Install and Initialise TSM

This topic guides you through the process of installing Tableau Server and initialising Tableau Services Manager (TSM).

Important: Do not install a beta version of Tableau Server in your production environment. You should also never restore a production Tableau Server installation using a backup of a beta version.


Before proceeding, review the topic, Before you install....

Review optional initialisation parameters

Before you install and initialise TSM, it is critical that you review the parameters that you may optionally set as part of the initialisation operation. You can only run initialize-tsm once, so be sure to run it with all of the options that your organisation needs. Some options, such as non-default system user and group can only be configured as part of the initialisation operation. Other configurations, such as forward proxy and dynamic port settings can be manually set after you run initialisation, but doing this is a much more labour-intensive process.

For a complete list of optional parameters, see Help Output for initialise-tsm Script.

Some common scenarios where optional initialisation parameters are used :

  • Configuring Tableau Server to work with a forward proxy server. See Optional: common initalise-tsm parameters, later in this topic, to configure Tableau Server during installation. You can also configure Tableau Server after you install, see Configuring Tableau Server on Linux to work with a forward proxy
  • Specifying dynamic port mapping. By default, most ports needed by Tableau Server are assigned (mapped) dynamically from a predefined range of ports. The port assignments are made for each service or process during installation. If you want to modify port mapping, we recommend configuring this during installation, see Controlling port remapping with initialise-tsm.
  • Specifying non-default system user or group This configuration change can only be performed during initialisation. See System user and groups.
  • Specifying a non-default data directory. This configuration change can only be performed during initialisation. See Data directory.

Install Tableau Server

Install Tableau Server with your distribution’s package manager, then run a script to initialise TSM. The script is included with the installed package.

Important: The hostname of the server must not change after you start TSM. For example, this might happen if you use the cloud-init package to initialise a virtual machine, and you install Tableau Server on that virtual machine.

Install the Tableau Server package

By default, Tableau Server is installed in the /opt directory. On RHEL-like distributions you can specify a different install location.

  1. Log on as a user with sudo access to the computer where you want to install Tableau Server.

    Note: To avoid possible complications, we recommend a user account that does not include any special characters (for example, non-ASCII, "+", "-"). These may cause problems, including a failure to fully install Tableau Server, depending on how your environment is configured.

  2. Download the .rpm or .deb installer package from the Tableau Server Downloads and Release Notes page.

  3. Navigate to the directory where you copied the .rpm or .deb package.

  4. Use the package manager to install the Tableau Server package.

    You must install the new version to the same location as the existing version. The install location must be the same on all nodes. Do not install to a location using a symbolic link or to a directory on a Network File System (NFS) volume.

    • On RHEL-like distributions, including CentOS, you have the option to install Tableau to a non-default location.

      • Default location – To install to the default location (/opt/tableau/tableau_server), run the following commands, where <version> is formatted as major-minor-maintenance (ex: 2019-2-5):

        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. 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, run the following commands, where <version> is formatted as major-minor-maintenance (ex: 2019-2-5):

      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get upgrade
      sudo apt-get -y install gdebi-core
      sudo gdebi -n tableau-server-<version>_amd64.deb

Initialise TSM

You can specify a separate location for data (extracts and extract metadata) storage, whether or not you install Tableau to the default location.

  1. Navigate to the scripts directory:

    cd /opt/tableau/tableau_server/packages/scripts.<version_code>/
  2. Run the following script to start TSM:

    sudo ./initialize-tsm --accepteula --activation-service --<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:


    However, review the following common parameters before running the script.

    Optional: common initalise-tsm parameters

    There are a number of parameters (also referred to as, flags) that you can set when you run initialize-tsm. Common flags are listed below. For a complete list, run the command, sudo ./initialize-tsm -h, or see Help Output for initialise-tsm Script.

    • Use the --activation-service option to activate Tableau Server using the Tableau authorisation-to-run (ATR) service. As of Tableau Server 2021.4 and later, this option is the default for Tableau Server on Microsoft Windows, Tableau Server on Linux and Tableau Server in containers. Server ATR is for new installations only, not upgrades. This option is ideal for cloud-based or virtual environments, but is available to anyone who can activate their copy of Tableau Server online. Selecting ATR for product activation is a permanent choice that cannot be undone later. For more information, see Activate Tableau Server using the authorisation-to-run (ATR) service(Link opens in a new window). If you don't want to use Server ATR to activate Tableau Server, use the --no-activation-service option.

    • The -a flag to specify a user to be added to the tsmadmin and tableau groups instead of the user running this script. If you are installing with the root account, then you must specify the -a flag.

    • The --unprivileged-user flag to set a different service account. By default a new user called tableau will be created. This account is an unprivileged service account under which most Tableau process run. We recommend creating a different user only in the case where a tableau user account already exists on the computer.

    • The -d flag to specify a non-default location of the "data directory" where Tableau Server stores extracts information about extracts, and more.

      By default, Tableau Server uses the following location for the directory:


      When you set this flag, the intialize-tsm script will create and apply permissions to the directory that you specify. There are important restrictions that apply to changing the default directory path. See Data directory.

    • The --debug flag for troubleshooting. This option displays each command in the script as it is run and can make it easier to troubleshoot issues. Use of this option results in extensive output to the screen.

      Note: Beginning in version 2021.3, this option has been removed and the script output that would have been displayed is logged to /var/tmp/.

    • We recommend configuring Tableau Server for a forward proxy solution during installation.

      To do so, include the --http_proxy and/or --https_proxy flags to specify the forward proxy server. Specify the URL with the port, for example:



      Take care to use http when you specify the URL for the https_proxy environmental variable. Do not specify the https protocol for the value of the https_proxy environmental variable.

      To configure Tableau Server to bypass the forward proxy, include the --no_proxy flag. You should also add exceptions to this proxy configuration to guarantee that all communications within a local Tableau Server cluster (if you have one now or will have one later) do not route to the proxy server. For example:


    • If you want to manually manage port assignment for TSM and Tableau Server processes, you may need to use one or more port-related switches with initialise-tsm. For more information, see Controlling port remapping with initialise-tsm.

  3. 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.

Next step

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