The best Rails 3.1 forum engine. Ever.
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Forem - using the forem-theme-twist theme

Forem, using the forem-theme-twist theme

For other screenshots, please see the doc folder

Forem Build status

"NO U!"

Forem is an engine for Rails that aims to be the best little forum system ever. The end goal is to have an engine that can be dropped into an application that provides the basic functionality of forums, topics and posts.


Installing Forem is easy.

Specify Gem dependencies

gem 'forem', :git => "git://"

You may also want to include the basic theme (which you can then fork and alter as you see fit)

gem 'forem-theme-base', :git => "git://"

Run bundle install to install these gems.

If you're choosing to use a theme then you will have to put this line inside your application.css file's directives:

*= require "forem/{theme}/style"

Alternatively, require the stylesheet using stylesheet_link_tag:

<%= stylesheet_link_tag "forem/{theme}/style" %>

This will require you to have the Asset Pipeline feature enabled within your application, which is the default for Rails 3.1 applications.

Run the migrations & setup the models and controllers

Once these gems are installed, run rake forem:install:migrations which will copy over the migrations that are contained within the engine into your application, which will then need to be run using rake db:migrate.

Then you will need to add a forem_admin boolean field to your User model. This is then used to indicate to forem if the currently signed in user should be an admin for forem or not. Currently there is no migration generator in forem to do this, so you will have to do it manually.

Also you will need to tell Forem what the User model of the application is so that it knows how to associate posts and topics to the authors. This model does not have to be called User, it can be called anything. This model must have a to_s method defined on it which is the display field used by Forem.

You can create this User model using any method you wish, be it Devise, Authlogic or a custom User model from scratch. It's your application; do with it what you want.

To tell Forem what this model is, create a new file in the application called config/initializers/forem.rb and put this line in it:

Forem.user_class = User

Finally, the controllers need to know what the current logged in user is for Forem's purposes. You can put something like this in ApplicationController:

  def forem_user

  helper_method :forem_user

Mount the engine

The final step that is required is to mount this engine in the application's config/routes.rb file:

mount Forem::Engine, :at => "forem"

This engine will then be accessible at

You will also need to define a route that defines a sign_in_path / sign_in_url helper, as forem will go looking for it when it requires users to be signed in.


Here's a comprehensive list of the features currently in Forem:

  • An admin backend
    • Forums
      • CRUD operations
  • Topics
    • Viewing all topics for a forum
    • Creating of new topics
    • Editing topics
    • Deleting own topics
    • Locking topics
    • Hiding topics
    • Pinning topics
  • Posts
    • Replying to topics
    • Deleting own topics
    • Blocking replies to locked topics
  • Markdown formatting for posts
  • Theme support


If you want to customise Forem, you can copy over the views using the (Devise-inspired) forem:views generator:

rails g forem:views

You will then be able to edit the forem views inside the app/views/forem of your application. These views will take precedence over those in the engine.


We currently have support for the following languages:

  • Chinese (zh-CN)
  • English
  • Italian
  • Polish

Patches for new translations are very much welcome!

Refinery CMS Integration

Requires Refinery CMS master branch


rails generate refinery:forem
rake db:migrate

If you're using Forem with Refinery then you will need to specify the user_class option like this:

Forem.user_class = Refinery::User


File an issue and we'll get around to it when we can.


  • Ryan Bigg
  • Philip Arndt
  • Josh Adams
  • Adam McDonald
  • Zak Strassburg