The current Ubuntu guide is not completely compatible with Debian and there are some specificities and especially the NodeJS installation, and how to get latest Redis.


NodeBB requires the following software to be installed:

Node.js installation

Debian 7 and Debian 6 and older doesn't have nodejs packages included by default, but there are some solutions to install Node.js on your Debian distribution.

Wheezy Backport

This solution is ONLY for Debian 7, simply run the following as root :

$ echo "deb wheezy-backports main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wheezy-backports.list
$ apt-get update

To install Node.js + NPM, run this :

$ apt-get install nodejs-legacy
$ curl -L --insecure | bash

The following install a Node.js version who is greater than 0.8 (at 29 March 2014 : 0.10.21)

Compiling from the source

This solution is for Debian 6 (Squeeze) and greater, in order to install NodeJS, run this as root :

$ sudo apt-get install python g++ make checkinstall
$ src=$(mktemp -d) && cd $src
$ wget -N
$ tar xzvf node-latest.tar.gz && cd node-v*
$ ./configure
$ fakeroot checkinstall -y --install=no --pkgversion $(echo $(pwd) | sed -n -re's/.+node-v(.+)$/\1/p') make -j$(($(nproc)+1)) install
$ sudo dpkg -i node_*

Get latest Software via DotDeb

Dotdeb is a repository containing packages to turn your Debian boxes into powerful, stable and up-to-date LAMP servers.

Dotdeb supports

Debian 7 (Wheezy)

For the complete DotDeb repositories :

$ sudo echo 'deb wheezy all' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/dotdeb.list
$ sudo echo 'deb-src wheezy all' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/dotdeb.list

After this, add the following GPC keys :

$ wget
$ sudo apt-key add dotdeb.gpg

And update your package source :

$ sudo apt-get update

Debian 6 (Squeeze)

For the complete DotDeb repositories :

$ sudo echo 'deb squeeze all' >> /etc/apt/sources.list
$ sudo echo 'deb-src squeeze all' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

After this, add the following GPC keys :

$ wget
$ sudo apt-key add dotdeb.gpg

And update your package source :

$ sudo apt-get update

Installing NodeBB

Now, we have NodeJS installed and Redis ready to be installed, run this command for install the base software stack :

$ apt-get install redis-server imagemagick git build-essential

Next clone this repository :

$ cd /path/to/nodebb/install/location
$ git clone -b v1.5.x nodebb

Now we are going to install all dependencies for NodeBB via NPM :

$ cd /path/to/nodebb/install/location/nodebb (or if you are on your install location directory run : cd nodebb)
$ npm install

Install NodeBB by running the app with --setup flag :

$ ./nodebb setup
  1. URL of this installation is either your public ip address or your domain name pointing to that ip address.

    : Example: or

  2. Port number of your NodeBB is the port needed to access your site:

    : Note: If you do not proxy your port with something like nginx then port 80 is recommended for production.

  3. If you used the above steps to setup your redis-server then use the default redis settings.

And after all.. let's run the NodeBB forum

$ ./nodebb start

Note: If you NodeBB or your server crash, your NodeBB instance will not reboot (snap), this is why you should take a look at the other way to start your NodeBB instance with helper programs such as supervisor and forever, just take a look here.

Extras, tips and Advice

You should secure your NodeBB installation, take a look here.

You should use Nginx (or similar) in order to reverse proxy your NodeBB installation on the port 80, take a look here