Install Tableau Server with External File Store

This topic walks you through the process of configuring network share as your Tableau Server File Store for a new installation. If you are trying to do this on an existing installation of Tableau Server that has File Store running locally, see Reconfigure File Store.


  • You must use Tableau Server 2020.1 or later.
  • You must have network share that you can use as your storage option. For recommendations on the storage solution, see Performance Considerations for External File Store.

    Use NFS for Linux installations.

    Estimating the storage size: You must take into account the amount of storage needed for publishing and refreshing extracts. In addition, you must also take into account the repository backup size unless you specifically choose the option to do your repository backup separately as described in the Option 2: Back up repository separately topic.

    • Extracts:
      • Consider the number of extracts that will be published to Tableau Server and the size of each extract. Test your needs by publishing several extracts to Tableau Server and then checking the disk space used. You can use this amount of disk space to help you figure out how many extracts will be published to Tableau Server over time as well as how each existing extract will increase in size.
      • Consider the space needed by the temp directory during an extract refresh. The temp directory, which is where an extract is stored to during a refresh, may require up to three times the final file size of the extract.

    • Repository Backup:
      • To obtain an estimate of the repository data, check the size of <data directory>/pgsql/data/base directory.

      • To obtain the exact size of the repository data, open the backup file and use the size of the workgroup.pg_dump file.
  • You must have a valid Advanced Management licence activated on your server. To learn more about Advanced Management, see About Tableau Advanced Management on Tableau Server.

Install Tableau Server with External File Store

You can install Tableau Server with File Store using a network share to store Tableau Server data. This solution replaces the need for running the File Store process locally. To learn more about this solution and its benefits, see Tableau Server External File Store.

Use the following steps to install your Tableau Server with External File Store during install:

Step 1: Configure a network share

On your file server:

  1. Create and share a directory to use as the Tableau Server External File Store.
  2. Make sure the network share is accessible as a directory in the same location on all the Tableau Server nodes.
  3. Create the tableau directory in your network share and give full access to tableau user and tableau group. The tableau user will need read and write permissions to the directory on the network share. We recommend calling the directory 'tableau'.

    /mnt/<network share>/tableau/

  4. Validate that the network share is configured properly: From Tableau Server run a command to write to a network share and confirm that you are able to write to it.


Step 2: Download and install TSM

  1. Download the appropriate installer based on the distribution of Linux you are using.
  2. Log on as a user with sudo access to the computer where you want to install Tableau Server.
  3. Download the .rpm or .deb installer package.
  4. Navigate to the directory where you copied the .rpm or .deb package.
  5. Use the package manager to install the Tableau Server.
  • On RHEL-like distributions, including CentOS, you have the option to install Tableau Server to a non-default location.
  • Default location – To install to the default location (/opt/tableau/tableau_server), run the following commands:

    sudo yum update

    sudo yum install tableau-server-<version>.x86_64.rpm

  • Non-default location – to install to a non-default location, you must use rpm -i. You will also need to install all dependent packages. See the note below.

    Run the following command:

    sudo rpm -i--prefix/preferred/install/path tableau-server.rpm

    Note: When you use yum to install Tableau Server, all dependent packages are automatically downloaded and installed. This is the preferred method for installing Tableau Server. If you want to install to a non-default location, or your organisation does not allow you to use yum and you must install using rpm -i, you must also install all dependent packages separately. For information about installing dependent packages, see Installing Tableau Server on an Air-Gapped Computer Running Linux.

  • On Ubuntu and Debian, run the following commands:

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get -y install gdebi-core

    sudo gdebi -n tableau-server-<version>_amd64.deb

Step 3: Initialise TSM

  1. Run the following script to start TSM:

    sudo ./initialize-tsm --accepteula --<optional_parameters>

    The only required parameter for the initialize-tsm script is --accepteula. You must include this parameter to accept the Tableau Server End User Licence Agreement (EULA). The EULA is available in the following location:


  2. Log off and log on again to the terminal before you configure Tableau Server.

    When you log on again, you create a new session in which group membership changes have taken effect. The new session also has access to the environment variables added by the initialize-tsm script.

    Alternatively, you can run the following command to update your path for the current session (but not to update your group membership):

    source /etc/profile.d/

Step 4: Activate and register Tableau Server

Provide the Tableau Server Key and the Advanced Management key in the activate step. You will need to run the following command twice, first with the Tableau Server product key and then with the Advanced Management product key:

tsm licenses activate -k <product key>

Step 5. Enable External File Store

Configuring Tableau Server with external repository can only be done using TSM CLI.

  1. Enable the network storage feature using the following tsm commands:

    tsm topology external-services storage enable --network-share /mnt/<network share name>/tableau

    The setup program automatically creates the following directory structure in the share:

    PostgreSQL data backups:


    Note: This directory will be created the first time you create a backup.

    Extracts and workbook revisions:

    tableau_data tabsvc/dataengine/extracts


Step 6: Configure the initial node settings

Follow the instructions provided in the Configure Initial Node Settings topic.

Step 7: Complete the install

You must create the initial administrative account for Tableau Server.

  • If you configured a local identity store during setup, then specify a name and password that you want to use.
  • If you configured a LDAP or Active Directory identity store during setup, then you must specify a user account that is a member of the directory.

To create the initial user, run the following tabcmd command:

tabcmd initialuser --server localhost:80 --username '<new-admin-username>'

After you run the command, the shell will prompt for an administrative password.

Step 8: Post-installation tasks

After you have created the Tableau Server administrator account, continue your deployment by working through the configuration steps described in the Post Installation Tasks topics.

Who can do this

Tableau Server Administrators can install and configure Tableau Server and External File Store. In addition, you must have permissions and access to configure the network share to use with Tableau Server.


Backup and Restore with External File Store

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