Programming language: Java
License: Apache License 2.0
Tags: Communication systems     Social Networks and Forums    
Latest version: v1.40.5

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Scoold Q&A

Scoold - Stack Overflow in a JAR

Quality Gate Status Join the chat at https://gitter.im/Erudika/scoold

Scoold is a Q&A/knowledge base platform written in Java. The project was created back in 2008, released in 2012 as social network for schools inspired by Stack Overflow. In 2017 it was refactored, repackaged and open-sourced.

Scoold can run anywhere - Heroku, DigitalOcean, AWS, Azure or any VPS hosting provider. It's lightweight (~7000 LOC), the backend is handled by a separate service called Para. Scoold does not require a database, and the controller logic is really simple because all the heavy lifting is delegated to Para. This makes the code easy to read and can be learned quickly by junior developers.

Scoold Pro, the paid version of Scoold, has premium features which make it the perfect knowledge sharing platform for your company or team.

This project is fully funded and supported by Erudika - an independent, bootstrapped company.


  • Full featured Q&A platform
  • Database-agnostic, optimized for cloud deployment
  • Full-text search
  • Distributed object cache
  • Location-based search and "near me" filtering of posts
  • I18n with RTL language support
  • Reputation and voting system with badges
  • Spaces (Teams) - groups of isolated questions and users
  • Webhooks with signature signing
  • Zapier integration
  • Minimal frontend JS code based on jQuery
  • Modern, responsive layout powered by Materialize CSS
  • Suggestions for similar questions and hints for duplicate posts
  • Email notifications for post replies and comments
  • Backup and Restore
  • RESTful API defined with OpenAPI 3.0
  • Spring Boot project (single JAR)
  • Mutual authentication support (mTLS)
  • LDAP authentication support
  • Social login (Facebook, Google, GitHub, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Slack, Amazon, Twitter) with Gravatar support
  • Syntax highlighting for code in posts, GFM markdown support with tables, task lists and strikethrough
  • Import data from Stack Overflow for Teams
  • Emoji support - cheat sheet
  • SEO friendly
  • Cookie consent (for GDPR, CCPA, etc.)

Buy Scoold Pro and also get these premium features:

  • Slack integration
  • Mattermost integration
  • Microsoft Teams integration
  • SAML authentication support
  • Custom authentication support
  • SCIM 2.0 for automatic user provisioning
  • Mentions with notifications
  • File uploads (local, AWS S3, Azure Blob, or Imgur)
  • Account suspensions (permabans)
  • Anonymous posts
  • Unlimited spaces
  • Multiple admins
  • Multiple identity domains
  • Sticky / Favorite posts
  • Advanced syntax highlighting
  • Email digest of recent questions
  • Security notifications
  • Wiki-style answers

...and more!

Live Demos

Scoold Demo | Scoold Pro Demo

For admin access, open the Scoold Pro demo and login with "Demo login".

Sometimes the demos might take a minute to load.

Scoold architecture intro (or 'what the heck is Para?')

Scoold is a client application of the Para backend server. Almost every request to Scoold produces at least one request to Para as well. When you ask a question on Scoold, a create request is sent to Para to the location POST /v1/questions. Here are a few key points about that architecture:

  • A Para server can be hosted anywhere and store data inside any of the supported databases.
  • Para is a multi-tenant server which stores data in isolated environments called "apps".
  • One or more instance of Scoold (like a cluster) can connect to the same Para app environment and share the data.
  • Multiple separate Scoold websites can be powered by the same Para backend using different Para apps.
  • Each app environment is completely independent from others and has its own database table and search index.
  • Both Scoold and Para can be hosted on the same machine or on multiple machines, on different networks.
  • Scoold talks to Para via HTTP(S) so Para must be directly accessible from Scoold, but can also be hosted on a private network.

Here's an overview of the architecture: β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β” β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β–Ί Database β”‚ β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β” β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β” β”‚ β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€ β”‚ Scoold 1 β”œβ”€β”€β–Ί β”‚ β”‚ └───────────── β”œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€ β”‚ Para ◄──┼───► Search β”‚ β”‚ Scoold 2 β”œβ”€β”€β–Ί β”‚ β”‚ β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€ β””β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜ β””β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜ β”‚ └───────────── └───► Cache β”‚ β””β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜

Quick Start with a managed Para backend (easier)

JDK 1.8 or higher is required to build and run the project. All major operating systems are supported.

  1. Create a new app on ParaIO.com and copy your access keys to a file
  2. Create Scoold's configuration file named application.conf and add the following properties to it: ini para.env = "development" para.app_name = "Scoold" para.access_key = "app:scoold" para.secret_key = "scoold_secret_key_from_para" # change to http://localhost:8080 if Para is running locally para.endpoint = "https://paraio.com" # add your email here para.admins = "[email protected]" # (optional) require login to view content para.is_default_space_public = false
  3. Start Scoold with java -jar -Dconfig.file=./application.conf scoold-*.jar
  4. Open http://localhost:8000/signin/register in your browser
  5. Register a new account with your email address (same as above - [email protected])

If you want to login with a social account, first you need to create a developer app with Facebook, Google or any other identity provider that you wish to use. This isn't necessary if you're planning to login with LDAP, SAML or with email and password. Save the obtained API keys in application.conf, as shown below.

Important: Authorized redirect URLs for Facebook should look like this: https://{your_scoold_host}, https://{your_scoold_host}/signin. For all the other identity providers you must whitelist the Para host with the appropriate authentication endpoint. For example, for GitHub, the redirect URL would be: https://paraio.com/github_auth, for OAuth 2 - https://paraio.com/oauth2_auth and so on.

Quick Start with a self-hosted Para backend (harder)

Note: The Para backend server is deployed separately and is required for Scoold to run.

  1. run Para locally on port 8080 and initialize it with GET localhost:8080/v1/_setup
  2. Save the access keys for the root Para app somewhere safe, you'll need them to configure Para CLI tool below
  3. Create a new directory for Scoold containing a file called application.conf and paste in the example configuration below.
  4. Create a new Para app called scoold using Para CLI tool: sh # You will need to have Node.js and NPM installed beforehand. $ npm install -g para-cli # run setup and enter the keys for the root app and endpoint 'http://localhost:8080' $ para-cli setup $ para-cli ping $ para-cli new-app "scoold" --name "Scoold"
  5. Save the keys inside Scoold's application.conf. The contents of this file should look like this: ini para.env = "development" para.app_name = "Scoold" para.access_key = "app:scoold" para.secret_key = "scoold_secret_key" para.endpoint = "http://localhost:8080" para.admins = "[email protected]"
  6. Start Scoold with java -jar -Dconfig.file=./application.conf scoold-*.jar and keep an eye on the log for any error messages
  7. Open http://localhost:8000 in your browser and register an account with the same email you put in the configuration

Important: Do not use the same application.conf file for both Para and Scoold! Keep the two applications in separate directories, each with its own configuration file. All settings shown below are meant to be kept in the Scoold config file. If you want to sign up with an email and password, SMTP settings must be configured before deploying Scoold to production.

Read the Para docs for details on how to run and configure your Scoold backend.

Hardware requirements

Scoold and Para can both be hosted on the same machine, provided it has at least 3 GB of RAM. Scoold requires:

  • at least 500 MB RAM
  • 1 vCPU or more
  • 10 GB disk space or more (primarily for logs and storing images)

Para requires:

  • at least 1 GB RAM
  • 1 vCPU (2 are recommended)
  • 10 GB disk space or more (unless the database is stored on the same machine)

JVM parameters: e.g. java -jar -Xms600m -Xmx600m scoold-*.jar


The most important settings are para.endpoint - the URL of the Para server, as well as, para.access_key and para.secret_key. Connection to a Para server is required for Scoold to run.

Copy the Scoold example configuration below to your application.conf and edit it if necessary:

### Minimal configuration ###
# the name of the application
para.app_name = "Scoold"
# the port for Scoold
para.port = 8000
# change this to "production" later
para.env = "development"
# the public-facing URL where Scoold is hosted
para.host_url = "http://localhost:8000"
# the URL of Para - can also be "https://paraio.com"
para.endpoint = "http://localhost:8080"
# access key for your Para app
para.access_key = "app:scoold"
# secret key for your Para app
para.secret_key = ""
# the email or identifier of the admin user - check Para user object
para.admins = "[email protected]"

####### Authentication #######
# enable or disable email and password authentication
para.password_auth_enabled = true
# min. password length
para.min_password_length = 8
# min. password strength (1=Good, 2=Strong, 3=Very Strong)
para.min_password_strength = 2
# Session cookie name
para.auth_cookie = "scoold-auth"
# Facebook - create your own Facebook app first!
para.fb_app_id = "123456789"
# Google - create your own Google app first!
para.gp_app_id = "123-abcd.apps.googleusercontent.com"
para.gp_secret = ""

### Misc. ###
# if false, commenting is allowed after 100+ reputation
para.new_users_can_comment = true
# if true, posts by new users require approval from moderator
para.posts_need_approval = false
# reputation needed for posts to be auto-approved
para.posts_rep_threshold = 100
# needed for geolocation filtering of posts
para.gmaps_api_key = ""
# Enable/disable near me feature (geolocation)
para.nearme_feature_enabled = false
# enables syntax highlighting in posts
para.code_highlighting_enabled = true
# If true, the default space will be accessible by everyone
para.is_default_space_public = true
# If true, users can change their profile pictures
para.avatar_edits_enabled = true
# If true, users can change their names
para.name_edits_enabled = true
# Enable/disable webhooks support
para.webhooks_enabled = true
# Enable/disable wiki style answers
para.wiki_answers_enabled = true
# Comment limits
para.max_comments_per_id = 1000
para.max_comment_length = 255
# Post body limit (characters)
para.max_post_length = 20000
# Tags per post limit, must be < 100
para.max_tags_per_post = 5
# Sets the default tag for new questions
para.default_question_tag = "question"
# Enable/disable numeric pagination (< 1 2 3...N >)
para.numeric_pagination_enabled = false
# Selects the default language to load on startup, defaults to 'en'
para.default_language_code = ""
# Enable/disable basic HTML tags in the text editor
para.html_in_markdown_enabled = false

On startup, Scoold will try to connect to Para 10 times, with a 10 second interval between retries. After that it will fail and the settings will not be persisted. If you set the maximum number of retries to -1 there will be an infinite number of attempts to connect to Para. These parameters are controlled by:

para.connection_retries_max = 10
para.connection_retry_interval_sec = 10


Tagged Docker images for Scoold are located at erudikaltd/scoold on Docker Hub. It's highly recommended that you pull only release images like :1.42.0 or :latest_stable because the :latest tag can be broken or unstable. The :latest_stable tag always points to the latest release version. First, have your Scoold application.conf configuration file ready in the current directory and run this command:

$ docker run -ti -p 8000:8000 --rm -v $(pwd)/application.conf:/scoold/application.conf \
  -e JAVA_OPTS="-Dconfig.file=/scoold/application.conf" erudikaltd/scoold:latest_stable

For Scoold Pro the images are located in a private registry. You can get access to it once you purchase a Pro license. The run command for Scoold Pro is similar with the only difference being the uploads volume:

$ docker run -ti -p 8000:8000 --rm -v $(pwd)/application.conf:/scoold-pro/application.conf \
  -v scoold-uploads:/scoold-pro/uploads -e JAVA_OPTS="-Dconfig.file=/scoold-pro/application.conf" \

Follow the getting started guide after starting the Para and Scoold containers.

