Mouthful: a self-hosted alternative to Disqus

Build Status Go Report Card codecov Documentation

Mouthful is a self-hosted alternative to Disqus.

Mouthful is a lightweight commenting server written in GO and Preact. It’s a self hosted alternative to disqus that’s ad free.

There’s a demo hosted at Check it out!


  • Multiple database support(sqlite, mysql, postgres, dynamodb)
  • Moderation with an administration panel
  • Server side caching to prevent excessive database calls
  • Rate limiting
  • Honeypot feature, to prevent bots from posting comments
  • Migrations from existing commenting engines(isso, disqus)
  • Configuration – most of the features can be turned on or off, as well as customized to your preferences.
  • Admin login through third parties such as facebook and twitter, and 35 more.
  • Notifications about new comments via webhook
  • Dumping comments out, and importing an old dump.


The easy way


Head over to release page and download an archive for your OS. Extract, change the config.json you find in the archive according to your preferences. For more info on configuration, head to the configuration section.

Run the binary and that’s it! You now have the backend running.


Now, all that’s left to do is include the following html in your blog/website on the pages you want mouthful to work on:

Once that is set up, you should be able to start using mouthful.

Building mouthful yourself

To start using mouthful, you’ll need:

  • A working GO environment
  • Dep
  • Node with npm
  • A server to put mouthful on

If you do not have these tools set up, please refer to the installing dependencies section.

If you have all the dependencies, clone the mouthful repository. In the root of this repository run Give it some time, this will install all the dependencies for both go and node and create a directory inside the root of this repository called /dist. Inside, you’ll find all you need to run mouthful. That is:

  • A config file
  • A binary to start the mouthful backend
  • A static directory, containing all the javascript and html needed to serve both the client and the admin panel(if enabled)

To configure your mouthful instance to your hearts content, please refer to the configuration section.

Once you’ve done with the configuration, just copy over the /dist contents to your server and run the /dist/mouthful binary. Take note that the mouthful binary will look for a config.json file its directory.

Installing dependencies

  1. To install Go, please refer to the GO documentation found here
  2. To install node and npm, please refer to the Node documentation found here
  3. To install Dep, please refer to Dep documentation found here
  4. Once you have all the tools installed, follow the Installation guide

Mouthful on Docker

Build the image

  1. Clone the project
git clone
  1. Get in the project folder then build the image
docker build -t mouthful .

The Dockerfile is going to build on the master branch by default, you can specify a version

docker build --build-args "MOUTHFUL_VER=1.0.3" -t mouthful .

Run the image

Once image is built, simply run

docker run -d \
    --name mouthful \
    -v $(pwd)/data:/app/data
    -p 8080:8080

Alternatively you can use the official image vkuznecovas/mouthful

docker run -d \
    --name mouthful \
    -v $(pwd)/data:/app/data
    -p 8080:8080

Note: /app/data needs to contain a valid config.json file, read the note in moderation. You can extract the config file from the docker image, see getting config file from docker.

Configuring mouthful

Nearly all the features of mouthful can be customized and turned on or off. All within the config.json file.

Here’s a short overview:


Mouthful comes with moderation support out of the box. If moderation is enabled, it does not show the comments users post instantly, those will have to be approved first through the mouthful admin panel. This also allows for comment modification or deletion.

You can choose if you want to use a password based authentication or use OAUTH and login through github, facebook or the other 35 providers mouthful supports. Click here for more on OAUTH.

Note: You need to change the default password in config.json, else mouthful will fail to start.


Mouthful can cache end results(full sets of comments for threads) for a given period of time. This allows for quicker responses, lower number of database queries at the cost of extra memory for the running mouthful binary.

Rate limiting

Mouthful can limit the amount of posts a person can post within the same hour.


Mouthful can send notifications about new comments via webhook.


Mouthful comes with a default style out of the box, but you can override it in a couple of ways:

  1. Disable the default styling in config and add the required css to your webpage.
  2. Fork the repo and change the style in client/src/components/client/style.scss.

Paging of comments

Mouthful can either display all the comments on page load, or page them. The page size can be specified in config.

Cross-Origin Resource Sharing

Mouthful can either allow all origins to access its backend from browser or limit that to a given list of domains.

Data sources

Mouthful supports different data stores for different needs. Currently supported data store list is as follows:

  • sqlite
  • postgres
  • mysql
  • aws dynamodb

For a list of configuration options and config file examples, head over to configuration documentation and examples

Multiple domains

A single instance of Mouthful supports multiple domains. To distinguish between multiple domains you’ll need to change the client side to reflect the domain it’s coming from. You need to add a data-domain tag to your client side html, like so:

// Page 1 would look like this
// Page 2 would look like this
// Page 3 would look like this

With this, all the requests going to the back end will now prefix the domain name to the path, therefore if you want to add multiple websites to a single instance of mouthful you can now achieve it! Omitting the data-domain will rely on the path with no domain, so you can have multiple domains showing the same comments if needed.

Config file from Docker

You can get the default config.json by running

docker run --rm vkuznecovas/mouthful cat /app/data/config.json > config.json

This will create a file named config.json in your host machine, you can edit it as you please. Make sure it is present in the data folder before runnig the docker image, read the note in run the image.

Nginx config

In most cases, you’ll want to run mouthful under nginx, or apache, or something else. In that case, this is the config I’m using for the demo:

location /mouthful-demo/ {
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
            proxy_set_header Host $host;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
	    add_header Cache-Control 'no-cache' always;

Take note, that if you’re running mouthful with moderation on and run it under a path that’s not / you’ll need to do one of two things:

  • Build mouthful yourself, and when building the admin panel, which is running the npm run build inside the admin folder, specify an env variable called HOMEPAGE. For the example above it would be like so: HOMEPAGE=/mouthful-demo/ npm run build.
  • Specify the path variable in config inside the moderation section. "path":"/mouthful-demo/" for for the example above.

This is caused by mouthful using static assets and not serving any HTML itself. I would strongly suggest using the first option.

Periodic cleanup

Mouthful allows for periodic cleanup of non-confirmed and soft-deleted comments. It’s fully configurable under the moderation section of the config. For more on that, head to the config documentation.


Mouthful comes with a helper cli tool, called spoon. Spoon allows for data export and import, as well as migrations between databases and even different comment providers. Head over to spoon documentation for examples.


Spoon supports migrating existing data from the following commenting engines:

  • Isso
  • Disqus

Head over to spoon documentation for examples.

Backups and import

Spoon allows for easy comment dumping and import of existing dumps. Head over to spoon documentation for examples.


Contributions are more than welcome. If you’ve found a bug, raise an issue. If you’ve got a feature request, open up an issue as well. I’ll try and keep the api stable, as well as tag each release with a semantic version.

Wish list

I’m a keen backender and not too sharp on the frontend part. If you’re willing to contribute, front end(both client and admin) are not in the best of shapes, especially the admin panel. Frontend might require a refactor. Any addition of tests would be great as well. Migrations from other commenting engines would be encouraged as well.

Get in touch

If you’d like to get in touch with me, you can drop me a message on my twitter.

Who uses mouthful?

Feel free to do a PR and include yourself if you end up using mouthful.


Mouthful: a self-hosted alternative to Disqus