How to setup discourse on my own home server

I want to setup discourse on my own home server using a static IP.

I am new to Linux and not a sysadmin so would like paint by numbers, step by step advice. So please don’t assume I have the knowledge about Linux that you might have.

  1. My Server is hosted at home using a Static IP address (this comes standard with Australian ISP’s) and do not wish to use dyndns or anything else that is usually required when using a dynamic IP. Cant find anything about how to do this as the rest of the world’s ISP’s do not seem to offer static ip as free inclusions with their service.
  2. I have installed Ubuntu Server 20.04 and docker was included as part of the setup process.
  3. I have been told by Jeff Atwood that this tutorial should work fine for what I need but does not look very straight forward to me discourse/ at main · discourse/discourse · GitHub

Would appreciate any help I can get with this as this is something I am trying to get up for a local community organisation who does not want their information hosted in the cloud. So for that reason something like Digital Ocean or similar hosting service is definitely out, they are quite adamant that they want a home server installation.

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You can host your solution in the cloud whilst preserving complete privacy. Hence the “Private” in VPS.

Https protocol takes care of obfuscation of communication and this setting:

Prevents anyone other than someone authorised reading any content.

As a site you own your own data.

So I highly recommend you reconsider your proposed architecture.

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This is not a solution my community organisation wants as it does not stop frivolous warrants to snoop on my organizations content.

I think it is important to note that Australia has the worst internet privacy and civil liberties laws in the first world.

Just disallowing anonymous access is still not an option even assuming the hosting provider does not have access to the encryption keys as they can still be ordered to take the site down by the Australian government.

This is why the community organization that I am volunteering for is quite adamant that we self host on our own hardware.

If we can do this using a static IP they do not have to worry about domain name providers also revoking their domain either. Another issue that we have seen a lot of in the last few years.

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If you have a static IP I’m fairly certain a home setup will be vastly more vulnerable.

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Even with selfhosted ssl?


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OK, let’s put the sense of it aside.

To the matter of getting it to work, you probably just need to install it as root user and follow the guide exactly the same.

If your server has static IP and full internet access, it should not be much different from a VPS.

You need to make sure your firewall is not active and if it is, you have it configured appropriately.

If you have a reverse-proxy in front of docker, same, but if there is no reverse-proxy set up you will in any case end up using the one within the docker container which is set up for you.

Do you have any errors?


I know this topic is rather old, but I believe I can add some value as I did this years ago with a self-funded SAAS startup.

Please consider cloudflare for a CDN and DNS proxy. Since this is being hosted on a consumer ISP, both a content deployment network and the anonymity of cloudflare will help tremendously. When you host your own site from your home, you lose a lot of protections that the large cloud hosting providers offer out of the box. Cloudflare will help with some of these.

I hope your throughput was able to handle your visitors as well. Mine was 10mbps upstream and struggled.

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