Clarification needed on memory requirements for Docker install

The minimum hardware requirements for install notes

1 GB RAM minimum (with swap)

The link for swap notes

:bulb: For servers with <= 2GB of RAM, running ./discourse-setup will prompt for and automatically create a 2GB swapfile.

So here is my take, if it is wrong I am sure others are thinking wrong.

Note: I have never installed Discourse into production (did a dev install).

If one ask a provider for a server with 1 GB of ram I take it during the install it would grab an additional 2 GB for swap, thus needing 3 GB. And if the provider limited the machine to 1 GB you now have a problem.

If one ask a provider for a server with 3 GB of ram I take it during the install it would NOT grab an additional 2 GB for swap, thus using 3 GB for just memory.

If one ask a provider for a server with 4 GB thinking they need 2 GB as normal memory and 2 GB as swap, would using the 4 GB as 2 GB for memory and 2 GB for swap be the best option?

Now in our case we are Prolog programmers and being open source gives us other options, in this case OSU Open Source Lab (We also have no budget, ever).

While I know using Digital Ocean with Docker containers is the choice of many, OSU OSL is the option we are currently exploring.

Hopefully you see where I am confused and can clear up my confusion in identifying the needed memory and how to configure it.

The communications related to this is accessible here if you desire.

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Tell them that you need a minimum of 2GB of RAM plus 2GB of swap. If they’ll let you create swap 2GB of ram is fine and discourse-setup will create it automatically. If they are cool with giving you 4GB of ram, that’s better.


Sorry but that still confuses me.

My understanding is that when one creates a VM one sets a hard RAM limit like 2 GB or 4 GB. While my setting up of VMs is decades old I don’t ever recall the VM setup asking about how to use the RAM.

Then once the OS was installed and running, it could be configured to slice out part of the RAM as a swap drive.

Walking this through.

We ask for 4 GB or RAM. We don’t ask how it is to be configured. Using web console access we create the virtual machine ourselves and along the way we will be asked to split off part of the 4 GB into a 2 GB swap drive and the leave the other 2 GB as normal memory.

So as not to run down a parade of options if the above is correct we will ask for 4 GB and go, if not then we can pick this up based on the reply.

Did I get it correct? If not then please correct me.

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A “swap” is a file on a storage drive.

I just wanted to point out, in case there was confusion.

When you provision a server you will know how much RAM is available (in numbers like 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB), but you will also have disk storage, generally available in larger numbers (like 20GB, 30GB, or 40GB).

Your swap will be part of the disk storage. Your RAM is separate. :sunglasses:


Thanks, that answers what I need.

@pfaffman I now understand your answer, thanks for the reply.

As I noted in the other post,

I know where my problem came from, I was thinking of swap as a part of RAM mapped out as a file, e.g. RAM drive. I guess it is the price I pay for typically using Windows and not Linux.


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