Why are Digital Ocean Discourse snapshots so large?

I just noticed that the snapshots I have taken of Discourse forums hosted on Digital Ocean droplets are over 10GB each. And these are forums that have zero posts or users (I created the forums, took snapshots and then destroyed the droplets).

This might be a stupid question, but why are they so large?

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A digital Ocean snapshot will always be the size of the disk. And that is a server provider feature, it has nothing to do with Discourse.

If you want to preserve Discourse state in a smaller file, use the Discourse backups, available in the admin panel.


Remember that the 1GB install includes a 2GB swap, so you’re snapshotting OS+Discourse+Swapfile.

Why are you taking a snapshot though?

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I don’t need the forum online at the moment so I destroyed the droplet to save money. I created the snapshot so I could easily recreate the droplet when I want to put the forum back online. Is there a better way to do this?

Admin - Backups - Backup - Download

Store it in a safe place

Create new forum
Admin - Settings - Enable restore
Admin - Backups - Upload - Restore


@michaeld when doing this, do any of the DNS settings need to be updated before restoring?

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I would say yes because otherwise the restore will rewrite your hostname to the temporary URL of your forum.

Alternatively, you could change it afterwards (less downtime) and remap the URL back to the original one after the restore.

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