What does it mean if Discourse is installed via Bitnami?

We tried to install Discourse but had some problems as of the Docker container. As I am not the system administrator I do not know details about that. However, the administrator then found that an installation with Bitnami is possible and it worked without big problems.

Still I ask myself what is the difference if you install it by using Bitnami or the regular way described here? https://github.com/discourse/discourse/blob/master/docs/INSTALL.md

I realized that there must be some difference, e.g., I cannot upgrade to a new version, neither is it possible to restore a backup.
But are there other things I cannot do now that easily as we have chosen the Bitnami installation?


If I go to /admin/upgrade I get the following:

We do not support the Bitnami install. What the differences are, I cannot say (I don’t know), but we only support Docker here on Meta. I’d highly suggest working through the official Docker-based install, and asking questions here on Meta if you have issues.


I read already about it that you do not support the Bitnami install. Unfortunately, I do not fully understand the differences (installation process on the one hand, and handling + administration afterwards on the other side) between those installations.

The IT guys are quite busy and I do not know what the arguments are to re-start the setup from scratch (when there have been obviously problems with AWS or Azure).

Maybe you have any information on that.

Then you won’t be needing to ask for help here, then. Congratulations!

So far you know that you can’t do upgrades and can’t get any help here.

If you want to use Discourse and get support you need to do this: https://github.com/discourse/discourse/blob/master/docs/INSTALL-cloud.md

I am sorry, I did not know that I hit a nerve with that topic. I thought it is the same product but it seem more like a competitor now. Sorry for my lack of knowledge, thought I could get rid of this unknowing by asking here.

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It’s just that the bitnami install is old and works differently from the Standard Install. When you can’t upgrade you’re likely to have a bunch of problems for which the answer is “upgrade.”

That’s why we’re so against your using it. We want you to like Discourse!


Apparently I sounded like a huge jerk! :zipper_mouth_face:

Maybe a Bitnami FAQ that is more polite is a good idea.


I felt already very welcome here and am surprised about the pace of this forum … you guys have for sure often a hard time to explain again and again to beginners how to do what.

However, we beginners at some point may become contributors to the community. So let’s hope we can fix the initial setup and restart.


One more careful question …
It’s not possible to change our basic installation now at least for the next week. Meanwhile I want to set up Discourse and play around with all the possible settings.

If we manage to install Discourse how you suggested it, do you think we can simply export/import the database so that I do not have to start again with setting up everything?

It should be as simple as taking a backup from /admin/backups on Bitnami, and then restoring it on your Docker install. Note, to enable restore you’ll also need to toggle the site setting allow restore. No need to touch the database directly.


Thanks! Will keep that in mind and try it in about a week.


I went down the same road with Bitnami and switched to the docker install before it was too late. I seriously advise you to do the same.

The one big issue with the bitnami version is that it is very old. You cannot upgrade; I tried. Any question you post to the official bitnami forum comes back with an answer of “wait for the next version”.

And their official line is to wait for everything to be stable before doing the work to bump their version, so you basically don’t get bug fixes for a long time.

I’d suggest only if all your other software are on the bitnami stack and you don’t want to learn a diff admin procedure.


Just in case my opinion doesn’t come thru strong enough… Don’t do it!

Figure out the docker install and go with it. You’ll hate discourse if you use the bitnami stack.

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I spend the last 10 hours with setting up and playing around with Discourse and I love it … can’t even imagine how much I’ll love it if we switch. I try my best to do so … I just hope that we can really move the content to the new install as we have to open it up soon for a selected test-audience.

Thanks for your thoughts on that …


Just to add to the pile of reasons: The Bitnami install is insecure, because it is outdated. Discourse has a good track record for security, but as with most software, this only means that you’re good if you keep up to date. As soon as you’re behind on commits that start with SECURITY:, you are at risk.

Maybe a Bitnami install is okay if you just want to evaluate Discourse privately, but as long as they haven’t figured out how to deliver updates promptly, I’d strongly urge anyone to keep Discourse Bitnami install off the internet.


Thanks’s you all definitely convinced me!

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