Self Host Your Own Message Board Forum With Flarum

Self Host Your Own Message Board Forum With Flarum

Flarum is a very lightweight, self hosted forum software. Install Flarum using Docker Compose. 🐳

Building a community is one of the most important aspects of communication to maintain a healthy relationship with customers, users and fans. The Flarum forum software makes it fun and simple. Flarum's responsive design works extremely well on mobile devices catering to those on the go.

Let's take a closer look at Flarum forum and install it using Docker!

What is Flarum?

Flarum is a delightfully simple discussion platform for your website. It's fast, free, and easy to use, with all the features you need to run a successful community. It's also extremely extensible, allowing for ultimate customization.

Flarum is the combined successor of esoTalk and FluxBB. It is designed to be:

  • Fast and simple. No clutter, no bloat, no complex dependencies. Flarum is built with PHP so it’s quick and easy to deploy. The interface is powered by Mithril, a performant JavaScript framework with a tiny footprint.
  • Beautiful and responsive. This is forum software for humans. Flarum is carefully designed to be consistent and intuitive across platforms, out-of-the-box.
  • Powerful and extensible. Customize, extend, and integrate Flarum to suit your community. Flarum’s architecture is amazingly flexible, with a powerful Extension API.
  • Free and open. Flarum is released under the MIT license.
GitHub - mondediefr/docker-flarum: Docker image of Flarum
:speech_balloon: :whale: Docker image of Flarum. Contribute to mondediefr/docker-flarum development by creating an account on GitHub.

Install Flarum Forum with Docker Compose

When I installed Flarum for the first time, I used Docker Compose. I was quite surprised with how quick and simple it was to deploy using the following stack.

version: "3"

services:
  flarum:
    image: mondedie/flarum:latest
    container_name: flarum_core
    environment:
      - DEBUG=false
      - FORUM_URL=https://forum.address.com
      - DB_HOST=mariadb
      - DB_NAME=flarum
      - DB_USER=flarum
      - DB_PASS=changethispassword
      - DB_PREF=flarum_
      - DB_PORT=3306
      - FLARUM_ADMIN_USER=admin
      - FLARUM_ADMIN_PASS=admin
      - [email protected]
      - FLARUM_TITLE=Noted Flarum Forum
    volumes:
      - /docker/flarum/assets:/flarum/app/public/assets
      - /docker/flarum/extensions:/flarum/app/extensions
      - /docker/flarum/storage/logs:/flarum/app/storage/logs
      - /docker/flarum/nginx:/etc/nginx/flarum
    ports:
      - 80:8888
    depends_on:
      - mariadb

  mariadb:
    image: mariadb:10.5
    container_name: flarum_mariadb
    environment:
      - MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=changethispassword
      - MYSQL_DATABASE=flarum
      - MYSQL_USER=flarum
      - MYSQL_PASSWORD=changethispassword
    volumes:
      - /docker/flarum/mysql:/var/lib/mysql

When the Flarum install is complete, you can go to the IP or domain name you chose to use as the Docker Compose environment FORUM_URL. You can login using the admin username and password also provided in the Docker Compose. It should look similar to this.

You will notice how minimal Flarum design is and this is what makes it so fast and perform so well. You can begin by logging in as admin to change settings such as dark mode, adding tags that act as forum categories and SMTP settings for email notifications.

Tags are a major component of Flarum that act like forum categories. You can add tags and sub tags then secondary tags. This will help you keep your Flarum forum organized so people know where to post there related topics.

Final Notes and Thoughts

Flarum is a great forum solution to build a community around your business, product or brand. It's fast performance makes it a key competitor in the self hosted space among other alternatives.

Forum software has been around for several years and there is absolutely no shortage of options available. However, when it comes to simplicity, performance and usability, Flarum is a hard one to beat. It's one of the easiest forum applications I have ever setup using Docker.

If you find Flarum useful, be sure to give it a star on the Flarum Github repo. Github! Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below!

πŸ’¬ Anonymous comments are welcomed but manually approved

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