Please document supported distros


I’m running Discourse on Ubuntu 16.04. As it is going out of support next year, I’m researching what to do with my Discourse VM.

Only mentions Ubuntu 18.04, which is less than ideal (but it’s fine!) given that 20.04 is already available. I’ve searched, but I haven’t found, a supported list of distros where discourse-setup is supposed to work AND supported (e.g. what is discourse-setup tested on and where a failure to work is a bug).



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Latest Ubuntu LTS is officially supported.
Latest Debian is also very compatible.

If you’re using anything else, you’re on your own. While there may be users here that are able to help you with other distros but I’d highly doubt if those would be officially supported.


but these steps will work on any Docker-compatible cloud provider or local server.

If your not a master that you dont have to care about it.

Could you provide a source for that?

Why make a meal of it? Just update to 18.04. I’m sure 20.04 works too.

From your link:

“The default of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS x64 works fine. At minimum, a 64-bit Linux OS with a kernel version of 3.10+ is required.”


If “18.04” is fine means “we test installs/updates on 18.04 and don’t release code known not to work on that or issue bugfixes” and no other version/distro has this “guarantee”, that’s perfectly fine: if this stays as-is, I will update to 18.04 before 16.04 goes out of support.

I just want some clarity here. If 20.04 (or any other LTS with a longer lifespan than Ubuntu 16.04, such as CentOS 8) is supported, I would prefer to update to that to reduce my maintenance effort, but I will not run anything other than 18.04 if I don’t have the same “guarantee” about it.

I’m not an enterprise and I’m using an OSS project, so my policy might seem overkill to you, but I don’t think I’m making any outrageous demand; basically I’m asking the documentation to say:

We test installations and updates of each release on the following distros: … Systems running 32-bit kernels and/or kernel versions prior to 3.10+ are known to not work

I’m explicitly not asking for any other distro/version to be supported. I’m sure tests about installation/updates are being done- I just want to know what’s being tested.

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OK I’ve changed this text to

The default of the current supported LTS release of Ubuntu Server works fine. At minimum, a 64-bit Linux OS with a modern kernel version is required.

so we can prevent any confusion.


Thanks for looking at this, and I feel terrible to say this (or afraid I’m missing something obvious), but this is worse?

Unless Digital Ocean’s UI contains a vital clue about this (and I don’t think the instructions should ignore non-DO users), “the current supported LTS release of Ubuntu Server”; release is singular, so there’s only a single supported version? Which one is it? The latest?

I’m lately feeling I need to be excessively accurate, but reading this over and over I think it’s not good :frowning:

At any given point, there are at least 2 supported LTS releases of Ubuntu. right now, there are 3 (16.04,18.04,20.04) next year 16.04 will be EOL so 18.04 & 20.04 will be supported until 22.04 is released when for the time till 18.04 is EOL all three will be supported.


Yes, that is the support policy for Ubuntu by Canonical, and that’s why “the current supported LTS release of Ubuntu Server” is ambiguous; there are 2-3 supported versions of Ubuntu by Canonical at any given point in time and the docs now say (gramatically) that we support one of them (which?).

Since Discourse runs inside docker, it’s not too important to argue about the supported distro. It is a general idea. Technically, Discourse should run fine on a fairly mordern hardware and software that is capable to run docker. All the configuration is done inside docker so there are no external package dependencies besides docker and necessary ports to be open on a machine. You can use any distro you like I don’t understand what the fuss is all about?


The benefit will not be huge; it’s likely that when 22.04 is released things will just work, and even if it doesn’t, people won’t jump to upgrade on release day.

Changing a sentence, though, doesn’t seem a massive effort (I could be mistaken, though). And it might save a poor soul who upgrades happily on release day, hits a showstopper and didn’t think of snapshotting to be able to rollback. I know this is an OSS project with a freemium model, so I don’t have an expectation of enterprise-grade support for free, but I think I’m not discussing something unreasonable.

(Personally, I have infrastructure to test updates. But I’d be more comfortable with a clearer support policy)

I have systems running 18.04 and the upgrade to 20.04 is still not available through sudo do-release-upgrade so I won’t call it a launch day upgrade. It’ll be upgradable when 20.04.1 is released which would mean the software has been tested enough to be called production stable.

While I see your point here, I still don’t find what’s still not clear. We’ve provided support and suggestions to people running Discourse on older ubuntu versions (14.04) they’re usually able to download a copy of backup and restore it on a freshly set up Discourse on newer version. This is mostly ideal for the paranoid who choose to remain on obsolete piece of software for some reason (cue if it ain't broke, don't fix it people) but I’d personally always spin up a new vm quickly to check the upgrade path and then upgrade all my Discourse installations once I’ve verified everything is working.

Kudos to team Discourse who go above & beyond their job to help out individuals like us who self host and end up breaking a thing or two in the process.

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Well, still people can provision a 20.04 system on launch day and have it malfunction. That’s even more strange and less impactful. Also, maybe things don’t work just when do-release-upgrade starts offering the next version.

“the current supported LTS release of Ubuntu Server”. It’s either “all the current supported LTS releases of Ubuntu Server” (which I guess would include 22.04 on launch day), or some specific subset of that. There is no single current supported LTS release of Ubuntu Server, AFAIK.

I’m also grateful because Discourse is IMHO the best OSS forum software, but I think this is a small issue which could be easily fixed.

:bulb: All you need is a 64bit Linux that can run a somewhat recent version of Docker as well as run bash scripts (e.g. launcher).

It doesn’t have to be Ubuntu. Fedora, CentOS, Arch,… all of them should work. Using a supported LTS release of Ubuntu is just a recommendation. And that’s essentially what’s been written in the documentation.

The default of the current supported LTS release of Ubuntu Server works fine. At minimum, a 64-bit Linux OS with a modern kernel version is required.

You can chose whatever x64 OS / version you are comfortable with as long as it has a recent Docker version. The launcher script might not be able to automagically setup everything if it’s not a Debian/Ubuntu based distro, but other than that it should work nearly everywhere.

I’m closing this topic as the discussion isn’t going anywhere.