Run CrateDB on Ubuntu

CrateDB maintains packages for the following versions:

This guide will show you how to install, control, and configure a single-node CrateDB on a local Ubuntu system.


CrateDB requires a Java virtual machine (JVM) to run.

CrateDB versions 4.2+ include a JVM and do not require a separate Java installation. You can skip to Install CrateDB.

Earlier CrateDB versions require Java 11 to be installed. To run CrateDB on Ubuntu releases older than 18.04, you need to install Java from a third-party repository. This can be done by adding the OpenJDK PPA (Personal Package Archive):

sh$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openjdk-r/ppa
sh$ sudo apt update
sh$ sudo apt install -y openjdk-11-jre-headless

Install CrateDB

You need to configure Apt (the package manager) to trust and to add the CrateDB repositories:

# Download the CrateDB GPG key
sh$ wget

# Add the key to Apt
sh$ sudo apt-key add DEB-GPG-KEY-crate

# Add CrateDB repositories to Apt
# `lsb_release -cs` returns the codename of your OS
sh$ sudo add-apt-repository "deb $(lsb_release -cs) main"


CrateDB provides a stable release and a testing release channel. To use the testing channel, replace stable with testing in the command above. You can read more about our release workflow.

Now update Apt:

sh$ sudo apt update

You should see a success message. This indicates that the CrateDB release channel is correctly configured and the crate package has been registered locally.

You can now install CrateDB:

sh$ sudo apt install crate

After the installation is finished, the crate service should be up and running. You should be able to access it from your local machine by visiting:



When you install via Apt, CrateDB automatically starts as a single-node cluster and you won’t be able to add additional nodes. In order to form a multi-node cluster, you will need to remove the cluster state after changing the configuration.

Control CrateDB

With Ubuntu 16.04.7 LTS and above, you can control the crate service with the systemctl utility:

sh$ sudo systemctl COMMAND crate

With Ubuntu 14.04.6, you should use the service command:

sh$ sudo service crate COMMAND

In both instances, replace COMMAND with start, stop, restart, status, etc.


Be sure to read the guide to rolling upgrades and full restart upgrades before attempting to upgrade a running cluster.

Configure CrateDB

In order to configure CrateDB, take note of the configuration file location and the available environment variables.

Configuration files

The main CrateDB configuration files are located in the /etc/crate directory.

Environment variables

The CrateDB startup script sources environment variables from the /etc/default/crate file. Here is an example:

# Heap Size (defaults to 256m min, 1g max)

# Maximum number of open files, defaults to 65535.

# Maximum locked memory size. Set to "unlimited" if you use the
# bootstrap.mlockall option in crate.yml. You must also set

# Additional Java OPTS

# Force the JVM to use IPv4 stack

Customized setups

A full list of package files can be obtained with this command:

sh$ dpkg-query -L crate

If you want to deviate from the way that the crate package integrates with your system, you can do a basic tarball installation.


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