Environment variables

JAVA_OPTS - Java system properties, e.g. -Dpara.port=8000 BOOT_SLEEP - Startup delay, in seconds

Docker Compose

You can start the whole stack, Para + Scoold, with a single command using docker-compose. First, create a new directory and copy [docker-compose.yml](docker-compose.yml) (for Scoold Pro the docker-compose.yml is here) to it from this repository. Also create these files in the same directory:

  1. para-application.conf - containing the Para configuration
  2. scoold-application.conf - containing the Scoold configuration

Example for para-application.conf:

para.env = "production"
para.dao = "H2DAO"

Example for scoold-application.conf:

para.env = "production"
para.app_name = "Scoold"
para.endpoint = "http://para:8080"
para.access_key = "app:scoold"
para.secret_key = "..."

Docker Compose automatically creates DNS names for each of the services. This is why the exemplary scoold-application.conf contains http://para:8080 as the value for para.endpoint. The internal IP of Para will be resolved by Docker automatically.

Then you can start both Scoold and Para with Docker Compose like so:

$ docker-compose up

Follow the quick start guide above to initialize Para and create a new app for Scoold. Once you have the access keys for that app, update scoold-application.conf with those and restart the Para + Scoold Docker stack:

  1. Stop the containers using Ctrl + C
  2. Rerun docker-compose up

The same pair of containers will be run, but this time Scoold has the proper configuration, allowing it to communicate with Para successfully.


There's a Helm chart inside the helm/ folder. First edit helm/scoold/values.yaml and then you can deploy Scoold to Kubernetes with a single command:

cd helm; helm install ./scoold

For more info, read the README at helm/README.md.

Docker registry for Scoold Pro images

If you purchase Scoold Pro you can get access to the private Docker registry hosted on the AWS Elastic Container Registry. Access to the private registry is not given automatically upon purchase - you have to request it. You will then be issued a special access key and secret for AWS ECR. Then execute the following BASH commands (these require AWS CLI v2.x):

  1. Configure AWS CLI to use the new credentials: aws configure
  2. Authenticate Docker with ECR using the temporary access token: aws ecr get-login-password --region eu-west-1 | \ docker login --username AWS --password-stdin 374874639893.dkr.ecr.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
  3. Pull a Scoold Pro image with a specific tag: aws ecr list-images --repository-name scoold-pro docker pull 374874639893.dkr.ecr.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/scoold-pro:{tag}

The :latest tag is not supported but you can use :latest_stable. The command aws get-login-password gives you an access token to the private Docker registry which is valid for 12 hours.

For connecting Kubernetes to AWS ECR, please refer to this article.

In case you don't want to use AWS CLI for logging into the Scoold Pro registry, install the AWS ECR Docker Credentials Helper.

Deploying Scoold to Heroku

One-click deployment


Manual deployment - option 1 (code push)

  1. First, clone this repository and create a new Heroku app
  2. Add Heroku as a Git remote target and push your changes with git push heroku master
  3. Go to the Heroku admin panel, under "Settings", "Reveal Config Vars" and set all the configuration variables shown above but replace all dots in the variable names with underscores, e.g. para.endpoint -> para_endpoint.
  4. Open the app in your browser at https://{appname}.herokuapp.com.

Manual deployment - option 2 (JAR push)

  1. Build the Scoold JAR file or acquire the Scoold Pro JAR package by buying Pro
  2. Download and install the Heroku CLI
  3. Create a Heroku app or use the id of an existing Heroku app where you want Scoold deployed
  4. Add the heroku/jvm and heroku/java buildpacks to your Heroku app from the Settings page
  5. Create a file Procfile containing this line: web: java -Dserver.port=$PORT $JAVA_OPTS -jar scoold-*.jar $JAR_OPTS
  6. Open a terminal in the directory containing the JAR file and execute: $ heroku plugins:install java $ heroku deploy:jar scoold-x.y.z.jar --app myscooldapp Pushing JARs to Heroku is useful in cases where you have an existing Heroku app which hosts a free version of Scoold, deployed through the "one-click" Heroku button, and you want to upgrade it to Scoold Pro.

Configuring Scoold on Heroku

On Heroku you don't have a configuration file, instead you use Heroku's environment variables to configure Scoold. You can add each Scoold configuration property as an environment variable on the Settings page of your Heroku admin page. Click "Reveal Config Vars". Configuration variables (config vars) must not contain dots ".", for example para.endpoint becomes para_endpoint. You must replace every dot with an underscore in order to convert a Scoold configuration property to a Heroku environment variable.

It's also helpful to install the Heroku CLI tool. Using the CLI you can watch the Scoold logs with:

$ heroku logs --tail --app myscooldapp

Or you can restart your dyno with:

$ heroku restart --app myscooldapp

Deploying Scoold to DigitalOcean

  1. Create a droplet running Ubuntu and SSH into it
  2. Create a user ubuntu with adduser ubuntu
  3. Execute (as root) wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Erudika/scoold/master/installer.sh && bash installer.sh
  4. Copy the configuration file to your droplet: scp application.conf [email protected]:/home/ubuntu
  5. Restart Scoold with ssh [email protected] "systemctl restart scoold.service"
  6. Go to and verify that Scoold is running (use the correct IP address of your droplet)
  7. Configure SSL on DigitalOcean or install nginx + letsencrypt on your droplet (see instructions below)

Deploying Scoold to AWS


  1. Click the button above
  2. Choose "Linux", "OS only", "Ubuntu 18.04 LTS"
  3. Click "+ Add launch script" and copy/paste the contents of installer.sh
  4. Download the default SSH key pair or upload your own
  5. Choose the 512MB instance or larger (1GB recommended)
  6. Wait for the instance to start and open the IP address in your browser at port 8000

Elatic Beanstalk

  1. Clone this repo and change directory to it
  2. Generate a WAR package with mvn -Pwar package
  3. Create a new Beanstalk web app
  4. Upload the WAR package target/scoold-x.y.z.war to Beanstalk, modify any additional options and hit "Create"

Authentication with Amazon Cognito

Scoold is fully compatible with Amazon Cognito because Cognito is just another OAuth 2.0 service provider. Here's how to configure Scoold to work with Amazon Cognito:

  1. Create a Cognito user pool (if you don't have one already)
  2. Create a Cognito App client with the OAuth 2.0 authorization code grant enabled:
  3. Create a Cognito login subdomain for your app client like this: https://scoold.auth.eu-west-1.amazoncognito.com
  4. Edit the Scoold configuration file application.conf and add a new OAuth 2.0 authentication provider: ini para.oa2_app_id = "cognito_app_client_id" para.oa2_secret = "cognito_app_client_secret" para.security.oauth.authz_url = "https://scoold.auth.eu-west-1.amazoncognito.com/login" para.security.oauth.token_url = "https://scoold.auth.eu-west-1.amazoncognito.com/oauth2/token" para.security.oauth.profile_url = "https://scoold.auth.eu-west-1.amazoncognito.com/oauth2/userInfo" para.security.oauth.provider = "Continue with Cognito"
  5. Restart Scoold and login with a user from your Cognito user pool

Make sure you whitelist your Para authentication endpoint with Cognito https://para_url/oauth2_auth.

Deploying Scoold to Azure

Deploy to Azure

  1. Click the button above
  2. Fill in the required parameters
  3. Launch the container
  4. Go to your container and press "Connect" using /bin/sh
  5. In the terminal type in vi application.conf, hit i and paste in your configuration
  6. Hit Esc and type in :wq then restart your container Another option is to attach a secret volume to your container, containing the configuration. It should be mounted as /scoold/application.conf.

Deploying Scoold to Google App Engine

  1. Clone this repo and change directory to it
  2. Create a project in the Google Cloud Platform Console
  3. Install the Google Cloud SDK
  4. Delete Dockerfile and app.yml
  5. Edit app.gae.yaml to suit your needs
  6. Deploy it with gcloud preview app deploy app.gae.yaml

Deploying Scoold to a servlet container

The instructions for Tomcat in particular are:

  1. Generate a WAR package with mvn -Pwar package
  2. Rename the WAR package to ROOT.war if you want it deployed to the root context or leave it as is
  3. Put the WAR package in Tomcat/webapps/ & start Tomcat
  4. Put application.conf in Tomcat/webapps/scoold-folder/WEB-INF/classes/ & restart Tomcat

Scoold is compatible with Tomcat 9+.

Deploying Scoold under a specific context path

To deploy Scoold at a different path instead of the root path, set para.context_path = "/newpath. The default value for this setting is blank, meaning Scoold will be deployed at the root directory.

Migrating from one Para deployment to another

There are situations where you want to transfer your data from one Para server to another. This may be because you decided to switch databases or hosting providers. This process is made simple with the backup and restore feature in Scoold and Scoold Pro. Simply go to the Administration page and download all your data from the source installation. Then on the target installation go to the Administration page and import the ZIP file which contains the backup.

Important: All data will be overwritten on restore, so it's highly recommended that the target Scoold installation is fresh and containing no data.

When using the default H2 database, you can also copy the ./data directory to the new installation or just copy all *.db files. The data directory also contains Lucene index folders for each app, e.g. ./data/scoold-lucene. These folders can also be moved and copied or even deleted. You can easily restore the Lucene index for a Para app by running a rebuild index task from the para-cli tool. Here's how to rebuild the root app para and a child app scoold with just two simple commands:

$ npm i -g para-cli
$ para-cli rebuild-index --endpoint "http://localhost:8080" --accessKey "app:para" --secretKey "secret1"
$ para-cli rebuild-index --endpoint "http://localhost:8080" --accessKey "app:scoold" --secretKey "secret2"

Migrating from Stack Overflow for Teams to Scoold

  1. Start Scoold and login as admin
  2. Download your data archive from Stack Overflow by browsing to 'Admin settings -> Account info -> Download data'
  3. On Scoold's Administration page click 'Import' and select the Stack Overflow archive (.zip)
  4. Check "This archive was exported from Stack Overflow" and click import

All the data for your team on Stack Overflow, except for user badges, will be imported into Scoold.

