Hosting Information

Note

This doc is written for the hosting section of the getting started guide. Please take a look if you don’t know how to host Red.

For your instance of Red to stay online 24/7, it needs to be hosted on a dedicated system. This page contains hosting related information and advice for beginners in topics such as picking a provider.

First, we would like to make something clear:

Warning

Due to their inability to handle Red’s data structure and meet the conditions of being a supported platform; platforms such as Heroku, Pterodactyl, repl.it, Termux, LXC and alike are NOT officially supported. Docker support found in GitHub is also a work in progress and not ready for daily use. Workarounds for getting Red running on those platforms are imperfect due to Red’s nature. You will not be able to receive support if an issue occurs when hosting on any of these platforms.

Hosting on a VPS or Dedicated Server

You can host Red in a VPS running Linux or Windows. Using a Linux VPS is the recommended option. Dedicated servers also work but are overpowered and cost ineffective unless one plans to run a very large bot or use their server for more than just hosting Red. If you have already created an instance, Red can be moved to a different server for hosting with a backup/restore process. More information and guidance about this process is available in the Red Support Server.

Warning

Please be aware that a Linux server is controlled through a command line. If you don’t know Unix basics, please take a look at DigitalOcean’s tutorial: An Introduction to Linux Basics.

Self Hosting

It’s possible to self host Red with your own hardware. A Raspberry Pi 3 will have enough computing capacity to handle a small to medium sized bot. You can also host on your own computer or rack server. Any modern hardware should work without issues. However, this option leaves you responsible for keeping the bot online by paying for electricity costs and dealing with power outages.

Choosing a Provider

The following are some common providers suitable for hosting Red. With each having their pros and cons, this list is mainly intended to act as a starting point. You should conduct your own research and come to a conclusion depending on your needs and budget, taking into account providers not listed here if desired. The key is the provider offering an OS supported by Red.

Tip

You will have better results with Audio when the region in your Discord server settings is closer to the bulk of the server’s audience and the location you picked for your Red host.

Average Providers

Scaleway is a VPS and dedicated server provider French in origin with locations in Poland and Netherlands.
DigitalOcean is a US based cloud services company with locations available worldwide, the VPS service is provided under the brand name “Droplet”.
OVH is a company focused on providing hosting and cloud services with locations in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
Time4VPS is a Lithuanian VPS provider mainly focused on lower cost.
GalaxyGate is a VPS and dedicated server provider with a single location in New York.
Linode is a US based cloud services company similar to DigitalOcean with locations available worldwide.
AWS Lightsail is a VPS service from Amazon Web Services priced lower than their enterprise offerings.
Vultr is a US based provider of VPS and dedicated servers with locations available worldwide.
Hetzner Online is a German VPS and dedicated server provider with locations in Germany and Finland.
Contabo is also a German VPS and dedicated server provider with locations in Germany and the United States.
Ramnode is a US based VPS provider focused on low to middle end VPS with locations in the US and Netherlands.
LowEndBox is a website where hosting providers are discussed and curated, often with lower costs and less known providers.

Higher End Providers

AWS EC2 is the enterprise offering of Amazon Web Services. A limited free plan is available for 12 months, after which a complex pricing model with high costs take over.
Google Compute Engine is Google’s EC2 competitor. However, an always free plan with limited resources is offered.
Microsoft Azure VM is Microsoft’s EC2 competitor with lower costs than EC2 for Windows instances, but similar otherwise.
Oracle Cloud Compute is Oracle’s EC2 competitor. But an always free plan is available with slightly higher specifications compared to that of Google Compute Engine.

Free Hosting

Google Compute Engine, Oracle Cloud Compute and AWS EC2 have free tier VPSes suitable for small bots.
Note: The free tier offered by AWS for EC2 only lasts for 12 months, while Oracle Cloud and Google Cloud offer always free tiers with limited resources.
Additionally, new Google Cloud customers get a $300 credit which is valid for 3 months. New Oracle Cloud customers also get $300 of free credit, but only valid for 30 days.
Excluding the above, there is no recommended free VPS host. Persuasion of another individual for hosting Red is an option, albeit low in success rate.