Environmental variables are a crucial part of configuring your Discourse instance, and they can be used to store sensitive information such as API keys and database passwords.
Adding environmental variables to a
.yml (YAML) file is straightforward. Here’s a basic example:
# This is a YAML file with environmental variables env: VARIABLE_NAME: "Variable Value" ANOTHER_VARIABLE: "Another Value"
In the context of a Discourse Docker container, environmental variables are stored in the
env section of your
Here's an example of an app.yml file:
## this is the all-in-one, standalone Discourse Docker container template ## ## After making changes to this file, you must rebuild ## /var/discourse/launcher rebuild app ## templates: - "templates/postgres.template.yml" - "templates/redis.template.yml" - "templates/web.template.yml" - "templates/web.ratelimited.template.yml" ## Uncomment these two lines if you wish to add Lets Encrypt (https) #- "templates/web.ssl.template.yml" #- "templates/web.letsencrypt.ssl.template.yml" ## which TCP/IP ports should this container expose? ## If you want Discourse to share a port with another webserver like Apache or nginx, ## see https://meta.discourse.org/t/17247 for details expose: - "80:80" # http - "443:443" # https params: db_default_text_search_config: "pg_catalog.english" ## Set db_shared_buffers to a max of 25% of the total memory. ## will be set automatically by bootstrap based on detected RAM, or you can override db_shared_buffers: "256MB" env: LANG: en_US.UTF-8 # DISCOURSE_DEFAULT_LOCALE: en ## How many concurrent web requests are supported? Depends on memory and CPU cores. ## will be set automatically by bootstrap based on detected CPUs, or you can override UNICORN_WORKERS: 3 ## TODO: The domain name this Discourse instance will respond to DISCOURSE_HOSTNAME: 'discourse.example.com' ## Uncomment if you want the container to be started with the same ## hostname (-h option) as specified above (default "$hostname-$config") #DOCKER_USE_HOSTNAME: true ## TODO: List of comma delimited emails that will be made admin and developer ## on initial signup example 'email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org' DISCOURSE_DEVELOPER_EMAILS: 'email@example.com' ## TODO: The SMTP mail server used to validate new accounts and send notifications DISCOURSE_SMTP_ADDRESS: smtp.example.com # (mandatory) DISCOURSE_SMTP_PORT: 587 # (optional) DISCOURSE_SMTP_USER_NAME: firstname.lastname@example.org # (optional) DISCOURSE_SMTP_PASSWORD: a_s3cr3t_p@ssword # (optional) #DISCOURSE_SMTP_ENABLE_START_TLS: true # (optional, default true) ## If you added the Lets Encrypt template, uncomment below to get a free SSL certificate #LETSENCRYPT_ACCOUNT_EMAIL: email@example.com ## The CDN address for this Discourse instance (configured to pull) #DISCOURSE_CDN_URL: //discourse-cdn.example.com ## The Docker container is stateless; all data is stored in /shared volumes: - volume: host: /var/discourse/shared/standalone guest: /shared - volume: host: /var/discourse/shared/standalone/log/var-log guest: /var/log ## Plugins go here ## see https://meta.discourse.org/t/19157 for details hooks: after_code: - exec: cd: $home/plugins cmd: - git clone https://github.com/discourse/docker_manager.git ## Any custom commands to run after building run: - exec: echo "Beginning of custom commands" ## If you want to set the 'From' email address for your first registration, uncomment and change: #- exec: rails r "SiteSetting.firstname.lastname@example.org'" ## After getting the first signup email, re-comment the line. It only needs to run once. - exec: echo "End of custom commands"
Let’s get started with adding environmental variables to your site!
The following instructions are written for a Standard Discourse Installation
Use a tool like PuTTY or the terminal on Unix-based systems to SSH into your server.
Once you have access to your server, navigate to the directory containing your Discourse Docker setup, this is typically located at
You’ll need to open the
app.yml file in a text editor. For this example we’ll be using
app.yml file, you’ll find an
env section. This is where you can add your environmental variables.
env: DISCOURSE_HOSTNAME: 'discourse.example.com' DISCOURSE_SMTP_ADDRESS: smtp.example.com DISCOURSE_SMTP_PORT: 587 DISCOURSE_SMTP_USER_NAME: email@example.com DISCOURSE_SMTP_PASSWORD: a_s3cr3t_p@ssword
For example, if you wanted to set the
DISCOURSE_ENABLE_CORS environmental variable to
true to enable Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS), you would add the following line to the
env: DISCOURSE_ENABLE_CORS: "true" ...
The whitespace and formatting is important here, so make sure to maintain the correct indentation (two spaces) for the new line
Once you’ve modified your variables, save and close the file.
Finally, you’ll need to rebuild your Discourse Docker container for the changes to take effect. You can do this with the following command:
./launcher rebuild app
Alternatively, to update environmental variables for a running container without rebuilding, you can also use:
./launcher destroy app ./launcher start app
After the rebuild process completes, your updated environmental variables will be available to your Discourse application!