Upgrading from Scoold to Scoold Pro

You can seamlessly upgrade from Scoold to Scoold Pro without changing the configuration or anything else in your infrastructure. The process is very simple:

  1. Get your Scoold Pro package (JAR or WAR)
  2. Stop (undeploy) Scoold and replace its package with the Scoold Pro package
  3. Start Scoold Pro (or redeploy your Scoold Pro WAR file)

Content-Security-Policy header

This header is enabled by default for enhanced security. It can be disabled with para.csp_header_enabled = false. The default value is modified through para.csp_header = "new_value". The default CSP header is:

default-src 'self';
base-uri 'self';
connect-src 'self' scoold.com www.google-analytics.com www.googletagmanager.com accounts.google.com;
frame-src 'self' accounts.google.com staticxx.facebook.com;
font-src cdnjs.cloudflare.com fonts.gstatic.com fonts.googleapis.com;
style-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' fonts.googleapis.com cdnjs.cloudflare.com static.scoold.com accounts.google.com;
img-src 'self' https: data:;
object-src 'none;
report-uri /reports/cspv;
script-src 'unsafe-inline' https: 'nonce-{{nonce}}' 'strict-dynamic';

The placeholder {{nonce}} will get replaced by the CSP nonce value used for whitelisting scripts.

Note: If you get CSP violation errors, check your para.host_url and para.cdn_url configuration, or edit the value of para.csp_header.

Additionally, there are 4 options to extend the values of connect-src, frame-src, font-src and style-src respectively:

para.csp_connect_sources = "connect-domain1.com connect-domain2.com"
para.csp_frame_sources = "frame-domain1.com frame-domain2.com"
para.csp_font_sources = "font-domain1.com font-domain2.com"
para.csp_style_sources = "style-domain1.com style-domain2.com"

You can also enable or disable CSP violation reports (visible only to admins) by setting para.csp_reports_enabled = true. Keep in mind that if your website has a lot of traffic, this will result in hundreds of new reports being created each hour.

External scripts and JS snippets

You can append external scripts and JS snippets to the end of the page by setting the para.external_scripts property. Scripts are loaded in alphabetical order based on their key.

para.external_scripts.myscript1 = "https://mydomain.com/script.js"
# Base64 encoded long JavaScript snippet
para.external_scripts.myscript2 = "J2Y2M3VlcH .... enZ2OScpOw=="
# Short raw JS snippet
para.external_scripts.myscript3 = "var x = 5; console.log('x is', x);"

Important: Watch out for console errors in the browser after you add external scripts. In such cases you might have to modify the frame-src or connect-src portions of the CSP header (see the 4 options above).

If 3rd party cookie consent is enabled (for GDPR, CCPA), all external scripts will be disabled until the user gives their consent. You can bypass that by prefixing its key with "bypassconsent", e.g. para.external_scripts.bypassconsent_myscript2.

Additionally, you can put scripts in the <head> element by prefixing their name with "head", for example: para.external_scripts.head_script.

External CSS stylesheets

You can inline short snippets of CSS using para.inline_css. Keep in mind that any inlined CSS rules will override any of the previously declared stylesheets, including the main stylesheet rules.

para.inline_css = "body { color: #abcdef; }"

Another option is to add external stylesheets to the website:

para.external_styles = "https://mydomain.com/style1.css, https://mydomain.com/style2.css"

The last option is to completely replace the main stylesheet with a custom one. It's a good idea to copy the default CSS rules from /styles/style.css and modify those, then upload the new custom stylesheet file to a public location and set:

para.stylesheet_url = "https://public.cdn.com/custom.css"

The order in which CSS rules are loaded is this (each overrides the previous ones):

  1. main stylesheet, 2. external stylesheets, 3. inline CSS or custom theme

Serving static files from a CDN

Scoold will serve static files (JS, CSS, fonts) from the same domain where it is deployed. You can configure the para.cdn_url to enable serving those files from a CDN. The value of the CDN URL must not end in "/".

SMTP configuration

Scoold uses the JavaMail API to send emails. If you want Scoold to send notification emails you should add the following SMTP settings to your config file:

# system email address
para.support_email = "[email protected]"

para.mail.host = "smtp.example.com"
para.mail.port = 587
para.mail.username = "[email protected]"
para.mail.password = "password"
para.mail.tls = true
para.mail.ssl = false

# enable SMTP debug logging
para.mail.debug = true

The email template is located in src/main/resources/emails/notify.html.

For Gmail you have to turn on "Less secure app access" in your Google account settings. There's no need to configure mail.tls or mail.ssl, just set the mail.host to smtp.gmail.com and your Gmail email and password.

Email verification

You can enable or disable the email verification step by setting para.security.allow_unverified_emails = true (in Scoold's application.conf). By default, email verification is turned off when Scoold is running in development mode. This will allow new users to register with fake emails and Scoold will not send them a confirmation email. It's useful for testing purposes or in certain situations where you want to programmatically sign up users who don't have an email.

Welcome email customization

To customize the message sent when a new user signs up with Scoold, modify these properties in your Scoold configuration file:

para.emails.welcome_text1 = "You are now part of {0} - a friendly Q&A community..."
para.emails.welcome_text2 = "To get started, simply navigate to the "Ask question" page and ask a question..."
para.emails.welcome_text3 = "Best, <br>The {0} team<br><br>"

Social login

For authenticating with Facebook or Google, you only need your Google client id (e.g. 123-abcd.apps.googleusercontent.com), or Facebook app id (only digits). For all the other providers, GitHub, LinkedIn, Twitter, Slack, Amazon and Microsoft, you need to set both the app id and secret key. Note: if the credentials are blank, the sign in button is hidden for that provider.

# Facebook
para.fb_app_id = ""
# Google
para.gp_app_id = ""
para.gp_secret = ""
# GitHub
para.gh_app_id = ""
para.gh_secret = ""
# LinkedIn
para.in_app_id = ""
para.in_secret = ""
# Twitter
para.tw_app_id = ""
para.tw_secret = ""
# Microsoft
para.ms_app_id = ""
para.ms_secret = ""
para.ms_tenant_id = ""
# Slack
para.sl_app_id = ""
para.sl_secret = ""
# Amazon
para.az_app_id = ""
para.az_secret = ""

You also need to set your host URL when running Scoold in production:

para.host_url = "https://your.scoold.url"

This is required for authentication requests to be redirected back to the origin.

Important: You must to whitelist the Para endpoints in the admin consoles of each authentication provider. For example, for GitHub you need to whitelist https://parahost.com/github_auth as a callback URL (redirect URL). Same thing applies for the other providers, except Facebook. For these two providers you need to whitelist these two URLs, containing the public address of Scoold:


For locally hosted authentication providers (SAML, LDAP, Mattermost, etc.) the authentication endpoints will also be pointing to the URL of your Scoold server.

If you skip this step, authentication will most likely not work.

In some cases (see related issue) you want to have Scoold connect to Para which is hosted somewhere on your local network and logging in with some authentication providers, like Microsoft, doesn't work. In such cases you would see an error "redirect_uri mismatch" or "invalid redirect_uri - must start with https:// or http://localhost". To make it work you can set para.security.redirect_uri = "https://public-para.host" while still keeping para.endpoint = "http://local-ip:8080".

OAuth 2.0 login

You can authenticate users against any OAuth 2.0/OpenID Connect server through the generic OAuth 2 filter in Para. Make sure you whitelist your Para authentication endpoint https://para_url/oauth2_auth as a trusted redirect URL.

Here are all the options which you can set in the Scoold configuration file:

# minimal setup
para.oa2_app_id = ""
para.oa2_secret = ""
para.security.oauth.authz_url = "https://your-idp.com/login"
para.security.oauth.token_url = "https://your-idp.com/token"
para.security.oauth.profile_url = "https://your-idp.com/userinfo"
para.security.oauth.scope = "openid email profile"

# extra options
para.security.oauth.accept_header = ""
para.security.oauth.domain = "paraio.com"
para.security.oauth.parameters.id = "sub"
para.security.oauth.parameters.picture = "picture"
para.security.oauth.parameters.email = "email"
para.security.oauth.parameters.name = "name"
para.security.oauth.parameters.given_name = "given_name"
para.security.oauth.parameters.family_name = "family_name"

# Sets the string on the login button
para.security.oauth.provider = "Continue with OpenID Connect"

# [PRO] Enable/disable access token delegation
para.security.oauth.token_delegation_enabled = false

# [PRO] Assigns spaces to each user from the OAuth2 claim 'spaces'
para.security.oauth.spaces_attribute_name = "spaces"

# [PRO] Assigns moderator/admin roles from the OAuth2 claim 'roles'
para.security.oauth.groups_attribute_name = "roles"
para.security.oauth.mods_equivalent_claim_value = "mod"
para.security.oauth.admins_equivalent_claim_value = "admin"
# if specified, users will be denied access when not members of group
para.security.oauth.users_equivalent_claim_value = ""

# Enable/disable avatar fetching from IDP
para.security.oauth.download_avatars = false

Note: When assigning roles from OAuth2 claims, you can explicitly specify a subset of allowed users who can access Scoold by setting para.security.oauth.users_equivalent_claim_value. For example, if the value of that is set to "scoold_user", and a user having the claim of "roles": ["sales_rep"] tries to login, they will be denied access. By default, all OAuth2 users are allowed to log into Scoold.

Access token delegation is an additional security feature, where the access token from the identity provider (IDP) is stored in the user's idpAccessToken field and validated on each authentication request with the IDP. If the IDP revokes a delegated access token, then that user would automatically be logged out from Scoold Pro and denied access immediately.

