Needing Advice About Working With Digital Ocean and Docker

I’m working to build my web site and community forum setup for my app. Here are the key points of my setup:

  • My web site is php based but with no database, and is designed in Wappler.

  • My hosting is with Digital Ocean.

  • I will be using Discourse as my forum software which I need to install under Docker and would like to be on the same Digital Ocean droplet as I host the web site.

  • I had massive problems getting Docker Desktop to run on my laptop a few months ago, and I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole again. :exploding_head: Hence I will not have Docker Desktop available to me.

So my questions are the following:

  1. Is it still true to say that I cannot create a Docker Droplet from Wappler unless I have Docker Desktop installed?

  2. If I create a docker based droplet directly in Digital Ocean and want to publish my Wappler PHP based site to it, what am I best to put in the Wappler target?
    a) Can I specify my hosting as “Docker” and interface to the Docker Droplet I will have created in Digital Ocean? If so, will I need to set some specific options when I create this Docker Droplet?
    b) Do I need to use SFTP instead?
    c) Will I not be able to interface to such a droplet from Wappler?

Thanks in advance,

What kind of advice do you want? The one that will help you or the one that won’t?

Strange question Jonas!
I think I’ll take the one that will help me…

It was a question that matches the world you will find at the end of the rabbit hole. Make Docker Desktop work :wink:

The solutions for the questions you are asking need it and in those cases where it might not be needed you will suffer more pain by going the alt route than making Docker Desktop work.

Hope it helps you.

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Well @JonL, that is a rabbit hole I’m not planning to go down right now.

Do you have any helpful advice for me given that fact? :thinking:

Yup! But I highly doubt you want to hear it.

Try me Jonas, try me…

Ok. Here it goes.

Change your mind.

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This sounds quite basic so should just be a case of FTP’ing to any server including DO. Or am I missing something?

What went wrong with Docker Desktop Antony? Its a proper hog of a thing (resource wise) but its easy to set-up… Try removing whatever you did and going through the install again with all the defaults. We were perturbed (the right word?) by Docker initially… Really held off adopting it, same with Node, and initially the same with the Mobile side. BUT it is so much easier then messing around with a LAMP stack (IMHO). Worth the effort to get it running!

Hey @dave and @sitestreet, thanks for your input!

I’ve discovered that installing discourse alongside apache2 is possible but very fiddly as they both want to grab port 80… so to keep life simple I’m just going to have a different droplet for the web site.

I’m permanently emotionally scarred from the Docker Desktop experience…


… so I’m just not going there again!

I’m trying to run a business rather than do all the technicalities in the most perfect way, and getting my marketing and product out the door are the top priority now… so whatever is the fastest and least hassle to set up is the way to go! :rocket:

And as I write, I have just managed to install discourse under docker on my droplet and it’s working, so happy days!


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Cherish the moment!


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Yep, have the discourse forum on a sub-domain and then it will very happily co-exist with the website on a different droplet.

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Never try to do too much on a single server.

Discourse is a very complex community software and it presumes it runs on its own server. So you should just do just that - give it its own droplet.

Discourse has its own installer that uses docker internally but you don’t have to be bothered by this. Just don’t mess it by trying to also install all your stuff on the same server

Use separate droplets for your own sites.

This should be your rule to follow: separation of concerns - separate different services as much as possible.


Thanks for sharing your experience of Discourse @George… that is definitely the way I am going now!