How to Install and Configure SonarQube 8 on Ubuntu 18.04

  • May 8, 2020


SonarQube is an open-source tool that can be used to analyze the quality of the source code. It can detect your code bugs, vulnerabilities, security black holes, and code smells. SonarQube empowers you to write cleaner and safer codes without breaking standards and code methodologies.

SonarQube is bundled with a static code analyzer for more than 27 programming languages. SonarQube performs continues code inspection using thousands of automated static code analysis rules.

We can perform code analysis manually or integrate with CICD DevOps tools such as Jenkins, Azure DevOps and Bamboo.

And, also you can integrate SonarQube with your IDE tools such as Visual Studio and Eclipse.

SonarQube provides code reliability by preventing bugs and application security by fixing vulnerabilities that compromise your code.

SonarQube is an open-source platform. Which uses for static code analysis and continuous inspection of code quality. SonarQube can detect bugs, code smells and security vulnerabilities.SonarQube empowers developers to write cleaner and safer code.

SonarQube provides code reliability by preventing bugs and application security by fixing vulnerabilities that compromise your code.

SonarQube can integrate with CI/CD tools such as Jenkins, Azure DevOps, GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket and many more.


Build Integration - Jenkins, Azure DevOps, Bamboo, etc…

IDE Integration - Visual Studio, Eclips, InteliJ, etc…

Other Pipeline Integration


OS - Ubuntu 18.04 / 16.04 LTS / Debian

RAM - 4GB Minimum RAM


JAVA - Oracle JRE 11 or OpenJDK 11

NOTE: Please make sure to install a compatible Java version before continuing the installation.


In this tutorial, I will be going to install SonarQube Community Edition v8.3 on Ubuntu 18.04. Which required OpenJDK 11 packages to be installed on the system.

SonarQube 8.3 OpenJDK 11 PostgreSQL 12

STEP 01: Set kernel Parameters and System Limits

First of all, we need to perform some OS-level modifications to “Kernel Parameters” and “System limits.”

Append these entries to the bottom of the “sysctl.conf” file.

sudo vim /etc/sysctl.conf
ulimit -n 65536
ulimit -u 4096

And, also append these entries at the end of the “limits.conf” file.

sudo vim /etc/security/limits.conf
sonarqube   -   nofile   65536
sonarqube   -   nproc    4096

Make sure to reboot systems once the above changes made. Therefore New changes will reflect after the reboot.

STEP 02: Install OpenJDK 11

Download and Install JDK 11 APT Repositories

Now, It’s time to install java on your system. Don’t forget to install a compatible Java version with your SonarQube version.

First, perform a system update.

sudo apt-get update -y

Then, Install OpenJDK 11

sudo apt-get install openjdk-11-jdk -y

Set Default JDK Version

Then, You need to set the newly installed Java version as your default Java version.

sudo update-alternatives --config java

Verify Install Java Version

java -version

STEP 02: Install and Configure PostgreSQL Database for SonarQube

In this tutorial, I’m using PostgreSQL as my database engine. You also can use other compatible DB such as MySQL or Oracle.

It’s always better to check the version compatibility matrix, which recommends by SonarQube developers.


Let’s do a system update again.

sudo apt update

Import Trusted PGP Key and PostgreSQL APT Repo

Then, Install a trusted GPG key on your system. And create a repository file for PostgreSQL.

wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add -

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb `lsb_release -cs`-pgdg main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pgdg.list'

Install PostgreSQL

Let’s install PostgreSQL on your system.

sudo apt install postgresql postgresql-contrib

Check PostgreSQL Version

sudo -u postgres psql -c "SELECT version();"

Enable and Start PostgreSQL Service

Enable and start service to be able to start at the system boots up.

sudo systemctl enable postgresql. service

sudo systemctl start  postgresql. service

Change PostgreSQL default user password

Change default PostgreSQL password and set a new password.

sudo passwd postgres

Switch to PostgreSQL User

Now, Switch into “postgres” user.

su - postgres

Create New User “sonar”

Create a new database user named “sonar”.

createuser sonar

Log Into PostgreSQL Shell

Now, log in to the PostgreSQL database shell.


Set Password for SonarQube Database User “sonar”

And, Then set a password for the database user “sonar”


Create New Database “sonarqube”

Create a new database named “sonarqube.”

CREATE DATABASE sonarqube OWNER sonar;

Grant Privileges to “sonar” User on “sonarqube” Database

Now, Grant all privileges to that user and database.


Exit From PostgreSQL Shell


Exit From “postgres” User


Restart and recheck PostgreSQL DB Service Status

Enable PostgreSQL service to be able to start automatically at systems boots-up.

systemctl restart  postgresql
systemctl status -l   postgresql

Now Check whether PostgreSQL is listing on default port “5432”

netstat -tulpena | grep postgres

STEP 03: Download and Install SonarQube

Now, It’s time to download the SonarQube binary archive file and extract it on our installation directory.

Download SonarQube Archive File


Now, Let’s create a temporary directory and download the SonarQube archive file.

sudo mkdir /sonarqube/

cd /sonarqube/
sudo curl -O

Additionally, you may need to install the “zip” apt package if not available in your system.

sudo apt-get install zip

Extract your downloaded archive into /opt/ directory.

sudo unzip -d /opt/

Move Extracted setup into /opt/sonarqube/ directory

sudo mv /opt/sonarqube- /opt/sonarqube

STEP 04: Create Group and User for SonarQube

Now, We need to create a system user and group for the SonarQube service.

