How to Install and Configure Rocket.Chat on CentOS 8

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In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to install Rocket.Chat on a CentOS 8 server.

Rocket.Chat is a great self-hosted alternative to Slack. You can even use it as a live chat for your website.

Rocket.Chat Requirements

The minimum server requirements according to the official Rocket.Chat docks are:

  • Single-core (2 GHz) CPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 30 GB of SSD

This server should be ok for up to 50 active users and 200 users in total. The $5 VPS from Vultr meets those requirements.

You’ll need root access to the server.

Step 1: Update the server and necessary packages

The first step should always be updating the server:

yum update -y

Then, install a few necessary packages (if they’re not installed already):

yum install epel-release curl nano tar gcc-c++ make GraphicsMagick -y

Step 2: Install MongoDB

Rocket.Chat uses MongoDB as its database server. To install MongoDB, first create a repo file:

nano /etc/yum.repos.d/mongodb-org.repo

And add the following in the file:

name=MongoDB Repository

As of writing, the latest recommended MongoDB version is 4.4. It may be a different version by the time you’re reading this, so update the file accordingly.

Next, to install MongoDB, run:

yum install mongodb-org -y

Then enable MongoDB at boot and start the service:

systemctl start mongod
systemctl enable mongod

Next, set up a storage engine and replication for MongoDB with the following commands:

sed -i "s/^# engine:/ engine: mmapv1/" /etc/mongod.conf

sed -i "s/^#replication:/replication:\n replSetName: rs01/" /etc/mongod.conf

Check if everything is ok:

mongo --eval "printjson(rs.initiate())"

Step 3: Install Nodejs

The Nodejs version in CentOS 8’s repositories is 10.x, but Rocket.Chat should be run with a newer node version. To install node 12.x, run the following commands:

curl -fsSL | bash -
yum install nodejs -y

Next, you should install inherits, n, and the node version required by Rocket.Chat (as of writing it’s 12.8.4, so check the official docs later.) Run the following commands to install them:

npm install -g inherits n 
n 12.18.4

Step 4: Download, install and configure Rocket.Chat

The next step is to download the latest Rocket.Chat:

curl -L -o /tmp/

And extract it with the following command:

tar -xzf /tmp/ -C /tmp

To install Rocket.Chat, navigate to this directory:

cd /tmp/bundle/programs/server

and run the following command:

npm install

Then, move the content to a new directory for Rocket.Chat (you can use a different one):

mv /tmp/bundle /opt/Rocket.Chat

Create a new user for Rocket.Chat:

useradd -M rocketchat && usermod -L rocketchat

And update the permissions:

chown -R rocketchat:rocketchat /opt/Rocket.Chat

Next, create a systemd file for Rocket.Chat:

nano /lib/systemd/system/rocketchat.service

With the following:

Description=The Rocket.Chat server by nginx.service mongod.service
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/node /opt/Rocket.Chat/main.js
Environment=MONGO_URL=mongodb://localhost:27017/rocketchat?replicaSet=rs01 MONGO_OPLOG_URL=mongodb://localhost:27017/local?replicaSet=rs01 ROOT_URL= PORT=3000

The file may be different depending on what folder you used for Rocket.Chat. Don’t forget to update the ROOT_URL with your own domain.

And now enable Rocket.Chat at boot and start the service:

systemctl enable rocketchat 

systemctl start rocketchat

Step 5: Finish the installation

The final steps are to finish the installation using the Rocket.Chat setup wizard. Navigate to the domain you used for this installation ( and follow the self-explanatory steps

And that’s it! Rocket.Chat is now installed on your CentOS server.

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