Installing Sonatype Nexus Repository OSS on CentOS 7

Sonatype Nexus is a popular repository manager used worldwide for most of the components, binaries, and build artifacts.

Sonatype Nexus is a popular repository manager used worldwide for most of the components, binaries, and build artifacts. It comes with support for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) ecosystem, including Gradle, Ant, Maven, and Ivy.

Compatible with standard tools including Eclipse, IntelliJ, Hudson, Jenkins, Puppet, Chef, Docker, etc., Sonatype Nexus repo can manage dev components through delivery for the binaries containers, assemblies, and finished goods.

In this tutorial, we will provide you a comprehensive guide on setting up Sonatype Nexus Repository OSS version on CentOS 7.

Installing Sonatype Nexus Repository OSS on CentOS 7

Before starting the tutorial, let’s look at the minimum system requirements for running the Sonatype Nexus Repo.

System requirements

  • Minimum CPUs: 4, Recommended CPUs: 8+
  • Minimum physical/RAM on the host 8GB

1. Pre-installation

Begin with setting the Hostname.

hostnamectl set-hostname nexus

Update your CentOS system.

 yum update -y

Install Java using the following command:

yum -y install java-1.8.0-openjdk java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel

Install JAVA
Install JAVA

After installation is complete, check the java version to make sure you are all set to go to the next step of downloading the Repo.

java -version

JAVA Version
JAVA Version

2. Download Nexus Repository Manager 3

Navigate to the opt directory:

cd /opt

Copy the latest URL of the Repo from the official website and then download it using wget.


Extract the tar file.

tar -xvzf latest-unix.tar.gz

You should see two directories, including nexus files and nexus data directory.

ls -lh

Extracted Files
Extracted Folders

Rename the folders.

mv nexus-3.20.1-01 nexus
mv sonatype-work nexusdata

Rename Directories
Rename Directories

3. Set User/Permissions and Configurations

I. Add a user for a nexus service.

useradd --system --no-create-home nexus

II. Set the ownership for nexus files and nexus data.

chown -R nexus:nexus /opt/nexus
chown -R nexus:nexus /opt/nexusdata

III. Change Nexus configuration and set the custom data directory

Edit “nexus.vmoptions”.

vim /opt/nexus/bin/nexus.vmoptions

Change the data directory.


Save and exit the file.

Change Nexus Data Directory
Change Nexus Data Directory

IV. Change the user for the nexus service account.

Edit “nexus.rc” file.

vim /opt/nexus/bin/nexus.rc

Uncomment “run_as_user” parameter and add new value.


V. Stop listening for remote connections.

We need to modify the “” file.

vim /opt/nexus/etc/

Change application-host= to application-host=

Change Application Host
Change Application Host

VI. Configure the open file limit of the nexus user.

vim /etc/security/limits.conf

Add the below values to the file.

nexus - nofile 65536

Save and the exit file.

4. Set Nexus as a System Service

Create the Systemd service file in “/etc/systemd/system/”.

vim /etc/systemd/system/nexus.service

Add the following to the file.

Description=Nexus Service

ExecStart=/opt/nexus/bin/nexus start
ExecStop=/opt/nexus/bin/nexus stop


Reload systemctl.

systemctl daemon-reload

Enable service on system boot.

systemctl enable nexus.service

Start service.

systemctl start nexus.service

Monitor the log file.

tail -f /opt/nexusdata/nexus3/log/nexus.log

Log file

Check the service port.

netstat -tunlp | grep 8081

Check Port
Check Port

5. Setup up Nginx

Setup epel Repositories.

yum install -y epel-release

List the repositories.

yum repolist

Install Nginx.

yum install nginx

set nginx on system boot

systemctl enable nginx

check the status of Nginx and start service if the service is not running.

systemctl status nginx
systemctl start nginx

6. Set DNS records for the servers.

Then go to your DNS manager and add A record for your server.

A Domain Name Server IP

Here we have used AWS route 53 to setup our DNS.

DNS Record
DNS Record

7. Configure SSL using certbot

I. Install certbot packages first.

yum install certbot python2-certbot-nginx

II. Install certificates.

certbot --nginx

It will ask a few questions and enter email, domain name, and needed inputs as follows.

Generate SSL
Generate SSL

After installation is done, open nginx.conf.

vim /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

You can see certbot SSL configuration.

III. Add Proxy pass

Add the following contents to a Location Blocks.

location / {

      proxy_pass "";
      proxy_set_header        Host $host;
      proxy_set_header        X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
      proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
      proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
      proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-Ssl on;
      proxy_read_timeout      300;
      proxy_connect_timeout   300;


Proxy Pass
Proxy Pass

Save and exit the file.

Check nginx syntax:

nginx -t

Restart Nginx:

systemctl restart nginx

8. Set firewall rules

Now enable https access to a specific public IP. Run the below command.

firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-rich-rule='
rule family="ipv4"
source address=""
port protocol="tcp" port="443" accept'

If you need to open https to public run below command:

firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-service=https

Reload the firewall.

firewall-cmd --reload

9. Setup SELinux policy for Nginx

setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect 1

10. Browse web site using your domain name


Browse URL
Browse URL

11. Sign in to the server

Sign in with the default user name as “admin.”  Run below command in the server and get the password.

cat /opt/nexusdata/nexus3/admin.password

Sign In
Sign In

After the first login, you should see a similar window, as shown below.

After Login

Click on next and set up a new password for the admin user.

New Admin Password
New Admin Password

Again, click on next, and you should see the “Configure Anonymous Access” window. Do not enable Anonymous Access.

Anonymous Access
Anonymous Access

Click on the Next button, and you can see the complete setup.

Complete Setup
Complete Setup

Click on the finish.

That’s all about installing the Sonatype Nexus Repository OSS on your CentOS 7.

Hey! I'm Darshana, a Linux / DevOps Engineer and also a contributor to FOSS Linux. I enjoy working on various kind of Linux distributions and cloud technologies. During my free time, I love to swim and hike across nature trails. Linux is my love and I'm here to share all my learnings with all of you! Hope you enjoyed reading my article.


  1. The way you created the nexus account, without a home directory, creates a crash. The fix is to create a new directory (as user nexus):

    mkdir /opt/nexus/.java

    and then to add a line at /opt/nexus/bin/nexus.vmoptions


    and to


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