Discourse FAQ

Below are common questions about our Discourse server. If this isn’t what you were looking for here are some other suggestions:

Who is this Discourse for?

Users of our favorite operating system, GNU Emacs, or the configuration framework Doom Emacs, or simply the supporters of open source software.

Which category do I post in?

Each category has a description (visible from the categories page) and once entered, there will be a sidebar with examples of what does and doesn’t belong there. Between these two, you should have a good idea of where to post things, but here’s a summary:

  • If you need help using Doom, post in #support or an appropriate sub-category:
  • To request features or discuss Doom Emacs’ development, post in #dev.
  • For general Emacs/open-source discussion, post in #discuss.
  • For off-topic discussion, post in #random.
  • To discuss or report issues with the community (including the Discord or Github), post in #meta.

How to perform more complex searches?

Discourse’s search engine allows for more complex searches using a special syntax. Here is a brief reference sheet for it:

  • Discourse has no syntax for boolean searches (AND/OR) and does not support them.

  • To search a specific category, add # followed by the short name of the category. e.g. #project.

    :warning: Discourse does not allow you to search multiple categories at once.

  • To only search topic titles (and not their bodies/replies): in:title

  • Search for tags:

    • Has tag1, tag2, or tag3: tags:tag1,tag2,tag3
    • Has tag1, tag2, and tag3: tags:tag1+tag2+tag3
    • For tag1, but not tag2: tags:tag1 -tags:tag2
  • In threads…

    • I haven’t read: in:unseen
    • I have read: in:seen
    • I’ve responded to: in:posted
    • I’ve created: in:created
    • I’ve liked: in:likes
    • Whose first post contains a match: in:first
    • That have an image: with:images
    • Have no replies: status:noreplies
    • Are open or closed: status:open / status:closed
    • Are solved: tags:solved
    • Are archived: status:archived
    • Other: in:wiki, in:pinned

How do I subscribe to categories, topics, or tags?

You’ll see a bell button on the top right of any category’s, tag’s, or topic’s page. Click it to control its notification settings:


All users are initially subscribed to #news and #news:releases. I recommend also subscribing to #news:events, #news:external, and/or one of the Announcement Tags to stay up to date with the community and project.

:warning: Subscriptions aren’t recursive. I.e. Subscribing to a category doesn’t subscribe you to its sub-categories.

How do I become a Maintainer, Moderator, or Regular?

See “How to become a Maintainer, Moderator, or Regular

How do I create a linked reply?

Users at TL1 and up can create linked topics. i.e. When replying to a post, click the arrow in the top right and select “Reply as linked topic”.


Be mindful of what category your linked topic is posted to. See “Where should I post”.

Why are replies in #guides and some posts auto-deleted?

To keep those threads lean and relevant, so users don’t have to dig through months of possibly obsolete or unrelated responses in search of substance. That said, feel free to use it to notify the author of errors or updates.

To discuss something at length, create a linked topic instead instead. Either do so in #meta (to discuss formatting, new posts, and policies), or in #discuss (to discuss the subject matter).

Can I change the theme of the Discourse?

Our Discourse has a selection of color schemes available (including light themes). You can change the active one in your profile preferences in the interface section:


Once your “dark mode” theme is selected, you can toggle between them in the hamburger menu (top right of the website):


I’d like to add to a topic, but it’s closed. What do?

To continue a conversation, create a linked reply in the same category. If the old conversation was particularly detailed or important to posterity, a moderator may merge your new post into it (and reopen it).

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