How To Install Rocket.Chat on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Install Rocket.Chat on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Rocket.Chat on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Rocket.Chat is one of the most popular open-source chat software. A fantastic alternate to both Slack and compensated live chat software. It’s free, is unlimited and it’s a bunch of cool features like Video chat, Screen sharing, Mobile apps, and more.

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 Rocket.Chat on an Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus).
  • 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 Rocket.Chat 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 MongoDB.

Rocket.Chat requires MongoDB for the installation. In this step, we will install MongoDB from the MongoDB repository:

apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv EA312927

Then add the MongoDB repository with the command below:

echo "deb xenial/mongodb-org/3.2 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-3.2.list

Update the repository and install MongoDB with the apt command:

apt-get update
apt-get install mongodb-org

Open MongoDB and set it to run automatically at boot time:

systemctl enable mongod
systemctl start mongod

Step 3. Configure a MongoDB ReplicaSet.

This is an optional step, but those who want performance improvements should follow it. Rocket.Chat Server uses a MongoDB replica set:

nano /etc/mongod.conf

There, add this section:

 replSetName: "001-rs"

Save, exit, and restart MongoDB:

systemctl restart mongod

Next, run its shell and initiate the replica set:

# mongo
> rs.initiate()

After you run rs.initiate(), you should get the following results:

 "info2" : "no configuration specified. Using a default configuration for the set",
 "me" : "",
 "ok" : 1

If the value of “ok” is not 1, then something’s wrong. Please go back and follow the steps exactly as shown in this tutorial.

Step 4. Installing Node.js and npm.

Node.js and npm are required by Rocket.Chat and are both available on Ubuntu repositories:

apt-get install nodejs npm

First, install the ‘n’ package globally on the whole system:

npm install -g n

The messaging system requires Node.js 4.5+, so ensure that you choose 4.5:

n 4.5

Check if you have the right node.js version:

node --version

Step 5. Installing Rocket.Chat.

First, download the latest version of Rocket.Chat:

cd /var/www
curl -L -o

And extract it:

tar xzf

Rename the extracted folder:

mv bundle Rocket.Chat

Run the following commands to add some environment variables:

cd Rocket.Chat/programs/server
npm install
cd ../..
export ROOT_URL=
export MONGO_URL=mongodb://localhost:27017/rocketchat
export PORT=3000
node main.js

Step 6. Install LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MariaDB, and PHP) server.

A Ubuntu 16.04 LEMP server is required. If you do not have LAMP installed, you can follow our guide here.

Create a new SSL directory, in which certificates will be stored:

mkdir -p /etc/nginx/ssl/

In this directory, generate a new SSL certificate file:

cd /etc/nginx/ssl
openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -nodes -out /etc/nginx/ssl/rocketchat.crt -keyout /etc/nginx/ssl/rocketchat.key
chmod 400 rocketchat.key

Next, create a Virtual Host configuration:

nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/rocketchat

There, paste the following configuration:

# Upstreams
upstream backend {
# Redirect Options
server {
 listen 80;
 # enforce https
 return 301 https://$server_name$request_uri;
# HTTPS Server
server {
 listen 443;
 error_log /var/log/nginx/rocketchat.access.log;
 ssl on;
 ssl_certificate /etc/nginx/ssl/rocketchat.crt;
 ssl_certificate_key /etc/nginx/ssl/rocketchat.key;
 ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2; # dont use SSLv3 ref: POODLE
 location / {
 proxy_http_version 1.1;
 proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
 proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
 proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
 proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
 proxy_set_header X-Forward-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
 proxy_set_header X-Forward-Proto http;
 proxy_set_header X-Nginx-Proxy true;
 proxy_redirect off;

Save, exit, and activate this configuration:

ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/rocketchat /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/rocketchat


nginx -t

And make sure there are no errors. If everything’s ok, restart Nginx:

systemctl restart nginx

Update the environment variables and run Rocket.Chat:

cd /var/www/Rocket.Chat/
export ROOT_URL=
export MONGO_URL=mongodb://localhost:27017/rocketchat?replicaSet=001-rs
export PORT=3000
node main.js

Step 7. Accessing Rocket.Chat.

Rocket.Chat will be available on HTTP port 80 by default. Open your favorite browser and navigate to and complete the required steps to finish the installation. If you are using a firewall, please open port 80 to enable access to the control panel.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Rocket.Chat with Docker. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Rocket.Chat open source chat software on your Ubuntu 16.04. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the official Rocket.Chat 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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