You can add two additional custom OAuth 2.0/OpenID connect providers called "second" and "third". Here's what the settings look like for the "second" provider:

# minimal setup (second provider)
para.oa2second_app_id = ""
para.oa2second_secret = ""
para.security.oauthsecond.authz_url = "https://your-idp.com/login"
para.security.oauthsecond.token_url = "https://your-idp.com/token"
para.security.oauthsecond.profile_url = "https://your-idp.com/userinfo"
para.security.oauthsecond.scope = "openid email profile"

# extra options (second provider)
para.security.oauthsecond.accept_header = ""
para.security.oauthsecond.domain = "paraio.com"
para.security.oauthsecond.parameters.id = "sub"
para.security.oauthsecond.parameters.picture = "picture"
para.security.oauthsecond.parameters.email = "email"
para.security.oauthsecond.parameters.name = "name"
para.security.oauthsecond.parameters.given_name = "given_name"
para.security.oauthsecond.parameters.family_name = "family_name"

# Sets the string on the login button (second provider)
para.security.oauthsecond.provider = "Continue with Second OAuth 2.0 provider"

# Enable/disable access token delegation (second provider)
para.security.oauthsecond.token_delegation_enabled = false

For the "third" OAuth 2.0 provider it's the same configuration but replace "second" with "third".

Note: If Para and Scoold are hosted both on the same server and your Para instance is not publicly accessible from the Internet, you need to expose localhost:8080/oauth2_auth by configuring a proxy server to forward yourdomain/oauth2_auth requests to localhost:8080/oauth2_auth. If Para is publicly accessible this step is not necessary.

Sign in with Okta

This is an example guide for configuring Scoold to work with an authentication provider like Okta. The steps are similar for other providers, such as Auth0.

  1. Create a new client application (OAuth 2 client)
    • Add http://para-host:8080/oauth2_auth as a login redirect URI
    • Use the "Authorization Code" flow
    • Select that you want client credentials
  2. Copy the client credentials (client id, secret) to your Scoold application.conf file:

    para.oa2_app_id = "0oa123...."
    para.oa2_secret = "secret"
    para.security.oauth.authz_url = "https://${yourOktaDomain}/oauth2/v1/authorize"
    para.security.oauth.token_url = "https://${yourOktaDomain}/oauth2/v1/token"
    para.security.oauth.profile_url = "https://${yourOktaDomain}/oauth2/v1/userinfo"
    para.security.oauth.scope = "openid email profile"
    para.security.oauth.provider = "Continue with Okta"

    Make sure to replace ${yourOktaDomain} with your actual Okta domain name.

  3. Restart Scoold and login with an Okta user account

Sign in with Azure Active Directory (AAD)

This is an example guide for configuring Scoold to use Azure Active Directory (aka Microsoft Identity Platform) as its authentication provider. The steps are similar to other OAuth2.0 identity providers setup.

  1. Go to Azure Portal
  2. Navigate to your Azure Acive Directory tenant
  3. Go to App registrations (in the left sidebar, under Manage section)
  4. Choose New registration
  5. Put the name of the new app, and select supported account types (accoding to your requirements)
  6. Provide the Redirect URI - it needs to point to Para's /oauth2_auth endpoint (make sure that this URL is accessible from your users' devices). For development purposes http://localhost:8080/oauth2_auth is probably sufficient.
  7. Click Register.
  8. Copy the Application (client) ID that you should be seeing now at the top - it is the value for para.oa2_app_id setting in your configuration.
  9. Navigate to Certificates and Secrets in the sidebar on the left.
  10. Create a new secret by clicking on New client secret.
  11. Copy the generated secret (you will not be able to see that secret anymore on Azure Portal) - it is the value for para.oa2_secret setting in your configuration.
  12. Fill in the configuration of Scoold:
para.oa2_app_id = "e538..."
para.oa2_secret = "secret"
para.security.oauth.authz_url = "https://login.microsoftonline.com/${yourAADTenantId}/oauth2/v2.0/authorize"
para.security.oauth.token_url = "https://login.microsoftonline.com/${yourAADTenantId}/oauth2/v2.0/token"
para.security.oauth.profile_url = "https://graph.microsoft.com/oidc/userinfo"
para.security.oauth.scope = "openid email profile"
para.security.oauth.provider = "Continue with AAD"

Make sure to replace ${yourAADTenantId} with your actual AAD tenant ID.

  1. Restart Scoold and login with an AAD user account

LDAP configuration

LDAP authentication is initiated with a request like this POST /signin?provider=ldap&access_token=username:password. There are several configuration options which Para needs in order to connect to your LDAP server. These are the defaults:

# minimal setup
para.security.ldap.server_url = "ldap://localhost:8389/"
para.security.ldap.base_dn = "dc=springframework,dc=org"
para.security.ldap.user_dn_pattern = "uid={0}"
# add this ONLY if you are connecting to Active Directory
para.security.ldap.active_directory_domain = ""

# extra options - change only if necessary
para.security.ldap.user_search_base = ""
para.security.ldap.user_search_filter = "(cn={0})"
para.security.ldap.password_attribute = "userPassword"
para.security.ldap.username_as_name = false

# Sets the string on the login button (PRO)
para.security.ldap.provider = "Continue with LDAP"

# automatic groups mapping
para.security.ldap.mods_group_node = ""
para.security.ldap.admins_group_node = ""

The search filter syntax allows you to use the placeholder {0} which gets replaced with the person's username.

You can also map LDAP DN nodes to Para user groups. For example, with the following configuration:

para.security.ldap.mods_group_node = "ou=Moderators"
para.security.ldap.admins_group_node = "cn=Admins"

LDAP users with a DN uid=Gordon,ou=Moderators,dc=domain,dc=org will automatically become part of the mods group, i.e. groups: "mods". Similarly, if their DN contains cn=Admins they will become administrators, i.e. groups: "admins".

Active Directory LDAP

For Active Directory LDAP, the search filter defaults to (&(objectClass=user)(userPrincipalName={0})). A good alternative search filter would be (&(objectClass=user)(sAMAccountName={1})). Keep in mind that the domain you put in the configuration is actually the UPN suffix which gets appended to the username as [email protected] if the supplied login username doesn't end with a domain. The domain has nothing to do with the AD domain or the location of the AD server.

The only valid configuration properties for AD are: user_search_filter, base_dn, server_url and active_directory_domain - everything else is ignored so don't put it in the config file at all!

Here's a working LDAP configuration for AD:

para.security.ldap.user_search_filter = "(&(objectClass=user)(sAMAccountName={1}))"
para.security.ldap.base_dn = "ou=dev,dc=scoold,dc=com"
para.security.ldap.server_url = "ldap://"
para.security.ldap.active_directory_domain = "scoold.com"

For the above configuration the following logins should work, given that a user joe exists:

As you can see the domain part is actually ignored because it is irrelevant. You cannot bind an AD user with their email. You can bind them based on their username a.k.a. sAMAccountName. If the user has an email address where the alias is the same as the sAMAccountName but the domain is different, then the login will succeed. If the user above has an email [email protected] then the login with that email will fail because a bind is not possible, and the LDAP search request will return no results.

The syntax for the search filter allows you to use the placeholders {0} (replaced with [email protected]) and {1} (replaced with username only).

Here's an example Active Directory configuration (note that any other settings than the ones below will be ignored):

para.security.ldap.server_url = "ldap://server:389"
para.security.ldap.active_directory_domain = "domain.com"
para.security.ldap.user_search_filter = "userPrincipalName={0}"
para.security.ldap.base_dn = "ou=dev,dc=domain,dc=com"


Scoold supports authentication with a FreeIPA server over LDAP. Here's a sample configuration for the free demo instance provided by FreeIPA - ipa.demo1.freeipa.org:

para.security.ldap.server_url = "ldap://ipa.demo1.freeipa.org:389"
para.security.ldap.base_dn = "cn=users,cn=accounts,dc=demo1,dc=freeipa,dc=org"
para.security.ldap.user_dn_pattern = "uid={0}"

To test this, try logging in with user manager and password Secret123.

Local (internal) LDAP authentication

PRO Scoold Pro can authenticate users with an internal (local) LDAP server, even if your Para backend is hosted outside of your network (like ParaIO.com). This adds an extra layer of security and flexibility and doesn't require a publicly accessible LDAP server. To enable this feature, add this to your configuration:

para.security.ldap.is_local = true
# required for passwordless authentication with Para
para.app_secret_key = "change_to_long_random_string"

Note that the secret key above is not the same as your Para secret key! You have to generate a random string for that (min. 32 chars).

To print out debug information about LDAP requests, start Para with -Dlogging.level.org.springframework.ldap=DEBUG. If you are connecting to an internal LDAP server, add the same system property to the Scoold command line.

Please, read the LDAP docs for Para to learn more about the settings above.

SAML configuration

PRO First, you have to setup Para as a SAML service provider using the config below. Then you can exchange SAML metadata with your SAML identity provider (IDP). The SP metadata endpoint is /saml_metadata/{appid}. For example, if your Para endpoint is paraio.com and your appid is scoold, then the metadata is available at https://paraio.com/saml_metadata/scoold.

SAML authentication is initiated by sending users to the Para SAML authentication endpoint /saml_auth/{appid}. For example, if your Para endpoint is paraio.com and your appid is scoold, then the user should be sent to https://paraio.com/saml_auth/scoold. Para (the service provider) will handle the request and redirect to the SAML IDP. Finally, upon successful authentication, the user is redirected back to https://paraio.com/saml_auth/scoold which is also the assertion consumer service (ACS).

Note: The X509 certificate and private key must be encoded as Base64 in the configuration file. Additionally, the private key must be in the PKCS#8 format (---BEGIN PRIVATE KEY---). To convert from PKCS#1 to PKCS#8, use this:

openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -inform pem -nocrypt -in sp.rsa_key -outform pem -out sp.pem

There are lots of configuration options but Para needs only a few of those in order to successfully authenticate with your SAML IDP (listed in the first rows below).

