How to Install Apache ActiveMQ on Ubuntu Linux

dual screen 1745705 640
dual screen 1745705 640

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Apache ActiveMQ on Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04 server.

For those who don’t know, Apache ActiveMQ is a free, multi-protocol, Java-based message broker software written in Java. It supports industry-standard protocols that allow communication between separate applications.

ActiveMQ is available in the classic and the “next generation” Artemis broker. Once Artemis reaches a sufficient level of feature parity with the 5. x codebase it will become ActiveMQ 6.

If you’re looking for a free, high-performance message broker for your applications, you may want to try Apache ActiveMQ.

For more about Apache ActiveMQ, please visit its homepage.

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

Install Java

Apache ActiveMQ is written in Java so you’ll need Java installed to run it. The open-source Java works great with ActiveMQ. 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)

Install Apache ActiveMQ

Now that Java is installed, run the commands below to download ActiveMQ from the Apache office package repository. At the time of this writing, the current version was 5.15.8.

cd /tmp

After that, extract the downloaded folder and move its content to the /opt directory and create a folder called activemq

tar -xvzf apache-activemq-5.15.8-bin.tar.gz
sudo mv apache-activemq-5.15.8 /opt/activemq

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

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

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

sudo chown -R activemq:activemq /opt/activemq

After that, you will also want to create an ActiveMQ 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/activemq.service

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

Description=Apache ActiveMQ

ExecStart=/opt/activemq/bin/activemq start
ExecStop=/opt/activemq/bin/activemq stop


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

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl start activemq
sudo systemctl enable activemq

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

/opt/activemq/bin/activemq status

You should see similar output as below:

INFO: Loading '/opt/activemq//bin/env'
INFO: Using java '/usr/bin/java'
ActiveMQ is running (pid '5453')

After installing ActiveMQ, its default configuration file is located at /opt/activemq/conf/activemq.xml. You can open it and modify it to fit your environment.

After making changes to the file, restart the ActiveMQ service by running the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart activemq

Finally, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address followed by port #8161

You should be prompted for a username and password. The default is admin/admin

Username: admin
Password: admin

Log in and begin setting up your

Apache ActiveMQ Ubuntu

That should do it!

You can also use Apache ActiveMQ with Hawtio using the post below:


This post shows you how to install Apache ActiveMQ 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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Posted by
Richard W

I love computers; maybe way too much. What I learned I try to share at

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