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The NodeBB Config (config.json)

The majority of NodeBB's configuration is handled by the Administrator Control Panel (ACP), although a handful of server-related options are defined in the configuration file (config.json) located at NodeBB's root folder.

Some of these values are saved via the setup script:

  • url is the full web-accessible address that points to your NodeBB. If you don't have a domain, an IP address will work fine (e.g. Subfolder installations also define their folder here as well (e.g. If the url is changed to a sub-folder you need to rebuild nodebb with ./nodebb build
  • secret is a text string used to hash cookie sessions. If the secret is changed, all existing sessons will no longer validate and users will need to log in again.
  • database defines the primary database used by NodeBB. (e.g. redis, mongo or postgres) -- for more information, see Configuring Databases <databases>
  • redis, mongo and postgres are objects that contain database-related connection information, they contain some or all of the following:
    • host
    • port
    • uri (MongoDB only connection string)
    • username (MongoDB only)
    • password
    • database

The following values are optional, and override the defaults set by NodeBB:

  • bcrypt_rounds (Default: 12) Specifies the number of rounds to hash a password. Slower machines may elect to reduce the number of rounds to speed up the login process, but you'd more likely want to increase the number of rounds at some point if computer processing power gets so fast that the default # of rounds isn't high enough of a barrier to password cracking.
  • bind_address (Default:, or all interfaces) Specifies the local address that NodeBB should bind to.
    • By default, NodeBB will listen to requests on all interfaces, but when set, NodeBB will only accept connections from that interface.
  • isCluster Set this to true if you have multiple machines each running a single NodeBB process. This setting is not required if you have multiple NodeBB processes running either on a single or multiple machines.
  • jobsDisabled This can be added to disable jobs that are run on a certain interval.
    • For example "jobsDisabled":true will disable daily digest emails and notification pruning. This option is useful for installations that run multiple NodeBB backends in order to scale. In such a setup, only one backend should handle jobs, and the other backends would set jobsDisabled to true.
  • logFile (Default: logs/output.log) Specifies the path, relative to the NodeBB root install, that the log file will be stored. If this doesn't exist it will be created. Log files will be rotated to the same directory when the current log file gets above 1 Megabyte, to a maximum of 3 archived.
  • port (Default: 4567) Specifies the port number that NodeBB will bind to. You can specify an array of ports and NodeBB will spawn port.length processes. If you use multiple ports you need to configure a load balancer to proxy requests to the different ports.
  • max-memory Specifies the maximum memory a nodebb process can use in megabytes.
  • package_manager Specifies the package manager that NodeBB will invoke. If not set, will fall back to lockfile detection (and if no lockfiles are present, will use npm.)
  • sessionKey (Default: express.sid) Specifies the session key to use.
  • session_store This is an object similar to the redis, mongo or postgres block. It defines a database to use for sessions. For example by setting this to a different redis instance you can separate your data and sessions into two different redis instances.
    • name (Name of database to use redis, mongo or postgres)
    • other settings are identical to the database block for the datastore.
  • A hash with settings :
    • transports (Default: ["polling", "websocket"]) Can be used to configure transports.
    • address (Default: "") Address of server can be empty
    • origins (Defaults to url in config.json on all ports) Defined a different url for connections, in the format domain.tld:port (e.g.*)
      • If you need to enter multiple origins, separate them using commas (e.g.*,*)
  • upload_path (Default: /public/uploads) Specifies the path, relative to the NodeBB root install, that uploaded files will be saved in.
  • fontawesome This is an object that defines additional settings for FontAwesome, the icon library used by NodeBB.
    • pro Set this to true if you want to use the paid FontAwesome Pro icons. Note that you'll need to install FontAwesome Pro package yourself before NodeBB can use it. You can do so by following the instructions on
    • styles (Default: "*") Specifies which styles of icons NodeBB will allow to be used. "*" means all supported styles will be used, which currently means ["solid", "brands", "regular"] if fontawesome:pro is false and ["solid", "brands", "regular", "light", "thin", "duotone", "sharp"] otherwise.
  • plugins:active An array of active plugins ["nodebb-plugin-mentions", "nodebb-plugin-markdown"], if set this array is used instead of reading active plugins from the database.
  • ssl An object with secure sockets layer options. If this property is present, NodeBB will use a secure https server:
    • key File path of the private key file.
    • cert File path of the public certificate file.