How To Install Latest Sonatype Nexus 3 on Linux

Install Latest Sonatype Nexus 3 on Linux

Sonatype Nexus is one of the best open-source artifact management tools. It is some tool that you cannot avoid in your CI/CD pipeline. It effectively manages deployable artifacts.

Sonatype Nexus System Requirements

  1. Minimum 1 VCPU & 2 GB Memory
  2. Server firewall opened for port 22 & 8081
  3. OpenJDK 8
  4. All Nexus processes should run as a non-root nexus user.

Note: For production setup, please consider minimum production hardware requirements based on the nexus usage and data storage. Check out the official system requirements document for detailed information

Sonatype Nexus 3 on Linux ec2

This article guides you to install and configure Sonatype Nexus 3 in a secure way on an ec2 Linux System.

Note: This was tested on a Redhat machine and it will work on Centos or related Linux flavors as well.

Step 1: Login to your Linux server and update the yum packages. Also install required utilities.

sudo yum update -y
sudo yum install wget -y

Step 2: Install OpenJDK 1.8

sudo yum install java-1.8.0-openjdk.x86_64 -y

Step 3: Create a directory named app and cd into the directory.

sudo mkdir /app && cd /app

Step 4: Download the latest nexus. You can get the latest download links fo for nexus from here.

sudo wget -O nexus.tar.gz

Untar the downloaded file.

sudo tar -xvf nexus.tar.gz

Rename the untared file to nexus.

sudo mv nexus-3* nexus

Step 5: As a good security practice, it is not advised to run nexus service with root privileges. So create a new user named nexus to run the nexus service.

sudo adduser nexus

Change the ownership of nexus files and nexus data directory to nexus user.

sudo chown -R nexus:nexus /app/nexus
sudo chown -R nexus:nexus /app/sonatype-work

Step 6: Open /app/nexus/bin/nexus.rc file

sudo vi  /app/nexus/bin/nexus.rc

Uncomment run_as_user parameter and set it as following.


Step 7: If you want to change the default nexus data directory, open the nexus properties file and change the data directory parameter to a preferred location as shown below. If you don’t specify anything, by default nexus data directory will be set to /app/sonatype-work/nexus3

Tip: For production setup, it is is always better to mount the nexus data directory to a separate data disk attached to the server. So that backup and restore can be done easily.

sudo vi /app/nexus/bin/nexus.vmoptions

An example configuration is shown below.


Running Nexus as a System Service

It is better to have systemd entry to manage nexus using systemctl. Follow the steps given below for adding nexus as a systemd service.

Create a nexus systemd unit file.

sudo vi /etc/systemd/system/nexus.service

Add the following contents to the unit file.

Description=nexus service

ExecStart=/app/nexus/bin/nexus start
ExecStop=/app/nexus/bin/nexus stop


Manage Nexus Service

Now we have all the configurations in place to run nexus.

Execute the following command to add nexus service to boot.

sudo chkconfig nexus on

To start the Nexus service, use the following command. If you are having trouble starting nexus, please check the troubleshooting section below.

sudo systemctl start nexus

The above command will start the nexus service on port 8081. To access the nexus dashboard, visit http://:8081. You will be able to see the nexus homepage as shown below.

nexus 3 homepage

To log in, use the default username and password.

Default username is admin

You can find the default admin password in /app/sonatype-work/nexus3/admin.password file. The path will be shown in the login screen as show below.

cat /app/sonatype-work/nexus3/admin.password

Once you login, you will be prompted to reset the password.

For stopping nexus, execute

sudo systemctl stop nexus

For restarting nexus,

sudo systemctl restart nexus

Sonatype Nexus not Starting [Troubleshooting]

Sometimes, if the server is enabled with SELINUX, you might get the following error. (Commonly on Centos Servers)

Job for nexus.service failed because the control process exited with error code.
See "systemctl status nexus.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.

Execute the following command and see the actual error.

journalctl -xe

Check the output for the following SELINUX issue.

SELinux is preventing /usr/lib/systemd/systemd from execute access on the file nexus.

To rectify this issue, add a SELinux policy to allow Systemd to access the nexus binary in path /app/nexus/bin/nexus using the following command.

sudo chcon -R -t bin_t /app/nexus/bin/nexus

Now, start the Nexus server again.

sudo systemctl start nexus

How to check the Nexus version in Linux?

You can find the Nexus version from the Dashboard. Also, if you want to find the version from the Linux command line, execute the following command.
curl --include --silent http://localhost:8081/ | grep Server

How to start Nexus in Linux?

Nexus binary comes as an executable. You can use the binary path to start nexus. For background execution, you can create a systemd file with nexus configurations.

  1. I worked for me, but I had to make one change.
    I was using a VM with 2GB of RAM, so I was getting a out of memory error when trying to start the service (oom-kill).
    The solution was to change the amount of allocated memory in “nexus.vmoptions” file, like this:


  2. I get the following error

    nexus.service - nexus service
       Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/nexus.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
       Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Sat 2021-04-24 15:29:52 UTC; 1min 5s ago
      Process: 57726 ExecStart=/app/nexus/bin/nexus start (code=exited, status=203/EXEC)
    Apr 24 15:29:52 ip-172-31-28-149.ec2.internal systemd[1]: Starting nexus service...
    Apr 24 15:29:52 ip-172-31-28-149.ec2.internal systemd[1]: nexus.service: Control process exited, code=exited status=203
    Apr 24 15:29:52 ip-172-31-28-149.ec2.internal systemd[1]: nexus.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
    Apr 24 15:29:52 ip-172-31-28-149.ec2.internal systemd[1]: Failed to start nexus service.
    1. Hi Kingshuk,

      It could be an SELinux issue. Execute the following command to add the SELinux policy.

      sudo chcon -R -t bin_t /app/nexus/bin/nexus

      We have also updated the article with the SElinux steps towards the end.

      1. looks like a private IP…are you setting it up on private data center?

        Also, try pinging the IP and see if there is a diconnect

  3. Same issue for me too as posted by Yogendra, as not able to access nexus 3 using port 8081. Please help.

    1. I was facing same issue. I have followed the below steps to fixed it:

      1) Add a firewall rule to open port 8081 in GCP Firewall Section
      2) Open a port 8081 on your GCP Compute Engine (VM) using IpTables firewall (Preferably)
      3) Most Important: Verify your Nexus service is running by command : sudo vi opt/sonatype-work/nexus3/log/nexus.log
      4) If issue is still persist, use the previous version set up of Nexus.

      Usefull Link:

  4. Does it make sense (or even is it possible) to run nexus service as a user other than “nexus” to avoid adding the user “nexus” to sudoers group?

  5. I have created new EC2 instance RedHat7.5 and install nexus 3 as per above steps. I have successfully installed Nexus but unable to open http://172…..:8081/ url

    Also, I have setup apache on same machine.

    Kindly suggest, what i need to do.

  6. sudo ln -s /app/nexus/bin/nexus /etc/init.d/nexus did not work for me with OSS2.x because the nexus script is calling itself when it is run by a different user than specified in RUN_AS.
    I solved it by defining a proper systemd unit file which is better anyway:

    vi /etc/systemd/system/nexus.service

    Description=Nexus Repository Manager OSS 2.x

    ExecStart=/opt/nexus-2.14.5-02/bin/nexus start
    ExecStop=/opt/nexus-2.14.5-02/bin/nexus stop



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