Install Redis on Ubuntu 20.04

Redis is an in-memory key-value store known for its flexibility, performance, and wide language support. This article will show how to install, configure, and secure Redis on an Ubuntu 20.04 server.

Installing and Configuring Redis

First update your Ubuntu server:

sudo apt update

Now install Redis:

sudo apt install redis-server

This will download and install Redis and its dependencies. There is one important configuration change to make in the Redis configuration file, which was generated automatically during the installation.

Open this file with text editor:

sudo nano /etc/redis/redis.conf

This directive allows you to declare an init system to manage Redis as a service, providing you with more control over its operation. The supervised directive is set to no by default. Since you are running Ubuntu, which uses the systemd init system, change this to systemd: /etc/redis/redis.conf

# If you run Redis from upstart or systemd, Redis can interact with your
# supervision tree. Options:
#   supervised no      - no supervision interaction
#   supervised upstart - signal upstart by putting Redis into SIGSTOP mode
#   supervised systemd - signal systemd by writing READY=1 to $NOTIFY_SOCKET
#   supervised auto    - detect upstart or systemd method based on
#                        UPSTART_JOB or NOTIFY_SOCKET environment variables
# Note: these supervision methods only signal "process is ready."
#       They do not enable continuous liveness pings back to your supervisor.
supervised systemd

Update the following values in Redis configuration file according to your requirement. You can increase max memory limit as per available on your server.

maxmemory 256mb
maxmemory-policy allkeys-lru

That’s the changes you need to make to the Redis configuration file at this point, so save and close it when you are finished. If you used nano to edit the file, do so by pressing CTRL + X, Y, then ENTER.

Then, restart the Redis service to reflect the changes you made to the configuration file:

sudo systemctl restart redis.service

You’ve installed and configured Redis and it’s running on your machine.

Now, if you need to use Redis with PHP application, you need to install Redis PHP extension on your Ubuntu system. To install Redis PHP extension, type:

sudo apt install php-redis

The installer will automatically enable redis extension for all the pre installed PHP versions. If you installer new PHP version after this, you can use below command to enable redis module. For example to enable extension for PHP 7.4, type:

sudo phpenmod -v 7.4 -s ALL redis

Testing Redis

Now checking the Redis service is running:

sudo systemctl status redis

This command will show output similar to the following:

Output● redis-server.service - Advanced key-value store
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/redis-server.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Thu 2020-04-30 23:26:54 UTC; 4s ago
    Process: 36552 ExecStart=/usr/bin/redis-server /etc/redis/redis.conf (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   Main PID: 36561 (redis-server)
      Tasks: 4 (limit: 2345)
     Memory: 1.8M
     CGroup: /system.slice/redis-server.service
             └─36561 /usr/bin/redis-server

Here, you can see that Redis is running and is already enabled, meaning that it is set to start up every time the server boots.

To test that Redis is functioning correctly, connect to the server using redis-cli, Redis’s command-line client:


In the prompt that follows, test connectivity with the ping command:


This output confirms that the server connection is still alive. Next, check that you’re able to set keys by running:

set test "It's working!"

Retrieve the value by typing:

get test

Assuming everything is working, you will be able to retrieve the value you stored:

Output"It's working!"

After confirming that you can fetch the value, exit the Redis prompt to get back to the shell:


As a final test, we will check whether Redis is able to persist data even after it’s been stopped or restarted. To do this, first restart the Redis instance:

sudo systemctl restart redis

Then connect with the command-line client again:


And confirm that your test value is still available

get test

The value of your key should still be accessible:

Output"It's working!"

Exit out into the shell again when you are finished:


With that, your Redis installation is fully operational and ready for you to use.

Binding to localhost

By default, Redis is only accessible from localhost. You might have updated the configuration file to allow connections from anywhere. This is not as secure as binding to localhost.

To correct this, open the Redis configuration file for editing:

sudo nano /etc/redis/redis.conf

Locate this line and make sure it is uncommented (remove the # if it exists): /etc/redis/redis.conf

bind ::1

Save and close the file when finished (press CTRL + X, Y, then ENTER).

Then, restart the service to ensure that systemd reads your changes:

sudo systemctl restart redis

To check that this change has gone into effect, run the following netstat command:

sudo netstat -lnp | grep redis
Outputtcp        0      0*               LISTEN      14222/redis-server  
tcp6       0      0 ::1:6379                :::*                    LISTEN      14222/redis-server  
To install netstat on your server if not available:
sudo apt install net-tools

This output shows that the redis-server program is bound to localhost (, reflecting the change you just made to the configuration file. If you see another IP address in that column (, for example), then you should double check that you uncommented the correct line and restart the Redis service again.

Now that your Redis installation is only listening in on localhost, it will be more difficult for malicious actors to make requests or gain access to your server. However, Redis isn’t currently set to require users to authenticate themselves before making changes to its configuration or the data it holds. To remedy this, Redis allows you to require users to authenticate with a password before making changes via the Redis client (redis-cli).

