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RocketChat is a free and open source web chat server. In this article, you will learn how to install RocketChat server on CentOS 8. #centlinux #linux #rocketchat

What is RocketChat?

Rocket.Chat is an open-source communication platform designed for team collaboration, real-time messaging, and more. It provides a versatile and secure alternative to proprietary chat applications like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Here’s a detailed overview of Rocket.Chat:

Key Features

Real-Time Messaging

  • Supports direct messages, group chats, public channels, and private channels.
  • Real-time notifications and message updates.

Customization and Extensibility

  • Highly customizable with themes, layouts, and branding options.
  • Powerful API for creating custom integrations and plugins.

Video and Audio Conferencing

  • Integrated video and audio calling features.
  • Supports group calls and video conferencing with screen sharing capabilities.
  • Integration with Jitsi for advanced video conferencing.

File Sharing and Collaboration

  • Enables sharing of files, images, and documents within chats and channels.
  • Collaborative tools like editing and commenting on shared files.

Security and Compliance

  • Offers end-to-end encryption for secure messaging.
  • Compliant with various data protection regulations, making it suitable for enterprise use.

Self-Hosted and Cloud Options

  • Can be self-hosted for complete control over data and infrastructure.
  • Also available as a managed cloud service provided by Rocket.Chat.

Mobile and Desktop Applications

  • Available on iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms.
  • Ensures accessibility and consistent experience across devices.

Integrations

  • Integrates with various third-party tools like GitHub, GitLab, Jira, and others.
  • Supports webhooks, APIs, and custom bots to automate workflows.

Federation

  • Supports federated messaging, allowing communication between different Rocket.Chat servers and other compatible platforms.

Community and Enterprise Support

  • Offers robust community support and documentation.
  • Enterprise plans provide additional features and dedicated support.

    Use Cases

    Team Collaboration

    • Facilitates seamless communication and project collaboration within teams.
    • Channels for project-specific discussions and direct messages for individual communication.

    Customer Support

    • Can be used for live customer support on websites through embedded chat widgets.
    • Efficiently manages customer queries and support tickets.

    Remote Work

    • Ideal for remote teams with features like video conferencing, screen sharing, and real-time collaboration tools.

    Education

    • Used by educational institutions to connect students, teachers, and staff.
    • Supports virtual classrooms and collaborative learning environments.

    Community Building

    • Suitable for building and managing online communities.
    • Provides tools for moderated discussions and community engagement.

    Deployment and Management

    Installation

    • Supports various deployment methods including Docker, Kubernetes, and traditional server installations.
    • Comprehensive setup guides and community support available.

    Administration

    • Web-based admin panel for managing users, settings, and integrations.
    • Supports authentication methods like LDAP, OAuth, and SAML for user management.

    Summary

    Rocket.Chat is a powerful, flexible, and secure communication platform that can be tailored to meet the needs of various organizations, from small teams to large enterprises. Its open-source nature allows for extensive customization and integration, making it a popular choice for those seeking a robust and versatile messaging solution.

    Environment Specification

    We are using a minimally installed CentOS 8 virtual machine with following specification.

    • CPU – 3.4 Ghz (2 cores)
    • Memory – 2 GB
    • Storage – 20 GB
    • Operating System – CentOS Linux 8.2
    • Hostname – rocket-chat-server.centlinux.com
    • IP Address – 192.168.116.206 /24

    Update Linux Software Packages

    Connect with rocket-chat-server.centlinux.com as root user by using a ssh client.

    By following the best practice, you should update all the software packages in Linux operating system before installing a new software.

    # dnf update -y

    Check Kernel version of your Linux operating system.

    # uname -r
    4.18.0-193.6.3.el8_2.x86_64

    Check version of your Linux operating system.

    # cat /etc/redhat-release
    CentOS Linux release 8.2.2004 (Core)

    Install MongoDB on CentOS 8

    To install MongoDB database server, you need to add MongoDB official yum repository in your Linux operating system.