# minimal setup
# IDP metadata URL, e.g. https://idphost/idp/shibboleth
para.security.saml.idp.metadata_url = ""

# SP endpoint, e.g. https://paraio.com/saml_auth/scoold
para.security.saml.sp.entityid = ""

# SP public key as Base64(x509 certificate)
para.security.saml.sp.x509cert = ""

# SP private key as Base64(PKCS#8 key)
para.security.saml.sp.privatekey = ""

# attribute mappings (usually required)
# e.g. urn:oid:0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.1
para.security.saml.attributes.id = ""
# e.g. urn:oid:0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.3
para.security.saml.attributes.email = ""
# e.g. urn:oid:
para.security.saml.attributes.name = ""

# extra options (optional)
# this is usually the same as the "EntityId"
para.security.saml.sp.assertion_consumer_service.url = ""
para.security.saml.sp.nameidformat = ""

# IDP metadata is usually automatically fetched
para.security.saml.idp.entityid = ""
para.security.saml.idp.single_sign_on_service.url = ""
para.security.saml.idp.x509cert = ""

para.security.saml.security.authnrequest_signed = false
para.security.saml.security.want_messages_signed = false
para.security.saml.security.want_assertions_signed = false
para.security.saml.security.want_assertions_encrypted = false
para.security.saml.security.want_nameid_encrypted = false
para.security.saml.security.sign_metadata = false
para.security.saml.security.want_xml_validation = true
para.security.saml.security.signature_algorithm = ""

para.security.saml.attributes.firstname = ""
para.security.saml.attributes.picture = ""
para.security.saml.attributes.lastname = ""
para.security.saml.domain = "paraio.com"

# Sets the string on the login button
para.security.saml.provider = "Continue with SAML"

Scoold Pro can authenticate users with an internal (local) SAML provider, even if your Para backend is hosted outside of your network (like ParaIO.com). This adds an extra layer of security and flexibility and doesn't require your SAML endpoints to be publicly accessible. To enable this feature, add this to your configuration:

para.security.saml.is_local = true
# required for passwordless authentication with Para
para.app_secret_key = "change_to_long_random_string"

Note that the secret key above is not the same as your Para secret key! You have to generate a random string for that (min. 32 chars).

Custom authentication (Single Sign-on)

PRO Para supports custom authentication providers through its "passwordless" filter. This means that you can send any user info to Para and it will authenticate that user automatically without passwords. The only verification done here is on this secret key value which you provide in your Scoold Pro configuration file:

para.app_secret_key = "change_to_long_random_string"

This key is used to protect requests to the passwordless filter and it's different from the Para secret key for your app. Here's the basic authentication flow:

  1. A user wants to sign in to Scoold Pro and clicks a button
  2. The button redirects the user to a remote login page you or your company set up.
  3. The user enters their credentials and logs in.
  4. If the credentials are valid, you send back a special JSON Web Token (JWT) to Scoold with the user's basic information.
  5. Scoold verifies the token and the user is signed in to Scoold

The JWT must contain the following claims:

  • email - user's email address
  • name - user's display name
  • identifier - a unique user id in the format custom:123
  • appid - the app id (optional)

The JWT is signed with the value of para.app_secret_key and should have a short validity period (e.g. 10 min). The JWT should also contain the claims iat and exp and, optionally, nbf. Supported signature algorithms for the JWT are HS256, HS384 or HS512. Once you generate the JWT on your backend (step 4 above), redirect the successful login request back to Scoold:

GET https://scoold-host/signin/success?jwt=eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiI..&passwordless=true

The UI button initiating the authentication flow above can be customized like this:

para.security.custom.provider = "Continue with Acme Co."
# location of your company's login page
para.security.custom.login_url = ""

There's an example login page implementing this sort of authentication.

Login and logout redirects

You can configure Scoold to redirect users straight to the identity provider when they click the "Sign in" button. This feature is disabled by default:

para.redirect_signin_to_idp = false

This works only for social login identity providers (except Facebook) and SAML. It won't work for LDAP or basic password authentication. When enabled and combined with para.is_default_space_public = false, unauthenticated users will be sent directly to the IDP without seeing the "Sign in" page or any other page on Scoold.

You can also configure users to be redirected to an external location when they log out:

para.signout_url = "https://homepage.com"

SCIM 2.0 support

PRO Scoold Pro has a dedicated SCIM API endpoint for automatic user provisioning at http://localhost:8000/scim. This allows you to manage Scoold Pro users externally, on an identity management platform of your choice. Here's an example configuration for enabling SCIM in Scoold:

para.scim_enabled = true
para.scim_secret_token = "secret"
para.scim_map_groups_to_spaces = true
para.scim_allow_provisioned_users_only = false

By default, Scoold Pro will create a space for each SCIM Group it receives from your identity platform and assign the members of that group to the corresponding space. Just make sure that groups are pushed from your IdM platform to Scoold.

If para.scim_allow_provisioned_users_only = true, user accounts which have not been SCIM-provisioned will be blocked even if those users are members of your identity pool. This allows system administrators to provision a subset of the user pool in Scoold.

Important: When users are provisioned from a SCIM client (Azure AD, Okta, OneLogin, etc.) ensure that the SCIM userName attribute is unique. This means that when a SCIM client sends an update to Scoold Pro, the user will be matched based on their userName.

You can also map groups from your identity pool to Para user groups. For example:

para.security.scim.mods_group_equivalent_to = "Moderators"
para.security.scim.admins_group_equivalent_to = "Administrators"

Spaces (a.k.a. Teams)

Spaces are a way to organize users and questions into isolated groups. There's a default space, which is publicly accessible by default. Each user can belong to one or more spaces, but a question can only belong to a single space. Permission to access a space is given by an administrator. You can bulk edit users' spaces and also move a question to a different space.

By default there's a public "default" space where all questions go. When you create a new space and assign users to it they will still see all the other questions when they switch to the "default" space. To make the default space private set para.is_default_space_public = false.

PRO In Scoold PRO you can create as many space as you need. The open source version is limited to 10 spaces. Also in PRO you can automatically assign multiple spaces to new users, whereas in the OSS version you can only assign one.

If you want to assign space(s) to new users automatically, add this to your configuration:

# put space ids here, the "scooldspace:" prefix is optional
para.auto_assign_spaces = "my-space-one,my-other-space"

You can assign both the default space and a custom space to new users (values can contain spaces):

para.auto_assign_spaces = "default,My Custom Space"

When using the option above, new spaces are added to existing spaces for each user. You can configure auto-assigned spaces to overwrite the existing user spaces (like the "default" space, assigned to everyone) by setting:

para.reset_spaces_on_new_assignment = true

So when you have that set to false and you have configured Scoold to assign custom spaces to new users (e.g. "my-space-1" and "my-space-2"), those users will become members of "my-space-1", "my-space-2" and the default space. If the value is true, the default space gets overwritten by the custom spaces you have specified in para.auto_assign_spaces and new users will only be members of "my-space-1" and "my-space-2".

This is turned on for all users authenticated with LDAP, SAML or OAuth 2.0.

Alternatively, Scoold Pro can have spaces and roles delegated to users from an OpenID Connect/OAuth 2.0 identity provider. You have to enable access token delegation with para.security.oauth.token_delegation_enabled = true and Scoold Pro will try to obtain spaces from a custom attribute like spaces. Such custom attributes can be configured in the IDP and pushed to clients (Scoold Pro) embedded in access tokens. If you want to change the name of the custom attribute supplied by your IDP, set para.security.oauth.spaces_attribute_name, which by default is equal to spaces. The value of that attribute should contain comma-separated list of spaces. If the spaces pushed from the IDP do not exist, Scoold will create them for you.


Webhooks are enabled by default in Scoold. To disable this functionality set para.webhooks_enabled = false. If you are self-hosting Para, you need to also enable webhooks there using the same configuration option. You can add or remove webhooks in the "Administration" page. Webhooks can also be disabled and they will be disabled automatically when the target URL doesn't respond to requests from Para.

Para will notify your target URL with a POST request containing the payload and a X-Webhook-Signature header. This header should be verified by the receiving party by computing Base64(HmacSHA256(payload, secret)).

You can subscribe to custom events in Scoold using the REST API. This makes it easy to integrate Scoold with services like Zapier because it implements the RESTHooks best practices.

For more details about webhooks, please read the Para docs on webhooks.

Domain-restricted user registrations

You can restrict signups only to users from a particular identity domain, say acme-corp.com. To do so, set the following configuration property:

para.approved_domains_for_signups = "acme-corp.com"

Then a user with email [email protected] will be allowed to login (the identity provider is irrelevant), but user [email protected] will be denied access.

PRO In Scoold PRO this setting can also contain a comma-separated list of identity domains:

para.approved_domains_for_signups = "acme-corp.com,gmail.com"


You can specify the user with administrative privileges in your application.conf file:

para.admins = "[email protected]"

PRO In Scoold PRO you can have multiple admin users by specifying a comma-separated list of user identifiers. This works both for new and existing users.

para.admins = "[email protected],fb:1023405345366,gh:1234124"

If you remove users who are already admins from the list of admins para.admins, they will be demoted to regular users. Similarly, existing regular users will be promoted to admins if they appear in the list above.

Anonymous posts

PRO This feature is enabled with para.anonymous_posts_enabled = true. It allows everyone to ask questions and write replies, without having a Scoold account. Posting to the "Feedback" section will also be open without requiring users to sign in. This feature is disabled by default.

Anonymous profiles

People may wish to make their profile details anonymous from the Settings page. To allow this option set:

para.profile_anonimity_enabled = true

Enabling the "Feedback" section

You can enable or disable the "Feedback" page where people can discuss topics about the website itself or submit general feedback. This section is disabled by default and can be activated with para.feedback_enabled = true.

LaTeX/MathML support and advanced highlighting

PRO You can enable this feature by setting para.mathjax_enabled = true. Then you can use MathML expressions by surrounding them with $$ signs, e.g. $$ \frac {1}{2} $$ By default, MathJax is disabled.

The Prism syntax highlighter is included and it supports many different languages. You need to specify the language for each code block if you want the highlighting to be more accurate (see all supported languages). For example:

var dict = new Dictionary<string>();

File uploads

PRO Files can be uploaded to the local file system or to cloud storage. File uploads are enabled by default in Scoold Pro. To disable file uploads altogether set para.uploads_enabled = false. To protect uploaded files from unauthenticated access, set para.uploads_require_auth = true.

To upload a file just drag & drop the file onto the post editor area. A link will automatically appear when the upload is finished. Uploads can fail either because their size is too large or because their format is not in the white list of permitted formats (documents, images, archives, audio or video). You can extend the list of permitted file types by configuring:

para.allowed_upload_formats = "yml,py:text/plain,json:application/json"

If the MIME type is not specified in the format extension:mime_type, the default text/plain is used when serving these files.

Profile pictures (avatars) can also be changed by dragging a new image on top of the existing profile picture on a user's /profile page. For best results, use a square image here.

Local storage

Local file storage is used by default. To configure the directory on the server where files will be stored, set:

para.file_uploads_dir = "uploads"

Imgur storage provider

To use Imgur for storing images, specify your Imgur API client id:

para.imgur_client_id = "x23e8t0askdj"

Keep in mind that only images can be uploaded to Imgur and other restrictions may apply.

AWS S3 storage provider

To use S3 for file storage, specify the name of the S3 bucket where you want the files to be uploaded. AWS credentials and region settings are optional as they can be picked up from the environment automatically.

