8.9 | Setup and upgrade | Install the server

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Install the server


This section describes a single-node SonarQube instance. For details on clustered setup, see Install the server as a cluster.

Instance components

A SonarQube instance comprises three components:

SQ instance components
  1. The SonarQube server running the following processes:
    • A web server that serves the SonarQube user interface.
    • A search server based on Elasticsearch.
    • The compute engine in charge of processing code analysis reports and saving them in the SonarQube database.
  2. The database to store the following:
    • Metrics and issues for code quality and security generated during code scans.
    • The SonarQube instance configuration.
  3. One or more scanners running on your build or continuous integration servers to analyze projects.

Hosts and locations

For optimal performance, the SonarQube server and database should be installed on separate hosts, and the server host should be dedicated. The server and database hosts should be located on the same network.

All hosts must be time-synchronized.

Installing the database

Several database engines are supported. Be sure to follow the requirements listed for your database. They are real requirements not recommendations.

Create an empty schema and a sonarqube user. Grant this sonarqube user permissions to createupdate, and delete objects for this schema.

Microsoft SQL Server

MS SQL database's shared lock strategy may impact SonarQube runtime. Making sure that is_read_committed_snapshot_on is set to true to prevent SonarQube from facing potential deadlocks under heavy loads.

Example of query to check is_read_committed_snapshot_on:

SELECT is_read_committed_snapshot_on FROM sys.databases WHERE name='YourSonarQubeDatabase';

Example of query to update is_read_committed_snapshot_on:


Integrated security

To use integrated security:

  1. Download the Microsoft SQL JDBC Auth 9.2.0 package and copy mssql-jdbc_auth-11.2.0.x64.dll to any folder in your path.
  2. If you're running SonarQube as a Windows service, make sure the Windows account under which the service is running has permission to connect your SQL server. The account should have db_owner database role membership.

    If you're running the SonarQube server from a command prompt, the user under which the command prompt is running should have db_owner database role membership.
  3. Ensure that sonar.jdbc.username or sonar.jdbc.password properties are commented out or SonarQube will use SQL authentication.

SQL authentication

To use SQL authentication, use the following connection string. Also, ensure that sonar.jdbc.username and sonar.jdbc.password are set appropriately:


If there are two SonarQube schemas on the same Oracle instance, especially if they are for two different versions, SonarQube gets confused and picks the first it finds. To avoid this issue:

  • Either privileges associated to the SonarQube Oracle user should be decreased.
  • Or a trigger should be defined on the Oracle side to automatically alter the SonarQube Oracle user session when establishing a new connection: ALTER SESSION SET current_schema="MY_SONARQUBE_SCHEMA".

If you want to use a custom schema and not the default "public" one, the PostgreSQL search_path property must be set:

ALTER USER mySonarUser SET search_path to mySonarQubeSchema

Installing SonarQube from the ZIP file

First, check the requirements. Then download and unzip the distribution (do not unzip into a directory starting with a digit).

SonarQube cannot be run as root on Unix-based systems, so create a dedicated user account for SonarQube if necessary.

<SONARQUBE_HOME> (below) refers to the path to the directory where the SonarQube distribution has been unzipped.

Setting access to the database

Edit <SONARQUBE_HOME>/conf/sonar.properties to configure the database settings. Templates are available for every supported database. Just uncomment and configure the template you need and comment out the lines dedicated to H2:

Example for PostgreSQL

Adding the JDBC driver

Drivers for the supported databases (except Oracle) are already provided. Do not replace the provided drivers; they are the only ones supported.

For Oracle, copy the JDBC driver into <SONARQUBE_HOME>/extensions/jdbc-driver/oracle.

Configuring the Elasticsearch storage path

By default, Elasticsearch data is stored in <SONARQUBE_HOME>/data, but this is not recommended for production instances. Instead, you should store this data elsewhere, ideally in a dedicated volume with fast I/O. Beyond maintaining acceptable performance, doing so will also ease the upgrade of SonarQube.

Edit <SONARQUBE_HOME>/conf/sonar.properties to configure the following settings:


The user used to launch SonarQube must have read and write access to those directories.

