Setting up NodeBB on cloud 9

  • Plugin & Theme Dev

    On the dashboard click on "Create a new workspace"


    On the Create a new workspace page, enter a name for the workspace. Enter for "Clone from Git or Mercurial URL".

    Pick "Node.js" option from the "Choose a template section" and click "Create workspace"


    The workspace will be created and you will be redirected to the IDE.

    If you want to use the master branch (development branch) of NodeBB then skip the next step.

    Type git checkout v1.x.x in the terminal to switch to the stable version of NodeBB (use the branch for the latest stable release)


    Cloud 9 workspaces have MongoDB preinstalled. You need to start it. Follow these instructions to start MongoDB

    $ mkdir data
    $ echo 'mongod --bind_ip=$IP --dbpath=data --nojournal --rest "[email protected]"' > mongod
    $ chmod a+x mongod
    $ ./mongod &

    The & in the last command lets you exit the MongoDB shell by using ctrl + c without shutting down the db

    Moving on to NodeBB installation and setup...

    Run npm install --production to install all NodeBB dependencies

    NodeBB setup will install the MongoDB dependencies when we pick mongo as the database and it requires a system module to be installed. Run this to install the module

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install libkrb5-dev

    Run ./nodebb setup to start the NodeBB setup

    The easiest way to get the URL is to use the "Preview -> Preview running application" in the IDE menu.


    This will open a browser window right next to the terminal. Copy the url from that window but do not include the / at the end. So in my case the URL is


    • Use that as the URL and press enter

    • press enter to accept the default secret

    • type mongo and press enter for which database to use (if you are using v0.9.x branch, the default will show up as redis and for master the default is mongo)

    • you can press enter for the rest of the DB related questions or enter the details if you have a db and user setup in mongodb

    • the setup will ask you for admin username, email and password... enter them

    You will see this message if everything goes well...


    Run ./nodebb start to start NodeBB

    Use the URL entered before or click on "Preview -> Preview running application" from the menu to open NodeBB.

    Login with the admin username/password you entered during the setup.

    Cloud 9 freezes the workspaces frequently when you are not using them. Once you go to the IDE for your workspace, run ./mongod & to startup MongoDB and then run ./nodebb start to start NodeBB

    EDIT: Looks like cloud 9 is not shutting down mongodb cleanly before going to hibernate.
    If you get a exception in initAndListen: 12596 old lock file, terminating error... try this...

    $ rm data/mongod.lock
    $ ./mongod &

  • Nice tutorial! 🙂

  • I actually used this tutorial a few days ago, and it worked perfectly. (although after all that I really can't give up sublime as my preferred editor, also my computer is a just a touch too slow for a web-based IDE)

    That said, awesome tutorial and thanks for contributing 🙂

  • Gamers

    OMG thank you! Gonna use this to make a forum for my class 🙂

  • Gamers

    any staff online? I need help 😞

  • Gamers

    Thanks 😄
    This is helpful 😉

  • Gamers

    Need halp to XD

  • I just hacked my way through a very ugly series of install attempts before finally getting it "working". I wish i'd seen this topic sooner. 😑

  • Gamers

    Just to add on to this tutorial, you now need to install mongodb manually....just run sudo apt-get -y mongodb-org before running ./mongod &

  • @Apple-Pro Found that out the hard way this afternoon when I reinstalled using this guide, but I wasn't sure if it was Cloud9 or I'd just done something wrong. Good to know I didn't Break All the Things.

  • So I'm attempting to use this walkthrough to setup a gaming forum. I'm having issues with the install.

    I have very limited experience, anyone with more knowledge able to do a review of this walk through and fix any issues? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • @apple-pro said in Setting up NodeBB on cloud 9:

    sudo apt-get -y mongodb-org

    It's actually:

    sudo apt-get install -y mongodb-org

    Also, thanks for the guide. This should replace: (didn't work for me).

  • [2670] - error: NodeBB could not connect to your Mongo database. Mongo returned the following error: failed to connect to server [] on first connect [MongoError: connect ECONNREFUSED]

    Urgent help required

  • After I hit typed mongo and hit enter, I got

    Format: mongodb://[username:[email protected]]host1[:port1][,host2[:port2],...[,hostN[:portN]]][/[database][?options]]

    I'm not sure what should I do or type here. Please help. Thank you so much.

  • It would be great if you can also provide a tutorial on setting up Nodebb on Heroku.

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