# required
para.s3_bucket = ""
# path within the bucket (object prefix)
para.s3_path = "uploads"
# these are optional
para.s3_region = ""
para.s3_access_key = ""
para.s3_secret_key = ""

Azure Blob storage provider

To use Azure Blob storage for storing uploaded files, first you'll need to create a storage account and get a SAS URL and token. Scoold Pro will need full permissions to your storage container so it's best that you dedicate a container just for Scoold files.

# required
para.blob_storage_account = ""
para.blob_storage_token = ""
# name of the container
para.blob_storage_container = ""
# path prefix within a container (subfolder)
para.blob_storage_path = "uploads"

Slack integration

Scoold PRO integrates with Slack on a number of levels. First, Scoold users can sign in with Slack. They can also use slash commands to search and post questions. Also Scoold can notify Slack users when they are mentioned on Scoold. Finally, Scoold allows you to map spaces to Slack workspaces or channels. By default, each Slack workspace (team) is mapped to a single Scoold space when people sign in with Slack.

Important: Most of the Slack operations require a valid Slack ID stored in Scoold which enables the mapping of Slack users to Scoold accounts and vice versa. Slack IDs are set automatically when a Scoold user signs in with Slack.

The integration endpoint for Slack is /slack - this is where Scoold will accept and process requests from Slack. To enable the Slack integration you need to register for a Slack app first and set para.sl_app_id and para.sl_secret.

Getting started guide for Scoold + Slack.

Here are the configuration properties for Slack:

para.slack.app_id = "SHORT_APPID"
para.slack.map_workspaces_to_spaces = true
para.slack.map_channels_to_spaces = false
para.slack.post_to_space = "workspace|scooldspace:myspace|default"

para.slack.notify_on_new_question = true
para.slack.notify_on_new_answer = true
para.slack.notify_on_new_comment = true
para.slack.dm_on_new_comment = false
para.slack.default_question_tags = "via-slack"
para.slack.auth_enabled = true

Setting para.slack.map_channels_to_spaces will ask for additional permissions, namely channels:read and groups:read. On sign in, Scoold will read all your channels and create spaces from them. The workspace space is always created if para.slack.map_workspaces_to_spaces = true, which is the default setting.

When creating questions from Slack they are posted to the channel workspace by default, if para.slack.map_channels_to_spaces is enabled. For example, in this case, for a team "My Team" and channel "chan", your space will become "My Team #chan". This is controlled by para.slack.post_to_space which is blank by default. If you set it to workspace, then questions will be posted to the "My Team" space. Or you could set a specific Scoold space to post to with para.slack.post_to_space = "scooldspace:myspace". If the value is default then all questions posted from Slack will go to the default space.

You can also create answers to questions from Slack, either from the message action button or by typing in the /scoold ask command. This requires the URL of a specific question you wish to answer.

Clicking the "Ask on Scoold" message action will also save the full message thread on Scoold. The action will create a new question from the first message of the thread and save each reply as an answer on Scoold.

When para.slack.dm_on_new_comment is enabled, Scoold will send a direct message notification to the author of the post on which somebody commented. By default, DMs are turned off and the notification is sent to the channel instead.

Slack authentication can be disabled with para.slack.auth_enabled = false and the "Continue with Slack" button will be hidden away.

Slash commands in Slack

Typing in /scoold help gives you a list of commands available:

  • /scoold - Interact with your Scoold server
  • /scoold ask [text] Ask a question directly, first sentence becomes the title. Example: /scoold ask How does this work? @john I'm having troubles with...
  • /scoold answer [question URL] [answer] Answer a question directly. Example: /scoold answer https://host/question/123 This is my answer to your question, @john.
  • /scoold search [query] Search for questions. Example: /scoold search solution AND quick*
  • /scoold search-people [query] Search for people. Example: /scoold search-people John*
  • /scoold search-tags [query] Search for tags. Example: /scoold search-tags solution*
  • /scoold version Get version information for Scoold and Para.
  • /scoold whoami Get information for your Scoold account.
  • /scoold stats Get general statistics.

Message actions in Slack

Here are the interactive message actions which are currently implemented:

  • create_question - "Ask on Scoold", Creates a new question on Scoold directly from a chat message.
  • create_question_dialog - "Edit & ask on Scoold", Opens up a dialog to edit question before posting.
  • create_answer_dialog - "Answer on Scoold", Opens up a dialog to edit your answer before posting.

These allow you to perform actions from any channel and best of all, these can turn any chat message into a question or answer.

If you get an error "User not authorised to open dialogs" it means that your Scoold user is not logged in via Slack and Scoold doesn't have a Slack access token on record. Simply log into Scoold with Slack and the error should go away.

Mattermost integration

Scoold PRO also integrates with Mattermost. Scoold users can sign in with Mattermost, use slash commands to interact with Scoold and also get in-chat notification for mentions and new posts on Scoold. Scoold allows you to map spaces to Mattermost teams or channels. By default, each Mattermost team is mapped to a single Scoold space when people sign in with Mattermost.

Important: Most of the Mattermost operations require a valid Mattermost ID stored in Scoold which enables the mapping of Mattermost users to Scoold accounts and vice versa. Mattermost IDs are set automatically when a Scoold user signs in with Mattermost.

The integration endpoint for Mattermost is /mattermost - this is where Scoold will accept and process requests from Mattermost. To enable the Mattermost integration you need to enable OAuth 2.0 apps and create one in Mattermost's System Console. Then set para.mm_app_id and para.mm_secret.

Getting started guide for Scoold + Mattermost.

Here are the configuration properties for Mattermost:

para.mattermost.server_url = "http://localhost:8065"
para.mattermost.bot_username = "scoold"
para.mattermost.bot_icon_url = "http://localhost:8000/images/logowhite.png"
para.mattermost.map_workspaces_to_spaces = true
para.mattermost.map_channels_to_spaces = false
para.mattermost.post_to_space = "workspace|scooldspace:myspace|default"

para.mattermost.notify_on_new_question = true
para.mattermost.notify_on_new_answer = true
para.mattermost.notify_on_new_comment = true
para.mattermost.dm_on_new_comment = false
para.mattermost.default_question_tags = "via-mattermost"

Note: Mattermost does not support message actions like in Slack. This means that you can't create a question from a any chat message. The reply dialog box can be opened from a "Reply" button under each question notification message or via the /scoold answer-form command. The dialog box for new questions is opened via the new slash command /scoold ask-form.

All the other slash commands and notifications work just like with Slack and are described above. The Mattermost integration will automatically create a slash command for each channel linked to Scoold on the admin page.

When para.mattermost.dm_on_new_comment is enabled, Scoold will send a direct message notification to the author of the post on which somebody commented. By default, DMs are turned off and the notification is sent to the channel instead.

You can also save a full message thread on Scoold with the command /scoold save {thread_link} - this will create a new question from the first message of the thread and save each reply as an answer on Scoold.

Microsoft Teams integration

Scoold PRO also integrates with Microsoft Teams. Scoold users can sign in with a Microsoft account, use bot commands to interact with Scoold and also get in-chat notification for mentions and new posts on Scoold. Scoold allows you to map spaces to teams or channels. By default, each team in MS Teams is mapped to a single Scoold space when people sign in with Microsoft.

Important: Most of the Teams operations require a valid Microsoft ID stored in your Scoold profile which enables the mapping of Teams users to Scoold accounts and vice versa. Microsoft IDs are added to each profile automatically when a Scoold user signs in with Microsoft.

The integration endpoint for Teams is /teams - this is where Scoold will accept and process requests from MS Teams. To enable the Teams integration you first need to create a new bot for your app. After creating the bot, take note of its ID and client secret and add those to your Scoold configuration file. Then sideload (upload) the Scoold.zip app package in the Teams Developer Portal. The app package can be downloaded from the Administration page after your bot has been created. Also set para.ms_app_id and para.ms_secret as you normally would for an OAuth2 authentication with Microsoft.

Note: Clicking the "Ask on Scoold" message extension button will also save the full message thread on Scoold. The action will create a new question from the first message of the thread and save each reply as an answer on Scoold.

Getting started guide for Scoold + Teams.

Here are the configuration properties for MS Teams:

para.teams.bot_id = ""
para.teams.bot_secret = ""
para.teams.map_workspaces_to_spaces = true
para.teams.map_channels_to_spaces = false
para.teams.post_to_space = "workspace|scooldspace:myspace|default"

para.teams.notify_on_new_question = true
para.teams.notify_on_new_answer = true
para.teams.notify_on_new_comment = true
para.teams.dm_on_new_comment = false
para.teams.default_question_tags = "via-teams"

You can type @Scoold help to get a list of all supported actions. All the other bot commands and notifications work just like with Slack and Mattermost, described above. A bot registration is required for the Teams integration and it has to be created manually from the Teams Developer Portal.

When para.teams.dm_on_new_comment is enabled, Scoold will send a direct message notification to the author of the post on which somebody commented. By default, DMs are turned off and the notification is sent to the channel instead.

Notifications in Slack/Mattermost/Teams

Scoold will notify the channels where you have it installed, whenever a new question or answer is created, and also whenever a user is mentioned. To install the application on multiple channels go to the Administration page and click one of the "Add to Slack/Mattermost/Teams" buttons for each channel where you wish to get notifications. You can receive notification on up to 10 channels simultaneously. Notifications for new posts will go to the channel associated with the space in which the post was created. For example, when using Slack, if para.slack.map_workspaces_to_spaces is true, and a question is created in space "Team1 #general", Scoold will search for webhook registrations matching that team/channel combination and only send a notification there. Direct message webhooks will be used only if there's no space-matching channel found.

Approving new posts from Slack/Mattermost/Teams

This works if you have enabled para.posts_need_approval. When a new question or answer is created by a user with less reputation than the threshold, a notification message will be sent to Slack/Mattermost/Teams, giving you the option to either approve or delete that post. The action can only be performed by moderators.

Self-hosting Para and Scoold with HTTPS

The recommended way for enabling HTTPS with your own SSL certificate in a self-hosted environment is to run a proxy server like NGINX in front of Scoold and Para. As an alternative you can use Apache or Lighttpd.

