Do I really need a Docker based Discourse install?

Hi, I was just wondering what the 'docker ’ part (The bit apparently discourse can’t run without) actualy do. Is it just the /admin/upgrade part that lets you upfate discourse without any hassle, or is there more to it?

I want to know, as i want to host discourse on a server that does not support docker, and was wondering if i could live without it. Thanks

Docker is the only installation type that is supported by the Discourse team.

I am not on that team, but by reading all related posts on Meta, it is safe to say that a non-docker install is not recommended and they will not offer support for any non-docker installs.

You can’t get support here for anything except a Docker based install.

Docker is a container system, it lets you place apps on a server in an easy, standard packaging format along with all their dependencies, sort of like this:

More at

So, it would be possible to install discourse without docker, but not reccomened. Is there any particular reason for this, apart from the fact that you dont provide any support?

Makes the install far more complex,
forces you to work out all dependencies,
forces you to setup nginx and anything else appropriately,
force you to ensure postgresql is setup properly,

There are many reasons. Can you manually install docker on the server you are looking at getting?

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It is a way more complicated install and you will probably screw it up. When you do, your Discourse will be broken and we will refuse to help you because we told you to go the easier, standard Docker route that we can support.

Honest enough for you? :wink:

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Yes! Thanks a lot!

@cpradio i’m looking at a GBP server host, as this will save me money, but unfortunately dosn’t support docker. Could i still install it on that?

Is it a VPS that you get to manage? If so, yes, you can. If not, then probably not :frowning:

The core feature you’re looking for is to “replace the kernel with one supporting Docker and AUFS”. That’s what you should go to the support with.

Why this restriction? Is that a root server? Which OS?

I think it is worth answering the OP here.

4 years later, still yes, you need an official Docker based install if you want any free support from the Discourse team on