Create a group named “sonar”

First, create a system group named “sonar.”

sudo groupadd sonar

Create a user named “sonar” and into the “sonar” group with directory access

Then, create a user and add the user into the group with directory permission to the /opt/ directory.

sudo useradd -c "SonarQube - User" -d /opt/sonarqube/ -g sonar sonar

Provide user and group directory ownership to “/opt/sonarqube/”****

sudo chown sonar:sonar /opt/sonarqube/ -R

STEP 05: Configure SonarQube

Now, Let’s head over to the “” configuration file and do the following changes.

sudo vim /opt/sonarqube/conf/

UnComment and type PostgreSQL database username and password that we’ve created at the previous step.

Now, We need to point our PostgreSQL database to the SonarQube service. We are using “localhost” as a DB host since we’ve installed PostgreSQL on the same server.

Un-comment these lines and modify them as necessary.

sonar.jdbc.url=jdbc:postgresql://localhost/sonarqube -Xms512m -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError
########### OPTIONAL USE ONLY #############
sonar.web.javaAdditionalOpts=-server -Xms512m -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError

STEP 06: Configure Systemd Service For SonarQube

Now, Create a startup script for the SonarQube service that starts at system boots.

Create a systemd service file for SonarQube to be run at system startup.

vim /etc/systemd/system/sonarqube.service

Add this content into the “sonarqube.service” file.

Description=SonarQube service


ExecStart=/opt/sonarqube/bin/linux-x86-64/ start
ExecStop=/opt/sonarqube/bin/linux-x86-64/ stop




Enable and Start SonarQube Service

systemctl daemon-reload 
systemctl enable sonarqube. service
systemctl start sonarqube. service
systemctl status -l sonarqube. service

After sometime later, Check whether the port is listening.

netstat -tulpena  | grep 9000

STEP 07: Configure NGINX Reverse Proxy For SonarQube

Install NGINX Package

Now we need to expose our SonarQube server outside as it is listening only on localhost. Therefore we are creating an Nginx reverse proxy to redirect outside traffic into the SonarQube.

apt-get install nginx -y

Goto /etc/nginx/nginx.conf and un-comment these two lines

vim /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;

Create NGINX Configuration File For SonarQube

Create a reverse proxy configuration file

sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/sonarqube.conf

Copy and paste this virtual-host server block and change the “server_name” entry as you required.

    listen      80;

    access_log  /var/log/nginx/sonar.access.log;
    error_log   /var/log/nginx/sonar.error.log;

    proxy_buffers 16 64k;
    proxy_buffer_size 128k;

    location / {
        proxy_next_upstream error timeout invalid_header http_500 http_502 http_503 http_504;
        proxy_redirect off;

        proxy_set_header    Host            $host;
        proxy_set_header    X-Real-IP       $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header    X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header    X-Forwarded-Proto http;

Check NGINX configurations

nginx -t

Enable and Restart Nginx Service

systemctl enable nginx.service 
systemctl restart nginx.service
systemctl status -l  nginx.service

Check whether port 80 listenings for connections

netstat -tulpena | grep 80

STEP 08: Firewall Configuration

Allow TCP ports 9000, 9001, 80 through the firewall

sudo ufw allow 80,9000,9001/tcp

sudo ufw status

STEP 09: Access SonarQube Through Web Browser

Now, SonarQube installation and configuration has been completed. It’s time to access the web console through the web browser.

Provide the default administrator account username and password as admin/admin

Default Username: admin

Default Password: admin OR http://YOUR-SERVER-IP

Torubleshooting TIPS

Sometime SonaqQube will not start as we expected. Most of the time, the reason is related to elasticsearch service. SonarQube uses elasticsearch as it’s indexing engine. So, We may need to troubleshoot elasticsearch as well.

Here are some troubleshooting tips:

SonarQube stores its service logs under “/opt/sonarqube/logs” directory. You may need those log files in case of troubleshooting purpose.

Troubleshooting Tips: Log Paths




Troubleshooting Tips: JVM OPTION and HEAP MEMORY ISSUES

Additionally, you may be required to modify some entries related to elasticsearch and JVM options, Therefore SonarQube using elastciseach and JVM options. The reason is our system’s HEAP MEMORY will not be compatible with the JVM configurations.

If your sonarqube service not starting or keep restarting, check the following log file.

tail -f /opt/sonarqube/logs/es.log

tail -f /opt/sonarqube/logs/sonar.log

tail -f /opt/sonarqube/logs/access.log

And check port number 9000 or 9001 listing on localhost.

If not, your JVM.OPTION may not be compatible with your physical RAM amount. Then, You need to define the matching JAVA HEAP Memory size for your host machine.

vim /opt/sonarqube/elasticsearch/config/jvm.options

# Xms represents the initial size of total heap space
# Xmx represents the maximum size of total heap space


You may need to adjust your HEAP MEMORY according to your physical usable memory size.



SonarQube initial configuration has been completed. In the next tutorial, I will show you how to integrate and analyze your project code on SonarQube with the Jenkins server and GitLab. And analysis of code deployments real-time.

If you need further clarification, please ask in the YouTube video comment section.

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