  1. Start Para on port :8080
  2. Start Scoold on port :8000
  3. Start NGINX with the configuration below

Example configuration for NGINX

server_tokens off;
add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block";
add_header X-Content-Type-Options nosniff;

server {
  listen 80 default_server;
  listen [::]:80 default_server;
  server_name www.domain.com domain.com;

  # Redirect all HTTP requests to HTTPS with a 301 Moved Permanently response.
  return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

server {
  listen 443 ssl http2;
  listen [::]:443 ssl http2;
  server_name www.domain.com domain.com;

  # certs sent to the client in SERVER HELLO are concatenated in ssl_certificate
  ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/certs/domain.crt;
  ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/private/domain.key;
  ssl_session_timeout 1d;
  ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:50m;
  ssl_session_tickets off;

  # modern configuration. tweak to your needs.
  ssl_protocols TLSv1.2;
  ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

  # HSTS (ngx_http_headers_module is required) (15768000 seconds = 6 months)
  add_header Strict-Transport-Security max-age=15768000;

  # OCSP Stapling - fetch OCSP records from URL in ssl_certificate and cache them
  ssl_stapling on;
  ssl_stapling_verify on;

  # Verify chain of trust of OCSP response using Root CA and Intermediate certs
  #ssl_trusted_certificate /path/to/root_CA_cert_plus_intermediates;

  # Cloudflare DNS

  # Required for LE certificate enrollment using certbot
  # usually certbot would automatically modify this configuration
  #location '/.well-known/acme-challenge' {
  #  default_type "text/plain";
  #  root /var/www/html;

  location / {
    proxy_redirect http:// $scheme://;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https;
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;

As an alternative, you can enable SSL and HTTP2 directly in Scoold:

  1. Run the script [gencerts.sh](gencerts.sh) to generate the required self-signed certificates

    echo "scoold.local" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts
    ./gencerts.sh scoold.local secret

    The result of that command will be 8 files - ScooldRootCA.(crt,key,pem), scoold.local.(crt,key,pem) as well as a Java Keystore file scoold-keystore.p12 and a Truststore file scoold-truststore.p12. Optionally, you can run generate the server certificates using an existing RootCA.pem and RootCA.key files like so:

    ./gencerts.sh para.local secret /path/to/ca/RootCA
  2. Run Scoold using the following command which enables SSL and HTTP2:

    java -jar -Dconfig.file=./application.conf \
    -Dserver.ssl.key-store-type=PKCS12 \
    -Dserver.ssl.key-store=scoold-keystore.p12 \
    -Dserver.ssl.key-store-password=secret \
    -Dserver.ssl.key-password=secret \
    -Dserver.ssl.key-alias=scoold \
    -Dserver.ssl.enabled=true \
    -Dserver.http2.enabled=true \
  3. Trust the root CA file ScooldRootCA.crt by importing it in you OS keyring or browser (check Google for instructions).

  4. Open https://scoold.local:8000

Securing Scoold with TLS using Nginx and Certbot (Let's Encrypt)

First of all, configure the DNS records for your domain to point to the IP address where Scoold is hosted.

  1. SSH into your Ubuntu server and install Nginx and Certbot sudo apt-get install nginx certbot python-certbot-nginx
  2. Get a certificate and autoconfigure nginx to use it sudo certbot --nginx
  3. Turn on the Ubuntu firewall to block port 8000 and only allow ports 80 and 443. ufw allow 'Nginx Full' && sudo ufw enable
  4. Configure nginx to forward requests from the web on ports 80 and 443 to localhost:8000 location / { proxy_pass; proxy_redirect http:// $scheme://; proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr; proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for; proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https; proxy_set_header Host $http_host; }

That's it! If the Certbot validation above fails, your DNS is not configured properly or you have conflicting firewall rules. Refer to this article for more details.

Mutual TLS authentication

You can enable mTLS between Scoold and Para, as well as between Scoold and a proxy like Nginx. There are two ways to do that:

  • each service can trust each other's public certificate
  • each service can use a TLS certificate signed by a CA which is trusted by all services

mTLS between Scoold and an TLS-terminating Nginx proxy

To go the first route, execute the getcerts.sh script as shown above. You may need to run it once for Scoold and once for Nginx, unless Nginx has its own certificate already. Then add the Nginx certificate to the Truststore.

./gencerts.sh scoold.local secret
keytool -v -importcert -file /path/to/nginx_public_cert.pem -alias nginx -keystore scoold-nginx-truststore.p12 -storepass secret -noprompt

Configure Nginx to trust the CA which was used to sign Scoold's server certificate:

server_name scoold-pro.local;
listen 443 ssl http2;
location / {
    proxy_pass https://scoold.local:8000;
    proxy_redirect http:// $scheme://;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https;
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;

    proxy_ssl_certificate /path/to/nginx_public_cert.pem;
    proxy_ssl_certificate_key /path/to/nginx_public_cert.key;
    proxy_ssl_trusted_certificate /path/to/RootCA.pem;
  proxy_ssl_verify on;
  proxy_ssl_verify_depth 2;

Run Scoold with this command which enables TLS, HTTP2 and mTLS.

java -jar -Dconfig.file=./application.conf \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-store-type=PKCS12 \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-store=scoold-keystore.p12 \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-store-password=secret \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-password=secret \
 -Dserver.ssl.trust-store=scoold-nginx-truststore.p12 \
 -Dserver.ssl.trust-store-password=secret \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-alias=scoold \
 -Dserver.ssl.client-auth=need \
 -Dserver.ssl.enabled=true \

If you want to trust the Root CA instead, the steps are similar but in the Nginx configuration use this line:

ssl_client_certificate /path/to/RootCA.pem;

And start Scoold using the previously generated Truststore scoold-truststore.p12 which should already contain the Root CA.

mTLS between Scoold and Para

To go the first route, execute the getcerts.sh script as shown above for both Scoold and Para. Then create a Truststore for each service which contains the certificate of the other.

./gencerts.sh scoold.local secret
./gencerts.sh para.local secret
keytool -v -importcert -file scoold.local.pem -alias scoold -keystore para-scoold-truststore.p12 -storepass secret -noprompt
keytool -v -importcert -file para.local.pem -alias para -keystore scoold-para-truststore.p12 -storepass secret -noprompt

Run Para with this command which enables TLS, HTTP2 and mTLS.

java -jar -Dconfig.file=/para/application.conf \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-store-type=PKCS12 \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-store=para-keystore.p12 \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-store-password=secret \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-password=secret \
 -Dserver.ssl.trust-store=para-scoold-truststore.p12 \
 -Dserver.ssl.trust-store-password=secret \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-alias=para \
 -Dserver.ssl.client-auth=need \
 -Dserver.ssl.enabled=true \

Run Scoold with this command which enables TLS, HTTP2 and mTLS.

java -jar -Dconfig.file=/scoold/application.conf \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-store-type=PKCS12 \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-store=scoold-keystore.p12 \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-store-password=secret \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-password=secret \
 -Dpara.client.ssl_keystore=scoold-keystore.p12 \
 -Dpara.client.ssl_keystore_password=secret \
 -Dpara.client.ssl_truststore=scoold-para-truststore.p12 \
 -Dpara.client.ssl_truststore_password=secret \
 -Dserver.ssl.key-alias=scoold \
 -Dserver.ssl.enabled=true \

If you want to trust the Root CA instead, the steps are similar but using the previously generated Truststores

  • scoold-truststore.p12 and para-truststore.p12 respectively, which should already contain the Root CA.

For end-to-end encryption of traffic, you can enable mTLS between your TLS-terminating proxy (like nginx), Scoold and Para.

Complex proxy server setup

In some rare cases, your Scoold server may be behind more than one proxy server. In these cases you have configuration like this:

para.host_url = ""
para.host_url = ""

This would work except for transactional emails where inbound links point to the wrong address. The solution is to add this to your configuration:

para.rewrite_inbound_links_with_fqdn = "https://public-scoold-domain.com"

Periodic summary emails (email digest)

PRO You can choose to enable periodic summary emails for all users in Scoold or allow them to opt-in for these messages. By default summary emails are disabled and users can unsubscribe if they are enabled by admins. A summary email contains all new questions for a past period of time (daily, weekly). Admins can enable summary emails for everyone from the Settings page if para.summary_email_controlled_by_admins = true. If that parameter is false each person (by default) controls whether they want to receive summary emails or not.

The period for which a summary report is generated is controlled by:

para.summary_email_period_days = 2

The values of this setting can range from 1 to 30 days, where 2 means "every other day", 7 means "every week". The summary email contains a list of the top 25 recent questions. For more questions set para.summary_email_items = 30.


PRO In Scoold Pro you can mention anyone in a question, answer or comment with @Name. A popup menu will appear once you start typing after @ giving you a list of names to choose from. The selected user will be mentioned with a special mention tag in the form of @<userID|John Doe>. You can edit the name part of that tag (after |) but nothing else, if you want the mention to work. You can mention up to 10 people in a post.

Users can opt-in to receive email notifications when they are mentioned or that can be switched on/off by admins. For the latter option set:

para.mention_emails_controlled_by_admins = true

Security headers

Scoold attaches several security headers to each response. These can be enabled or disabled with the following configuration properties:

# Strict-Transport-Security
para.hsts_header_enabled = true

# X-Frame-Options
para.framing_header_enabled = true

# X-XSS-Protection
para.xss_header_enabled = true

# X-Content-Type-Options
para.contenttype_header_enabled = true

# Referrer-Policy
para.referrer_header_enabled = true


By default, votes expire after a certain period, meaning the same user can vote again on the same post (after 30 days by default). Votes can also be amended within a certain number of seconds (30s by default). There are two configurable parameters which allow you to modify the length of those periods:

para.vote_locked_after_sec = 30
para.vote_expires_after_sec = 2592000

Customizing the UI

There are a number of settings that let you customize the appearance of the website without changing the code.

para.fixed_nav = false
para.show_branding = true
para.logo_url = "https://static.scoold.com/logo.svg"
para.logo_width = 90

# footer HTML - add your own links, etc., escape double quotes with \"
para.footer_html = "<a href=\"https://my.link\">My Link</a>"
# show standard footer links
para.footer_links_enabled = true
# favicon image location
para.favicon_url = "/favicon.ico"
# add your own external stylesheets
para.external_styles = "https://mydomain.com/style1.css, https://mydomain.com/style2.css"
# appends extra CSS rules to the main stylesheet
para.inline_css = ""
# edit the links in the footer of transactional emails
para.emails_footer_html = ""
# change the logo in transactional emails
para.small_logo_url = "https://scoold.com/logo.png"
# enable/disable dark mode
para.dark_mode_enabled = true
# enabled/disable Gravatars
para.gravatars_enabled = true

# custom navbar links
para.navbar_link1_url = ""
para.navbar_link2_url = ""
para.navbar_link1_text = "Link1"
para.navbar_link2_text = "Link2"

# custom navbar menu links (shown to logged in users)
para.navbar_menu_link1_url = ""
para.navbar_menu_link2_url = ""
para.navbar_menu_link1_text = "Menu Link1"
para.navbar_menu_link2_text = "Menu Link2"

# default email notification toggles for all users
para.favtags_emails_enabled = false
para.reply_emails_enabled = false
para.comment_emails_enabled = false

Custom Logo

In Scoold Pro you can change the logo of the website just by dragging and dropping a new image of your choice.

