Ubuntu Bionic (18.04)

If you’re just looking for a quick “one-liner” installation, check the top-level install guide. If you need a customised installation, use this guide for step-by-step instructions for installing StackStorm on a single system as per the Reference deployment.


Use the Source, Luke! We strive to keep the documentation current, but the best way to find out what really happens is to look at the code of the installer scripts.


StackStorm on Ubuntu 18.04 runs all services, actions and sensors using Python 3 only. It does not support Python2 actions.

Minimal Installation

Install Dependencies

Install MongoDB, RabbitMQ, and Redis:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y curl

# Add key and repo for MongoDB (4.0)
wget -qO - https://www.mongodb.org/static/pgp/server-4.0.asc | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c "cat <<EOT > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-4.0.list
deb http://repo.mongodb.org/apt/ubuntu $(lsb_release -c | awk '{print $2}')/mongodb-org/4.0 multiverse
sudo apt-get update

# Add keys latest RabbitMQ and RabbitMQ-erlang
# Team RabbitMQ's main signing key
curl -1sLf "https://keys.openpgp.org/vks/v1/by-fingerprint/0A9AF2115F4687BD29803A206B73A36E6026DFCA" | sudo gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/com.rabbitmq.team.gpg > /dev/null
# CloudSmith PPA that provides modern Erlang releases
curl -1sLf "https://dl.cloudsmith.io/public/rabbitmq/rabbitmq-erlang/gpg.E495BB49CC4BBE5B.key" | sudo gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/io.cloudsmith.dl.rabbitmq.erlang.gpg > /dev/null
# CloudSmith RabbitMQ repository
curl -1sLf "https://dl.cloudsmith.io/public/rabbitmq/rabbitmq-server/gpg.9F4587F226208342.key" | sudo gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/io.cloudsmith.dl.rabbitmq.gpg > /dev/null

# Add apt repositories maintained by Team RabbitMQ
sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/rabbitmq.list <<EOF

## Provides modern Erlang/OTP releases
deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/io.cloudsmith.dl.rabbitmq.erlang.gpg] http://dl.cloudsmith.io/public/rabbitmq/rabbitmq-erlang/deb/ubuntu bionic main
deb-src [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/io.cloudsmith.dl.rabbitmq.erlang.gpg] http://dl.cloudsmith.io/public/rabbitmq/rabbitmq-erlang/deb/ubuntu bionic main

## Provides RabbitMQ
deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/io.cloudsmith.dl.rabbitmq.gpg] https://dl.cloudsmith.io/public/rabbitmq/rabbitmq-server/deb/ubuntu/ bionic main
deb-src [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/io.cloudsmith.dl.rabbitmq.gpg] https://dl.cloudsmith.io/public/rabbitmq/rabbitmq-server/deb/ubuntu/ bionic main

sudo tee /etc/apt/preferences.d/erlang <<EOF

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -y crudini
sudo apt-get install -y mongodb-org
sudo apt-get install -y erlang-base \
                      erlang-asn1 erlang-crypto erlang-eldap erlang-ftp erlang-inets \
                      erlang-mnesia erlang-os-mon erlang-parsetools erlang-public-key \
                      erlang-runtime-tools erlang-snmp erlang-ssl \
                      erlang-syntax-tools erlang-tftp erlang-tools erlang-xmerl

sudo apt-get install rabbitmq-server -y --fix-missing
sudo apt-get install -y redis-server

For Ubuntu Bionic you may need to enable and start MongoDB.

sudo systemctl enable mongod
sudo systemctl start mongod

Setup Repositories

The following script will detect your platform and architecture and setup the appropriate StackStorm repository. It will also add the the GPG key used for package signing.

curl -s https://packagecloud.io/install/repositories/StackStorm/stable/script.deb.sh | sudo bash

Install StackStorm Components

sudo apt-get install -y st2

If you are not running RabbitMQ, MongoDB, or Redis on the same system, or have changed the defaults, please adjust these settings:

  • RabbitMQ connection at /etc/st2/st2.conf

  • MongoDB at /etc/st2/st2.conf

  • Redis connection at coordination section of /etc/st2/st2.conf

See the Configuration documentation for more information.

Setup Datastore Encryption

The Key-value store allows users to store encrypted values (secrets). These are stored using symmetric encryption (AES256). To generate a crypto key, run these commands:


sudo st2-generate-symmetric-crypto-key --key-path ${DATASTORE_ENCRYPTION_KEY_PATH}

# Make sure only st2 user can read the file

# set path to the key file in the config
sudo crudini --set /etc/st2/st2.conf keyvalue encryption_key_path ${DATASTORE_ENCRYPTION_KEY_PATH}

sudo st2ctl restart-component st2api

Configure SSH and SUDO

To run local and remote shell actions, StackStorm uses a special system user (by default stanley). For remote Linux actions, SSH is used. We recommend configuring public key-based SSH access on all remote hosts. We also recommend configuring SSH access to localhost for running examples and testing.

