Instana U

 View Only

How to install an Instana Server on Ubuntu 20.x

By Mark Parzygnat posted Fri June 11, 2021 11:05 AM

Ever want to know how to install an Instana server but found a bunch of outdated or difficult to understand instructions, like I did? Well I have created this post to hopefully get you over that hurdle. Once you go through this you will see in fact how truly easy it is to create the brains behind all the data collection.

This blog is targeted to help you install Instana on Ubuntu 20 with a few simple commands. 


  • An Ubuntu 20.x system
  • 12+ CPUs available
  • 48+ GBs of Memory
  • Instana Agent Key - Get from Instana License
  • Instana Sales Key - Get from Instana License
  • Fully Qualified Doman Name (FQDN) - you can get one cheap from the web
I used an IBM Virtual Server instance on IBM Cloud for this, which you can get from here. IBM Cloud Virtual Servers

What this how to will cover:

  • Installation of Docker
  • Installation of Instana server
  • Console Login

Getting Started:

If you are like me you'll want to get a virtual machine somewhere. You can get one from the IBM Cloud if you would like, link provided above.
  • Login into the machine where you are going to install Instana.
  • You'll need root access
My preference is to create a working directory to keep things isolated and searchable if I were to hit an issue or needed to change some things up. In this case I use /Instana.
mkdir /Instana
cd /Instana​

Now make sure your repos are up to date to start

apt-get update

Install Docker:

Allow Apt to download over HTTPS
sudo apt install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl software-properties-common gnupg​

Add Docker's GPG Key (PGP public key block)
curl -fsSL | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg​

I used simple install of
apt-get install​

If you have any issue of installing docker, you can get more info from Docker here.

Get the Instana parts:

Get Instana GPG Key (PGP public key block):
wget -qO - "" | apt-key add -​

Add the Instana sources for packages
echo "deb [arch=amd64] generic main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/instana-product.list​

Update with new source
apt-get update​

Install the Instana Console
apt-get install instana-console​

Install Instana:

You don't have to do this step, as you can change the directories during the initialization, but I like to just get it done now and have it set.
mkdir /mnt/data /mnt/traces /mnt/metrics​

Now start the install, this will walk you through step by step asking for the information it needs to complete the install. This is where you need your Agent Key, Sales Key, and a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN).

Start the install:
instana init​

You will fill out the questions below as you go:

Setup host environment ✓
? [Please choose Instana installation type] single
? [What is your tenant name?] <whatever you want>
? [What is your unit name?] <whatever you want>
? [Insert your agent key (optional). If none is specified, one is generated which does not allow downloads.] <Your Agent Key>
? [Insert your download key or official agent key (optional).] <Your Agent Key>
? [Insert your sales key] <Your Sales Key>
? [Insert the FQDN of the host] <Your FQDN>
? [Where should your data be stored?] /mnt/data <Default, hit enter if you created this previously>
? [Where should your trace data be stored?] /mnt/traces <Default, hit enter if you created this previously>
? [Where should your metric data be stored?] /mnt/metrics <Default, hit enter if you created this previously>
? [Where should your logs be stored?] /var/log/instana <Default, hit enter if you created this previously>
? [Path to your signed certificate file?] <Can leave blank, hit enter>
? [Path to your private key file?] <Can leave blank, hit enter​>

Instana will then finish up with something that looks like this:
Handle certificates ✓
Ensure images ✓
Clean docker containers ✓
Check data directories ✓
Create configurations ✓
Run data stores ✓
Migrate data stores ✓
Run components ✓
Check components ✓
Setup environment urls ✓
Run nginx ✓
Initialize tenant unit ✓

Welcome to the World of Automatic Infrastructure and Application Monitoring

E-Mail: admin@instana.local
Password: YourPassWord​

You can simply click on the link provided and login with the credentials and you should see the server up and running.

Note: If you didn't already have the domain set up, it could take 20-30 mins depending on the provider to update all the DNS servers needed.