Self hosting for free with Oracle Cloud

Do you know if there’s an SMTP log somewhere in Oracle Cloud ? I would like to know why the email is not sent when I can contact the SMTP server fine. Why I am not authorized or whatever the problem is.


Oracle Cloud has an SMTP service, but it’s not included in the always free tier. It’s very cheap (USD 0.085 / 1000 emails) so I use it anyway. They haven’t charged me anything yet.


My bad, you are correct. I didn’t realise I was put on a trial for the paid version as I signed up for the free tier.

Are there any free alternative SMTP services which works with Discourse, while keeping Discourse itself on Oracle Cloud ?


I think the only one left is Free email marketing software its really a shame that the silicon valley mafia stole free emails from the internet :smiley:


After 1 month trying to get my trial account working, having the chat support saying that couldn’t help me, the email support that didn’t help either and didn’t reply but once, saying they’d grab some info about my account and get in touch but they never did…

I asked a friend to open an account for me and it worked like a charm in less than 15 minutes.

Then I tried to install Discourse and I struggled a lot. I followed the Oracle Discourse installation tutorial but for some reasons, I couldn’t connect to the port 443.

I tried installing Discourse on a regular Ubuntu image, but I couldn’t get connect through port 80 nor 443 for unknown reasons.

I went back to the official instructions, it wouldn’t work at first (both ports connection failed), but I restarted docker and then it magically connected to both port.

So my experience isn’t the best, whether the issues comes from me or Oracle.

But in the end, I do now have a free, online, obviously not the fastest, but working Discourse installation. :+1:t6:

For those who want to follow the same tutorial, there is a small mistake in the server firewall part.

Instead of:
sudo firewall-cmd —reload
You must write:
sudo firewall-cmd --reload


By default, you can’t install Discourse because connections to port 80 and 443 aren’t allowed. You need to allow them both in the security list (in the Oracle control panel) and the instance firewall (via SSH).

Here’s how to do that on a regular Ubuntu installation (it’s slightly different from their official guide which uses another Linux image).

In the Oracle panel:

After creating your Ubuntu instance, go to Instance Details and click the Subnet link:

Click the Security List:

Click Add Ingress Rules, select the TCP protocol, set Source CIDR as, and Destination port range as 80,443.
Validate by clicking “Add Ingress Rules”.

Verify that the rules are added in the security list:

In your server command line through SSH:

Add these rules to iptables :

iptables -I INPUT 5 -i ens3 -p tcp --dport 80 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
iptables -I INPUT 5 -i ens3 -p tcp --dport 443 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

The command will add the rules in the right place. If you simply append them to existing rules without specifying the line number (5), that won’t work because they’ll be overriden by a previous existing “reject all” rule.

Save the rules so they’ll still be here after a reboot:

netfilter-persistent save

Now you can install Discourse! :tada:


Hi, do you recommend Oracle Cloud for a site in production, busy enough?

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I think you can host a small community if you and your users don’t care much about the forum speed.
But I wouldn’t recommend as you can find cheap host (~5$/month) with way better specs.

@Hector, is still hosted on a free server?


Hi, for cheap host ~5$/month you mean Digital Ocean 5$ droplet?

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Yes, for example.

Personally, I like Hetzner because they are not expensive and their servers are billed per hour so it’s great to try stuff for short durations. But I believe they only have servers in Europe.


Yes, still on the free server. It has zero traffic, so I can’t say what it’s capable of. I also use it for development. So far so good.


For Hetzner VPS will I also have to install LAMP, server updates, be careful of hackers etc?

On Digital Ocean, on the other hand, everything is ready, I don’t have to secure the server, do I just have to install and manage Discourse? Is this the real difference between Digital Ocean and any other VPS?

Is Digital Ocean like a managed VPS?

Thank you!

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You don’t need or want lamp.

With digital ocean (or any server) you’ll want to do some basic things like install fail2ban and enable automatic os upgrades. No, it is not managed.


Thank you!

In Home Region (Your home region contains your account information and identity resources. It is not changeable after your tenancy is provisioned. If you are unsure which region to select as your home region, contact your sales representative before you create your account: Cloud Data Center Regions and Locations | Oracle) what should I choose?


I registered and I’m starting to install


I have installed Discourse on Oracle Cloud!!!

Now, I would like import Mybb database (Importing MyBB to Discourse), but apt doesn’t work :frowning:

[root@oecdiscourse discourse]# sudo apt update
sudo: apt: command not found
[root@oecdiscourse discourse]#  apt-get update
bash: apt-get: command not found
[root@oecdiscourse discourse]# sudo apt-get update
sudo: apt-get: command not found
[root@oecdiscourse discourse]# cd
[root@oecdiscourse ~]# sudo apt-get update
sudo: apt-get: command not found

Is it installed on the server?

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You probably installed their version of Linux rather than Ubuntu. You’ll need to use Ubuntu or rtfm to install stuff with their os.


The Oracle Linux is more Redhat than Ubuntu. Try yum versions of those commands.


Does anybody know how this would perform in comparison to the smallest droplet at Digital Ocean? I can’t figure out how to actually compare them.

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The current cheapest droplet appears to be $5/month for 1 shared vCPU, 1 GB ram, 25 GB SSD (no swap partition), 1000GB transfer. The free Oracle host is 1 OCPU (defined as “CPU capacity equivalent of one physical core of an Intel Xeon processor with hyper threading enabled”), 1 GB ram, 50 GB SSD (10 as swap), and I think 1000GB transfer.

I have not yet figured out how to see how much data transfer I’m using.

Hmmm. Elsewhere I see Oracle as offering 1/8th OCPU. Details of the Always Free Resources But you can have two of them, so you can split DB and front end if desired.


Is there a way to compare the cpu capability? Maybe a command that could be run on each? Seems like Oracle has a slight edge, but that’s ignoring the CPU power, which is a black box to me.

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