How To Install Mosquitto MQTT on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Install Mosquitto MQTT on Ubuntu 20.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Mosquitto MQTT on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, MQTT, an acronym for Message Queue Telemetry Transport, is a lightweight communication protocol based on the publisher/subscriber concept. It represents an alternative to the classic client/server architecture, widely used in the Internet of Things. It is commonly used for geo-tracking fleets of vehicles, home automation, environmental sensor networks, and utility-scale data collection.

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 the  Mosquitto MQTT on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint or elementary OS.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • A non-root sudo useror 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 Mosquitto MQTT on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

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

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install build-essential libwrap0-dev libssl-dev libc-ares-dev uuid-dev xsltproc

Step 2. Installing Mosquitto MQTT on Ubuntu 20.04.

First, we create a user with the name mosquito which is used to execute the MQTT application:

sudo adduser mosquitto
sudo usermod -aG sudo mosquitto.

Now we download the MQTT installation packages from the official page:

tar zxvf mosquitto-2.0.11.tar.gz

Next, go into the directory and compile also install the MQTT server on your system:

sudo make install

Step 3. Configure Mosquitto MQTT.

Now time to configure the MQTT server. We will create a user with the name mqtt-idroot, this user is a system used for running the Mosquitto server which will be used to make a connection from the client. In this step, we will be prompted to make a new password:

sudo mosquitto_passwd -c /etc/mosquitto/pwfile mqtt-idroot

Next, create a configuration file for Mosquitto MQTT Server:

nano /etc/mosquitto/mosquitto.conf

Add the following lines:

persistence true
 persistence_location /var/lib/mosquitto/
 persistence_file mosquitto.db
 log_dest syslog
 log_dest stdout
 log_dest topic
 log_type error
 log_type warning
 log_type notice
 log_type information
 connection_messages true
 log_timestamp true
 allow_anonymous true
 password_file /etc/mosquitto/pwfile

Save and close, then run sudo ldconfig command line:

sudo ldconfig

Step 4. Create a Systemd Service file for Mosquitto MQTT.

Now create a Mosquitto systemd unit file by creating a new file /etc/systemd/system/mosquitto.service:

nano /etc/systemd/system/mosquitto.service

Add the following line:

 Description=Insite MQTT Broker
 ExecStart=/usr/local/sbin/mosquitto -c /etc/mosquitto/mosquitto.conf

Save and close the file. Then, reload the systemd daemon with the following command:

sudo systemctl start mosquitto.service
sudo systemctl enable mosquitto.service

Step 5. Testing Mosquitto MQTT.

Once successfully installed, we have created simple testing which is running on the server’s console, where there is a server and a client to use the server service:

  1. Server
    On the server we will create a topic by using the command line : mosquitto_sub -v -t 'chedelics/test' -u mqtt-idroot -P (your-password)
  2. Client
    Sending a message with the same topic as a server has. Submitting command line :mosquitto_pub -t 'chedelics/test' -u mqtt-idroot -P (your-password)

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Mosquitto. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the Mosquitto Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Mosquitto website.

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