    Create a repo file for MongoDB yum repository by using vim text editor.

    # vi /etc/yum.repos.d/mongodb-org-4.2.repo

    Add following directives in this file.

    [mongodb-org-4.2]
    name=MongoDB Repository
    baseurl=https://repo.mongodb.org/yum/redhat/$releasever/mongodb-org/4.2/x86_64/
    gpgcheck=1
    enabled=1
    gpgkey=https://www.mongodb.org/static/pgp/server-4.2.asc

    Build cache for MongoDB yum repository.

    # dnf makecache
    CentOS-8 - AppStream                            4.4 kB/s | 4.3 kB     00:00
    CentOS-8 - Base                                 182  B/s | 3.9 kB     00:21
    CentOS-8 - Extras                               2.0 kB/s | 1.5 kB     00:00
    MongoDB Repository                              9.4 kB/s |  12 kB     00:01
    Metadata cache created.

    MongoDB yum repository has been added. Now, you can easily install MongoDB server on CentOS / RHEL 8 by executing dnf command.

    # dnf install -y mongodb-org

    Configure following settings in MongoDB configuration files as required by Rocket Chat software.

    # sed -i "s/^#replication:/replication:n  replSetName: rs01/" /etc/mongod.conf

    Enable and start MongoDB database service.

    # systemctl enable --now mongod.service

    Initiate a MongoDB replica set.

    # mongo --eval "printjson(rs.initiate())"
    MongoDB shell version v4.2.9
    connecting to: mongodb://127.0.0.1:27017/?compressors=disabled&gssapiServiceName=mongodb
    Implicit session: session { "id" : UUID("62a95226-85a3-4716-bf55-e98ed1510cec") }
    MongoDB server version: 4.2.9
    {
            "info2" : "no configuration specified. Using a default configuration for the set",
            "me" : "127.0.0.1:27017",
            "ok" : 1,
            "$clusterTime" : {
                    "clusterTime" : Timestamp(1598207737, 1),
                    "signature" : {
                            "hash" : BinData(0,"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA="),
                            "keyId" : NumberLong(0)
                    }
            },
            "operationTime" : Timestamp(1598207737, 1)
    }

    Install Node.js on CentOS 8

    Rocket Chat requires Node.js server to run its services. Therefore, you need to install Node.js on your Linux server.

    Node.js requires following software packages for compilation and to make the executables. Therefore, we are installing these packages by using dnf command.

    # dnf install -y gcc-c++ make

    Before installing Node.js, we need to add Node.js official yum repository in our Linux server.

    Use the following command to install Node.js yum repository in your Linux server.

    # curl -sL https://rpm.nodesource.com/setup_12.x | bash
    
    ## Installing the NodeSource Node.js 12.x repo...
    
    
    ## Inspecting system...
    
    + rpm -q --whatprovides redhat-release || rpm -q --whatprovides centos-release || rpm -q --whatprovides cloudlinux-release || rpm -q --whatprovides sl-release
    + uname -m
    
    ## Confirming "el8-x86_64" is supported...
    
    + curl -sLf -o /dev/null 'https://rpm.nodesource.com/pub_12.x/el/8/x86_64/nodesource-release-el8-1.noarch.rpm'
    
    ## As yum will try to install Node.js from the AppStream repository
    instead of the NodeSource repository, the AppStream's version of Node.js has to be disabled.
    ## Run `sudo yum module enable -y nodejs` to reactivate the AppStream's Node.js repository.
    
    + yum module disable -y nodejs
    Last metadata expiration check: 0:06:13 ago on Sun 23 Aug 2020 12:58:45 PM PKT.
    Dependencies resolved.
    ================================================================================
     Package           Architecture     Version             Repository         Size
    ================================================================================
    Disabling modules:
     nodejs
    
    Transaction Summary
    ================================================================================
    
    Complete!
    