Configuring a Redis Password

Configuring a Redis password enables one of its two built-in security features , the auth command, which requires clients to authenticate to access the database. The password is configured directly in Redis’s configuration file, /etc/redis/redis.conf, so open that file again with your preferred editor:

sudo nano /etc/redis/redis.conf

Scroll to the SECURITY section and look for a commented directive that reads: /etc/redis/redis.conf

. . .
# requirepass foobared
. . .

Uncomment it by removing the #, and change foobared to a secure password.

Note: Above the requirepass directive in the redis.conf file, there is a commented warning: /etc/redis/redis.conf

. . .
# Warning: since Redis is pretty fast an outside user can try up to
# 150k passwords per second against a good box. This means that you should
# use a very strong password otherwise it will be very easy to break.
. . .

Thus, it’s important that you specify a very strong and very long value as your password. Rather than make up a password yourself, you can use the openssl command to generate a random one, as in the following example. By piping the output of the first command to the second openssl command, as shown here, it will remove any line breaks produced by that the first command:

openssl rand 60 | openssl base64 -A

Your output should look something like:


After copying and pasting the output of that command as the new value for requirepass, it should read:

/etc/redis/redis.confrequirepass RBOJ9cCNoGCKhlEBwQLHri1g+atWgn4Xn4HwNUbtzoVxAYxkiYBi7aufl4MILv1nxBqR4L6NNzI0X6cE

After setting the password, save and close the file, then restart Redis:

sudo systemctl restart redis.service

To test that the password works, open up the Redis client:


The following shows a sequence of commands used to test whether the Redis password works. The first command tries to set a key to a value before authentication:

set key1 10

That won’t work because you didn’t authenticate, so Redis returns an error:

Output(error) NOAUTH Authentication required.

The next command authenticates with the password specified in the Redis configuration file:

auth your_redis_password

Redis acknowledges:


After that, running the previous command again will succeed:

set key1 10

get key1 queries Redis for the value of the new key.

get key1

After confirming that you’re able to run commands in the Redis client after authenticating, you can exit redis-cli:


Now, we’ll look at renaming Redis commands which, if entered by mistake or by a malicious actor, could cause serious damage to your machine.

Renaming Dangerous Commands

The other security feature built into Redis involves renaming or completely disabling certain commands that are considered dangerous.

When run by unauthorized users, such commands can be used to reconfigure, destroy, or otherwise wipe your data. Like the authentication password, renaming or disabling commands is configured in the same SECURITY section of the /etc/redis/redis.conf file.

Some of the commands that are considered dangerous include: FLUSHDB, FLUSHALL, KEYS, PEXPIRE, DEL, CONFIG, SHUTDOWN, BGREWRITEAOF, BGSAVE, SAVE, SPOP, SREM, RENAME, and DEBUG. This is not a comprehensive list, but renaming or disabling all of the commands in that list is a good starting point for enhancing your Redis server’s security.

Whether you should disable or rename a command depends on your specific needs or those of your site. If you know you will never use a command that could be abused, then you may disable it. Otherwise, it might be in your best interest to rename it.

To rename or disable Redis commands, open the configuration file once more:

sudo nano  /etc/redis/redis.conf

Warning: The following steps showing how to disable and rename commands are examples. You should only choose to disable or rename the commands that make sense for you.

To disable a command, simply rename it to an empty string (signified by a pair of quotation marks with no characters between them), as shown below: /etc/redis/redis.conf

. . .
# It is also possible to completely kill a command by renaming it into
# an empty string:
rename-command FLUSHDB ""
rename-command FLUSHALL ""
rename-command DEBUG ""
. . .

To rename a command, give it another name as shown in the examples below. Renamed commands should be difficult for others to guess, but easy for you to remember: /etc/redis/redis.conf

. . .
# rename-command CONFIG ""
rename-command CONFIG ASC12_CONFIG
. . .

Save your changes and close the file.

After renaming a command, apply the change by restarting Redis:

sudo systemctl restart redis.service

To test the new command, enter the Redis command line:


Then, authenticate:

auth your_redis_password

Let’s assume that you renamed the CONFIG command to ASC12_CONFIG, as in the preceding example. First, try using the original CONFIG command. It should fail, because you’ve renamed it:

config get requirepass
Output(error) ERR unknown command `config`, with args beginning with: 

Calling the renamed command, however, will be successful. It is not case-sensitive:

asc12_config get requirepass
Output1) "requirepass"
2) "your_redis_password"

Finally, you can exit from redis-cli:


Note that if you’re already using the Redis command line and then restart Redis, you’ll need to re-authenticate. Otherwise, you’ll get this error if you type a command:

OutputNOAUTH Authentication required.

Regarding the practice of renaming commands, there’s a cautionary statement at the end of the SECURITY section in /etc/redis/redis.conf which reads: /etc/redis/redis.conf

. . .
# Please note that changing the name of commands that are logged into the
# AOF file or transmitted to replicas may cause problems.
. . .

Thank you for reading this article.

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Madeleine Fullington

Madeleine Fullington

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Jaymie Honanie

Jaymie Honanie

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Ollie Starcevich

Ollie Starcevich

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Kasey Valladores

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Kristan Lanzalotti

Kristan Lanzalotti


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Michal Sampieri

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Andreas Filippides

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