Install etcd as systemd service on Ubuntu Linux server

etcd is a distributed key-value store for distributed system. etcd is written in Golanguage. To ensure high availabilityetcd uses Raft consensus algorithm for management of replicated log.

In this article / tutorial we will learn how to install etcd node on Ubuntu Server.

Download and extract etcd binaries

Download the latest release of etcd, at the time of writing this article the latest release of etcd was 3.3.12.


Extract the downloaded file etcd-v3.3.12-linux-amd64.tar.gz using tar(tape archive) command.

tar xvf etcd-v3.3.12-linux-amd64.tar.gz

Instal the etcd and etcdctl executables to /usr/local/bin

We already have extracted the contents of etcd-v3.3.12-linux-amd64.tar.gz to etcd-v3.3.12-linux-amd64 directory, now let’s install the extracted binaries to /usr/local/bin directory.

  1. Move the etcd binary to /usr/local/bin directory. sudo mv ./etcd-v3.3.12-linux-amd64/etcd /usr/local/bin
  2. Move the etcdctl binary to /usr/local/bin directory. sudo mv ./etcd-v3.3.12-linux-amd64/etcdctl /usr/local/bin

Verify the etcd installation

We will verify the correct installation of etcd by running the etcd --versioncommand.

etcd --version

Output of the etcd --version command.

etcd Version: 3.3.12
Git SHA: d57e8b8
Go Version: go1.10.8
Go OS/Arch: linux/amd64

Additionally verify installation of etcdctl by running etcdctl --versioncommand.

etcdctl --version

Output of etcd --version command.

etcdctl version: 3.3.12
API version: 2

Setup etcd Configuration and Data Directories

In this section we will setup directories to store etcd configuration and data files.

  1. Create etcd configuration directory. sudo mkdir /etc/etcd
  2. Create etcd data directory. sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/etcd/

Install etcd as systemd service

In this section we will setup etcd as systemd daemon so that it can be started with system startup.

Before configuring etcd as systemd service, let’s create etcd system group and user.

  1. Create etcd system group. sudo groupadd --system etcd
  2. Create etcd system user with nologin shell and add it to etcd system group created in previous step. sudo useradd -s /sbin/nologin --system -g etcd etcd
  3. Grant the ownership of /var/lib/etcd/ to etcd user. sudo chown -R etcd:etcd /var/lib/etcd/

Now let’s setup etcd service daemon.

  1. Create etcd systemd service unit file. sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/etcd.service
  2. Put following contents in to newly created etcd.service unit file. [Unit] Description=etcd service Documentation= [Service] User=etcd Type=notify Environment=ETCD_DATA_DIR=/var/lib/etcd Environment=ETCD_NAME=%m ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/etcd Restart=always RestartSec=10s LimitNOFILE=40000 [Install]
  3. Run the systemctl daemon-reload command to load our newly created unit file for etcd systemd service. This will notify systemd about newly created etcd.service service. sudo systemctl daemon-reload Note You will need to execute ystemctl daemon-reload command whenever you modify the etcd.service unit file, otherwise systemctl startand systemctl enable commands will fail due to mismatch between etcd.service unit file on disk and currently loaded state of systemd.
  4. Start the etcd service using systemctl start command. sudo systemctl start etcd.service
  5. Finally, we will use the systemctl enable command to make sure that the etcd service starts on system boot. sudo systemctl enable etcd.service

If systemctl enable command was successful the output will be as following.

Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/ to /etc/systemd/system/etcd.service.

Check etcd systemd service status

We can check current status of etcd service using systemctl status command. Run systemctl status command to get current status of etcd service.

sudo systemctl status etcd.service

This will Output current status of etcd service.

● etcd.service - etcd service
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/etcd.service; disabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Sun 2019-03-24 23:41:13 PKT; 28min ago
 Main PID: 6442 (etcd)
    Tasks: 8
   Memory: 5.0M
      CPU: 4.439s
   CGroup: /system.slice/etcd.service
           └─6442 /usr/local/bin/etcd

Mar 24 23:41:13 sb-emq-1 etcd[6442]: 8e9e05c52164694d received MsgVoteResp from 8e9e05c52164694d at term 2
Mar 24 23:41:13 sb-emq-1 etcd[6442]: 8e9e05c52164694d became leader at term 2
Mar 24 23:41:13 sb-emq-1 etcd[6442]: raft.node: 8e9e05c52164694d elected leader 8e9e05c52164694d at term 2
Mar 24 23:41:13 sb-emq-1 etcd[6442]: setting up the initial cluster version to 3.3
Mar 24 23:41:13 sb-emq-1 etcd[6442]: set the initial cluster version to 3.3
Mar 24 23:41:13 sb-emq-1 systemd[1]: Started etcd service.
Mar 24 23:41:13 sb-emq-1 etcd[6442]: enabled capabilities for version 3.3
Mar 24 23:41:13 sb-emq-1 etcd[6442]: published {Name:ec7c4a15dc9eff6480150aff5c8a8a5f ClientURLs:[http://localhost:2379]} to cluster cdf818194e3a8c32
Mar 24 23:41:13 sb-emq-1 etcd[6442]: ready to serve client requests
Mar 24 23:41:13 sb-emq-1 etcd[6442]: serving insecure client requests on, this is strongly discouraged!

Verify the ctcd cluster status

We can get details about etcd cluster using etcdctl member list command.

etcdctl member list

Currently we have setup just one etcd node, so we will get following output.

8e9e05c52164694d: name=ec7c4a15dc9eff6480150aff5c8a8a5f peerURLs=http://localhost:2380 clientURLs=http://localhost:2379 isLeader=true


We have installed and setup single node etcd cluster, in my upcoming article I will explain how to setup etcd multi node cluster.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this article. If you like this article, have any questions or suggestions please let us know in the comments section.

Happy Learning!

Shoket Mahmood Ahmed

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