How To Install Discourse on Debian 11

Install Discourse on Debian 11

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Discourse on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Discourse is an open-source Internet forum (aka online message board). It is designed to work as a forum, chat software, or mailing list. It integrates easily with other platforms, and its functionality can be expanded with plugins.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Discourse on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Debian 10 or Debian 11.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Discourse on Debian 11 Bullseye

Step 1. Before we install any software, it’s important to make sure your system is up to date by running the following apt commands in the terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl GnuPG

Step 2. Installing Docker.

Now we add the Docker GPG key:

curl -fsSL | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg

Next, add Docker repository:

echo \
"deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg] \ \
$(lsb_release -cs) stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null

Then, update the packages and install the Docker using the following command below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install docker-ce docker-ce-cli

Step 3. Installing Discourse on Debian 11.

By default, Discourse is not available on Debian 11 base repository. So, now run the following command below to clone the Discourse installer from the GitHub page:

sudo mkdir /var/discourse
sudo git clone /var/discourse

Finally, install Discourse using the following command:

cd /var/discourse
sudo ./discourse-setup

Answer the following questions when prompted:

Hostname for your Discourse? []: 
Email address for admin account(s)? []: 
SMTP server address? []: 
SMTP port? [587]: 
SMTP user name? []: 
SMTP password? [Y0ur-St0ng-pa$$word]: 
Let's Encrypt account email? (ENTER to skip) []:

Step 3. Configure Firewall.

By default, the UFW firewall is enabled on Debian. Depending on your Apache virtual host configuration file, open ports 80 and 443 to allow HTTP and HTTPS traffic:

sudo ufw allow 80/tcp
sudo ufw allow 443/tcp
sudo ufw reload

Step 4. Accessing Discourse Web Interface.

Once successfully installed, open your web browser and access the Discourse using the URL You will get the following screen:

Install Discourse on Debian 11 Bullseye


Congratulations! You have successfully installed Discourse. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the latest version of the Discourse on Debian 11 Bullseye. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Discourse website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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