Are you having trouble setting up Discourse? Here are some basic things to
check before reaching out to the community for help:

  1. Are you running Ruby 2.0 or later?

    Discourse is designed for Ruby 2.0 or later. You can check your version by
    typing ruby -v (as the discourse user) and checking the response for
    something like:

    ruby 2.0.0p195 (2013-05-14 revision 40734) [x86_64-linux]

  2. Are you on Postgres 9.3 or later with HSTORE enabled?

    You can check your postgres version by typing psql --version. To see if
    hstore is installed, open a session to postgres and type \dx and see if
    hstore is listed.

  3. Have you run bundle install?

    We frequently update our dependencies to newer versions. It is a good idea
    to run bundle install every time you check out Discourse, especially if it’s
    been a while.

  4. Did you run bundle update?

    Don’t. Running bundle update will download gem versions that we haven’t
    tested with. The Gemfile.lock has the gem versions that Discourse currently
    uses, so bundle install will work. If you ran update, then you should
    uninstall the gems, run git checkout -- Gemfile.lock and then run bundle install.

  5. Have you migrated your database?

    Our schema changes fairly frequently. After checking out the source code,
    you should run rake db:migrate.

  6. Do the tests pass?

    If you are having other problems, it’s useful to know if the test suite
    passes. You can run it by first using rake db:test:prepare and then rake spec. If you experience any failures, that’s a bad sign! Our master branch
    should always pass every test.

  7. Have you updated host_names in your database.yml?

    If links in emails have localhost in them, then you are still using the
    default host_names value in database.yml. Update it to use your site’s host

  8. Are you having problems bundling:

ArgumentError: invalid byte sequence in US-ASCII
An error occurred while installing active_model_serializers (0.7.0), and Bundler cannot continue.
Make sure that `gem install active_model_serializers -v '0.7.0'` succeeds before bundling.

Try this in console:

$ export LANG="en_US.UTF-8"
$ export LC_ALL="en_US.UTF-8"

And/or this in top of Gemfile:

if RUBY_VERSION =~ /1.9/
Encoding.default_external = Encoding::UTF_8
Encoding.default_internal = Encoding::UTF_8

Check your ~/discourse/log/production.log file if you are getting HTTP 500

Some common situations:

Problem: ActiveRecord::StatementInvalid (PG::Error: ERROR: column X does not exist
Solution: run db:migrate task to apply migrations to the database