Running discourse on Google or AWS free tier?

Does it work well?

Is there some kind of benchmarking recommend to see the difference? I’m thinking about ditching my small VPS if Google can offer the same performance for free…

It’s a very small forum and I cache most stuff at cloudflare anyways…

Isn’t there a one year limit on the free tier? You want 2gb of ram or rebuilding we be a nightmare. You can make it run on 1gb + 1gb swap, but it’s not recommended.

I can confirm it works on OVH’s entry level OVH SSD package which is $3.35 p/m

Like I say, rebuilding/upgrading can be a bit of a chore. But otherwise it runs just fine.

Object caching won’t hurt, but it won’t really help either. All it impacts is your network/disk I/o which on a small* forum probably won’t make much of a difference.

*depending on what small means

I’m running on vultr 40 SSD, 1 CPU, 2 GB RAM and rebuilding takes 6min.

Can you benchmark your system?

All you have to do is run time /opt/discourse/launcher rebuild app and look at the stat real time displayed after finish.

Replace the location to where the launcher file is in your system.

They have a $2.50/mo plan wiht 1 CPU, 512MB, 20 GB SSD. Does swap slow you that much to make a difference if it’s SSD?

Less than 1gb of ram will not work.

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I don’t see anything there saying specifically why less than 1GB of ram wouldn’t work. I believe swap is transparent for the system, so I can give as much as 5 GB of SSD disk as “RAM”.

It would be slower sure, but If it doesn’t affect daily web browsing, why care? I’ll try to benchmark the rebuilding time on it, but i’m also interested in metrics for the end users here…how can I measure their experience? Like if pages will load significantly slower,etc…

Try it with a dev site. You’ll probably find rebuilds will fail and or other " bad things" will happen. 20GB is the bare min space I’d go too, be mindful of how much data backups will take if you’re not pushing them to S3.

Rebuild would take my site down for a while no? Or am I misunderstanding the syntax you gave?

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Yes rebuild would take your website offline till it ends.

My backups are around ~20MB and they get pushed to the cloud too. I guess I’ll have to use Hetzner CX11 then… $2.50, 20 GB SSD, 2 GB RAM,1 CPU.

But I’d really like if I could just use google free tier, as like I said, I rebuild very little, and if it doesn’t affect users browsing it, and I’m caching most of the stuff…it would be perfect :stuck_out_tongue:


I have tried installing discourse on many of the cloud providers available (AWS / Digital Ocean / Linode / Vultr / Lightsail / Alibaba / OVH / Upcloud / Scaleway / Hetzner / Aruba Cloud)

From the price point, comparing performance to similar pricing, I see Hetzner works great.
Great thing is you can run a discourse instance 1euro on Aruba cloud, I tried it one month seems pages are loading smoothly.

Hope this helps.

PS: only pick cheap hosts if it’s a hobby site. would then otherwise, nicely go with (Digital Ocean / Vultr / Linode) . AWS or Google cloud I always see them as an enterprise. with their real-time billing and bandwidth is premium there.

This is… not true.

1GB of RAM is fine and is the recommended starting point for small communities. On a 1GB server discourse-setup will automatically create a 2GB swap.

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1gb plus swap works fine and always has, and is ABSOLUTELY recommended. Unless you have a large instance that has outgrown that size…


I sit corrected. For some reason I thought the min physical ram recommended was two.

The (not recommended) digital ocean one click install used to require two gb. It doesn’t create swap, so it won’t work with 1gb.

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