Least amount of storage

So I am running discourse on an AWS(Free tier) EC2 instance with Route 53 as DNS and AWS SES as SMTP, and I want to use the least amount of storage possible to be efficient with the maximum 30 GB I get through my free tier of EC2. I was wondering if someone could explain to me what data is stored and how to keep storage space low. I just created it and do not have any users currently but hope to blow up soon. I was not able to get the SMTP email to send anything through the discourse but I think that was because AWS SES is restricting me from sending to unverified domains due to my free tier permissions. Do all users who create an account and choose a theme and make posts store all of this onto my EC2 storage, and how many users can the 30 GB serve? Or if that is a stupid arbitrary question, how many posts?

Also if anyone has done it before, how do I include ssl certification, because I tried using lets encrypt by going through the install process on the EC2 instance but things started messing up(maybe because I have google domain??) so I re-setup without lets encrypt, and also how do I setup cloudfront correctly, because I set it up by creating a load balancer and then a target group as the AWS documentation said, and then the cloudfront group thing but then when I tried doing discourse setup, it was not able to connect to my domain with http and https, so I was like screw it I deleted all that stuff that was needed for the cloudfront.
I mostly wouldlike to know how to save space and what is safe to get rid of, sorry for the long post.
Thanks a lot,
This open source software is amazing.


It actually can’t be answered in an exact figure.
It can handle sufficient users with sufficient media space for a small community but I won’t buy on that.

Factors to consider are:

  1. How much media Your users Upload
  2. How many backups You store on the system
  3. How much content (posts etc.) Do they generate
    Optionally if You’re using the same server to host something else too then what space would that application consume?

I’d generally reserve about 10GB of space for discourse and then start to add up all those numbers to it.

There can be 1000 users with literally zero content and the system can go along just fine.

There can be 50 users who upload HD images to the server (~4MB) at a frequency of 1000 images each and Your server may be full before You realise.

There can also n number of users using the service responsibly and it’ll probably be good to have enough headroom to grow.

To save space on system disk, You can configure system to upload files & backups to Amazon S3. I wouldn’t suggest removing anything manually as discourse is pretty good at getting rid of the garbage.


I would avoid cloudfront. If you give discourse setup an enroll address for let’s encrypt it will set it up for you.

Unless you expect many uploads, you can probably be OK for a good while,depending on just what you mean by ‘blow up.’ if you want to save space on your ec2 you could use S3 for uploads, but you might wait until you have a problem before you go about solving it.


Thanks for the suggestions and advice. I am avoiding the posting of any pictures on the forum so hopefully it lasts. I will probably use s3 for uploads but I will not need it because the forum is going to be empty, I was being extremely optimistic when I said blow up. Thanks Jay I will put a let’s encrypt address and thanks for the other advice.


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