Rocket.Chat on Debian
This installation guide was tested in the following environment:
  • Rocket.Chat 4.6.0
  • OS: Debian 11, 10, 9
  • Mongodb 5.0
  • NodeJS 14.18.3


Install Rocket.Chat

  • Update your system by running
sudo apt -y update
sudo apt -y upgrade
  • Install required packages/dependencies
sudo apt install -y curl build-essential graphicsmagick
  • To download the latest Rocket.Chat version run the following command:
curl -L -o /tmp/
You can also use wget.
wget -O /tmp/
You can also download a specific version by replacing latest by the version number. E.g.
wget -O /tmp/
  • Extract the archive with tar:
tar xzf /tmp/ -C /tmp
You should now see a new directory under /tmp named bundle.
  • Next, install all the node dependencies:
(cd /tmp/bundle/programs/server; npm i)
If you're doing all this under the root user, which is not recommended, you'll need to pass the --unsafe-perm flag to npm along with sudo.
/tmp has been a temporary non-root user-writable location to prepare the bundle. For this guide, we're going to use /opt to be the final location but you can choose any other. Whatever may it be, if not/opt, make sure you change the location in all the other places it is specified.
sudo mv /tmp/bundle /opt/Rocket.Chat

Configure the Rocket.Chat service

Add the rocketchat user, set the right permissions on the Rocket.Chat folder and create the Rocket.Chat service file:
sudo useradd -M rocketchat && sudo usermod -L rocketchat
sudo chown -R rocketchat:rocketchat /opt/Rocket.Chat
Depending on how you install NodeJs, the path to the binary can be different. Save the current path in a variable
NODE_PATH=$(which node)
Now create the systemd service file
cat << EOF |sudo tee -a /lib/systemd/system/rocketchat.service
Description=The Rocket.Chat server nginx.service mongod.service
ExecStart=$NODE_PATH /opt/Rocket.Chat/main.js
The command above will create a barebone service file, this service file is what systemd will use to start your Rocket.Chat daemon/process.

Passing environment variables

Next you need to pass some environment variables to the running process. For more information of configuring via environment variables read this article.
sudo systemctl edit rocketchat
It should open up a text editor. Now write down the following,
Change the values as you need. Save and exit.

MongoDB Configuration

Open the MongoDB config file (/etc/mongod.conf) in your favorite text editor. It is a simple YAML file.
Set the storage engine to wiredTiger.
engine: wiredTiger
Enable replication, and name the replicaset rs01.
replSetName: rs01
MongoDB replicaset is mandatory for Rocket.Chat > 1.0.0.
Your MongoDB config file should look something like the following:
dbPath: /var/lib/mongodb
enabled: true
engine: wiredTiger
destination: file
logAppend: true
path: /var/log/mongodb/mongod.log
port: 27017
fork: true
timeZoneInfo: /usr/share/zoneinfo
replSetName: rs01
For a full list of available MongoDB config options read their official documentation.
Start MongoDB with the following command:
sudo systemctl enable --now mongod
Create the replicaset:
mongo --eval "printjson(rs.initiate())"
You can start Rocket.Chat now.
sudo systemctl enable --now rocketchat

Optional configurations

Configure your Rocket.Chat server

Open a web browser and access the configured ROOT_URL (, follow the configuration steps to set up an admin account and your organization and server info.
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On this page
Install Rocket.Chat
Configure the Rocket.Chat service
Passing environment variables
MongoDB Configuration
Optional configurations
Configure your Rocket.Chat server