    ## Downloading release setup RPM...
    
    + mktemp
    + curl -sL -o '/tmp/tmp.bCqMCmLHXC' 'https://rpm.nodesource.com/pub_12.x/el/8/x86_64/nodesource-release-el8-1.noarch.rpm'
    
    ## Installing release setup RPM...
    
    + rpm -i --nosignature --force '/tmp/tmp.bCqMCmLHXC'
    
    ## Cleaning up...
    
    + rm -f '/tmp/tmp.bCqMCmLHXC'
    
    ## Checking for existing installations...
    
    + rpm -qa 'node|npm' | grep -v nodesource
    
    ## Run `sudo yum install -y nodejs` to install Node.js 12.x and npm.
    ## You may also need development tools to build native addons:
         sudo yum install gcc-c++ make
    ## To install the Yarn package manager, run:
         curl -sL https://dl.yarnpkg.com/rpm/yarn.repo | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/yarn.repo
         sudo yum install yarn

    Node.js yum repository has been added in your Linux operating system. Now, we can easily install Node.js by using dnf command.

    # dnf install -y nodejs

    Install GraphicsMagick on CentOS 8

    GraphicsMagick is a robust set of tools and libraries to read, write, and manipulate an image in any of the more popular image formats.

    GraphicsMagick is required by Rocket Chat. GraphicsMagick is not available in standard yum repositories, therefore, you need to install EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) yum repository.

    # dnf install -y epel-release

    Now, you can install GraphicsMagick by using dnf command.

    # dnf install -y GraphicsMagick

    Install inherits and n packages by using npm (Node Package Manager) command.

    # npm install -g inherits n
    /usr/bin/n -> /usr/lib/node_modules/n/bin/n
    + inherits@2.0.4
    + n@6.7.0
    added 2 packages from 4 contributors in 2.858s

    Install the Node.js 12.14.0 as required by Rocket Chat server.

    # n 12.14.0
    
      installing : node-v12.14.0
           mkdir : /usr/local/n/versions/node/12.14.0
           fetch : https://nodejs.org/dist/v12.14.0/node-v12.14.0-linux-x64.tar.xz
       installed : v12.14.0 (with npm 6.13.4)
    
    Note: the node command changed location and the old location may be remembered in your current shell.
             old : /usr/bin/node
             new : /usr/local/bin/node
    To reset the command location hash either start a new shell, or execute PATH="$PATH"

    Install RocketChat Server on CentOS 8

    Download latest version of RocketChat software by using the following command.

    # curl -L https://releases.rocket.chat/latest/download -o /tmp/rocket.chat.tgz
      % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                     Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
    100   132  100   132    0     0    106      0  0:00:01  0:00:01 --:--:--   106
    100  158M  100  158M    0     0  1056k      0  0:02:33  0:02:33 --:--:-- 1711k

    Extract downloaded zip file in a temporary directory.

    # tar -xzf /tmp/rocket.chat.tgz -C /tmp

    You can install RocketChat server on Linux by using npm command.

    # cd /tmp/bundle/programs/server
    # npm install
    npm WARN deprecated request@2.88.2: request has been deprecated, see https://github.com/request/request/issues/3142
    npm WARN deprecated har-validator@5.1.5: this library is no longer supported
    
    > fibers@4.0.3 install /tmp/bundle/programs/server/node_modules/fibers
    > node build.js || nodejs build.js
    
    `linux-x64-72-glibc` exists; testing
    Binary is fine; exiting
    npm WARN lifecycle meteor-dev-bundle@~install: cannot run in wd meteor-dev-bundle@ node npm-rebuild.js (wd=/tmp/bundle/programs/server)
    added 146 packages from 122 contributors and audited 147 packages in 22.341s
    
    2 packages are looking for funding
      run `npm fund` for details
    
    found 0 vulnerabilities

    Move RocketChat software to /opt directory.

    # mv /tmp/bundle /opt/Rocket.Chat

    Create an user to own RocketChat software and processes.

    # useradd -M rocketchat

    Lock rocketchat user, so nobody can use it to login to our Linux server.

