Jul 28, 2020

8 min read

How To Install Discourse On Ubuntu

Written by

Vippy The VPS

In this Discourse installation guide, we're going to walk you through the process of installing Discourse – our favorite forum software – on Ubuntu's latest releases.

Server Requirements

The minimum server requirements to install Discourse are:

  • 10 GB of free disk space
  • Single-core CPU
  • 64 bit Linux compatible with Docker which you will need in order to install Discourse
  • A Ubuntu server with a minimum of 1 GB RAM 

We should add that even though 1 GB of RAM is the minimum technical requirement for the install, it is recommended that you host your forum on a server with at least 2 GB.

This is because the 1 GB minimum requirement needs a Swap file for Discourse to work on Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04. 

Fortunately, if you're looking to start growing your community – we, at SSD Nodes, offer extremely affordable VPS hosting perfect for Discourse.

The software requirements for installing Discourse are as follows:

To proceed further with the Discourse installation, you also need to:

  1. Install Docker
  2. Register a domain name or subdomain (such as "") with an A record that points to your server's IP address.
  3. An SMTP server for Discourse emails – you can check out this list of recommended email providers for Discourse.

Step 1 – Installing Discourse

Before you can actually download & install Discourse, you need to create the /var/discourse directory to house all Discourse-related files. This can be done using the following command:

sudo mkdir /var/discourse

And last but not least, you can now clone the official Discourse Docker image into the directory you've just created using the command below:

git clone /var/discourse

And that's it – you've successfully installed Discourse! 🎉

Now it's time to set up your new forum...

Step 2 – Setting Up Discourse

In order to properly set up Discourse, you now need to run the following command to navigate to the

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