How To Install Apache Kafka on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Install Apache Kafka on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Kafka on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Kafka is a distributed message agent designed to deal with huge volumes of real-time information effectively. Unlike traditional agents like ActiveMQ and RabbitMQ, Kafka functions as a bunch of one or more servers making it highly scalable and because of the distributed nature, it’s inbuilt fault-tolerance whilst providing greater throughput when compared to its counterparts.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of Apache Kafka on an Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Apache Kafka on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt-get commands in the terminal.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2. Installing Java.

Kafka is written in Java, you will need to install Java on your system:

add-apt-repository -y ppa:webupd8team/java

Once you have finished, run the following command to install Java:

apt-get update
apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

Step 3. Installing Zookeeper.

Apache Kafka depends on Zookeeper for cluster management. Hence, prior to starting Kafka, Zookeeper has to be started:

apt-get install zookeeperd

After the installation completes, ZooKeeper will be started as a daemon automatically. By default, it will listen on port 2181:

netstat -ant | grep :2181

Step 4. Installing Kafka Server.

First, download and extract Kafka from the Apache website. You can use wget to download Kafka:

mkdir /opt/Kafka
cd /opt/Kafka

Extract the downloaded archive using the tar command in /opt/Kafka:

tar -xvf kafka_2.11- -C /opt/Kafka/

Configure Kafka Server:

sudo /opt/Kafka/kafka_2.11- /opt/Kafka/kafka_2.11-

You can use nohup with a script to start the Kafka server as a background process:

sudo nohup /opt/Kafka/kafka_2.11- /opt/Kafka/kafka_2.11- /tmp/kafka.log 2>&1 &

Now, it is time to verify the Kafka server is operating correctly:

sudo /opt/Kafka/kafka_2.11- --create --zookeeper localhost:2181 --replication-factor 1 --partitions 1 --topic testing

You should see the following output:

Created topic "testing".

Now, ask Zookeeper to list available topics on Apache Kafka:

sudo /opt/Kafka/kafka_2.11- --list --zookeeper localhost:2181

You should see the following output:


Next, publish sample messages to Apache Kafka topic called testing by using the following producer command:

sudo /opt/Kafka/kafka_2.11- --broker-list localhost:9092 --topic testing

Finally, use the consumer command to check for messages on Apache Kafka Topic called testing by running the following command:

sudo /opt/Kafka/kafka_2.11- --zookeeper localhost:2181 --topic testing --from-beginning

You should see the following output:

Hi how are you?
Where are you?

Well, you have successfully verified that you have a valid Apache Kafka setup with Apache Zookeeper.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Apache Kafka. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Apache Kafka on your Ubuntu 16.04 system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the official Apache Kafka website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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