    # usermod -L rocketchat

    Grant ownership of software directory to rocketchat user.

    # chown -R rocketchat:rocketchat /opt/Rocket.Chat

    Create Systemd Service

    To configure autostart of RocketChat server, we need to create a systemd unit.

    Create a systemd unit file by using vim editor.

    # vi /lib/systemd/system/rocketchat.service

    Add following directives in this file.

    [Unit]
    Description=The Rocket.Chat server
    After=network.target remote-fs.target nss-lookup.target nginx.target mongod.target
    
    [Service]
    ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/node /opt/Rocket.Chat/main.js
    StandardOutput=syslog
    StandardError=syslog
    SyslogIdentifier=rocketchat
    User=rocketchat
    Environment=MONGO_URL=mongodb://localhost:27017/rocketchat?replicaSet=rs01 MONGO_OPLOG_URL=mongodb://localhost:27017/local?replicaSet=rs01 ROOT_URL=http://localhost:3000/ PORT=3000
    
    [Install]
    WantedBy=multi-user.target

    Enable and start RocketChat service.

    # systemctl enable --now rocketchat.service
    Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/rocketchat.service â /usr/lib/systemd/system/rocketchat.service.

    Configure Linux Firewall

    Node.js uses default port 3000. Therefore, to access RocketChat web interface, we need to allow the incoming traffic to this port in Linux firewall.

    # firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=3000/tcp
    success
    # firewall-cmd --reload
    success

    Access RocketChat Web Interface

    Open URL http://rocket-chat-server.centlinux.com:3000 in a web browser.

    RocketChat Admin Info
    RocketChat Admin Info

    Provide Admin info and click on Continue.

    RocketChat Organization Info
    RocketChat Organization Info

    You need to provide the Organization info on this page. Click on Continue.

    RocketChat Server Info
    RocketChat Server Info

    Provide the Server info and click on Continue.

    RocketChat Server Registration
    RocketChat Server Registration

    Register your RocketChat server online or keep it stand alone. Click on Continue.

    RocketChat workplace is ready
    RocketChat workplace is ready

    Your Rocket Chat workplace is ready to use now. Click on Go to workplace.

    RocketChat Dashboard
    RocketChat Dashboard

    You are now at the Home page of Rocket Chat web interface. Click on Administration from the top-left toolbar.

    RocketChat Server Administration
    RocketChat Server Administration

    If you found this article too advanced, then you should buy and read How Linux Works, 2nd Edition: What Every Superuser Should Know Second Edition (PAID LINK) written by Brian Ward.

    Final Thoughts

    Install RocketChat Server on CentOS 8 is a fantastic way to enhance your team’s communication and collaboration capabilities. With its robust features, customization options, and secure infrastructure, Rocket.Chat provides a versatile platform for both small teams and large enterprises.

    If you need detailed guidance or personalized assistance with installing and configuring RocketChat Server on Linux, I offer professional services to ensure a smooth setup process. Check out my Fiverr gig for expert help: Linux Server Expert

    Enhance your team’s productivity and communication with expert support today!

    16 thoughts on “How to install RocketChat Server on CentOS 8”
    1. Everything worked except when i got to starting Rocket Chat service. I had to do the following:
      Change the path to new nodejs in the service config:
      sudo nano /lib/systemd/system/rocketchat.service
      In the line beginning with “ExecStart=” replace “/usr/local/bin/node” with “/usr/bin/node”

    2. Which I changed this directory it returned me these errors below:

      rocketchat.service – The Rocket.Chat server
      Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/rocketchat.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
      Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Fri 2022-04-01 10:00:58 -03; 4s ago
      Process: 2035888 ExecStart=/usr/bin/node /opt/Rocket.Chat/main.js (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)
      Main PID: 2035888 (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

