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Server Build Instructions


This section describes the process for obtaining a copy of the RabbitMQ server source code, as well as instructions for building the server from source.

Build from Git

First, get the source code from our GitHub repositories:

git clone rabbitmq

Then, use GNU Make to pull down dependencies and build the server and all plugins that ship with the RabbitMQ distribution:

cd rabbitmq

Required Libraries and Tools

In order to build RabbitMQ, a few tools must be installed.


RabbitMQ requires a recent version of Python and (an implementation of a JSON reader and writer in Python), for generating AMQP 0-9-1 framing code. is included as a standard json library in the Python core since 2.6 release.

Erlang/OTP Toolchain and Headers

The Erlang development and runtime tools are needed to compile RabbitMQ server, tools and tier 1 plugins.

On a Debian-based system, install the erlang-nox, erlang-dev and erlang-src packages.

See Erlang compatibility guide to learn more about supported versions of Erlang/OTP.


A recent version of Elixir is needed to build RabbitMQ CLI tools.

GNU Make

GNU make is the primary build tool used by RabbitMQ.

xsltproc and xmlto

A recent version of xsltproc, which is part of libxslt and xmlto must be available.

zip and unzip

zip and unzip would be necessary if source code is obtained via an archive instead of a git repository clone.

Building the Server

Change to the rabbitmq directory, and type make.

Other interesting Makefile targets include

Make TargetDescription

The default target. Builds the server.


Builds the client libraries and starts an Erlang shell with the libraries loaded.


Builds the server and starts an instance with an interactive Erlang shell. This will by default put data, including the node's data directory, under /tmp/rabbitmq-test-instances, but this location can be overridden by setting the Makefile variable TEST_TMPDIR:

make run-broker TEST_TMPDIR="/some/other/location/for/rabbitmq-test-instances"

The Erlang node name can also be changed by setting RABBITMQ_NODENAME:

make run-broker RABBITMQ_NODENAME=rmq

See Configuration guide for other variables that may be useful.

cleanRemoves temporary build products.
distcleanRemoves all build products, including fetched dependencies.

Runs multiple server test suites. This is very resource-intensive and will take up to a few hours. Many nodes and clusters will be started, modified and destroyed by various test suites.

Building Packages

In practice, building RabbitMQ server from source is of limited use unless an easy to deploy package (e.g. a generic binary build or Debian one) can be produced.

Everything related to packaging the RabbitMQ server is in the main RabbitMQ repository.

There is a number of top-level packaging Make targets available, one for each package type (or family of packages, such as RPM):

  • make package-generic-unix
  • make package-deb
  • make package-rpm
  • make package-rpm-suse
  • make package-windows