Does the server need 2GB of RAM?


Is it mandatory that we should have 2GB of Ram for Discourse. I am planning to use discourse for one of my forum.

Please help me.


You don’t need 2 GB. Where did you see that?

The minimum requirement is 1 GB as stated in and the setup document on GitHub.

1GB also pretty high…how about 512 MB…I have a server with 512 MB…Can I go ahead and install discourse…

No, 1GB is the minimum for a functional site. You can use 512mb for single user testing, it will sort of work.

But a live public Discourse site on 512mb will be quite painful for everyone who tries to use it.

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Depends on the number of users and requests I think. I run a small private instance with some old friends of mine. I have reduced the unicorn workers and the sidekiq concurrency. It works really well with a small amount of RAM.

Out of curiosity, is it known what components of discourse are the most resource hungry?

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How much is a small amount?

246 MB (unicorn) + 317 MB (sidekiq) = 563 MB
But don’t forget you need redis and a database server as well.


Mine is running on the lowest tier VPS that offers, with 768MB of RAM + a swap file. It runs fine for the low traffic I have at the moment. In the future hopefully it will pick up a bit more and I’ll upgrade my RAM.

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I have to say, there was a lot of… shock? from the phpList techies when we saw what the server requirements were. It was considered really quite extraordinary.


Yeah, PHP is really old technology, the COBOL of its time.


I love this - ahh of all the programming languages I’ve worked with.

PHP first appeared in the same year as Ruby - 1995 - 20 years ago!!
Yeah COBOL - 1959 - 56 years ago.

To think of all those new-age programmers that will never care about programming in Assembly, dBase or any languages I’ve had to grin and bear - lucky gits!


Right, joking aside though, I have had several people tell me that they find the system requirements extreme, and that ruby is a mental language to compose a web app in. No idea myself, and don’t care, I don’t have to pay for the server space so I just take the great features and enjoy my job! But I am intrigued as to what is going on here… hosting discourse is by far the most expensive part of our community infrastructure I am told.

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They just came of age at very different times.

PHP happened around the time 128mb of memory was considered reasonable for a server, and it was designed to work on the lowest-spec boxes out there as a simple “Personal Home Page”, hence “PHP”. It wasn’t even a programming language, really. A lot of it (some say all of it) was really quite accidental. But always designed to work on the lowest spec boxes out there due to its simple roots and was in wide use in the USA and Europe even in 1999.

Ruby was more of a programmers’ programming language, designed to fold in all the best aspects of existing languages like Perl, Python, Lisp, etc. It was viewed as wildly experimental until around 2004 when it finally became popular in the US. So it demands more resources as it is more forward thinking. Ruby itself just reached version 2.0 not that long ago, for example.

The minimum spec for a Discourse site is 1GB RAM, dual core VPS, which is $10/month $5/month on Digital Ocean. You can run a good sized forum on that.

You could probably run a similar PHP based forum for $2-3/month on ultra low cost shared tenant hosting.

Whether those are onerous numbers depends on your budget and needs, I suppose – if you are in the third world it would be tough to run Discourse.


Unless your only presence is the Discourse site, or your server is radically over-spec (or a dedicated box?) there’s something up here. We’re not primarily a community (not yet, at least) but Discourse equates to 8% of our monthly operational costs.

This whole pricing thing needs context…

A $20 monthly charge for 2GB server costs is not expensive, it’s less than the price of 6 Medium Latte’s at Starbucks in the US or UK.

Only need 1GB great, that’s 3 Medium Latte’s you are missing out on.

Personally I don’t go in for these kind of coffees, but I do know people who drink a minimum of 1 every working day, that’s £52 a month (~$81 USD).

And that’s if you are a single person in a company - how many expensive coffees do you think are purchased per month from the people that will use your community / forum / discourse install?

Ask them to donate the price of a coffee.


Depends a lot on your infrastructure too.

I have a small server farm in my company (7 servers today) and we already have a pretty good PostgreSQL machine, so I told Discourse to use it. That’s pretty good, and if you consider that PostgreSQL :elephant: is the go-to SGBD in most open-source stacks this will happen a lot. And we reuse a 12GB 12CPUs server so thats pretty fast :smile:.

Redis is also a default in-memory stuff, but since we doesn’t got a dedicated machine for it yet it’s togheter with Discourse on a pretty standard Ubuntu VM.

We can host a lot of small apps with it, sinatra cruds, go apps, and re-use the nginx to proxy pass to other apps.

Most people coming to Discourse probably already have hosting of some type, so it’s going to be disappointing for them to learn that they need additional hosting. The technical aspect is also daunting - I’m fairly tech savvy but Docker and Ruby are new to me.

There’s also the issue of getting the forum to be self-sufficient from a financial aspect. From my reading here, I’m still not sure whether I can get Adsense blocks to update (or even show) on subsequent page views b/c of the way Discourse refreshes in place (without using DFP):

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