How to install Discourse without Docker

Many of us know the awesome open-source discussion platform Discourse. The team behind this application recommends to either get a hosting plan and let them install Discourse for you or to download and use a Docker container which has all you need for running Discourse.


However, many of us don’t have a server ready which supports Docker. As a result, one might try to install and run Discourse without Docker.


Thanks to bitnami there is a great alternative to the standard Docker installation:

  1. Go to and copy the link of the installer you need
  2. Login to your VPS/server and run “wget <installer uri>
  3. After the download is complete, make sure to run the installer by typing “chmod +x <installer file>” and “./<installer file>”
  4. This will open up a window with an installation wizard, so make sure X forwarding is active
  5. Simply follow all the steps by filling out the forms and providing the requested information
  6. This might take up to 20 minutes, depending on the performance of your server.  As soon as the installer closes, Discourse will be available under the name you provided (e.g. hostname or server IP).


The installer created a fresh installation of at least the following components:

  • Postgres
  • Apache
  • PHP
  • Redis
  • Ruby
  • Git
  • SQLite
  • Perl
  • phppgadmin
  • Discourse

After the installation was completed, I checked what resources are now in use:

  • ~660 MB memory
  • Between 5 and 15 % of one CPU core in total (I used an Intel Xeon E5-2620 with 2,1 GHz, but I was running a VPS and shared the host system with other users)
  • Around 1.1 GB disk space was used

Of course I highly recommend not to trust tools/wizards which install software for you. It is always the best to install the things on your own, so you know how things are connected with each other and what really happens. Only use wizards/installers for testing purposes.

Although this sort of installation process is not recommended, it still helps you by showing you the single components you need for running Discourse.