      Apr 01 10:00:58 BNUGR03WEB02PROD.gruposelecionar.corp rocketchat[2035888]: at Module.Mp._compile (/opt/Rocket.Chat/programs/server/runtime.js:99:23)
      Apr 01 10:00:58 BNUGR03WEB02PROD.gruposelecionar.corp rocketchat[2035888]: at Object.Module._extensions..js (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1157:10)
      Apr 01 10:00:58 BNUGR03WEB02PROD.gruposelecionar.corp rocketchat[2035888]: at Module.load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:981:32)
      Apr 01 10:00:58 BNUGR03WEB02PROD.gruposelecionar.corp rocketchat[2035888]: at Module.Mp.load (/opt/Rocket.Chat/programs/server/runtime.js:46:33)
      Apr 01 10:00:58 BNUGR03WEB02PROD.gruposelecionar.corp rocketchat[2035888]: at Function.Module._load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:822:12)
      Apr 01 10:00:58 BNUGR03WEB02PROD.gruposelecionar.corp rocketchat[2035888]: at Module.require (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1005:19)
      Apr 01 10:00:58 BNUGR03WEB02PROD.gruposelecionar.corp rocketchat[2035888]: at require (node:internal/modules/cjs/helpers:102:18)
      Apr 01 10:00:58 BNUGR03WEB02PROD.gruposelecionar.corp rocketchat[2035888]: at Object. (/opt/Rocket.Chat/programs/server/boot.js:2:15)
      Apr 01 10:00:58 BNUGR03WEB02PROD.gruposelecionar.corp systemd[1]: rocketchat.service: Main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
      Apr 01 10:00:58 BNUGR03WEB02PROD.gruposelecionar.corp systemd[1]: rocketchat.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.

    3. Execute

      # whereis node

      to locate the location of nodejs binary file. then update this location accordingly in the rocketchat.service unit file.

    4. First thanks!
      I made the mentioned changes, updated Node and the error is now the one below:

      rocketchat.service – The Rocket.Chat server
      Loaded: error (Reason: Unit rocketchat.service failed to loaded properly: Invalid argument.)
      Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Mon 2022-04-04 09:30:59 -03; 50s ago
      Main PID: 2423504 (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

      …………………………………………… rocketchat[2423504]: at Module.load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:981:32)
      …………………………………………… rocketchat[2423504]: at Module.Mp.load (/opt/Rocket.Chat/programs/server/runtime.js:46:33)
      …………………………………………… rocketchat[2423504]: at Function.Module._load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:822:12)
      …………………………………………… rocketchat[2423504]: at Module.require (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1005:19)
      …………………………………………… rocketchat[2423504]: at require (node:internal/modules/cjs/helpers:102:18)
      …………………………………………… rocketchat[2423504]: at Object. (/opt/Rocket.Chat/programs/server/boot.js:2:15)
      …………………………………………… systemd[1]: rocketchat.service: Main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
      …………………………………………… systemd[1]: rocketchat.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
      …………………………………………… systemd[1]: /usr/lib/systemd/system/rocketchat.service:15: Missing '='.
      …………………………………………… systemd[1]: /usr/lib/systemd/system/rocketchat.service:15: Missing '='.

    5. Have a look at last line of log. It says there is a missing '='. Please recheck rocketchat.service file for any syntax errors.

    6. It doesn´t work here

      # systemctl status rocketchat
      ● rocketchat.service – The Rocket.Chat server
      Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/rocketchat.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
      Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Tue 2022-10-11 11:38:30 -03; 1min 11s ago
      Process: 1420 ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/node /opt/Rocket.Chat/main.js (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)
      Main PID: 1420 (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

      out 11 11:38:30 SRVSESAPI-22 systemd[1]: Started The Rocket.Chat server.
      out 11 11:38:30 SRVSESAPI-22 rocketchat[1420]: Meteor requires Node v14.0.0 or later.
      out 11 11:38:30 SRVSESAPI-22 systemd[1]: rocketchat.service: Main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
      out 11 11:38:30 SRVSESAPI-22 systemd[1]: rocketchat.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.

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