How to Install Metabase Server on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04

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This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Metabase on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 server.

For those who don’t know, Metabase is a free, open source platform that helps companies and businesses easily summarize and visualize large data sets without ever writing a line of SQL.

It allows users to search through tables, then filter things down to find just is needed without learning how to run SQL queries. Simply use its flexible GUI to look up data sets.

If you’re looking for a free, high performance database lookup platform for your business, Metabase may be just want you want at your company.

For more about Metabase, please visit its homepage.

If you’re a student or new user looking for a Linux system to start learning on, the easiest place to start is Ubuntu Linux OS…. It’s a great Linux operating system for beginners and folks looking for easier Linux distribution to use.

Ubuntu is an open source Linux operating systems that runs on desktops, laptops, server and other devices…

When using Ubuntu, you will find that Linux isn’t so different than Windows and other operating systems in so many ways, especially when it comes to using the system to get work done.…

When you’re ready to install Metabase, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Java

Metabase is written in the Java so you’ll need Java installed to run it. The open source Java works great with Metabase. To install the open source version of Java, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install default-jre

After installing Java, the commands below can be used to verify whether Java is installed.

java -version

You should see similar output as below:

openjdk version "11.0.5" 2019-10-15
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 11.0.5+10-post-Ubuntu-0ubuntu1.118.04)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 11.0.5+10-post-Ubuntu-0ubuntu1.118.04, mixed mode, sharing)

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

Metabase also requires a database server to store its content. If you’re looking for a truly open source database server, then MariaDB is a great place to start.

To install MariaDB run the commands below:

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing MariaDB, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots.

Run these on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.service

Run these on Ubuntu 18.10 and 18.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

Next, run the commands below to secure the database server with a root password if you were not prompted to do so during the installation.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Now that MariaDB is installed, to test whether the database server was successfully installed, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

type the root password when prompted.

mariadb welcome

If you see a similar screen as shown above, then the server was successfully installed.

Step 4: Create Metabase Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required for Metabase to function, continue below to start configuring the servers. First run the commands below to create a blank Metabase database.

To logon to MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called metabase


Create a database user called metabaseuser with a new password

CREATE USER 'metabaseuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON metabase.* TO 'metabaseuser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 4: Install Metabase

Now that Java is installed, run the commands below to download Metabase from its official package repository. At the time of this writing, the current version was at 0.34.1.
After downloading, move Metabase Java app to its new home directory at /opt/metabase.

cd /tmp
sudo mkdir /opt/metabase
sudo mv metabase.jar /opt/metabase

To run Metabase effectively, you’ll want to create a dedicated user and group accounts. Simply run the commands below to create a username metabase as well as a group name.

sudo addgroup --quiet --system metabase
sudo adduser --quiet --system --ingroup metabase --no-create-home --disabled-password metabase

Next, change the ownership of the /opt/metabase directory so the user can have full control of content in there.

sudo chown -R metabase:metabase /opt/metabase
sudo touch /var/log/metabase.log
sudo chown metabase:metabase /var/log/metabase.log
sudo touch /etc/default/metabase
sudo chmod 640 /etc/default/metabase

After that, you will also want to create Metabase systemd service so you can control starting, stopping and enabling its service. To do that, simply run the commands below to create a service file.

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

Then copy the content below into the file and save it.

Description=Metabase server
ExecStart=/usr/bin/java -jar /opt/metabase/metabase.jar

After saving it, run the commands below to enable the service.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl start metabase
sudo systemctl enable metabase

To verify if the service is functioning, run the commands below to check it.

sudo systemctl status metabase

You should see similar output as below:

metabase.service - Metabase server
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/metabase.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Wed 2020-01-15 12:18:51 CST; 15s ago
 Main PID: 5416 (java)
    Tasks: 21 (limit: 4674)
   CGroup: /system.slice/metabase.service
           └─5416 /usr/bin/java -jar /opt/metabase/metabase.jar

Jan 15 12:18:51 ubuntu1804 systemd[1]: Started Metabase server.
Jan 15 12:18:54 ubuntu1804 metabase[5416]: 01-15 12:18:54 DEBUG plugins.classloader :: Using NEWLY CREATED classloader as shared context classloader: clojure.lang.DynamicClassLoader@6a937336
Jan 15 12:18:54 ubuntu1804 metabase[5416]: 01-15 12:18:54 INFO metabase.util :: Loading Metabase.
Jan 15 12:18:54 ubuntu1804 metabase[5416]: 01-15 12:18:54 INFO metabase.util :: Maximum memory available to JVM: 986.0 MB
Jan 15 12:18:59 ubuntu1804 metabase[5416]: 01-15 12:18:59 INFO util.encryption :: Saved credentials encryption is DISABLED for this Metabase instance. 🔓
Jan 15 12:18:59 ubuntu1804 metabase[5416]:  For more information, see

Next you need to create a syslog conf to make sure systemd is able to handle the logs properly.

Run the commands below to create a syslog config file.

sudo nano /etc/rsyslog.d/metabase.conf

Then copy and paste the lines below into the file and save.

if $programname == 'metabase' then /var/log/metabase.log
& stop

After that, restart Metabase service by running the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart metabase

Finally, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address followed by port #3000

You should see Metabase setup wizard.

Metabase Ubuntu InstallClick the button to get started and continue.

First create an admin account with password to continue.

Metabase Ubuntu Install

Then choose to add a database. For this tutorial, we’re using MySQL or MariaDB. Type in the database information created above and continue with the setup.

Metabase Ubuntu Install

After that, finish the setup and begin using your platform.

Metabase Ubuntu Install

Login and begin setting up your environment,

Metabase Ubuntu Install

That should do it!


This post shows you how to install Metabase Server on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04. If you find any errors above, please use the comment form below to report them.

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  1. Great tutorial.. thank you so much it saved me tons of time!

  2. Muchas gracias por tu post, me sirvio de mucha ayuda!

  3. Abdelkerim saleh Brahim

    Vraiment c’est intéressant cool !!!

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