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Installing Coral

Online comments are broken. Our open-source commenting platform, Coral, reimagines moderation, comment display, and conversation. Use Coral to add smarter, safer discussions to your site without giving away your data.

More than 130 newsrooms in 16 countries trust Coral to power their on-site communities, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Der Spiegel. Read more about Coral here.

We offer hosting and support packages for Coral, as well as exclusive, customer-only features. Contact us for more information..

Built with ❤️ by Coral by Vox Media.


  • MongoDB >=4.2
  • Redis >=3.2
  • NodeJS >=12
  • NPM >=6.7


You can install Coral using Docker or via Source. We recommend Docker, as it provides the easiest deployment solution going forward, as all the dependencies are baked and shipped with the provided coralproject/talk:6 image.


The easiest way to get started with Coral is through our published Docker image and provided example docker-compose.yml file. The following assumes that you have Docker and Docker Compose installed on your local machine:

# Create directories to persist the data in MongoDB and Redis.
mkdir -p data/{mongo,redis}

# Create the `docker-compose.yml` file to get started.
cat > docker-compose.yml <<EOF
version: "2"
    image: coralproject/talk:6
    restart: always
      - ""
      - mongo
      - redis
      - MONGODB_URI=mongodb://mongo:27017/coral
      - REDIS_URI=redis://redis:6379
      - SIGNING_SECRET=<replace me with something secret>
    image: mongo:4.2
      - ./data/mongo:/data/db
    image: redis:3.2
      - ./data/redis:/data

# Start up Coral using Docker.
docker-compose up -d

Then head on over to http://localhost:3000 to install Coral!


Coral requires NodeJS >=12, we recommend using nvm to help manage node versions:

# Clone and cd into the Coral directory.
git clone
cd talk

# Install dependencies.
npm install

# Build the application dependencies.
# This might take a while.
npm run build

This should output all the compiled application code to ./dist.

Running Coral with default settings assumes that you have:

  • MongoDB >=4.2 running on
  • Redis >=3.2 running on

If you don’t already have these databases running, you can execute the following assuming you have Docker installed on your local machine:

docker run -d -p 27017:27017 --restart always --name mongo mongo:4.2
docker run -d -p 6379:6379 --restart always --name redis redis:3.2

Then start Coral with:

# Start the server in development mode.
npm run start:development

Then head on over to http://localhost:3000 to install Coral!

Note that if you want to run Coral in production from source, you’ll need to create a secret for signing that differs from the unsafe default. You can do this by using something like openssl rand -base64 32. You can then place this secret in a .env file in your talk directory as such:

SIGNING_SECRET=<replace me with something secret>

You can then run Coral with the production command instead:

# Start the server in production mode.
npm run start