Can Digital Ocean's $5 Ubuntu droplet run Discourse ok?

Hello there! So, I got myself a little Digital Ocean account & started a droplet by signing up through the “One-Click Discourse” install using the Ubuntu option.

I got my credentials, logged in to the admin account, and even before completing the 13 initial Discourse configuration questions, the load times started being atrocious, and now, I’ve created a couple of topics, but haven’t so much as written a single post and am the only person visiting the site, but I’m randomly getting really long load times (some over 2,000 ms), and 502 bad gateway & 504 gateway timeout errors while poking around the site doing simple things, like clicking on categories off the main page.

I’ve tried to get help from digital ocean a couple of times, stating that this is a fresh install with their installation script, but they keep telling me that they do not support software in any which way whatsoever - the only thing they have done is to see that my memory usage (1GB) is running high, and they suggested I stop running some things I may have installed (I have installed none).

Is this a case of the $5 droplet one-click install just not being sufficient for a small Discourse server? From what I’ve been reading, 1GB should be plenty until I get a few dozen or so active users… or does Digital Ocean bundle in a bunch of bloatware in their one-click installs that prevent their own implementations from running, and they’re just oblivious to it?

I guess more important than a reason, what would people suggest be my solution? Upgrade to their $10 vm? Create a new vanilla droplet and install Discourse myself? Or slog around the server settings to see how I can lower memory usage? (My Unix skills are around 15 years out of date but if I have to I can poke things with sticks and eventually probably get rid of some things without breaking my new forum).

Tks in advance for any suggestions I may receive!

Yes, it is, but you must use our official install guide, not the “one-click”. Long story, but cloud providers really hate when you use swap. :wink:


Hmm, ok, thanks for the link. I’m running through the instructions, but have a question on it, if I may. You say that using swap files are wonky with cloud servers… but when running through the installation, when I run the discourse-setup file, the first thing it tells me is that I may not be able to upgrade Discourse on my <2GB vm without a swap file. Should I ignore that & run without a swap anyways? Or can I enable a swap file manually through my Ubuntu 18.04 shell for the upgrade then just swapoff to get rid of it again?

You misunderstood what I said. We WANT swap, they disavow it.

To be clear: take the defaults. They are defaults for a reason :wink:


Ah, that makes an incredible amount more sense! I did indeed misunderstand what you meant - you’ll have to excuse me, I’m half-idiot on my paternal side. I followed your instructions and the install went smoothly this time - thanks!

Now I cannot, for the life of me figure out how to get mail working, but I’ll post a new topic for that & keep my fingers crossed that you fine folks on the board are feeling generous & can offer some guidance. Regards.


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