How to host a Discourse forum on your own server

Discourse is a fairly new forum software that is very comfortable to use. As a server administrator, you can either run it from a Docker container, or pay a fee to use a hosted version. However, if neither Docker nor subscription fees are feasible options, setting up a Discourse instance without Docker involves a bit of work.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Hi @Daniel

I have been using your tutorial above to set up my discourse. However, I am setting up using vagrant and virtual box just to run locally for development.

My question is, how do I log in to the forum?
I’ve set up the development email address using .conf file. Then I managed to put my name and password. Then it said email has been sent to my email address for activation. As I am running this locally, surely I won’t receive any email. Then how do I log in to the forum?

Sorry if this is really basic.


I once had the same problem…

You need to activate the first user from the Rails console as described here:


An alternative way is to use a rake task:

Hope this helps!

1 Like

Hi @Daniel

Thanks…! It works fine now. I didn’t know that it can be set up using the console :D.
Thanks for your help!