Installing Apache Cassandra 2.1 on Debian-based systems

Install using APT repositories on Debian and Ubuntu.

The latest version of Apache Cassandra™ 2.1 is 2.1.21.

Use these steps to install Apache Cassandra™ using APT repositories on Debian and Ubuntu Linux.


  • APT (Advanced Package Tool) is installed.
  • Root or sudo access to the install machine.
  • Python 2.7 if using cqlsh.
  • DataStax recommends using the latest version of either OpenJDK 8 or Oracle Java Platform, Standard Edition 8 (JDK).

The packaged releases create a cassandra user. When starting Cassandra as a service, the service runs as this user.


In a terminal window:
  1. Check which version of Java is installed by running the following command:
    java -version
    DataStax recommends using the latest version of Java 8 on all nodes. See Installing the JDK and Python 2.7.
  2. Add the Apache Cassandra repository to the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/cassandra.sources.list:
    echo "deb 21x main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/cassandra.sources.list
  3. If using Oracle Java on Debian systems:
    1. In /etc/apt/sources.list, find the line that describes your source repository for Debian and add contrib non-free to the end of the line. For example:
      deb http://some.debian.mirror/debian/ $distro main contrib non-free
      This allows installation of the Oracle JVM instead of the OpenJDK JVM.
    2. Save and close the file when you are done adding/editing your sources.
  4. Add the Apache Cassandra repository key to your aptitude trusted keys.
    curl | sudo apt-key add -
  5. Install the packages:
    Note: Apache Cassandra only provides the latest patch version. If you need to install an earlier patch version, contact DataStax Support.
    sudo apt-get update
    If you encounter this error:
    GPG error: 21x InRelease: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY A278B781FE4B2BDA
    1. Add the public key A278B781FE4B2BDA as follows:
      sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-key A278B781FE4B2BDA
      Note: The key may be different. If this happens, use key listed in the error message. For a full list of Apache contributors public keys, refer to
    2. Update the packages:
      sudo apt-get update
  6. Install Cassandra:
    sudo apt-get install cassandra
  7. Install the optional tools:
    sudo apt-get install cassandra-tools=2.1.x ## Optional utilities
  8. Because the Debian packages start the Cassandra service automatically, you must stop the server and clear the data:

    Doing this removes the default cluster_name (Test Cluster) from the system table. All nodes must use the same cluster name.

    sudo service cassandra stop
    sudo rm -rf /var/lib/cassandra/*
    Cassandra is ready for configuration.
  9. Optional: To change the location of the default directories (/var/lib/cassandra), see the following in /etc/cassandra/conf/cassandra.yaml:
  10. Optional: To change the location of the log files (/var/log/cassandra), replace the path to the log directory in /usr/sbin/cassandra:
    cassandra_parms="$cassandra_parms -Dcassandra.logdir=/var/log/cassandra"

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