What's the Difference Between Discourse.git and Discourse_Docker.git?

I noticed the official install instructions call for cloning this repository: https://github.com/discourse/discourse_docker.git

But it doesn’t have many of the extra files found in this one such as import scripts: https://github.com/discourse/discourse.git

Can we replace discourse_docker.git with discourse.git in the following install command?

git clone https://github.com/discourse/discourse_docker.git /var/discourse

What are the reasons for having two of these?

discourse_docker is the code which you download to run discourse-setup and access the launcher which you use to manage the Discourse container.

The discourse repo is the code which is downloaded into said container.

Think of discourse_docker as the delivery and management mechanism.

Discourse without docker is wholly unsupported.


Ok, so what is the best way to get all the necessary files loaded in for an import? Those scripts require many additional files so I’ve been manually adding the required files as the scripts error out and ask for them.

Which guide are you following?

Ran the “30 minute install” earlier. Now trying to do a test import of my database and noticing a lot of those files aren’t included in the docker package.

Ok, which platform are you importing from?

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XenForo for this test. I managed to make it all the way to the step where I’m to call the xenforo.rb file. Then realized I needed to add several dependencies so I decided to finish the import tomorrow and ask a few questions here in the meantime.

If you’re following the guide which dependencies are you trying to add? Are they covered in that topic?


Well, when running xenforo.rb, for example, I’m told that the server can’t find base.rb from the same directory, so I added it. Then I’m told it can’t find /var/discourse/config/environments/ so I’m adding that and files within it.

These dependencies weren’t mentioned in that guide, but the install process does output the errors, so it’s simple enough to know what to add. I can also check the code itself in these files to see what other files are required.

At some point I’ll get them all and be able to run the script, so it’s not a big deal. I was just curious if I was missing something and I’d these files should have been included in the distribution I used or not.

That guide assumes that you have a development installation of Discourse. You should either follow one of the development installation guides or look at another import guide that runs the import inside the container of a production install.


Thanks for that info. I was only aware of the production install guide. Would you mind sharing a link to the development install guide you referenced? I’d love to take a look.

And is there another guide that runs the import in the way that you mentioned? Would love to check that out too if you can provide a link.

Also, I was only aware of this XenForo import guide: Importing Xenforo to Discourse. I had posted some of my import struggles there too, which I suspect could be solved if I use the development install. I would just need to know what steps are needed to convert a development install to production once its ready.


  • Export the backup from dev
  • Restore it to live

There’s no conversion process. You should do them on separate systems because you may encounter issues which are best fixed by repeating the export.