How to Install Apache Cassandra 3.11.x on CentOS 7

Updated on June 15, 2018
How to Install Apache Cassandra 3.11.x on CentOS 7 header image

Apache Cassandra is a free and open source NoSQL database management system that is designed to provide scalability, high availability, and uncompromised performance.

In this article, I will guide you through installing the latest stable release of Apache Cassandra, Apache Cassandra 3.11.2, on a CentOS 7 server instance.


  • A fresh Vultr CentOS 7 x64 server instance with at least 4GB of memory. Insufficient memory will cause Apache Cassandra to exit abnormally.
  • A sudo user.
  • The server instance has been updated to the latest stable status.

Step 1: Install OpenJDK JRE 8

Apache Cassandra requires the latest release of Java 8. For that you can choose to install the latest release of OpenJDK JRE 1.8 as below:

sudo yum install -y java-1.8.0-openjdk

Having OpenJDK JRE 1.8 installed, you can confirm the installation result:

java -version

The output will be similar to the following:

openjdk version "1.8.0_161"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_161-b14)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.161-b14, mixed mode)

Optionally, you can create the JAVA_HOME environment variable as follows:

echo "JAVA_HOME=$(readlink -f /usr/bin/java | sed "s:bin/java::")" | sudo tee -a /etc/profile
source /etc/profile

Step 2: Install Python 2.7, if it's missing on your system

Apache Cassandra requires Python 2.7 rather than Python 3. If you operate Apache Cassandra in a Python 3 environment, you may have trouble launching the cqlsh shell of Apache Cassandra.

First, determine the existence and version of Python on your machine:

python -V

On CentOS 7, the output normally will be:

Python 2.7.5

As you see, Python 2.7 is a built-in component on CentOS 7. However, if it's missing for some reason, you can install it by running the following command:

sudo yum install python -y

Step 3: Install the latest stable release of Apache Cassandra

Create the Apache Cassandra 3.11.x YUM repo:

cat <<EOF | sudo tee -a /etc/yum.repos.d/cassandra311x.repo
name=Apache Cassandra

Install Apache Cassandra 3.11.2 using the above YUM repo:

sudo yum install cassandra -y
sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Step 4: Test the installation of Apache Cassandra

Start the Apache Cassandra daemon:

sudo service cassandra start

The output will be:

Starting cassandra (via systemctl):                        [  OK  ]

If you want to make Apache Cassandra automatically start at system boot, run the following command:

sudo chkconfig cassandra on

Next, use the nodetool program to show the status of Apache Cassandra on current node:

nodetool status

The output will resemble the following:

Datacenter: datacenter1
|/ State=Normal/Leaving/Joining/Moving
--  Address    Load       Tokens       Owns (effective)  Host ID                               Rack
UN  103.65 KiB  256          100.0%            e977023b-7dd7-4e89-9ee7-aaa4c45df51c  rack1

You can use the cqlsh shell to interact with Apache Cassandra:

cqlsh localhost

The output will be similar to the following:

Connected to Test Cluster at localhost:9042.
[cqlsh 5.0.1 | Cassandra 3.11.2 | CQL spec 3.4.4 | Native protocol v4]
Use HELP for help.

For now, just type exit and then press Enter to quit the cqlsh shell.

If you want to stop Apache Cassandra, execute the following command:

sudo service cassandra stop