How to install Discourse on the Debian 11 Bullseye server

Discourse is an open source platform for building an online forum, comments, chat rooms, or mailing list system. In this tutorial we see the steps to install Discourse on Debian 11 Bullseye using the command terminal.

Over time, Internet forums have now changed. They are no longer with old, monotonous designs. Anyone who has used or been a member of phpBB or vBulletin already understands how forums work and their importance in the Internet world. But in recent years, website operators seem to be much less interested in their forums. However, Discourse is finding its way and even becoming popular among the community due to the modernization of the forum they offer with their software.

It was released in 2014, and so has been around for 7 years now, Discourse is Ruby-based forum software. Additionally, the creators – including Stack Overflow co-founder Jeff Atwood – incorporated various newer elements that we know of from social media or commenting systems like Disqus.

Server-side speech uses Ruby on Rails, Postgres as the database, and Redis. Whereas, if we talk about the client side, the developers rely on the JavaScript framework Ember.js. This forum software was released under the GPL 2.0 license and the source code can be found at GitHub.

Besides the self-hosted open source edition, the creators of Discourse also offer their hosting solution between $ 100 and $ 300 per month or depending on the custom solution; just like

Steps to install the talk on Debian 11 Linux Bullseye

What we need to follow this tutorial:

Debian Server 11
A non-root sudo user
Internet connection
at least 2 GB of RAM

1. Install the ca certificates on Debian 11 and run the APT update

To add a repository over HTTPS, we need to install ca certificates, along with other tools that we need later in the tutorial.

sudo apt update -y
sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl GnuPG -y

2. Add the Docker GPG key and the repository

Since we need Docker to install Discourse, so we need to make sure we have the latest version; let’s add its repository using the given commands:

Add a key:

curl -fsSL | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg

Add a deposit:

"deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg] 
$(lsb_release -cs) stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null
sudo apt update

3. Install Docker for speech

Now run the given command to install Docker platform and other tools on your Debian 11 Linux.

sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli

4. Download Discourse on Debian 11

Once the Docker is on our system, let’s create a dedicated directory for Discourse, then clone its git repository for later installation.

sudo mkdir /var/discourse

Now clone the git repository

sudo git clone /var/discourse

5. Install and configure Discourse for Debian 11 Bullseye

First switch to the directory we created and clone the directory.

cd /var/discourse

Start script

Now run the script:

sudo ./discourse-setup

The installer will ask you to add the domain address you want to use with Discourse:

For example:

After that, to send the mail, the user needs to set the SMTP server address of the mail server you want to use. It will ask for the following:

SMTP server address -
SMTP user name -
SMTP port -
SMTP password -

You can consult the official speech page to troubleshoot e-mail issues.

6. Access the web interface

Now open your browser which can access the domain name you registered for Discourse. After that, in the URL, point the browser to the domain of your speech.

For example: Here we are using-

7. Register the administrator account

Click on the Register Button. And

Keep the upgrade talk

In the future, if you want to upgrade your installation, follow the given commands:

cd /var/discourse
sudo git pull
sudo ./launcher rebuild app

To learn:

How to install Discourse on Google Cloud – Ubuntu
Upgrade Debian 10 Buster to 11 Bullseye Linux