How do I see the files in a Discourse install?

(Andrew Shanahan) #1

So hello. Good to be here and I’m one of the many who are thinking of fleeing the Buddypress/BBPress environment which has become (IMHO) really unusable in the last year or so.

I love Discourse, the way it looks, the fact that it’s open source and how smoothly it all seems to be working. HOWEVER, the big thing for me is that it’s about 10 or so notches above my ability in terms of configuring stuff. Moderating/uploading logos/changing category colours - very much my level. Doing things that involve coding in RoR, less so.

As it stands I have set up on my VPS and it was very kindly installed for me by my ISP (the terrific butttttt, the thing that I don’t understand is where the install is! I know for a Wordpress site I can just FTP into the backend and monkey with the php files and see if it works. But I’m lost on Discourse, how do I get at the site?!

Apologies in advance for making the newbiest post you’re ever likely to have but like my mum used to say, “There are no stupid questions, apart from when you asked where Mowameadow is.” How was I to know? I just knew one man went there.


If they followed the standard instructions, it should be inside /var/discourse. It’s run inside a technology called Docker. Here are the instructions, by the way:

You’ll need to use some kind of client that lets you access the VPS via the SSH protocol. You’ll have a lot more options of Linux, including being able to use the graphical file manager to edit files on your VPS.

(Andrew Shanahan) #3

Ah-ha! A client to access the VPS, interesting. Just d/l putty and will have a play. Everything I’ve read suggests that this isn’t the sort of environment where I can employ my usual play with it until it breaks philosophy so I shall tread gently. Thanks for this - great headstart!

(Dave McClure) #4

There’s a How To topic here on Meta as well:

(Andrew Shanahan) #5

Terrific, thank you.

(Kane York) #6

@manvfat - before modifying those files, I implore you to read this topic:

It explains why what @sb56637 is suggesting - going in and editing files - likely won’t work.

(Andrew Shanahan) #7

Cool, will have a read. Tbh I’m not going to do any actual editing as yet, I’m just trying to get a handle on the environment that this all occurs in.