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Ready to move to Flarum? I might be able to help

LincLinc Detroit Admin
edited October 2022 in General Banter

A couple weeks ago I did the first full community migration from Vanilla to Flarum. I'm willing to do a few more for free to work out further issues with the forum migration software I'm building.


  • non-commercial community
  • less than 5 million posts
  • no hate speech on site
  • timeline is 1-3 months (estimate only, depends on my weekend availability)


I'm not currently able to provide troubleshooting assistance for setting up a new Flarum site. You will need to set it up ahead of time with the appropriate plugins (I will provide a list of standard extensions to use if you want things like badges or private messages to transfer).

You will be responsible for moving files (uploads and avatars) separately. I'll provide instructions for that as well.

You will also be responsible for any redirects you wish to set up. Happy to provide advice from what I know, but that's not something I'm willing to set up for you today.


  1. You do a SQL export, zip it, and send me a link via a file service like Dropbox.
  2. We'll discuss how to handle special edge cases in your forum and I'll iterate on it for a bit.
  3. I'll provide 1 test SQL export for you to evaluate and provide feedback on issues you find.
  4. I will fix issues I'm willing and able to, then we'll pick a day for the final migration.
  5. Expect a full day of downtime. When ready, put your site into maintenance mode and send the final SQL export the same way. I'll return the finish product the same way.

I will provide a UTF-8 export regardless of what you initially provide. It's important you FORCE the test & final import to use UTF-8 encoding rather than letting the database tool detect and set it itself.


I'm willing to sign a very, very narrow NDA about data privacy if you require it. However, also note I have far more data security experience than most folks running forums (I drove application-level security efforts at Vanilla Forums Inc for most of its existence), so rest assured your data will only exist on encrypted drives and/or behind 2-factor authentication on my side, and I have no interest in it beyond improving & testing the migration software. The only time it's exposed is while we're transmitting it to each other via Dropbox link. Do not upload a data export to this site.

Interested? Fill out this form: https://forms.gle/rdB1SmgGNPMU6rML6

Private messages on this site are fine, or email me ( linc at icrontic.com ) with questions. Also happy to answer questions about DIY migrations or otherwise talk shop about communities.



  • pioc34pioc34 Pézenas ✭✭

    Hi @Linc, I'm trying to migrate my forum with your tool, could you provide the plugin lists for badges, reactions and private messages please?

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    I'll get this into the docs in an accessible format soon. For now, here's the plugins-per-feature required:

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin
    edited October 2022

    The Vanilla 2+ exporter will support YAGA (reactions, badges, and ranks). I'd be happy to add support for hgtonight's Discussion Polls but that requires a data dump from someone using it. Currently only the logic for exporting the cloud version of Polls is in there.

  • pioc34pioc34 Pézenas ✭✭

    Thanks @Linc

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    I just released Nitro Porter 3.1 with some important fixes: https://github.com/linc/nitro-porter/releases/tag/v3.1

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    Bit of a silly error, sorry about that. Will have it fixed momentarily.

  • pioc34pioc34 Pézenas ✭✭

    Thank you @Linc

    I tried nitro and the big problem i have it's that the posts aren't formatted.

    In vanilla database, it's Wysiwyg format, in port_discussions too, but in flarum table, it's html format.

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    Can you clarify “unformatted”? The formatting is entirely gone, or you’re seeing the HTML markup in the posts?

    Flarum doesn’t have the same formatting system Vanilla does, so I don’t know what “html in the flarum table” means exactly either. The content just gets wrapped in <r> tags so the rich formatter in Flarum picks it up.

    I think you also need the fof/formatting plugin enabled in Flarum to see that sort of content correctly.

  • pioc34pioc34 Pézenas ✭✭
    edited October 2022

    I install fof/formatting and i have the same problem.

    Two images to explain:

    all links are stripped, html tags too.

    i add the content of the flarum posts table, html is in.

    i enabled fof/formatting html entities and others but nothing appears...

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    @pioc34 I think I found the issue. Give 3.1.2 a shot: https://github.com/linc/nitro-porter/releases/tag/v3.1.2

    I was trying to port HTML over without deeply parsing it but I neglected to notice some details about how Flarum's TextFormatter library works. I'm now passing Wysiwyg thru the Fatdown bundle because it also handles HTML and I suspect will work just fine.

  • pioc34pioc34 Pézenas ✭✭

    Thanks a lot @Linc . I will try it and if i find an issue, i'll tell you.

  • pioc34pioc34 Pézenas ✭✭

    I tried it and it's not ok.

    As the vanilla post is in wysiwyg (html) format, i think you have to convert to markdown and after to s9 textformat it with markdown

    here is the result in database with nitroporter 3.1.2

  • flarum is nice, but shared hosting doesn't work

  • When I add the Nitro Porter folder in a fresh install of Flarum 1.5, and go to mysite.test/nitro-porter-main/ (using Laragon)

    I get

    "The page you requested could not be found."


  • pioc34pioc34 Pézenas ✭✭

    You must install nitro on another folder than flarum install folder.

    1. install flarum 1.5 and enable plugins (reactions,badges,….) in a folder. Now you can go in this folder with your browser and you have a fresh install of flarum
    2. put nitro in another folder and go to it with your browser. Don’t Forget to make a config.php file in it n’y modifying config-sample.php file with your settings
    3. in source choose vanilla database, vanilla version and prefix of the database tables’ in target choose flarum and flarum database
  • Thanks. After correctly installing nitro-porter, I get an error message

    Fatal error: Uncaught InvalidArgumentException: Database connection [flarum] not configured. in C:\xampp\htdocs\porter\nitro-porter-main\vendor\illuminate\database\DatabaseManager.php:161

    I am using the same connection info from Flarum's config file for the db, user, pswd so am not sure what is failing. Any help would be appreciated. I am trying to port Vanilla 3.3 to Flarum 1.5, php version is 8.0.23. My flarum db has no tbl prefix.

  • pioc34pioc34 Pézenas ✭✭

    verify your config.php in nitro directory

    There is probably a mistake

    here is my config file for target and nitro screenshot


                'alias' => 'test',

                'type' => 'database',

                'adapter' => 'mysql',

                'host' => 'localhost', server name

                'port' => '3306',

                'name' => 'flarum2', database name

                'user' => 'root', database user

                'pass' => 'password', database user password

                'charset' => 'utf8mb4',

                'options' => [

                    PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_USE_BUFFERED_QUERY => false, // Critical for large datasets.



  • I am able to confirm the flarum db connection by connecting with ssh. It does work.

    The log file is reporting that data is written to the port_category, port_comment, port_conversation and port_conversationmessage tables. There is data in the port_discussion table but this is not in the log file....suggesting something different.

    The complete error msg is attached.

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