Installing on Debian and Ubuntu

Download the Server

.deb for Debian-based Linux (from GitHub) rabbitmq-server_3.7.6-1_all.deb(Signature)
.deb for Debian-based Linux (from Bintray) rabbitmq-server_3.7.6-1_all.deb


rabbitmq-server is included in standard Debian and Ubuntu repositories. However, the versions included are often quite old. Installing the package from the apt repository on or Package Cloud is highly recommended. Check the Debian package and Ubuntu package details for which version of the server is available for which versions of the distribution.

You can either download it with the link above and install with dpkg, or use our APT repository (see below).

Supported Distributions

Below is a list Debian-based distributions supported by RabbitMQ 3.7.x packages:

  • Ubuntu 14.04 through 18.04
  • Debian Stretch
  • Debian Jessie
The package may work on other Debian-based distributions if dependencies (see below) are satisfied (e.g. using the Wheezy backports repository) but their testing and support is done on a best effort basis.

User Privilege Requirements

RabbitMQ Debian package will require sudo privileges to install and manage. In environments where sudo isn't available, consider using the generic binary build.

Installing Erlang/OTP

RabbitMQ needs Erlang/OTP to run. Erlang/OTP packages in standard Debian and Ubuntu also can be quite outdated. Consider installing a newer version, such as

Erlang Release Series Repositories that provide it Notes
20.1 Erlang Solutions. Debian Buster Supported starting with 3.6.11. See Erlang compatibility guide.

Erlang Version Pinning

apt package pinning can be used to avoid undesired Erlang upgrades. The following preference file example will pin esl-erlang package to to 20.1.7 and erlang-* packages to 20.1 (assuming package epoch for those packages is 1):

# /etc/apt/preferences.d/erlang
Package: erlang*
Pin: version 1:20.1-1
Pin-Priority: 1000

Package: esl-erlang
Pin: version 1:20.1.7
Pin-Priority: 1000
The above example should be placed into a file under /etc/apt/preferences.d/, e.g. /etc/apt/preferences.d/erlang.

Effective package pinning policy can be verified with

sudo apt-cache policy

Package Dependencies

When installing with apt, all dependencies other than Erlang/OTP should be met automatically in recent distributions (e.g. Ubuntu 16.04 or later, Debian Jessie). When that's not the case, dependency packages should be available from an appropriate backports repository. However, when installing via dpkg that's not the case. Below is the list of dependencies of RabbitMQ server as of 3.6.3:

  • erlang-nox (>= 1:19.3-1) | esl-erlang (>= 1:19.3-1). Erlang can installed either from the Erlang Solutions, backport repositories, or standard repositories depending on the distribution used.
  • init-system-helpers (>= 1.13~). Required for systemd support.
  • socat
  • adduser
  • logrotate

Apt repositories

RabbitMQ Apt repositories are available from Package Cloud and Bintray.

Using Bintray Apt Repository

First make sure a supported version of Erlang is available for installation from an apt repository on your system.

To add the Apt repository to your Apt source list directory (/etc/apt/sources.list.d), use:

echo "deb {distribution} main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bintray.rabbitmq.list
where {distribution} is the name of the Debian or Ubuntu distribution used, e.g. xenial for Ubuntu 16.04, artful for Ubuntu 17.10, or stretch for Debian Stretch.

So, on Ubuntu 16.04 the above command becomes

echo "deb xenial main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bintray.rabbitmq.list
and on Ubuntu 17.10 it would be
echo "deb artful main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bintray.rabbitmq.list
Supported distributions are
  • artful
  • jessie
  • precise
  • sid
  • stretch
  • trusty
  • wheezy
  • xenial
  • yakkety
  • zesty

Next add our public key to your trusted key list using apt-key(8):

wget -O- |
     sudo apt-key add -

Our public signing key is also available from

wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Run the following command to update the package list:

sudo apt-get update

Install rabbitmq-server package:

sudo apt-get install rabbitmq-server

Using PackageCloud Apt Repository

PackageCloud is another distribution channel that provides an Apt repository. A quick way to install uses a Package Cloud-provided script.

There are more installation options available:

  • Using PackageCloud Chef cookbook
  • Using PackageCloud Puppet module
  • Manually
See PackageCloud RabbitMQ repository instructions.

Note that Package Cloud signs distributed packages using their own GPG key.

Legacy Apt Repository on apt repository is still available but won't receive updates beyond the 3.6.x series. For RabbitMQ 3.7.0 and later versions, please use the repositories on Bintray or Package Cloud.

Run RabbitMQ Server

Start the Server

The server is started as a daemon by default when the RabbitMQ server package is installed. It will run as a non-privileged user rabbitmq.

As an administrator, start and stop the server as usual for Debian-based systems: service rabbitmq-server start.

Configuring RabbitMQ

On most systems, a node should be able to start and run with all defaults. Please refer to the Configuration guide to learn more and Production Checklist for guidelines beyond development environments.

