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No longer maintained

I put the word out for people to contact me if they'd like to maintain this for me. Quite a few people contacted me, and I added those people as maintainers. No further work got done.

Therefore, I have no choice but to mark this project as unmaintained. I have removed all other maintainers as a result.

This project is no longer accepting pull requests or issues.

If you would like a better maintained forum system, please use Thredded.

Forem - using Bootstrap

Forem, using the forem-bootstrap theme

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.


A demo application can be found at, and the source for this application can be found on the repository


Installing Forem is easy.

Specify Gem dependencies

If you're using Rails 3:

gem 'forem', :github => "radar/forem", :branch => "rails3"

For Rails 4, use the rails4 branch:

gem 'forem', :github => "radar/forem", :branch => "rails4"

And then one of kaminari or will_paginate

gem 'kaminari', '0.15.1'
# OR
gem 'will_paginate', '3.0.5'

Run the installer

Ensure that you first of all have a User model and some sort of authentication system set up. We would recommend going with Devise, but it's up to you. All Forem needs is a model to link topics and posts to.

Run the installer and answer any questions that pop up. There's sensible defaults there if you don't want to answer them.

rails g forem:install

Set up helper methods in your user model

Forem uses a forem_name (which defaults as to_s) method being available on your User model so that it can display the user's name in posts. Define it in your model like this:

def forem_name

Please note that if you are using Devise, User model does not have name column by default, so you either should use custom migration to add it or use another column (email for example).

It also uses an optional forem_email method for displaying avatars using Gravatar. It defaults to email. If you don't have an email attribute on the model, define a new method:

def forem_email

Require basic Forem assets

Add this line to your application.js file to load required JavaScript files:

//= require forem

Add this line to your application.css to apply required styling:

*= require 'forem/base'

Specify formatter to use

If you want to provide users with an extended formatting capability, you should pick a formatter to use. If you do not use a formatter users will not be able to insert newlines in their posts and do some other fancy stuff, however quoting will work fine.

And you're done! Yaaay!

For more information on installing, please see the "Installation" wiki page


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

If there's a feature you think would be great to add to Forem, let us know on the Issues page

Auto Discovery Links

If you would like to add auto discovery links for the built in forum Atom feeds, then add the following method inside your <head> tag:

<%= forem_atom_auto_discovery_link_tag %>

Forem's default layout includes this tag.

View Customisation

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.

Extending Classes

All of Forem’s business logic (models, controllers, helpers, etc) can easily be extended / overridden to meet your exact requirements using standard Ruby idioms.

Standard practice for including such changes in your application or extension is to create a directory app/decorators. place file within the relevant app/decorators/models or app/decorators/controllers directory with the original class name with _decorator appended.

Adding a custom method to the Post model:

# app/decorators/models/forem/post_decorator.rb

Forem::Post.class_eval do
  def some_method

Adding a custom method to the PostsController:

# app/decorators/controllers/forem/posts_controller_decorator.rb

Forem::PostsController.class_eval do
  def some_action

The exact same format can be used to redefine an existing method.


We currently have support for the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Brazillian (pt-BR)
  • Bulgarian
  • Chinese (Simplified, zh-CN)
  • Chinese (Traditional, zh-TW)
  • Czech
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Farsi (Persian)
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Lithuanian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (pt-PT)
  • Russian
  • Slovak
  • Spanish
  • Turkish

Patches for new translations are very much welcome!


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

Developing on forem

Forem is implemented as a Rails engine and its specs are run in the context of a dummy Rails app. The process for getting the specs to run is similar to setting up a regular rails app:

bundle exec rake forem:dummy_app

Once this setup has been done, Forem's specs can be run by executing this command:

bundle exec rspec spec

More information can be found in this issue in the bugtracker.

If all the tests are passing (they usually are), then you're good to go! Develop a new feature for Forem and be lavished with praise!


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

Places using Forem

If you want yours added here, just ask!