Installing/Running Discourse with Nanobox

Unsupported installs of Discourse are highly discouraged. If you feel like you must proceed please understand that the Discourse team cannot, and should not, provide support for this installation. If you have any questions please DO NOT direct them to the Discourse team. Instead, you can join us on Slack for help.

If you wish to continue, here is the guide that outlines how to install and run Discourse with Nanobox.

The problem with unsupported installs is that they tend to all be special and unique snowflakes – everyone does their own thing their own way, and the person doing the install tends to lack the knowledge and experience to be able to identify the important unique detail in their install (if they could do that, chances are they could also fix the problem, having identified it).

That’s the reason why we’re so quick to mark installs as “unsupported”. It would probably be more accurate to term them “unsupportable”. They’re special and weird, so we have no idea how they’re configured, and they’re run by someone who can’t help us help them. So, since we’ve only got so much time available to help people, we stick to the straight and narrow where we’ve got some hope of being able to figure out what’s going wrong. Even then, people do the damnedest things when following what seems like a straightforward set of instructions, and cause all manner of grief.

(When I say “we”, above, I’m referring not just to CDCK staff, but to the general community of helpful people here on meta)

I’m not sure what you’re planning on actually doing, though, other than encouraging yet more people who lack even the knowledge and experience to figure out how to do an unsupported install by themselves to put themselves in a position where nobody can help them. We really don’t need more encouragement for people to dig themselves a hole they can’t get out of – as you say, there’s enough interest in doing unsupportable installs already.

After a bit of a look, it seems you’re working for Nanobox. That puts a bit of a different complexion on things. My feeling is that you’re not being straight with us here, now, by talking about “unsupported installs” in general, but then pitching your PaaS and not saying up-front “this is where I’m coming from”. That doesn’t sit well with me. It feels like you’re not out to help people with unsupported installs in general, but rather you just want to drum up some business. At the very least, I think you need to fix your topic title and body to be clear about what you’re talking about. It would also behoove you, I think, to spend a bit of time looking at the history of other third-party installs of Discourse, and the amount of annoyance they’ve caused, and have a bit of a think about how you could do better than them. Because $DEITY knows there’s an awful lot of room for improvement there.


Thanks for the response. I agree with almost everything you said here. There is no way you guys should be expected to support individual installs.

While it’s true that I work for Nanobox, a fact which I’m not trying to hide. It wasn’t my intention to “drum up business”. I spent almost 2 weeks trying to get Discourse to work with Nanobox so TBH if that’s all I was trying to do, I would have picked something easier. It was legitimately very difficult for me to get Discourse working for us, and I spent a lot of time looking through these threads during the process.

My intention here was to try and direct anyone who wants to use Discourse but isn’t “qualified” in one way or another to a method that might be easy enough for them to grasp. Believe me, I can completely sympathize with your sentiment that “people do the damnedest things…” when trying to use a product or service.

I was aware that providing/encouraging an alternate method might give more people an excuse to get “lost” but thought at the same time it might be helpful in a way. I see that our installation method/use case is just as unique as anyone else’s, and so it shouldn’t be treated as special and doesn’t fit with what you guys are trying to do.

I apologize if I’ve been misleading in my intentions and I’m fine doing whatever you guys feel fits best with your goals. I see now it was a mistake for me to post this here, so rather than change the topic/post I’ll just remove it. In the end, it will probably do more harm than good, and just cause you guys more trouble and I’d like to avoid doing any more damage.

Thanks again, and my apologies.

Edit: I can’t seem to find where to delete this thread. I think it would be preferred if you could just delete it. Thanks.

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Deleting’s probably more than is necessary. If you change the topic title to “Installing Discourse on Nanobox”, and dropped the bits about “wanting to help people with unsupported installs”, I think you’d be half way there. You’re a step or two above most other third-party install methods, because at least you’re pointing people to an alternate support location for your alternate install method, so there’s a (small) hope that people will ask you Nanobox-specific questions, not us. (As an aside, we find Discourse to be a rather good support mechanism… :nudge: :nudge: :slight_smile:) We can also easily re-route people to your Slack, if they’re kind enough to say “we installed Discourse using this guide”, and you can help us along that path by linking to your support channel clearly and prominently at the top.

Finally, whatever your installation method does, please make sure a full backup out of your installs and into a regular Docker-based install doesn’t break. That’s “future proofing” installs against your not being able to support things any more – we can recommend a backup/restore to get back to a supported config. If you mangle manual backups in some way, then you’re really screwing everyone over.