  • Create StackStorm system user, enable passwordless sudo, and set up ssh access to “localhost” so that SSH-based actions can be tested locally. You will need elevated privileges to do this:

    # Create an SSH system user (default `stanley` user may already exist)
    sudo useradd stanley
    sudo mkdir -p /home/stanley/.ssh
    sudo chmod 0700 /home/stanley/.ssh
    # Generate ssh keys
    sudo ssh-keygen -f /home/stanley/.ssh/stanley_rsa -P ""
    # Authorize key-based access
    sudo sh -c 'cat /home/stanley/.ssh/stanley_rsa.pub >> /home/stanley/.ssh/authorized_keys'
    sudo chown -R stanley:stanley /home/stanley/.ssh
    # Enable passwordless sudo
    sudo sh -c 'echo "stanley    ALL=(ALL)       NOPASSWD: SETENV: ALL" >> /etc/sudoers.d/st2'
    sudo chmod 0440 /etc/sudoers.d/st2
    # Make sure `Defaults requiretty` is disabled in `/etc/sudoers`
    sudo sed -i -r "s/^Defaults\s+\+?requiretty/# Defaults +requiretty/g" /etc/sudoers
  • Configure SSH access and enable passwordless sudo on the remote hosts which StackStorm will be running remote actions on via SSH. Using the public key generated in the previous step, follow the instructions at Configure SSH. To control Windows boxes, configure access for Windows runners.

  • If you are using a different user, or path to their SSH key, you will need to change this section in /etc/st2/st2.conf:

    user = stanley
    ssh_key_file = /home/stanley/.ssh/stanley_rsa

Start Services

  • Start services:

    sudo st2ctl start
  • Register sensors, rules and actions:

    sudo st2ctl reload


The following commands will test your StackStorm installation. They should all complete successfully:

st2 --version

st2 -h

# List the actions from a 'core' pack
st2 action list --pack=core

# Run a local shell command
st2 run core.local -- date -R

# See the execution results
st2 execution list

# Fire a remote comand via SSH (Requires passwordless SSH)
st2 run core.remote hosts='localhost' -- uname -a

# Install a pack
st2 pack install st2

Use the supervisor script to manage StackStorm services:

sudo st2ctl start|stop|status|restart|restart-component|reload|clean

At this point you have a minimal working installation, and can happily play with StackStorm: follow the Quick Start tutorial, deploy the examples, explore and install packs from StackStorm Exchange.

But there is no joy without a Web UI, no security without SSL or authentication, and no fun without ChatOps. Read on!

Configure Authentication

The reference deployment uses a file-based authentication provider for simplicity. Refer to Authentication to configure and use PAM or LDAP authentication backends.

To set up authentication with file-based provider:

  • Create a user with a password:

    # Install htpasswd utility if you don't have it
    sudo apt-get install -y apache2-utils
    # Create a user record in a password file.
    echo 'Ch@ngeMe' | sudo htpasswd -i /etc/st2/htpasswd st2admin
  • Enable and configure authentication in /etc/st2/st2.conf:

    # ...
    enable = True
    backend = flat_file
    backend_kwargs = {"file_path": "/etc/st2/htpasswd"}
    # ...
  • Restart the st2api service:

    sudo st2ctl restart-component st2api
  • Authenticate, and check that it works:

    # Login - you will be prompted for password (default 'Ch@ngeMe')
    st2 login st2admin
    # Check that it works
    st2 action list

Install WebUI and Setup SSL Termination

NGINX is used to serve WebUI static files, redirect HTTP to HTTPS, provide SSL termination, and reverse-proxy st2auth and st2api API endpoints. To set it up: install the st2web and nginx packages, generate certificates or place your existing certificates under /etc/ssl/st2, and configure nginx with StackStorm’s supplied site config file st2.conf.

# Install st2web and nginx
sudo apt-get install -y st2web nginx

# Generate self-signed certificate or place your existing certificate under /etc/ssl/st2
sudo mkdir -p /etc/ssl/st2
sudo openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/ssl/st2/st2.key -out /etc/ssl/st2/st2.crt \
-days XXX -nodes -subj "/C=US/ST=California/L=Palo Alto/O=StackStorm/OU=Information \

# Remove default site, if present
sudo rm /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf
# Check for a default site on sites-enabled to avoid a duplicate default server error
sudo rm -f /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default
# Copy and enable the supplied nginx config file
sudo cp /usr/share/doc/st2/conf/nginx/st2.conf /etc/nginx/conf.d/

sudo service nginx restart

If you modify ports, or url paths in the nginx configuration, make the corresponding changes in the st2web configuration at /opt/stackstorm/static/webui/config.js.

