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Isso: The Self-Hosted Commenting System You Need for Your Blog

Isso: The Open-Source Commenting Software for Your Blog or Website

Blogging has become a popular way for people to share their thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the world. If you are a blogger or have a website, you know how important it is to engage with your audience through comments.

But, finding the right commenting system can be challenging. There are numerous options out there, but they all come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we will introduce you to Isso, an open-source commenting software that has gained popularity as a Disqus alternative. We will also show you how to install it with Docker and Nginx on an Ubuntu Linux server.

Isso, Open Source Commenting Software

Isso is a free, open-source commenting software that allows you to add comments to your blog or website. Developed in Python, Isso is lightweight, easy to use, and has many features.

The software can be integrated with most blogging platforms, including WordPress, Ghost, and Jekyll-static websites. Isso stores comments in a SQLite database, making it easy to back up and restore.

One of the most significant advantages of Isso is its self-hosted nature. Unlike Disqus, Isso doesn’t host your comments on their platform.

Instead, it stores all the comments in your own database. This ensures that you maintain full control over your comments and data.

Additionally, Isso’s open-source nature means that you can modify and customize the software to fit your needs. Disqus Alternative, Add Commenting System to Blog or Website, JavaScript Embed

Disqus is one of the most popular commenting systems used by bloggers and website owners.

However, it comes with its own set of problems. Disqus stores comments on their servers, which means that you don’t have full control over your data.

Also, Disqus adds third-party scripts to your website, which can slow down your website’s loading speed and reduce your site’s rankings in search engines. With Isso, you can have a Disqus alternative that doesn’t have any of these problems.

Isso doesn’t use any third-party scripts, so it won’t slow down your website. Additionally, Isso offers a JavaScript embed that makes it easy to add a commenting system to your website without much hassle.

Installing Isso with Docker, Nginx Container, Docker Compose, Isso Configuration

Now that you know about Isso’s advantages, let’s show you how to install it on your server. The following steps will guide you on how to install Isso with Docker, Nginx container, and Docker Compose on an Ubuntu Linux server:

Step 1: Install Docker on your Ubuntu Linux server

Step 2: Install Docker Compose on your Ubuntu Linux server

Step 3: Create an Isso configuration file

Step 4: Create an Nginx container

Step 5: Create an Isso container and link it to the Nginx container

Step 6: Start the containers

Step 7: Test your installation

Prerequisites, Ubuntu Linux Server, Domain and DNS Settings, Docker and Docker Compose Installation, Nginx Reverse Proxy Setup

Before you start installing Isso, there are some prerequisites that you need to fulfil.

You will need an Ubuntu Linux server with root access, a registered domain name, and DNS settings pointing to your server’s IP address. Additionally, you will need to install Docker and Docker Compose on your server.

After you have fulfilled the prerequisites, the next step is to set up an Nginx reverse proxy server. Nginx is a high-performance web server that can be used as a reverse proxy server.

It can help you manage multiple web applications and improve the security and scalability of your server.


In conclusion, Isso is a great alternative to Disqus, which comes with its own set of problems. Isso is lightweight, easy to use, and has many features.

It is also self-hosted and open-source, which gives you full control over your comments and data. Installing Isso with Docker and Nginx is easy and can be done in a few steps.

If you want to have full control over your comments and data, Isso is an excellent choice. Changing DNS Settings, A/AAAA Records, Domain and IP Address

Changing DNS settings to point the domain name to your server’s IP address is an essential part of hosting a website.

DNS (Domain Name System) is essentially the internet’s phone book. It matches domain names (such as to IP addresses (such as

To point your domain name to your server’s IP address, you need to create A/AAAA records in your DNS settings. An A record is used to point a domain name to an IPv4 address, while an AAAA record is used to point a domain name to an IPv6 address.

If your server uses IPv4, you need to create an A record in your DNS settings. If your server uses IPv6, you need to create an AAAA record.

You can usually find your DNS settings in your domain registrar’s dashboard. Once you have created A/AAAA records in your DNS settings pointing the domain name to your server’s IP address, it can take some time for the changes to propagate across the internet.

Downloading Isso with Git, Directory Setup, Building Isso Docker Image, Isso Configuration File Setup

Isso can be downloaded from its official GitHub repository using the Git version control system. To download Isso, you need to install Git on your server and run the following command:


git clone


This will create an Isso directory in the current working directory.

You can then navigate to the Isso directory and set up your configuration file. Isso’s configuration file is a YAML file that can be modified to fit your needs.

Before you build the Isso Docker image, you need to set up the directory structure required. In the Isso directory, create a directory named `db` and make it writable by the Docker container.

You also need to create a `config` subdirectory inside the `db` directory and copy your Isso configuration file to the `config` directory. To build the Isso Docker image, you need to have Docker installed on your server.

