I'm pretty sure you could do this in earlier versions of Vanilla, but now my only options are Discussions, Categories, and Profile Wall.
Can it still be done somehow? Maybe using config.php?
Don't know much about 2.2.4 but I'd bet you could change the default route under www.example.com/dashboard/routes
You set categories as the default controller then select the discussions option for the categories layout.
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the closest you can get via dashboard categories and mixed layout.
which sets categories page with discussions.
$Configuration['Routes']['DefaultController'] = array('categories', 'Internal');
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Categories']['Layout'] = 'mixed';
with this layout you can adjust the number of discussions that appear in each category via
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Discussions']['PerCategory'] = "10";
default is 5.
I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.
Thanks, routes did the trick