Starting the web server

The default port is 9000 and the context path is /. These values can be changed in <SONARQUBE_HOME>/conf/sonar.properties:


Execute the following script to start the server:

  • On Linux: <SONARQUBE_HOME>/bin/linux-x86-64/sonar.sh start
  • On macOS: <SONARQUBE_HOME>/bin/macosx-universal-64/sonar.sh start
  • On Windows: <SONARQUBE_HOME>/bin/windows-x86-64/StartSonar.bat

You can now browse SonarQube at http://localhost:9000 (the default system administrator credentials are admin/admin).

Adjusting the Java installation

If there are multiple versions of Java installed on your server, you may need to explicitly define which version of Java is used.

To change the Java JVM used by SonarQube, edit $SONARQUBE-HOME/conf/wrapper.conf and update the following line:


Advanced installation features

Installing SonarQube from the Docker image

Follow these steps for your first installation:

  1. Creating the following volumes helps prevent the loss of information when updating to a new version or upgrading to a higher edition:
    • sonarqube_data: contains data files, such as the embedded H2 database and Elasticsearch indexes
    • sonarqube_logs: contains SonarQube logs about access, web process, CE process, and Elasticsearch
    • sonarqube_extensions: will contain any plugins you install and the Oracle JDBC driver if necessary.

Create the volumes with the following commands: 

$> docker volume create --name sonarqube_data
$> docker volume create --name sonarqube_logs
$> docker volume create --name sonarqube_extensions

Drivers for supported databases (except Oracle) are already provided. If you're using an Oracle database, you need to add the JDBC driver to the sonar_extensions volume. To do this:

 a. Start the SonarQube container with the embedded H2 database:

$ docker run --rm \
    -p 9000:9000 \
    -v sonarqube_extensions:/opt/sonarqube/extensions \

b. Exit once SonarQube has started properly.

c. Copy the Oracle JDBC driver into sonarqube_extensions/jdbc-driver/oracle.

3. Run the image with your database properties defined using the -e environment variable flag:

$> docker run -d --name sonarqube \
    -p 9000:9000 \
    -e SONAR_JDBC_URL=... \
    -v sonarqube_data:/opt/sonarqube/data \
    -v sonarqube_extensions:/opt/sonarqube/extensions \
    -v sonarqube_logs:/opt/sonarqube/logs \

For more configuration environment variables, see the Docker environment variables.

Example Docker Compose configuration

If you're using Docker Compose, use the following example as a reference when configuring your .yml file. Click the heading below to expand the .yml file.

Docker Compose .yml file example
version: "3"

    image: sonarqube:community
      - db
      SONAR_JDBC_URL: jdbc:postgresql://db:5432/sonar
      - sonarqube_data:/opt/sonarqube/data
      - sonarqube_extensions:/opt/sonarqube/extensions
      - sonarqube_logs:/opt/sonarqube/logs
      - "9000:9000"
    image: postgres:12
      POSTGRES_USER: sonar
      - postgresql:/var/lib/postgresql
      - postgresql_data:/var/lib/postgresql/data


Next steps

Once your server is installed and running, you may also want to install a plugin. Then you're ready to begin analyzing source code.


Failed to connect to the marketplace via proxy

Double-check that settings for proxy are correctly set in <SONARQUBE_HOME>/conf/sonar.properties. Note that if your proxy username contains a backslash, then it should be escaped; a username domain\user in the file should look like this example:


For some proxies, the exception java.net.ProtocolException: Server redirected too many times might mean an incorrect username or password has been configured.

Exception java.lang.RuntimeException: cannot run elasticsearch as root

SonarQube starts an Elasticsearch process, and the same account that is running SonarQube itself will be used for the Elasticsearch process. Since Elasticsearch cannot be run as root, that means SonarQube can't be either. You must choose some other, non-root account with which to run SonarQube, preferably an account dedicated to the purpose.

Sonarqube fails to decorate merge requests when DNS entry to ALM changes

If you run SonarQube in an environment with a lot of DNS friction, you should define a DNS cache time to live policy as, by default, SonarQube will hold the DNS cache until it is restarted. You can set this policy to five seconds by doing the following:

echo "networkaddress.cache.ttl=5" >> "${JAVA_HOME}/conf/security/java.security" 

Please be aware that this increases the risk of DNS spoofing attacks.

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