Transfer from bitnami to normal discourse

hello there

i’m using discourse for one week now on bitnami

and i would like to switch to a classic version of discourse for many reasons

i wonder if there is a simple way to do it while conserving :

  • the ssl certificate
  • the user admin settings
  • the smtp settings
  • the IP
  • all the content of course

i can do it by night no problem as it’s only a very young forum yet

if someone can give me a list of instructions to follow in my ssh, i would really appreciate, i will copy and paste as i’m not developer at all, but i learned how to use ssh since i installed discourse :wink:

thanks for all and great job discourse !

ps: if there was only one comment i would make is that i really miss the sub sub categories, i don’t think the tags really replace it yet, but maybe there is a modern way of using a forum that i am still missing

Where are you hosted at currently?

Doing the switch is actually a bit easier (safer, requires less downtime) if you’re willing to move to a new VPS at the same time (either with the same hosting company or a new one, we typically recommend Digital Ocean). In that case, here’s what will happen if you follow the easiest path:

thing what will happen
ssl certificate you’ll get a new one from Let’s Encrypt automatically
admin settings will be transferred
smtp settings you’ll have to copy those manually (but it’s only a few values)
IP address you’ll get a new one (but can keep the domain)
content will be transferred

If that’s okay, here’s what to do:

  1. Follow these instructions to set up a new installation. Don’t enter your email address for Let’s Encrypt yet.
  2. Put your old instance in read-only mode.
  3. Take a backup and transfer it to your new server. These instructions will help you, but skip updating the Bitnami installation – this tends to be problematic, and restoring the backup to a newer Discourse should work fine.
  4. Change DNS to point to the new server.
  5. Re-run discourse-setup and this time, add your email address for Let’s Encrypt. During the rebuild, a SSL certificate will be set up for you. (This won’t work before you’ve done step :four:.)

thanks felix for your precise and long answer

i’m on azure and would like to keep azure

i would also like to keep the same IP

my ssl is through godaddy, so will i have to ask a new code ?

if i make a backup in my /admin section and keep the file somewhere, is there a possibility through the shell just to erase the actual bitnami and reinstall the new discourse ? in which case i would be glad to have the ssh instructions to do it

thanks for all !

If you really want, you can stay on the same host, assuming you get all the Bitnami stuff removed. (I can’t help you with that, I’ve never used Bitnami.)
Make sure you download a backup and write down your SMTP settings before you remove anything :wink:

In that case, you’ll obviously have a downtime, starting when you remove your old installation, until you have everything working. This is why I’d highly recommend switching to a new server, either on Digital Ocean or on Azure. This won’t allow you to keep your IP, but there shouldn’t be any good reason why you’d want to keep it :slight_smile:

You can continue using your old SSL certificate if you want. In that case, these instructions will tell you how to add SSL (after you’ve set up the rest).
But please note that this is significantly more difficult than simply getting a Let’s Encrypt certificate! If you stay on the same serve, simply fill in your email address when prompted, and you’ll automatically get a free SSL certificate which will also renew automatically. This won’t be any less secure than your certificate through GoDaddy, it’s just more convenient (and free).

Of course, it’s your choice how you’ll continue, but moving to a fresh server, preferably on Digital Ocean, with a Let’s Encrypt certificate will give you the recommended setup, used by the the majority of self-hosters on Meta. This means that you’re way less likely to run into problems, and we’re able to give you better help here because there are more experts that run exactly the same setup :slight_smile:


Thanks Felix I’ll follow everything except I will stay on Azure because we have a very powerful server there and work with them already.

For the rest, I understood and will follow up with the instructions.

Last question, just to be sure, if I make a backup on the /admin, it will be compatible with the new discourse server ?

Thanks for all

Sounds good! If I recall correctly, others have had success with Azure in the past, so I’m going to assume this will work without problems :four_leaf_clover:

It should be – your Bitnami installation will be older than the new Discourse installation. While Discourse doesn’t support downgrades, upgrades are always fine, so your new Discourse instance will upgrade the database from the backup during restore. Just make sure you don’t rename the backup file, the version information is hiding in the filename :wink:

Just leave the old server running (in read only mode) until you’ve confirmed the new installation is working – that way, if anything goes wrong, you can easily back out and try again later :slight_smile:


thanks for all felix !!!


Hi everyone

I also had my first Discourse on a Bitnami AMI on AWS that I’m trying to move on regular Docker installation.
The automated process of backup and restore just didn’t worked, many are the reasons that could be involved because i tried the restore on an environment thant has no access to the S3 bucket mapped and that’s not behind a revproxy that does SSL offloading.
The only way i’ve been successful is following the advanced method found on documentation

I’m now doing it in a lab where i’ve added more variables to the process (https to http - SSO to local and so on)
The only thing that is not working is about the base url used in sent emails that now is instead of
I checked up and down online and tried all the suggestions found but none worked

Any ideas?