Installing Plugins in Discourse Development Install

Hello All!

I’m pretty new to Discourse. Could someone please give me some steps to installing plugins in the development install of Discourse? Would this be the same as the production methods? Thanks for the help! :slight_smile:


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I usually clone the plugin repository locally, and then create a symlink in the discourse/plugins directory.


Unfortunately, I don’t have the compatibility to clone plugins locally. Are there any other methods that I could use? Thanks! :wink:

You mean you have your dev environment setup on a file system without symlinks?

I’m new to all of this. Can you please explain to me what symlinks is?

I really don’t mean to sound rude, but I feel running discourse in dev would require enormous amount of learning for you, start with some basic books on Linux and Ruby


I’m familiar with using Discourse, just not the backend (installing, plugins, etc.)

How did you setup Discourse without having access to git to clone it? Plugins operate the same way in a dev environment.

I think you will have a major uphill battle here if you are unable to do the basics necessary to have a true development instance operational.


Do I follow the same steps to install plugins as in the stable version of Discourse?

No, probably not.

How have you installed your development version of Discourse?

Yes I have, however, it keeps going down, so I’m checking with my host :slight_smile:

If you have a “host”, then it doesn’t sound like you have a proper development environment… Typically a development environment would be running on your own computer.

You should really read the documentation in #howto:devs - but as people have said above it’s quite a complicated thing to get going. If you really want to try, start here:

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We used this to install it onto our Ubuntu 16.04 VPS server: Beginners Guide to Install Discourse on Ubuntu for Development

Ok, well in that case you can navigate to the discourse directory on the command line and then run something like:

cd plugins
git clone

and it should work

Be very, very careful running a development instance if your VPS is accessible to the public - many security features are entirely disabled when running in development mode. For example, anyone can log in as any user without knowing their password!


oh really? I never knew about that! Going back to the plugins, is that all I run? Do I need to shutdown and restart the VPS?

It sounds like you should take a backup, remove your development install, reinstall as a supported Docker-based production install and restore the backup :slight_smile: