Is Mattermost suitable for public groups?

Hi everyone! I’m considering using Mattermost for an open-source project I work on. Is the free, self-hosted edition of Mattermost suitable for public instances?

I’m asking because I’ve heard that any user can archive channels. This seemed to be the case two years ago. Has it changed since then? Is restricting channel deletion still an enterprise-only feature?

Thank you!

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Hi @tao,

Permissions related settings are still on Enterprise Edition

Here is a chart that compares features available for the free and Enterprise editions:

Is channel archive / deletion the main concern for moving to Mattermost?

thank you!

yes, channel deletion is kind of a deal breaker (though so is post deletion — from your linked page it looks like maybe anyone can delete posts, too?) in general, for a public chat server, permission controls would be important.

this open-source project has already been hit by a few spambots on our existing solution, and it’s not inconceivable that we’d get griefers trying to delete whatever they could. this is a concern especially for political projects like the one i’m working on!

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Hi, @tao

Thanks for the clarification. The channel delete feature is available for administrators who have access to the command line backend of the server deploying Mattermost. In this case, you should still have some sort of control on who can delete channels by limiting users who have this access.

Specific to chat history deletion, the feature to allow who is able to delete them was originally introduced to Mattermost but it was eventually removed in June 2018 as mentioned in the Allow which users to delete messages documentation.

Perhaps we can consider opening a new feature request to bring the feature back - EE: Message Editing & Deletion configure option.

thank you @dannymohammad! i’m glad that deletion is locked down in the free version. just to clarify, this is distinct from archiving which any member can do, right?

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Hi @tao,

There is some difference - channels that are archived remain in the database and they can be restored with this CLI command.

However, channels that are deleted will get deleted permanently and the channel and all its posts will also get deleted from the database. In my understanding deleted channels cannot be restored.

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Is there no UI to restore archived channels? even for administrators?

Is it really true that any user can Archive any channel even if they did not create it?

Hi @Splaktar, I believe you will need to restore archived channels via CLI, and any user can archive a channel as long as they are a channel, team or system admin.

Oh OK! So only admins can archive channels. Whew, good to know. Thank you!

However, I don’t see a way to tell if people are channel members or channel admins. Where can I see and change this?

Hi @Splaktar,

As an admin you should be able to see the roles when you click on “Manage Members” either in the channel header or the Main Menu. I believe you should be able to do that also from System Console > Users.

Also, we recently added a new feature where you can see a user’s role from the profile pop-over (I think this was added in v5.8 release).

I can see the admin badge on the profile pop-over, but nothing if they don’t have it.

In the Manage Members under the channel header, it does not list any roles for anyone.

Under Manage Members from the sidebar, it shows team roles and allows modification of them. It doesn’t allow controlling channel roles.

So I’m not sure if “Channel Admin” is actually a thing?

Hi @Splaktar,

Apologies for the confusion, channel admins are actually an enterprise feature:

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OK, thank you. Based on our quick tests, guests that aren’t admins don’t have the option to archive channels.