How to Setup Forum on Linux [Linode] correct way – Tested and Verified Steps

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Crunchify Tips on How to Setup Discourse on Linode in 10 minutes

At Crunchify, we have our own community forum:

On community forum, we are using Discourse as our forum software. Setting up forum should be as simple as installing WordPress but unfortunately it's not the case for Discourse.

We have described in details why we choose Discourse sometime back. Kindly take a look for detailed reason there.

In this tutorial we will go over steps on how to setup Forum on Linode node correct way. All below steps are verified and tested successfully. Also, if you have below questions then you are at right place.

  • Suggestion for good VPS to host Discourse
  • How To Install Discourse on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Install Discourse on Linode
  • 15 minute Discourse Installation on Linode
  • Installing Discourse on Ubuntu
  • Linode and Forum Setup

Let’s get started:


  • Sign Up for Linode.
  • Click on Add a Linode.
  • Select Linode 4096
  • Based on GeoLocation – Select Location
  • Click on Add this Linode at the bottom of page.
Add Linode 4096 to setup your Discourse Forum - Crunchify Tips
Based on GeoLocation - choose Location - Crunchify


Once you complete checkout and complete all payment steps, you should be able to see your Linode with Hostname and IP.

Crunchify's community Forum Linode Control panel


  • Install an image on your VM.
  • Click on Deploy an Image link. As I already have setup my OS before, you see existing OS profile there
  • Choose Ubuntu 14.04 LTS from list (next screen) which is required for Forum.
  • For Deployment Disk Size option provide all available size.
  • Click Deploy.
Deploy an Ubuntu Image on Linode - Crunchify Tips

Step-4 Boot up your VM

Click on Boot to boot your Linode VM


Go to remote access tab and checkout command to login to your Linode (here linode is a term, which represents a VM which has 2GB RAM and 2 core CPU).

Linode Remote Access SSH Key and IP details - Crunchify Tip

After this step-5 I guess you don’t need to come to Linode Manager.

All below steps will happen in Mac OS X Terminal or if on Windows OS, it will be on Putty command utility.


Now login using macOS Terminal.

Login to Linode VM using SSH - Mac OS X terminal - Crunchify Tips

As you see in above image, we do have some updates for packages. Use below command to update packages.

$ apt-get update && apt-get upgrade


Now it’s time to configure Linode and install Discourse, Docker, etc.

Between, here are the list of commands which I ran to configured Discourse Correct way. We will go over each steps in details below.

root@crunchify:~# history
    1  apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
    2  echo "crunchify" > /etc/hostname
    3  hostname -F /etc/hostname
    4  cat /etc/default/dhcpcd | grep SET_HOSTNAME
    5  nano /etc/hosts
    6  dpkg-reconfigure tzdata
    7  hostname
    8  wget -qO- | sh
    9  mkdir /var/discourse
   10  git clone /var/discourse
   11  cp /var/discourse/samples/standalone.yml /var/discourse/containers/app.yml
   12  nano /var/discourse/containers/app.yml
   13  /var/discourse/launcher bootstrap app --skip-prereqs
   14  /var/discourse/launcher start app --skip-prereqs

Step-8 Setup Hostname

Execute below 4 commands and setup hostname correctly.

$ echo "crunchify" > /etc/hostname
$ hostname -F /etc/hostname
$ cat /etc/default/dhcpcd | grep SET_HOSTNAME
$ nano /etc/hosts

Step-9 Change Timezone

$ dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Follow visual screen and setup timezone as per prompt.

Setup Ubuntu Timezone

Once done. You should see your timezone values on Terminal window.

root@crunchify:~# dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Current default time zone: 'America/Chicago'
Local time is now:      Thu Mar 31 15:45:30 CDT 2016.
Universal Time is now:  Thu Mar 31 20:45:30 UTC 2016.

Step-10 Install Discourse Forum

10.1) Install Docker

$ wget -qO- | sh

Use above command to install Docker container. Docker is a container technology which helps us making it easier to create, deploy, and run applications with single click.

10.2) Install Discourse

$ mkdir /var/discourse
$ git clone /var/discourse
$ cp /var/discourse/samples/standalone.yml /var/discourse/containers/app.yml

10.3) Update app.yml file

$ nano /var/discourse/containers/app.yml

Basically we need to change below parameters only. You must follow these steps to setup email server correct way. You need some setup at Google App side if you are using Google Apps for your domain.

Discourse Email Setup Steps for

Click CTRL-X, Click Y and Press Enter to exit nano command.

10.4) Start Discourse Forum

$ /var/discourse/launcher bootstrap app --skip-prereqs
$ /var/discourse/launcher start app --skip-prereqs
  • bootstrap app command will start building your Discourse App. It may take up-to 5 min to build completely as per your Linode power.
  • start app command will actually starts discourse forum.

Step-11) Visit your forum

  • Register using an email which you specified in step 10.3.
Crunchify Tips for Setting up Discourse Forum for 1st time

In my case it’s

Step-12) Setup Signup using Social Media Accounts

  1. Twitter Signup Steps
  2. Facebook Signup Steps
  3. Google Signup Steps
Facebook Twitter and Google Signup Button for Discourse Forum - Crunchify Tutorials

That’s it.. Hurray. You now own Discourse forum. Isn’t these steps are simple? Let us know if you face any issue with these steps. We will try to update this post regularly based on feedback.

Looking for some more customization? Please visit all posts here:

Note: In 2023, we have decided to close our forum. All the tutorials regarding discourse forum setup are still valid. Let us know if you have any questions around the same.

19 thoughts on “How to Setup Forum on Linux [Linode] correct way – Tested and Verified Steps”

  1. Is there a reason why you didn’t use Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS? How would you go about installing Discourse on a subdomain along with the WordPress plugin on the root. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I’m about to try and set up a trial discourse and I expect this will be very helpful! If you know of any similarly detailed blog posts about how to adjust the initial look/feel of the forum it would be great to have links to them in the article.

    There are some instructions over on meta, but many of the people there have more linux skills than me and the step-by-step with comments approach is easier for me.


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