If you wish to add just a few simple CSS rules to the <head> element, instead of replacing the whole stylesheet, simply add them as inline CSS:

para.inline_css = ".scoold-logo { width: 100px; }"

Custom welcome message (banner)

You can set a short welcome message for unauthenticated users which will be displayed on the top of the page and it can also contain HTML (use only single quotes or escape double quotes \\\"):

para.welcome_message = "Hello and welcome to <a href='https://scoold.com'>Scoold</a>!"

You can also set a custom message for users who are already logged in:

para.welcome_message_onlogin = "<h2>Welcome back <img src=\\\"{{user.picture}}\\\" width=30> <b>{{user.name}}</b>!</h2>"

Here you can use HTML tags and Mustache placeholders to show data from the Profile object of the logged in user. For a list of available user properties, take a look at the Profile and Sysprop classes.

Custom links in navbar

There are a total of 4 slots for external links in the navbar area - two links publicly visible can go in the navbar and another two links can go in the navbar menu, shown only to logged in users. Here's how to set a private link in the navbar menu:

para.navbar_menu_link1_url = "https://homepage.com"
para.navbar_menu_link1_text = "Visit my page"

Expert-level customization

If you want to completely customize the frontend code, clone this repository and edit the files you want:

  • HTML templates are in src/main/resources/templates/
  • CSS stylesheets can be found in src/main/resources/static/styles/
  • JavaScript files can be found in src/main/resources/static/scripts/
  • Images are in located in src/main/resources/static/images/
  • Themes are in located in src/main/resources/themes/

In Scoold Pro, you don't have access to the files above but you can purchase the Pro with Source code license, for full customization capability.

Also, please refer to the documentation for Spring Boot and Spring MVC.

Third party cookie consent

Some countries have laws that require explicit cookie consent (e.g. GDPR, CCPA). Scoold can be integrated with Osano's cookie consent script to enable the consent popup for compliance with those laws. Here's the configuration which enables cookie consent:

para.cookie_consent_required = true
para.external_styles = "https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/[email protected]/build/cookieconsent.min.css"
para.external_scripts.bypassconsent1 = "https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/[email protected]/build/cookieconsent.min.js"
para.external_scripts.bypassconsent2 = "d2luZG93LmNvb2tpZWNvbnNlbnQuaW5pdGlhbGlzZSh7CiAgInBhbGV0dGUiOiB7CiAgICAicG9wdXAiOiB7CiAgICAgICJiYWNrZ3JvdW5kIjogIiM0NDQ0NDQiCiAgICB9LAogICAgImJ1dHRvbiI6IHsKICAgICAgImJhY2tncm91bmQiOiAiIzc3Nzc3NyIKICAgIH0KICB9LAogICJ0aGVtZSI6ICJjbGFzc2ljIiwKICAicG9zaXRpb24iOiAiYm90dG9tLWxlZnQiLAogICJ0eXBlIjogIm9wdC1pbiIsCiAgIm9uU3RhdHVzQ2hhbmdlIjogZnVuY3Rpb24ocyl7bG9jYXRpb24ucmVsb2FkKCk7fQp9KTs="

That last snippet of code is the Base64-encoded initialization of the cookie consent script:

  "palette": {
    "popup": {
      "background": "#444444"
    "button": {
      "background": "#777777"
  "theme": "classic",
  "position": "bottom-left",
  "type": "opt-in",
  "onStatusChange": function(s){location.reload();}

You can customize the above snippet however you like from Osano's download page (Start coding link). After you customize the snippet, it is important that you add "onStatusChange": function(s){location.reload();} at the end.

Enabling cookie consent will automatically disable all external scripts (like Google Analytics, etc.), until the user gives their explicit consent.

Note: Any other script can be used instead, as long as it set a cookie cookieconsent_status = "allow".


The REST API can be enabled with the following configuration:

para.api_enabled = true
# A random string min. 32 chars long
para.app_secret_key = "change_to_long_random_string"

The API can be accessed from /api/* and the OpenAPI documentation and console are located at /apidocs. API keys can be generated from the "Administration" page and can be made to expire after a number of hours or never (validity period = 0). Keys are in the JWT format and signed with the secret defined in para.app_secret_key. API keys can also be generated with any JWT library. The body of the key should contain the iat, appid and exp claims and must be signed with the secret para.app_secret_key.

You can use the public endpoint http://localhost:8000/api to check the health of the server. A GET /api will return 200 if the server is healthy and connected to Para, otherwise status code 500 is returned. The response body is similar to this:

  "healthy": true,
  "message": "Scoold API, see docs at http://localhost:8000/apidocs",
    "pro": false

API clients can be auto-generated using Swagger Codegen. You can also open the [API schema file](src/main/resources/templates/api.yaml) in the Swagger Editor and generate the clients from there.


You can get support here by submitting an issue. Also you can head over to the Gitter chat room for help. Issues related to Scoold Pro must be reported to Erudika/scoold-pro. Paid/priority support is also available.

Getting help


Read more about Scoold on our blog

Translating Scoold

You can translate Scoold to your language by copying the English language file and translating it. When you're done, change the file name from "lang_en.properties" to "lang_xx.properties" where "xx" is the language code for your locale. Finally, open a pull request here.

Language File Progress
Albanian [lang_sq.properties](src/main/resources/lang_sq.properties) 0%
Arabic [lang_ar.properties](src/main/resources/lang_ar.properties) :heavy_check_mark: (Google Translate)
Belarusian [lang_be.properties](src/main/resources/lang_be.properties) 0%
Bulgarian [lang_bg.properties](src/main/resources/lang_bg.properties) :heavy_check_mark:
Catalan [lang_ca.properties](src/main/resources/lang_ca.properties) 0%
Chinese (Traditional) [lang_zh_tw.properties](src/main/resources/lang_zh_tw.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Kyon Cheng!
Chinese (Simplified) [lang_zh_cn.properties](src/main/resources/lang_zh_cn.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Kyon Cheng!
Croatian [lang_hr.properties](src/main/resources/lang_hr.properties) 0%
Czech [lang_cs.properties](src/main/resources/lang_cs.properties) 0%
Danish [lang_da.properties](src/main/resources/lang_da.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks @viking1972!
Dutch [lang_nl.properties](src/main/resources/lang_nl.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Jan Halsema!
English [lang_en.properties](src/main/resources/lang_en.properties) :heavy_check_mark:
Estonian [lang_et.properties](src/main/resources/lang_et.properties) 0%
Finnish [lang_fi.properties](src/main/resources/lang_fi.properties) 0%
French [lang_fr.properties](src/main/resources/lang_fr.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Charles Maheu!
German [lang_de.properties](src/main/resources/lang_de.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Patrick GΓ€ckle!
Greek [lang_el.properties](src/main/resources/lang_el.properties) 0%
Hebrew [lang_iw.properties](src/main/resources/lang_iw.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks David A.
Hindi [lang_hi.properties](src/main/resources/lang_hi.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Rakesh Gopathi!
Hungarian [lang_hu.properties](src/main/resources/lang_hu.properties) 0%
Icelandic [lang_is.properties](src/main/resources/lang_is.properties) 0%
Indonesian [lang_in.properties](src/main/resources/lang_in.properties) 0%
Irish [lang_ga.properties](src/main/resources/lang_ga.properties) 0%
Italian [lang_it.properties](src/main/resources/lang_it.properties) 0%
Japanese [lang_ja.properties](src/main/resources/lang_ja.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Mozy Okubo!
Korean [lang_ko.properties](src/main/resources/lang_ko.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks HyunWoo Jo!
Lithuanian [lang_lt.properties](src/main/resources/lang_lt.properties) 0%
Latvian [lang_lv.properties](src/main/resources/lang_lv.properties) 0%
Macedonian [lang_mk.properties](src/main/resources/lang_mk.properties) 0%
Malay [lang_ms.properties](src/main/resources/lang_ms.properties) 0%
Maltese [lang_mt.properties](src/main/resources/lang_mt.properties) 0%
Norwegian [lang_no.properties](src/main/resources/lang_no.properties) 0%
Polish [lang_pl.properties](src/main/resources/lang_pl.properties) 0%
Portuguese [lang_pt.properties](src/main/resources/lang_pt.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Karina Varela!
Romanian [lang_ro.properties](src/main/resources/lang_ro.properties) 0%
Russian [lang_ru.properties](src/main/resources/lang_ru.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Vladimir Perevezentsev!
Serbian [lang_sr.properties](src/main/resources/lang_sr.properties) 0%
Slovak [lang_sk.properties](src/main/resources/lang_sk.properties) 0%
Slovenian [lang_sl.properties](src/main/resources/lang_sl.properties) 0%
Spanish [lang_es.properties](src/main/resources/lang_es.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Trisha Jariwala!
Swedish [lang_sv.properties](src/main/resources/lang_sv.properties) 0%
Thai [lang_th.properties](src/main/resources/lang_th.properties) 0%
Turkish [lang_tr.properties](src/main/resources/lang_tr.properties) :heavy_check_mark: Thanks Aysad Kozanoglu!
Ukrainian [lang_uk.properties](src/main/resources/lang_uk.properties) 0%
Vietnamese [lang_vi.properties](src/main/resources/lang_vi.properties) 0%

You can also change the default language of Scoold for all users by setting para.default_language_code = "en", where instead of "en" you enter the 2-letter code of the language of your choice.

Building Scoold

To compile it you'll need JDK 8+ and Maven. Once you have it, just clone and build:

$ git clone https://github.com/erudika/scoold.git && cd scoold
$ mvn install

To run a local instance of Scoold for development, use:

$ mvn -Dconfig.file=./application.conf spring-boot:run

To generate a WAR package, run:

$ mvn -Pwar package


  1. Fork this repository and clone the fork to your machine
  2. Create a branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Implement a new feature or fix a bug and add some tests
  4. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added a new feature')
  5. Push the branch to your fork on GitHub (git push origin my-new-feature)
  6. Create new Pull Request from your fork

Please try to respect the code style of this project. To check your code, run it through the style checker:

mvn validate

For more information see CONTRIBUTING.md

Square Face


[Apache 2.0](LICENSE)

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Scoold README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.