Forum(Discussions) is not working

I have installed Hawthorne.2, running on Ubuntu 16.04 local VM. I have restored the data from an AWS instance that seems to be working fine, but I am facing this issue when I try to access the discussion from the LMS.

Jan  6 12:52:46 localserver [service_variant=lms][edx.courseware][env:sandbox] ERROR     [localserver  2136] [] - Error in /courses/course-v1:asdfghFALL/discussion/forum/: user=Sb, effective_user=Sb, course=course-v1:asdfghFALL
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/edx/app/edxapp/edx-platform/lms/djangoapps/courseware/views/", line 506, in get
return super(CourseTabView, self).get(request, course=course, page_context=page_context, **kwargs)
  File "/edx/app/edxapp/venvs/edxapp/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/web_fragments/", line 26, in get
fragment = self.render_to_fragment(request, **kwargs)
  File "/edx/app/edxapp/edx-platform/lms/djangoapps/courseware/views/", line 640, in render_to_fragment
return tab.render_to_fragment(request, course, **kwargs)
  File "/edx/app/edxapp/edx-platform/common/lib/xmodule/xmodule/", line 294, in render_to_fragment
return self.fragment_view.render_to_fragment(request, course_id=unicode(, **kwargs)
  File "/edx/app/edxapp/edx-platform/lms/djangoapps/discussion/", line 697, in render_to_fragment
base_context = _create_base_discussion_view_context(request, course_key)
  File "/edx/app/edxapp/edx-platform/lms/djangoapps/discussion/", line 404, in _create_base_discussion_view_context
user_info = cc_user.to_dict()
  File "/edx/app/edxapp/edx-platform/lms/lib/comment_client/", line 59, in to_dict
  File "/edx/app/edxapp/edx-platform/lms/lib/comment_client/", line 64, in retrieve
self._retrieve(*args, **kwargs)
  File "/edx/app/edxapp/edx-platform/lms/lib/comment_client/", line 152, in _retrieve
  File "/edx/app/edxapp/edx-platform/lms/lib/comment_client/", line 119, in perform_request
CommentClientError: Invalid JSON response for request dc9ca942-b7bf-4681-8ab7-effcba1403b3; first 100 characters: '<html>
<head><title>502 Bad Gateway</title></head>
<center><h1>502 Bad Gateway</h1></cente'

Also when the running services were checked, I do not see Forums:

samuel@localserver:/edx/bin$ sudo ./supervisorctl status
cms                              RUNNING   pid 1956, uptime 0:00:00
edxapp_worker:cms_default_1      RUNNING   pid 1962, uptime 0:00:00
edxapp_worker:cms_high_1         RUNNING   pid 1959, uptime 0:00:00
edxapp_worker:cms_low_1          RUNNING   pid 1957, uptime 0:00:00
edxapp_worker:lms_default_1      RUNNING   pid 1960, uptime 0:00:00
edxapp_worker:lms_high_1         RUNNING   pid 1965, uptime 0:00:00
edxapp_worker:lms_high_mem_1     RUNNING   pid 1958, uptime 0:00:00
edxapp_worker:lms_low_1          RUNNING   pid 1963, uptime 0:00:00
lms                              RUNNING   pid 1955, uptime 0:00:00

Any help would be highly appreciated.

It looks like a broken installation.
did you start with a fresh Ubuntu server?
What kind of installation method did you try?
Sorry, I think you have to restart from scratch…
Why you chose an ancient version?
note that only the latest version is under support.

I had started with a fresh Ubuntu Server. I used the installation method specified here Native Open edX platform Ubuntu 16.04 64 bit Installation.
The reason we are using Hawthorne on our local instance is because we are trying to replicate the existing Hawthorne installation on that we have on AWS.


OK, as far as I know, there are issues reported about hawthorn installation.
Here in this post, you can read a discussion about this problem and the latest state.
However, in the end, I think that you might have to put effort into upgrading your instance version.

Hello @samueljacob,

As @mahyard is saying, you should use the latest release of the open edX because past releases are not supported.

But you can check logs at /edx/var/log/supervisor/forum-stderr.log. You will find some clues from there about the forum issue.

Hello @jramnai ,

I have checked the log and don’t see a corresponding log file for the forum, I have lms and cms logs only. As @mahyard had mentioned, it seems to be a broken installation. The goal is to switch to a newer release only after stabilising the local Hawthorne instance. I will update my progress as it happens.


As I said there are issues reported about hawthorn, but it would not be tough to install the next release (ironwood) and migrate to it. you can follow this document and give it a try:
Open edX Ironwood Release: Upgrading from the Hawthorn Release

I faced the same issue on ironwood and juniper, here is the fix (on ironwood and juniper, don’t know if it will works on hawthorne:

sudo -sHu forum bash
cd ~/cs_comments_service/
source ~/forum_env
bundle exec rake search:initialize
/edx/bin/supervisorctl restart all

Then the discussion page works!