Installing on Debian / Ubuntu

Download the Server

.deb for Debian-based Linux (from rabbitmq-server_3.5.6-1_all.deb(Signature)
.deb for Debian-based Linux (from rabbitmq-server_3.5.6-1_all.deb(Signature)

rabbitmq-server is included in Debian since 6.0 (squeeze) and in Ubuntu since 9.04. However, the versions included are often quite old. You will probably get better results installing the .deb from our website. 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).

All dependencies should be met automatically.

Run RabbitMQ Server

Customise RabbitMQ Environment Variables

The server should start using defaults. You can customise the RabbitMQ environment. Also see how to configure components.

Start the Server

The server is started as a daemon by default when the RabbitMQ server package is installed.

As an administrator, start and stop the server as usual for Debian using invoke-rc.d rabbitmq-server stop/start/etc.

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

APT repositories

RabbitMQ hosts our own apt repository. We also have an alternative repository on Package Cloud.

Using APT Repository

  1. Add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list:
    deb testing main
    (Please note that the word testing in this line refers to the state of our release of RabbitMQ, not any particular Debian distribution. You can use it with Debian stable, testing or unstable, as well as with Ubuntu. We describe the release as "testing" to emphasise that we release somewhat frequently.)
  2. (optional) To avoid warnings about unsigned packages, add our public key to your trusted key list using apt-key(8):
    sudo apt-key add rabbitmq-signing-key-public.asc

    Our public signing key is also available from Bintray.

  3. Run apt-get update.
  4. Install packages as usual; for instance,
    sudo apt-get install rabbitmq-server

Using PackageCloud APT Repository

PackageCloud installs packages via HTTPS and signs them using their GPG key. There are multiple ways to install:

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

Port Access

SELinux and similar mechanisms may prevent RabbitMQ from binding to a port. When that happens, RabbitMQ will fail to start. Make sure the following ports can be opened:

  • 4369 (epmd), 25672 (Erlang distribution)
  • 5672, 5671 (AMQP 0-9-1 without and with TLS)
  • 15672 (if management plugin is enabled)
  • 61613, 61614 (if STOMP is enabled)
  • 1883, 8883 (if MQTT is enabled)
It is possible to configure RabbitMQ to use different ports.

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 fromn 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.

Managing the Broker

To stop the server or check its status, etc., you can 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.

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.

The most straightforward way to adjust the per-user limit for RabbitMQ 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.