Where is app.yml for Synology Docker Discourse?

Where is the app.yml file for Synology Docker Discourse?

I’m trying to change the system email SMTP setting as I discovered that the Discourse is not able to send out email now. An ex-staff installed the Docker Discourse on the Synology, so I’ve no idea how he did it.

I got these instructions from Google search:

Check and edit the settings in your containers/app.yml file.

cd /var/discourse
./launcher rebuild app

The problem is that app.yml is nowhere to be found. /var/discourse is an empty directory.

I ran this command as superuser at root:
time find . -name "app.yml"

There are zero results.

In my Synology web control panel, I can see the Discourse container. When I click on it, the Discourse forum webpage appears. That’s all.

How can I derive more information about where the Discourse SMTP settings are stored?

IIRC NAS devices don’t have local storage, but they map/install application data onto the HDDs provided.

Seems Discourse is available as official add-on: https://www.synology.com/en-global/dsm/packages/Docker-Discourse
Digging deeper, this is a proprietary format with .spk. Can be extracted with tar.


Guess you would need to extract the data, re-build the spk file and then deploy this app again. Maybe Synology support know more about their packages, or the Discourse package maintainer over there.

I don’t have a Synology at hand, but it seems they have their own way to package Docker images and run them.


You’ll need to ask the synology folks how their system works.


The Synology package does not use app.yml for the email settings. But we also could not receive the activation email while Synology support confirmed the email settings were not the problem. They did not tell what it was, but in the Docker logs I see errors that sound bad, like “duplicate key value violates unique constraint” and “Broken pipe”.

Synology has developed its own Docker image for Discourse. To me it looks like their version 1.2.1 is broken. They say they are working on 1.3.10 but having trouble with “a database scheme that has changed”. IMHO they’d better use the official Discourse image, but only for models with enough RAM to allow Docker to claim 1 GB for a container.

For our Discourse pilot we ended up on an old low power PC with 4 GB and Lubuntu 16.04 LTS. With these excellent instructions and hardly any Unix experience I got it working.


Do you really mean Discourse 1.3.10? The current version is 1.9. That’s not really going to help.

Yes, that’s what they wrote me. And that’s what I replied to them.

They have their own 100% GUI install system called the Package Center. That’s why their packages are always a little behind. Like their WordPress is now 4.9.1 while mainstream is 4.9.4. That’s not bad. But their Discourse package is 3 years behind. Here on meta or on Synology forums I cannot find evidence of anyone successfully using it.


It’s hard for me to come up with a reason to run Discourse on a NAS beyond proof of concept.


Agree, a proof of concept was indeed our purpose.

But don’t underestimate their NASses :wink:


I’ve been fiddling with this a bit.

Using the Syno Docker install you can select the official Discourse/base

Map a share (/volume1/docker/discourse) to /var/discourse
make a symbolic link /var/discourse to the share

git pull works
./discourse-setup works
./launcher works (it complains about docker CE version, but stop/start/rebuild work)

Haven’t managed to get the web interface up, but it’s probably my own ignorance.

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Did you get any further with the Synology docker image?

Don’t bother with the Synology image, just link some share to /var/discourse, then follow the regular 30 min install.

It complains about Docker being out of date when you use ./launcher, so you need to use --ignore-prereqs.

Otherwise… it’s fine for testing.


I’ve been able to install discourse on a Synology NAS using bitnami images:
It works fine but nox I try now to install plugins and I can’t find app.yml files.
Did anywone find a way?