Inside the Isso directory, run the following command:


docker build -t isso . “`

This will create a Docker image named `isso` that can be used to run the Isso container.

Building Isso Docker Image, Docker Compose File Setup, Volume and Network Configurations

After you have built the Isso Docker image, the next step is to use Docker Compose to create the Isso container. Docker Compose is a tool that allows you to define and run multi-container Docker applications.

To set up the Docker Compose file, you need to create a YAML file named `docker-compose.yml` in the Isso directory. Inside the file, you need to define the Isso service, its container configuration, and its network configuration.

You also need to define a volume that will be used to persist the Isso database. Here’s an example Docker Compose file for Isso:


version: ‘3’



image: isso

restart: always


– isso-db:/db


– “8080:8080”


– isso-network






This Docker Compose file defines the Isso service, named `isso`, using the `isso` Docker image.

It defines a volume named `isso-db` that will be used to persist the Isso database. It also defines the network configuration using the `isso-network` network.

To start the Isso container using Docker Compose, navigate to the Isso directory and run the following command:


docker-compose up -d


This will start the Isso container and detach it from the terminal. Embedding Isso Code on Website, Ghost Blog Setup, Modifying Ghost Theme, Scaling Ghost Container

After you have set up Isso, the next step is to embed its code on your website or blog.

To do this, you need to add Isso’s JavaScript code to the HTML code of your website or blog. Isso’s JavaScript code can be generated by Isso and can be found in the Isso directory under the `static/js` directory.

If you are using a Ghost blog, Isso can be integrated using a Ghost app called `isso-ghost`. To install `isso-ghost`, navigate to the Ghost directory and run the following command:


ghost install local isso-ghost


This will install the `isso-ghost` app on your Ghost blog. You can then modify your Ghost theme to add Isso’s JavaScript code to your blog’s pages.

To scale Ghost containers, you can use Docker Compose to run multiple instances of the Ghost container. To do this, you need to modify your Docker Compose file to include multiple instances of the Ghost service.

You also need to define a load balancer service that will distribute the traffic between the multiple instances of the Ghost container. Accessing Isso Comments Box on Website, Checking Deployment Status

After you have set up Isso and embedded its code on your website or blog, you can access the Isso comments box on your website to test whether everything is working correctly.

The comments box should be accessible on all pages where you have added the Isso JavaScript code. To check the deployment status of the Isso container, you can use the following command:


docker ps


This command will show you a list of all running containers on your server, including the Isso container. The output will include the container ID, image name, and status.

Stopping Containers, Bonus Tips, Web Administration Interface, Docker Content Trust, Updating Isso Image, Testing Comment Voting

To stop the Isso container, you can use the following command:


docker-compose stop


This command will stop the Isso container and preserve its data. Some bonus tips for using Isso include setting up a web administration interface for Isso using the `isso-admin` package, enabling Docker Content Trust to ensure that only trusted images are used, and regularly updating the Isso image to the latest version to ensure that any security vulnerabilities are patched.

To update the Isso image, you can use the following command:


docker-compose pull

docker-compose up -d


This will pull the latest Isso image from Docker Hub and start a new container. To test comment voting in Isso, you can open a web page with a comment section and upvote or downvote a comment.

You can then check the Isso container logs to see if the vote was registered:


docker logs isso_isso_1


This will show you the container logs, including any votes that were registered. Additional Resources, Official Isso Documentation, Comment Section for Feedback and Queries

If you want to learn more about Isso or need help with setting it up, there are many resources available.

The official Isso documentation is a great place to start, with detailed guides on installation, configuration, and usage. The Isso GitHub repository also has an active community that can help answer any questions you may have.

In addition to official resources, there are many tutorials, forums, and blog posts available that cover Isso and its usage in more detail. A quick Google search will uncover a wealth of information.

If you have any feedback or queries about Isso or this article, please use the comments section below to leave your comments. We welcome any feedback or questions and will do our best to respond to all comments.

In conclusion, Isso is a powerful open-source commenting software that offers a self-hosted and customizable alternative to Disqus. By following the step-by-step instructions for installation, including using Docker and Nginx, you can easily set up Isso on your own server.

Changing DNS settings, configuring Isso’s JavaScript embed, and integrating with platforms like Ghost are further explored. Additionally, we covered bonus tips such as a web administration interface, Docker Content Trust, updating the Isso image, and testing comment voting.

Through its features and flexibility, Isso empowers website owners to have full control over their comments and data. Explore the official Isso documentation and tap into the resources available to further enhance your understanding and maximize Isso’s potential for your blog or website.

Isso puts the power of engagement in your hands, enabling you to build a vibrant community around your content.

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