How To Install Prometheus on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Install Prometheus on Ubuntu 20.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Prometheus on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.  For those of you who didn’t know, Prometheus is an excellent open-source monitoring system that allows us to collect metrics from our applications and store them in a database, especially a time-series-based DB. The biggest advantage of Prometheus is the query language it provides for data processing.

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 through the step-by-step installation of Prometheus 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 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 Prometheus 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

Step 2. Installing Nginx web server.

Nginx is available in the default Ubuntu repositories. To install it run the following command:

sudo apt install nginx

Once the installation is completed, run the commands to enable Nginx to automatically startup when your server starts:

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

Step 3. Create Prometheus Users.

We have to create the user and group called Prometheus and also the directory called Prometheus:

sudo useradd -s /sbin/nologin --system -g prometheus prometheus
sudo mkdir /var/lib/prometheus
for i in rules rules.d files_sd; do sudo mkdir -p /etc/prometheus/${i}; done

Step 4. Installing Prometheus on Ubuntu 20.04.

Now we download the latest stable release of Prometheus using the wget command:

mkdir -p /tmp/prometheus && cd /tmp/prometheus
curl -s | grep browser_download_url | grep linux-amd64 | cut -d '"' -f 4 | wget -qi -
tar xvf prometheus*.tar.gz

Once file extraction was completed, then move the prometheus and promtool binaries under the extracted Prometheus archive folder to /usr/local/bin directory:

sudo mv prometheus promtool /usr/local/bin/

Step 5. Configure Prometheus.

We will create the configuration file named prometheus.yml in the /etc/prometheus directory:

sudo mv prometheus.yml /etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml
sudo mv consoles/ console_libraries/ /etc/prometheus/
sudo nano /etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml

The content of prometheus.yml is as follow:

my global config
scrape_interval: 15s # Set the scrape interval to every 15 seconds. Default is every 1 minute.
evaluation_interval: 15s # Evaluate rules every 15 seconds. The default is every 1 minute.
# scrape_timeout is set to the global default (10s).
Alertmanager configuration
static_configs: targets:
# - alertmanager:9093
Load rules once and periodically evaluate them according to the global 'evaluation_interval'.
# - "first_rules.yml"
# - "second_rules.yml"
A scrape configuration containing exactly one endpoint to scrape:
Here it's Prometheus itself.
# The job name is added as a label job= to any timeseries scraped from this config.
job_name: 'prometheus'
metrics_path defaults to '/metrics'
scheme defaults to 'http'.
targets: ['localhost:9090']

To check the version of Prometheus installed, run the command:

prometheus --version

Step 6. Create a Prometheus Systemd Service.

Now, we will create a file for the systemd service:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/prometheus.service

Add the following file:


ExecReload=/bin/kill -HUP \$MAINPID
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/prometheus \
  --config.file=/etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml \
  --storage.tsdb.path=/var/lib/prometheus \
  --web.console.templates=/etc/prometheus/consoles \
  --web.console.libraries=/etc/prometheus/console_libraries \
  --web.listen-address= \



Then, change the ownership of these directories to Prometheus user and group:

for i in rules rules.d files_sd; do sudo chown -R prometheus:prometheus /etc/prometheus/${i}; done
for i in rules rules.d files_sd; do sudo chmod -R 775 /etc/prometheus/${i}; done
sudo chown -R prometheus:prometheus /var/lib/prometheus/

Once you are done with the above configurations, reload systemd using the following command:

sudo systemctl daemon-relaod
sudo systemctl start prometheus
sudo systemctl enable prometheus

Step 7. Configure Firewall.

Meanwhile, you need to make sure that your firewall is configured to allow traffic on HTTP (80), HTTPS (443) and 9090 ports. Nginx registers itself as a service with ufw :

sudo ufw allow in "Nginx Full"
sudo ufw allow 9090/tcp

Step 8. Accessing Prometheus Web Interface.

Prometheus will be available on HTTP port 9090 by default. Open your favorite browser and navigate to or http://server-ip-addreess:9090 and complete the required steps to finish the installation.

Install Prometheus on Ubuntu 20.04

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Prometheus. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Prometheus open-source monitoring on your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa). For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Prometheus 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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