Comments Are Go


Dave Naylor

| 3 minutes

Categories: Blogging

Comments Are Go

Remark42 — a self-hosted comment system


Enabling comments has been on my to-do list for a while, or perhaps my maybe-one-day list.

To be honest I was wary of introducing a comment system due to the never ending battle against spammers. However, just in case someone actually takes an interest in things I have to say, it’s only right that I provide a channel for discussion.

I stumbled upon Remark42 whilst on Reddit. It’s a self-hosted comment system and platform independent — ideal for my needs. You can see what it’s all about down at the bottom of this post (if it’s not there, something went wrong).

Static Dynamic

I use the static site generator Hugo to create this site which means commenting is a bit of an issue. Site visitors can’t interact with the site directly since it’s just a bunch of HTML files and associated media.

The solution to the problem is the introduction of a third party tool to provide the dynamic element required to create comments on the fly.

Remark42 is such a solution.

Features

Remark42 boasts a range of features listed below:

  • Social login via Google, Twitter, Facebook, GitHub and Yandex
  • Login via email
  • Optional anonymous access
  • Multi-level nested comments with both tree and plain presentations
  • Markdown support with friendly formatter toolbar
  • Privacy-focused
  • Import from Disqus
  • Moderator can remove comments and block users
  • Voting, pinning and verification system
  • Sortable comments
  • Images upload with drag-and-drop and clipboard
  • List of recent comments from all posts
  • Export comments to json and automatic backups
  • RSS for all comments, each post and replies
  • Telegram notifications
  • No external databases, everything embedded in a single data file
  • Fully dockerized and can be deployed in a single command
  • Self-contained executable can be deployed directly to Linux, Windows and MacOS
  • Clean, lightweight and customizable UI with white and dark themes
  • Multi-site mode from a single instance
  • Integration with automatic SSL
  • Open source

Tutorial

The official installation instructions for Remark42 recommend the use of Docker but I’m just launching the binary via systemd.

I did a quick Google for a systemd service file and found that someone called Dominique Lasserre had already shared one in a Remark42 tutorial on their blog. Dominique’s article is really good so if you want to give the software a go, head on over there and follow the instructions.

The tutorial uses Telegram for comment notifications but I’m taking advantage of the built-in RSS feed to monitor new comments. I have an installation of FreshRSS that I visit on a daily basis so I’m always going to spot new comment activity.

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Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash


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