Note: The server is set up to run as system user rabbitmq. If you change the location of the node database or the logs, you must ensure the files are owned by this user (and also update the environment variables).

Port Access

SELinux, and similar mechanisms may prevent RabbitMQ from binding to a port. When that happens, RabbitMQ will fail to start. Firewalls can prevent nodes and CLI tools from communicating with each other. Make sure the following ports can be opened:

  • 4369: epmd, a peer discovery service used by RabbitMQ nodes and CLI tools
  • 5672, 5671: used by AMQP 0-9-1 and 1.0 clients without and with TLS
  • 25672: used for inter-node and CLI tools communication (Erlang distribution server port) and is allocated from a dynamic range (limited to a single port by default, computed as AMQP port + 20000). Unless external connections on these ports are really necessary (e.g. the cluster uses federation or CLI tools are used on machines outside the subnet), these ports should not be publicly exposed. See networking guide for details.
  • 35672-35682: used by CLI tools (Erlang distribution client ports) for communication with nodes and is allocated from a dynamic range (computed as server distribution port + 10000 through server distribution port + 10010). See networking guide for details.
  • 15672: HTTP API clients, management UI and rabbitmqadmin (only if the management plugin is enabled)
  • 61613, 61614: STOMP clients without and with TLS (only if the STOMP plugin is enabled)
  • 1883, 8883: (MQTT clients without and with TLS, if the MQTT plugin is enabled
  • 15674: STOMP-over-WebSockets clients (only if the Web STOMP plugin is enabled)
  • 15675: MQTT-over-WebSockets clients (only if the Web MQTT plugin is enabled)
It is possible to configure RabbitMQ to use different ports and specific network interfaces.

Default user access

The broker creates a user guest with password guest. Unconfigured clients will in general use these credentials. By default, these credentials can only be used when connecting to the broker as localhost so you will need to take action before connecting from any other machine.

See the documentation on access control for information on how to create more users, delete the guest user, or allow remote access to the guest user.

Controlling System Limits on Linux

RabbitMQ installations running production workloads may need system limits and kernel parameters tuning in order to handle a decent number of concurrent connections and queues. The main setting that needs adjustment is the max number of open files, also known as ulimit -n. The default value on many operating systems is too low for a messaging broker (eg. 1024 on several Linux distributions). We recommend allowing for at least 65536 file descriptors for user rabbitmq in production environments. 4096 should be sufficient for most development workloads.

There are two limits in play: the maximum number of open files the OS kernel allows (fs.file-max) and the per-user limit (ulimit -n). The former must be higher than the latter.

With systemd (Recent Linux Distributions)

On distributions that use systemd, the OS limits are controlled via a configuration file at /etc/systemd/system/rabbitmq-server.service.d/limits.conf, for example:


Without systemd (Older Linux Distributions)

The most straightforward way to adjust the per-user limit for RabbitMQ on distributions that do not use systemd is to edit the /etc/default/rabbitmq-server (provided by the RabbitMQ Debian package) or rabbitmq-env.conf to invoke ulimit before the service is started.

ulimit -S -n 4096

This soft limit cannot go higher than the hard limit (which defaults to 4096 in many distributions). The hard limit can be increased via /etc/security/limits.conf. This also requires enabling the module and re-login or reboot.

Note that limits cannot be changed for running OS processes.

For more information about controlling fs.file-max with sysctl, please refer to the excellent Riak guide on open file limit tuning.

Verifying the Limit

RabbitMQ management UI displays the number of file descriptors available for it to use on the Overview tab.

rabbitmqctl status
includes the same value.

The following command

can be used to display effective limits of a running process. $RABBITMQ_BEAM_PROCESS_PID is the OS PID of the Erlang VM running RabbitMQ, as returned by rabbitmqctl status.

Configuration Management Tools

Configuration management tools (e.g. Chef, Puppet, BOSH) provide assistance with system limit tuning. Our developer tools guide lists relevant modules and projects.

Managing the Broker

To stop the server or check its status, etc., you can use package-specific scripts (e.g. the service tool) or invoke rabbitmqctl (as an administrator). It should be available on the path. All rabbitmqctl commands will report the node absence if no broker is running.

  • Invoke rabbitmqctl stop to stop the server.
  • Invoke rabbitmqctl status to check whether it is running.

More info on rabbitmqctl.


Output from the server is sent to a RABBITMQ_NODENAME.log file in the RABBITMQ_LOG_BASE directory. Additional log data is written to RABBITMQ_NODENAME-sasl.log.

The broker always appends to the log files, so a complete log history is retained.

You can use the logrotate program to do all necessary rotation and compression, and you can change it. By default, this script runs weekly on files located in default /var/log/rabbitmq directory. See /etc/logrotate.d/rabbitmq-server to configure logrotate.

Getting Help and Providing Feedback

If you have questions about the contents of this guide or any other topic related to RabbitMQ, don't hesitate to ask them on the RabbitMQ mailing list.

Documentation feedback is also very welcome on the list. If you'd like to contribute an improvement to the site, its source is available on GitHub.