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NodeBB requires the following software to be installed:

  • Node.js (version 12 or greater, instructions below).
  • Redis (version 2.6.12 or greater, instructions below) or MongoDB (version 3.2 or greater).
  • nginx (version 1.3.13 or greater, only if intending to use nginx to proxy requests to a NodeBB server).

Server Access

  1. Sign in your Joyent account:
  2. Select: Create Instance
  3. Create the newest smartos nodejs image.

    Note: The following steps have been tested with images: smartos nodejs 13.1.0 smartos nodejs 13.2.3

  4. Wait for your instance to show Running then click on its name.

  5. Find your Login and admin password. If the Credentials section is missing, refresh the webpage.

    Example: ssh [email protected] A#Ca{c1@3

  6. SSH into your server as the admin not root: ssh [email protected]

    Note: For Windows users that do not have ssh installed, here is an option:


  1. Install NodeBB's software dependencies:

    $ sudo pkgin update $ sudo pkgin install scmgit nodejs build-essential ImageMagick redis

    If any of those failed to install then:

    $ pkgin search *failed-name* $ sudo pkgin install *available-name*

  2. If needed setup a redis-server with default settings as a service (automatically starts and restarts):

    If you want to use MongoDB, LevelDB, or another database instead of Redis please look at the Configuring Databases section.

    Note: These steps quickly setup a redis server but do not fine-tuned it for production.

    Note: If you manually ran redis-server then exit out of it now.

    $ svcadm enable redis $ svcs svc:/pkgsrc/redis:default

    Note: If the STATE is maintenance then:

    $ scvadm clear redis

    - To shut down your redis-server and keep it from restarting:

    $ scvadm disable redis

    - To start up your redis-server and have it always running:

    $ scvadm enable redis

  3. Move to where you want to create the nodebb folder:

    $ cd /parent/directory/of/nodebb/

  4. Clone NodeBB's repository (you may replace the ending nodebb with a different folder name):

    $ git clone -b v2.x nodebb $ cd nodebb

  5. Run NodeBB's setup script:

    $ ./nodebb setup

    a. URL used to access this NodeBB is either your public ip address from your ssh Login or your domain name pointing to that ip address.

    > **Example:** `` or ``

    b. 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.

    c. Please enter a NodeBB secret - Do not email this or post publicly. d. IP or Hostname to bind to - Use default unless your server requires otherwise. e. If you used the above steps to setup your redis-server then use the default redis settings.

  6. Start NodeBB process manually:

    Note: This should not be used for production but instead create a deamon manually, use Forever, or use Supervisor. Take a look at the options [here])../../running/index).

    $ node app

  7. Visit your app!

    Example: With a port of 4567: or

    Note: With port 80 the :80 does not need to be entered.

Note: If these instructions are unclear or if you run into trouble, please let us know by filing an issue.

Upgrading NodeBB

Note: Detailed upgrade instructions are listed in Upgrading NodeBB.