin so you can use postal webhooks to send email into discourse GitHub - nicksellen/discourse-postal: A plugin for Discourse to accept inbound email from a Postal webhook just an option! We use it actively for our community forum.

Sucks what gmail does to nice email setups. I think we might be trusted enough by now, phew.


Thanks to @how and everyone who has put time and effort into maintaining this watering hole for the fediverse dev community :partying_face:

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@nicksellen Do you prefer using your plugin vs. using the mail-receiver container?

Thank you @strypey :fist:

Maybe another way to put it, @nicksellen is whether we should ditch the extra container and use your plugin here instead. Given that the plugin is three years old, I fear there is some work to adapt it to the new plugin API. If you’re interested in working on it again we can figure something out.

I don’t know about the new plugin API, I guess I would just keep using my plugin until it breaks :slight_smile:

Do you know if they are deprecating the plugin API I am using? And how different in concept the new one is?

I can’t say whether its preferable to the mail receiver container, as I don’t know what that does.

I would expect the plugin to use less resources since it simply offers an HTTP endpoint while the mail-receiver is a Docker container with Postfix running inside. I will have a look at the changed Discourse API and see what needs to be done to use your plugin instead.

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The Gmail issue seems to have been resolved.

(I’ve just successfully signed up using Gmail!)


Oh wow! This is unexpected. It took what, six months?

This is super good news.