We strive to make the Nimbus context broker node as simple as possible to install and configure, but there are a few system dependencies and requirements you will need before starting.

  • Sun Java 1.5 or later

    The java and javac commands should be on your path. You can check your Java version with these commands:

    java -version
    javac -version

    Note that GCJ is not supported.

  • Python 2.5 or later (but not 3.x)

    You can check the version of your system Python with this command:

    python -V

    Note that Nimbus does not support Python 3 at this time. The most recent compatible Python version is 2.7.

  • Apache Ant 1.6.2 or later

    You must also have the propertyfile task available which is usually installed separately from Ant itself. On Redhat-compatible systems this is often a package called ant-nodeps. On Debian/Ubuntu the package is ant-optional. To be sure, you can check for the presence of a library called ant-nodeps.jar in your Ant installation.


The latest tarball for the standalone broker can be found on the Nimbus download page. Look for the link in the Platform section.


Once downloaded, you will expand the tarball anywhere, pick a target directory for installation, and run the installer.

  • Creating a new user dedicated to running the service is recommended, e.g. nimbus

  • Expand the tarball

    tar xfz nimbus-ctxbroker-2.8-src.tar.gz
  • Check dependencies

    cd nimbus-ctxbroker-2.8-src
  • Pick a target directory

    It could be within the nimbus user home directory, or something like /opt/nimbus. If the directory exists, it must be empty and writable by the nimbus user. If it does not exist, the parent directory must be writable by the nimbus user.

  • Throughout this guide, we will refer to this installation directory as $NIMBUS_HOME.

  • To install, run the install command from the source directory (specifying your chosen destination).

    cd nimbus-ctxbroker-2.8-src
    ./install $NIMBUS_HOME


The installer will ask you a few configuration questions.


Software is not installed anywhere else on the machine, only under this installation directory.


To start the context broker, run:

$NIMBUS_HOME/bin/brokerctl start

To see the other commands, run:

$NIMBUS_HOME/bin/brokerctl -h

After starting, the logs are here:

less $NIMBUS_HOME/var/broker.log

You need to open the default ports to the outside for anything to be able to use the broker:

  • 8443 (WSRF)
  • 8446 (REST)

To add users follow the instructions in the following file: