a Vanilla forum exporter for use with nodebb-plugin-import. Do not activate.
Last updated 3 years ago by bdharrington7 .
MIT · Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
$ cnpm install nodebb-plugin-import-vanilla 
SYNC missed versions from official npm registry.


npm npm

A Vanilla forum exporter to be required by nodebb-plugin-import.


  • 1.0.2: Changes the location of where to move attachments and profile pics, to utilize the privacy features of NBB.
  • 1.0.1: Adds attachments, and some other stuff, released to npm
  • 0.2.0: Updating to work with nodebb-plugin-import > 0.3.41 (for NBB version == 1.0.0)
  • 0.0.1: Inital framework

What is this?

It's just an exporter of Vanilla Forums data, that provides an API that nodebb-plugin-import can use to exporter source forum data and import it to NodeBB's database. So, it's not really a conventional nodebb-plugin.

Why is it even a NodeBB plugin?

It doesn't really need to be, nor that you can use it within NodeBB itself, but, having this as a plugin have few benefits:

  • a nodebb- namespace, since you can't really use it for anything else
  • it can easily require NodeBB useful tools, currently

Usage within NodeJS only

// you don't have to do this, nodebb-plugin-import will require this plugin and use its api
// but if you want a run a test

var exporter = require('nodebb-plugin-import-vanilla');

    dbhost: '',
    dbport: 3306,
    dbname: 'vanilla',
    dbuser: 'user',
    dbpass: 'password',

    tablePrefix: 'GDN_'
}, function(err, results) {

        results[0] > config
        results[1] > [usersMap, usersArray]
        results[2] > [categoriesMap, categoriesArray]
        results[3] > [topicsMap, topicsArray]
        results[4] > [postsMap, postsArray]

What does it export?

Read carefully:

  • ####Users:

    • _username YES.
    • _alternativeUsername NO. There's no equivalent in Vanilla
    • _password MAYBE. Vanilla uses bcrypt, unless it's been migrated from another platform. NodeBB uses multi-pass bcrypt, so if you know Vanilla was using bcrypt and you set nodebb's encryption rounds to the same number, you might get the same hash. If you use nodebb-plugin-import it will generate random passwords and hand them to you so you can email them.
    • _level (administrator and moderator) SORT OF. Admins will stay Admins.
    • _joindate YES.
    • _website NO. There's no equivalent in Vanilla
    • _picture YES. You have to move or copy the (entire, not just the contents) <Vanilla Root>/uploads/userpics folder into the NodeBB/public/uploads/profile/ folder.
    • _reputation YES, if you had the Kudos plugin installed on Vanilla. You'd have to set the custom option: "importKudos" to true: { "importKudos": true }
      • Note that reputation is a function of upvotes - downvotes, so you will get the kudos attached to the posts as upvotes and downvotes
      • Also note that there's a setting in NodeBB that prevents users from casting a downvote if they don't have a certain threshold of reputation. Make sure that setting is off or set to 0.
    • _profileviews NO. There's no equivalent in Vanilla
    • _location NO. There's no equivalent in Vanilla
    • _signature NO. There's no equivalent in Vanilla
    • _banned NO. I haven't used this feature in Vanilla so I don't know what the data looks like.
  • ####Categories:

    • _name YES
    • _description YES
  • ####Topics:

    • _cid YES (but if its parent Category is skipped, this topic gets skipped)
    • _uid (or its Vanilla user id) YES (but if its user is skipped, this topic gets skipped)
    • _title YES
    • _content (or the 'parent-post` content of this topic) YES (HTML - read the Markdown Note below)
    • _timestamp YES
    • _pinned YES (0 or 1) (I don't know how many you can pin in NodeBB)
    • _viewcount YES
  • ####Posts:

    • _pid (or its Vanilla post id)
    • _tid (or its Vanilla parent topic id) YES (but if its parent topic is skipped, this post gets skipped)
    • _uid (or its Vanilla user id) YES (but if its user is skipped, this post is skipped)
    • _content YES (HTML - read the Markdown Note below)
    • _timestamp YES
  • ####Votes:

    • You can import votes on posts, if you had the Kudos plugin installed on Vanilla.
    • Enable with { "importKudos": true }
  • ####Bookmarks:

    • The place each user left off in a topic is preserved
    • Enable with { "importBookmarks": true }
  • ####Attachments:

    • Move or copy the whole <Vanilla Root>/uploads/FileUpload folder into the NodeBB/public/uploads/files/ folder.
    • Assumes you have the File Upload plugin installed for uploads
    • Grabs records from the GDN_Media table to get the file paths of your attachments on the file system
  • ####Messages:

    • imported as Chats in NodeBB

Known issues:

  • Not Migrated:
    • Subscriptions / watched topics
    • Multi-user bans (simple user-based banning is imported, but I haven't been able to test it)
    • permissions
    • roles
    • tags

Vanilla Versions tested on:

  • Vanilla 2.1.8p2

Custom plugins note:

This importer enables importing data from custom vanilla plugins:
  • kudos
    • Import these with the option { "importKudos": true }
  • File Upload
    • Migrate these into embedded images (for image files), and links (for all other files) with this custom attibute: { "importAttachments": true}
    • With this plugin, users can have the Canonical link inserted into the post after upload, which breaks things if you are migrating to a new domain name. You can use this javascript snippet in the pre-process section of the Post-import tools utility to remove those duplicated, or broken links:
    content = content.replace(/<.*?your\.domain\.com.*?\/>/g, '')
  • Spoilers
    • You will need to do a post-convert step using the bbcode-to-markdown option, since this plugin inserts bbcode tags to denote spoilers
Other custom transformations
  • Quoting
    • Quotes in vanilla use the tag <blockquote rel="author"> to denote quoted text and the original author. Since "rel" isn't a standard attribute in HTML, the library being used to convert HTML to markdown won't recognize the author properly. As a workaround, you can use this javascript to transform the Vanilla quote blocks to BBCode style tags, with the proper attribute that can be converted back to HTML, and then to markdown:
    content = content.replace(/<blockquote rel=([^>]+)>/g, '[quote author=$1]').replace(/<\/blockquote>/g, '[/quote]')

Markdown note

read nodebb-plugin-import#markdown-note

It's an exporter, why does it have 'import' in its title

To keep the namespacing accurate, this exporter is designed to export data for nodebb-plugin-import only, also for a 1 time use.

Current Tags

  • 1.0.4                                ...           latest (3 years ago)

5 Versions

  • 1.0.4                                ...           3 years ago
  • 1.0.3                                ...           4 years ago
  • 1.0.2                                ...           4 years ago
  • 1.0.1                                ...           4 years ago
  • 1.0.0                                ...           4 years ago
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