Use your browser to connect to https://${ST2_HOSTNAME} and login to the WebUI.

If you are trying to access the API from outside the box and you have configured nginx according to these instructions, use https://${EXTERNAL_IP}/api/v1/${REST_ENDPOINT}.

For example:

curl -X GET -H  'Connection: keep-alive' -H  'User-Agent: manual/curl' -H  'Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate' -H  'Accept: */*' -H  'X-Auth-Token: <YOUR_TOKEN>'

Similarly, you can connect to auth REST endpoints with https://${EXTERNAL_IP}/auth/v1/${AUTH_ENDPOINT}.

You can see the actual REST endpoint for a resource by adding a --debug option to the CLI command for the appropriate resource.

For example, to see the endpoint for getting actions, invoke:

st2 --debug action list

Setup ChatOps

If you already run a Hubot instance, you can install the hubot-stackstorm plugin and configure StackStorm environment variables, as described below. Otherwise, the easiest way to enable StackStorm ChatOps is to use the st2chatops package.

  • Validate that the chatops pack is installed, and a notification rule is enabled:

    # Ensure chatops pack is in place
    ls /opt/stackstorm/packs/chatops
    # Create notification rule if not yet enabled
    st2 rule get chatops.notify || st2 rule create /opt/stackstorm/packs/chatops/rules/notify_hubot.yaml
  • Add NodeJS v14 repository:

    curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_14.x | sudo -E bash -
  • Install the st2chatops package:

    sudo apt-get install -y st2chatops
  • Review and edit the /opt/stackstorm/chatops/st2chatops.env configuration file to point it to your StackStorm installation and the Chat Service you are using. At a minimum, you should generate an API key and set the ST2_API_KEY variable. By default st2api and st2auth are expected to be on the same host. If that is not the case, please update the ST2_API and ST2_AUTH_URL variables or just point to the correct host with ST2_HOSTNAME.

    The example configuration uses Slack. To set this up, go to the Slack web admin interface, create a Bot, and copy the authentication token into HUBOT_SLACK_TOKEN.

    If you are using a different Chat Service, set the corresponding environment variables under the Chat service adapter settings section in st2chatops.env: Slack, Flowdock, IRC , Mattermost, RocketChat, XMPP.

  • Start the service:

    sudo service st2chatops start
  • Reload st2 packs to make sure chatops.notify rule is registered:

    sudo st2ctl reload --register-all
  • That’s it! Go to your Chat room and begin ChatOps-ing. Read more in the ChatOps section.

A Note on Security

By default, when MongoDB and RabbitMQ are installed, they have authentication disabled or use a default static password. As such, after you install those services you should configure them and enable authentication with strong randomly generated passwords.

NB: If you use the StackStorm installation script, this is done automatically for you.

Configuring authorization and passwords for those services is out of the scope for this documentation. For more information refer to the links below:

After you enable authentication for those components, you will also need to update StackStorm services to use the new settings.

This means editing the following configuration options:

  1. StackStorm - /etc/st2/st2.conf

  • database.username - MongoDB database username.

  • database.password - MongoDB database password.

  • messaging.url - RabbitMQ transport url (amqp://<username>:<password>@<hostname>:5672)

In addition, you are strongly encouraged to follow these best practices for running network services:

  • Ensure communication between services is encrypted. Enable SSL/TLS for MongoDB and RabbitMQ,

  • Configure services to only listen on localhost, and where needed, internal IP addresses. There is usually no need for most services which are used by StackStorm (MongoDB, RabbitMQ) to be available on a public IP address.

  • Configure a firewall and set up a whitelist. The firewall should only allow access by those users and systems which need access to those services. API and auth services usually need to be accessible to your users, but other dependent services such as MongoDB and RabbitMQ don’t. These should not be directly accessible by users, and only StackStorm components should be allowed to talk to them.

  • Where possible, you should also utilize additional network-based isolation and security features such as DMZs.

The steps mentioned above are especially important for distributed production deployments where StackStorm components are running on multiple servers.

Upgrade to Extreme Workflow Composer

For StackStorm versions earlier than 3.3, Extreme Networks provided a commercial version of the StackStorm automation platform (EWC). EWC added priority support, advanced features such as fine-tuned access control (RBAC), LDAP, and Workflow Designer.

As these enterprise features were donated to the Linux Foundation, RBAC, LDAP and Workflow Designer components are now available in StackStorm Open Source since 3.4. The Workflow Designer is integrated into the StackStorm Web UI, and RBAC and LDAP components are installed (but not configured) with the default installation.

What’s Next?