How to Install Apache Cassandra NoSQL Database on a Single-Node Ubuntu 22.04 Cluster

Apache Cassandra is an open-source NoSQL distributed database management system. Cassandra can be scaled horizontally by adding more nodes across which data is replicated automatically. Nodes can be added or removed without any downtime. The nodes can be organized logically as a cluster or a ring and set up across multiple data centers to improve speed and reliability for high-performance applications.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to install Apache Cassandra on a Single-node Ubuntu 22.04 Cluster.


  • A Server running Ubuntu 22.04 with a minimum of 2GB of RAM.

  • A non-sudo user with root privileges.

  • Everything is updated.

    $ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Step 1 - Install Java

Apache Cassandra requires Java 8 or Java 11 to function. The latest version of Cassandra includes full support for Java 11, which is what we will be using.

$ sudo apt install openjdk-11-jdk

Confirm the Java installation.

$ java -version
openjdk 11.0.15 2022-04-19
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 11.0.15+10-Ubuntu-0ubuntu0.22.04.1)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 11.0.15+10-Ubuntu-0ubuntu0.22.04.1, mixed mode, sharing)

Step 2 - Install Apache Cassandra

The first step is to add Cassandra's official repository.

Run the following command to add the repository to the system's repository list.

$ echo "deb 40x main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/cassandra.sources.list

At the time of writing this tutorial, the latest available version of Cassandra is 4.0.5. The above command uses 40x to represent the 4.0 series of Cassandra.

Add the repository key to the system's trusted repository list.

$ wget -q -O - | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/cassandra.asc

Update the system repository list.

$ sudo apt update

Install Cassandra.

$ sudo apt install cassandra

Step 3 - Check Cassandra Service

Cassandra automatically creates and starts the service daemon. Check the status of the service.

$ sudo systemctl status cassandra

You should get the following output.

? cassandra.service - LSB: distributed storage system for structured data
     Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/cassandra; generated)
     Active: active (running) since Mon 2022-07-25 11:40:42 UTC; 12min ago
       Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
      Tasks: 48 (limit: 2241)
     Memory: 1.3G
        CPU: 38.219s
     CGroup: /system.slice/cassandra.service
             ??4602 /usr/bin/java -ea -da:net.openhft... -XX:+UseThreadPriorities -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError -Xss256k -XX:+AlwaysPreTouch -XX:-UseBiasedLocking -XX:+UseTLAB -XX:+ResizeTLAB -XX:+UseNUMA ->
Jul 25 11:40:42 cassandra systemd[1]: Starting LSB: distributed storage system for structured data...
Jul 25 11:40:42 cassandra systemd[1]: Started LSB: distributed storage system for structured data.

You can also verify the status using the nodetool command.

$ nodetool status
Datacenter: datacenter1
|/ State=Normal/Leaving/Joining/Moving
--  Address    Load       Tokens  Owns (effective)  Host ID                               Rack
UN  69.08 KiB  16      100.0%            6690243a-950d-4d64-9463-aa722f8064d4  rack1

Step 4 - Configure Cassandra

The default location of configuration files for Cassandra is at /etc/cassandra. The default location for the log and data directories is /var/log/cassandra and /var/lib/cassandra.

JVM level settings such as heap size can be set via the /etc/cassandra/ file. You can pass additional JVM command-line arguments to the JVM_OPTS variable. The arguments are passed to Cassandra when it starts.

4.1 Enable User Authentication

To enable user authentication, the first step is to take a backup of the /etc/cassandra/cassandra.yaml file.

$ sudo cp /etc/cassandra/cassandra.yaml /etc/cassandra/cassandra.yaml.backup

Open the cassandra.yaml file for editing.

$ sudo nano /etc/cassandra/cassandra.yaml

Locate the following parameters in this file.

authenticator: AllowAllAuthenticator
authorizer: AllowAllAuthorizer
roles_validity_in_ms: 2000
permissions_validity_in_ms: 2000

Change the values of the parameters as given below.

authenticator: org.apache.cassandra.auth.PasswordAuthenticator
authorizer: org.apache.cassandra.auth.CassandraAuthorizer
roles_validity_in_ms: 0
permissions_validity_in_ms: 0
. . .

You can configure other settings based on your requirements. If they are commented, then uncomment them out.

Once finished, save the file by pressing Ctrl + X and entering Y when prompted.

Restart Cassandra to enable the changed settings.

