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Design Concept

Forums in RetroShare are fully distributed, semi-anonymous and text only forums.

When a forum is created, it is propagated to all friends of the creator. If the friends like the forum they subscribe to it, and thus spread it to their friends. All messages that are posted on a forum are sent to directly connected friends, if they're subscribed to it they send it on to their friends. A popular forum can spread far across the network and allow communication between distant peers.


Messages in forums are by default anonymous, i.e. there's no way knowing whether a message is from a friend or from a friend of this friend. In order to ensure authenticity, it's possible to sign messages with the profile's GPG key. All peers that have the public key with which the message was signed can then check who really wrote the message.

Different types of forums

There are two types of forums:

  • Public: Everyone can read the forum and post in it
  • Private: Only people who have the private key of the forum can read the messages. The key must be explicitly shared with friends.

Forums can also be "Authenticated" that means anonymous posts are not allowed and all posts must be signed. Messages that are signed with an invalid or unknown GPG key won't be shown.


Forums are implemented using the RetroShare Cache System.

Automatic expiration

A message into a channel is automatically removed some time having been posted:

  • RetroShare v0.5 and v 0.6 : 12 months.

This page is part of RetroShare Documentation
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
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