Install Prometheus Server on Ubuntu 20.04

Updated on June 25, 2021
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Prometheus is an open-source tool written in Go language used for monitoring real-time services and collecting metrics in a time-series database. Prometheus uses visualization tools like Grafana, which uses PromQL, a flexible query language to fetch data for monitoring and analysis.

Prometheus uses exporters, both community-maintained and official, to export metrics from third-party systems. You can find links to many exporters in the Prometheus documentation.


  • Deploy a fully updated Vultr Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
  • At least 2GB of RAM and 1 vCPU
  • SSH access with sudo privileges

1. Update the System

Update the apt package list to prepare the system for further installations.

$ sudo apt update

2. Download and Install Prometheus

Prometheus installation files are packaged as precompiled binaries. To download your preferred binaries, you can visit the official Prometheus download page.

If you decide to install a different version of Prometheus, please note the version numbers in the following examples when downloading and extracting the archives.

Download the Prometheus release package.

$ wget

Extract the downloaded archive.

$ tar xvf prometheus-2.27.1.linux-amd64.tar.gz

Change directory to the extracted archive.

$ cd prometheus-2.27.1.linux-amd64

Create the configuration file directory.

$ sudo mkdir -p /etc/prometheus

Create the data directory.

$ sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/prometheus

Move the binary files prometheus and promtool to /usr/local/bin/.

$ sudo mv prometheus promtool /usr/local/bin/

Move console files in console directory and library files in console_libraries directory to /etc/prometheus/ directory.

$ sudo mv consoles/ console_libraries/ /etc/prometheus/

Move the template configuration file prometheus.yml to /etc/prometheus/ directory

$ sudo mv prometheus.yml /etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml

Verify the installed version of Prometheus.

$ prometheus --version

Verify the installed version of promtool.

$ promtool --version

3. Configure System Group and User

Create a prometheus group.

$ sudo groupadd --system prometheus

Create a user prometheus and assign it to the created prometheus group.

$ sudo useradd -s /sbin/nologin --system -g prometheus prometheus

Set the ownership of Prometheus files and data directories to the prometheus group and user.

$ sudo chown -R prometheus:prometheus /etc/prometheus/  /var/lib/prometheus/

$ sudo chmod -R 775 /etc/prometheus/ /var/lib/prometheus/

4. Configure Systemd Service

Create a systemd service file for Prometheus to start at boot time.

$ sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/prometheus.service

Add the following lines to the file and save it:


ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/prometheus \
    --config.file=/etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml \
    --storage.tsdb.path=/var/lib/prometheus/ \
    --web.console.templates=/etc/prometheus/consoles \
    --web.console.libraries=/etc/prometheus/console_libraries \


Start the Prometheus service.

$ sudo systemctl start prometheus

Enable the Prometheus service to run at system startup.

$ sudo systemctl enable prometheus

Check the status of the Prometheus service.

$ sudo systemctl status prometheus

Access Your Server

Access the Prometheus interface through your browser at port 9090. For example:

More Information

To learn more about Prometheus, please see the official documentation.