How are you hosting Discourse?

And how much are you paying a month?

There have been some threads about Discourse hosting recently and I’m curious as to where people are hosting Discourse and what kind of options there are.


There’s plenty of options and it depends on what you’re after. I started off trying to get Discourse to work on cheap OpenVZ, failed at that, moved to OVH cloud (running ESXI virtualization). After this I built my own esxi rig and started a lot of different experiments. I ended up coming back to the OpenVZ problem and came up with the ddmb script which was success, but still don’t recommend it.

If you want to keep support with the developers then you’ll need docker with aufs. If you want managed hosting it seems your options are

If you want a VPS with support there’s many VPS/dedi that will install docker with aufs. Most commonly mentioned are digitalocean and runabove. I think DO is fair, but perhaps a little pricey. My experience with runabove was mixed. I liked the interface, and the discounts gave me free hosting, but it was stalling out in responsiveness too often in the shell for me to think it could handle an app in production with reliability. It seems this may have been an issue when they were still in beta, and may have since been addressed. Some people seem to be happy with RA.


Sorry should have said I already have Discourse set up (on a dedicated server that also hosts other sites) but am interested in how others are using it (and I guess, why more aren’t getting a dedicated server).

1 Like

No worries. To address the dedicated bit, I’d assume funds would be the main limiting factor, and then if you’re referring to self-hosting, the potential traffic/bandwidth issue. There’s fairly cheap dedi’s from OVH’s kimsufi. I had a KS-3 for a few months that worked out okay. You’d also be dealing with the potential for major downtime. I’ve heard horror stories for kimsufi failures, like a full week before getting back up.

To have a dedicated with everything you need and get from a cloud, like daily backup, and host redundancy… that would be a bit expensive. It just depends on what level you’d like to invest in, I guess. I’ve seen some setups where people have many hosts on various amazon packages and attempt to reach full fault tolerance (only to find some sort of failure come about in the end), and am certain it’s pricey.

Personally I’ve got 8 dual socket hexacore xeons hosting Discourse in Docker containers, two which are setup for primary and secondary backup.

That’s why I was interested in price - as dedicated servers have come down a lot recently… maybe not as expensive as people think. You can get a dedi for about £60 a month these days (probably less if you shop around).

Prices start $6.99 here, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone seriously consider an atom to run Discourse. The KS-3 at $20.99 and 8GB is quite appealing, thou.

Just be sure to get it from a respectable source. I had a friend who impulsively grabbed at what he thought was a good deal. Turned out he was given a rig that seemed to have mining going on in the background for two out of 8 of his threads. I would not feel okay knowing off the bat the deal was compromised.

Plain old DigitalOcean Ubuntu machine here … and it’s exclusive for Discourse. Mostly went DO to get it closer in network toplogy than most of our other hardware and to reduce SPOF.

If I were starting over I’d probably look seriously at CoreOS, and I’m also interested in seeing how will work with Discourse – could be very interesting & promising.


I use an EX40 dedicated server from which for 49,- EUR per month is quite affordable.

Since the server is running OpenVZ (from my pre-Docker eras) to enable easy hosting of different applications I first tried to run Docker inside an OpenVZ container. This works but uses much disk space because Docker inside an OpenVZ container only supports the VFS file system. VFS does not “sym link” files used by more than one image layer. AUFS does - see Supported Filesystems — Project Atomic for background information. Besides that Docker itself and Discourse were running well except some small problems - see Launcher rebuild breaks because the database system is starting up

This setup was using way to much disk space though and not being supported by Discource. So I created a KVM based virtual machine using the recommended Ubuntu 14.04 + Docker. This works very well - I’m currently happy with this setup. Running OpenVZ and KVM on CentOS 6.6 side by side seems not to be a problem at all. I use official software packages - there is no fancy hacking involved.


Nice :slight_smile: I used to have a EX40 but upgraded to a beefier server last year.

How are you finding CentOS 6.6 with regards to Docker? (My docker container keeps losing internet.)

Since I do not run Docker on CentOS directly I have no experiene in this.

1 Like

I have my own AWS instance I’m running discourse on. :smile:

1 Like

Same here :smile: cheap and stable.

1 Like

I’m currently looking for a Discourse host, and it looks like Reclaim Hosting is the cheapest out there at $10/month. I also like how they’re actively promoting educational technology projects.

@downey - I wonder if your “app” stops once it has eaten through your cpu allotment for the month:

Those who sign up for the “standard” plan (currently slated for $6 /
month) will receive 200CU per month. That equates to 1000-2000 hours of
using a typical app, which is more time than a month actually has! We
expect that most users will never come anywhere near hitting their CU
But what happens if you do hit your quota? We said your CU is like a
battery, but it’s like a battery that is always charging. When you first
create your account, your CU battery starts out full. When it is not
full, it recharges at a rate such that over the course of a month it
will recharge equal to your monthly limit. So if you run out of CU, go
take a walk, and when you get back you’ll have some more.