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Open source community and discussion forum for customers, teams, fans, and more.

Multipurpose, modern, and beautifully simple forum software aiming to reimagine what a modern online discussion forum should look like. Discourse goes back to basics by displaying the conversations you care about based on your participation – no algorithms necessary. Use the free version for friends, fellow fans, or to start a new community, or upgrade to a premium version with enhanced features designed to help teams collaborate while working remotely.

Before You Begin

Discourse requires that you have a domain name and access to a personal SMTP email server before installation. This requires either having access to a pre-existing SMTP server, or setting up an SMTP Relay through a third party. The Discourse Marketplace App will require an SMTP username and password for a server under your control in order to successfully complete the installation.

  • If you don’t already have your domain hosted at Linode, the install creates A and AAAA domain records for you.
  • Additionally, the SMTP user must be able to send email from for administrator account verification.
    • For example, if you enter a subdomain of discourse and your domain name is, then the SMTP user must be able to send email from
    • You are not required to use a subdomain. Therefore, if you only setup with no subdomain, the email used for verification would be

Software Included

The Discourse Marketplace App installs the following software on your Linode:

DiscourseDiscourse is an open source discussion platform that provides a forum, mailing list, chat room, and more.
ufwufw is the uncomplicated firewall, a frontend for iptables.

Discourse Options

The Discourse Marketplace form includes advanced fields to setup your Discourse server’s A and AAAA domain records and a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. Some of these fields are optional configurations and are not required for installation. The fields that are required are marked Required.

Note: Discourse requires that you have a domain name and SMTP email. These fields are required for a successful installation and are marked Required. Additionally, the SMTP user must be able to send email from for account verification.

Your Linode API TokenYour Linode API access token is needed to create your DNS records and to create the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. If you don’t have a token, you must create one before continuing. Required
SubdomainThe subdomain you wish the installer to create a DNS record for during setup.
DomainThe domain name where you wish to host your Discourse app. The installer creates a DNS record for this domain during setup. Required
Email for Admin Account and Let’s Encrypt certificateThe email you wish to use for the administrator account and the SSL certificate. This email address receives notifications when the certificate needs to be renewed. Required
SMTP AddressThe address for SMTP. Discourse uses this for sending email. Required
SMTP UsernameThe username for the SMTP account entered above. The SMTP user must be able to send email from for account verification. Required
Password for SMTP UserThe password for the SMTP account listed above. Required
The limited sudo user to be created for the LinodeThis is the limited user account to be created for the Linode. This account has sudo user privileges.
The password for the limited sudo userSet a password for the limited sudo user. The password must meet the complexity strength validation requirements for a strong password. This password can be used to perform any action on your server, similar to root, so make it long, complex, and unique.
The SSH Public Key that will be used to access the LinodeIf you wish to access SSH via Public Key (recommended) rather than by password, enter the public key here.
Disable root access over SSH?Select Yes to block the root account from logging into the server via SSH. Select No to allow the root account to login via SSH.

Getting Started After Deployment

Discourse is now installed and ready to use.

  1. Your A and AAAA Domain records for the domain and subdomain, if you designated one, have been created and you should see them in the Cloud Manager.
    • In the Cloud Manager DNS Manager, confirm that there are now an entries for your domain and possible subdomain.
    • Configure rDNS on your Linode to point to or if you did not enter a subdomain.
  2. While the installation has created the A and AAAA domain records, it does not create the email records you need. In the Cloud Manager DNS Manager, add the MX, TXT, and any other records required to send email as specified by your email provider.
  3. You can now navigate to the Discourse app in your browser with the fully qualified domain name you entered during configuration, or
  4. Discourse welcomes you with a “Congratulations” screen and a Register button. Click the Register button to create the administrator account.

  5. On the Register Admin Account page, select one of the email addresses you entered during installation and enter a Username and Password. Then click the Register button.
  6. Discourse sends a confirmation email for account verification from your SMTP server. After you receive the email and confirm, you are redirected to the welcome screen where you are walked through a wizard to setup your Discourse.
  7. Once you are finished the setup wizard, Discourse launches the main discussion listing page where you can start adding discussion topics.

Visit the full guide to troubleshoot email, DNS, and more.

The Discourse Marketplace app was built by Linode. For support regarding app deployment, contact Linode Support via the information listed in the sidebar. For support regarding the tool or software itself, visit the Discourse Meta Forum.