$ sudo systemctl restart cassandra

4.1.1 - Add an Administrator Superuser

Now that we have enabled authentication, we need to create a user. To do that, we will use the Cassandra Command shell utility. Log in with the credentials for the default user cassandra.

$ cqlsh -u cassandra -p cassandra

You will get the following shell.

Connected to Test Cluster at
[cqlsh 6.0.0 | Cassandra 4.0.5 | CQL spec 3.4.5 | Native protocol v5]
Use HELP for help.
[email protected]>

Create a new superuser. Replace [username] and [yourpassword] with your credentials.

[email protected]> CREATE ROLE [username] WITH PASSWORD = '[yourpassword]' AND SUPERUSER = true AND LOGIN = true;

Log out of the shell.

[email protected]> exit

Log back in with the new superuser account.

$ cqlsh -u username -p yourpassword

Remove the elevated permissions from the default cassandra account.

[email protected]> ALTER ROLE cassandra WITH PASSWORD = 'cassandra' AND SUPERUSER = false AND LOGIN = false;

Grant all permissions to the superuser account.

[email protected]> GRANT ALL PERMISSIONS ON ALL KEYSPACES TO '[username]';

Log out of the shell.

[email protected]> exit

4.2 - Edit the Console Configuration File

If you want to customize the Cassandra Shell, you can do so by editing the cqlshrc file. The default location for the file is in the ~/.cassandra directory. If you want to load it from a different directory, you can pass the argument --cqlshrc /customdirectory to the cqlsh tool while running. Cassandra's default install doesn't include the file. Therefore, we will need to create it.

Create the cqlshrc file in the ~/.cassandra directory. We don't need to use sudo to perform any of the functions in the ~/.cassandra directory. Cassandra requires that the files in this directory are owned by the local account and shouldn't be accessible from other accounts or groups.

$ touch ~/.cassandra/cqlshrc

If the ~/.cassandra directory is not present, then create it using the following command.

$ mkdir ~/.cassandra

Open the file for editing.

$ nano ~/.cassandra/cqlshrc

Cassandra's Github repository provides a sample cqlshrc file. You can copy any or all of the sections from there depending on your needs. All the settings are commented using ;;. Uncomment them by removing double semi-colons and then make the change depending upon your needs.

We will configure the shell to automatically log in with the superuser credentials. Replace the [username] and [password] with the credentials created in the previous step.

;; If Cassandra has auth enabled, fill out these options
username = [username]
password = [password]

Edit any other settings you want to change. Once finished, save the file by pressing Ctrl + X and entering Y when prompted.

Update the permissions for the cqlshrc file. This stops any other user group from accessing the file.

$ chmod 600 ~/.cassandra/cqlshrc

Login to the Cassandra shell with your new changes.

$ cqlsh
Connected to Test Cluster at
[cqlsh 6.0.0 | Cassandra 4.0.5 | CQL spec 3.4.5 | Native protocol v5]
Use HELP for help.
[email protected]>

Note: The method of storing username and password in the cqlshrc file will become deprecated from the 4.1 version of Cassandra. To learn more about it, you can read the entry on Cassandra's site.

4.3 - Rename the Cluster

Finally, we will rename the cluster name from Test Cluster to your chosen name.

Log into the cqlsh terminal.

$ cqlsh

Replace the [clustername] with your new cluster name in the command below.

[email protected]> UPDATE system.local SET cluster_name = '[new_name]' WHERE KEY = 'local';

Exit the shell.

[email protected]> exit

Open the file /etc/cassandra/cassandra.yaml for editing.

$ sudo nano /etc/cassandra/cassandra.yaml

Replace the value of the variable cluster_name with the name of your choosing.

# The name of the cluster. This is mainly used to prevent machines in
# one logical cluster from joining another.
cluster_name: '[new_name]'

Once finished, save the file by pressing Ctrl + X and entering Y when prompted.

Clear the Cassandra system cache.

$ nodetool flush system

Restart Cassandra.

$ sudo systemctl restart cassandra

Log in to the shell to see the new name.

$ cqlsh
Connected to howtoforge at
[cqlsh 6.0.0 | Cassandra 4.0.5 | CQL spec 3.4.5 | Native protocol v5]
Use HELP for help.
[email protected]>


In this tutorial, you learned how to install Apache Cassandra on an AlmaLinux or Rocky Linux server. You also learned how to add user authentication and perform some basic configurations. To learn more, visit the official Cassandra documentation. If you have any questions, post them in the comments below.

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