Linux Installation Guide

Last modified on August 28, 2023


This guide describes how to install StrongDM on your Linux machine. In a Linux environment, StrongDM consists of a command-line interface (CLI). You may be able to run some CLI commands without a complete installation. If you wish to use StrongDM in this way, check the Run Without Installation section.

Install StrongDM

Use the following steps to install StrongDM on your Linux machine. The StrongDM Desktop application is not currently available for Linux.

  1. Open the invitation email you received for your StrongDM account.

  2. Click the link included in the email to set your password.

  3. Log in to StrongDM and go to the Download & Install page in the Admin UI.

  4. Click Download StrongDM for Linux to start the download. When you click to show all download options, you can choose different downloads based on your architecture. We will use the curl method to complete the download. Open a terminal and download the Linux binary:

    curl -J -O -L
  5. Optionally, check that the downloaded binary is legitimate and verify the checksum:

    $ sha256sum

    The checksum should match the value in the SHA256 Checksum section of the Admin UI Download & Install page.

    Example of StrongDM SHA256 Checksums on the Admin UI Download & Install Page
    Example of StrongDM SHA256 Checksums on the Admin UI Download & Install Page
  6. Unzip the file:

    unzip sdmcli_<VERSION_NUMBER>
  7. Follow instructions provided by the install command, which must be executed using sudo:

    sudo ./sdm install

    If you have any issues, consider the following:

    • The installer must be run by a user that exists in the /etc/passwd file. Any users remotely authenticated, such as with LDAP or an SSO service, may fail to complete the installation.
    • If you are installing with Fedora Linux, use the -E flag to preserve the user environment. This is necessary due to the way Fedora handles sudo.
    • If you are attempting to set up a relay, see Relays.
  8. After executing sdm install, you can find StrongDM in /opt/strongdm and a symlink to the binary in /usr/local/bin. Next, ensure that the sdm binary is usable from the command line:

    sdm --version
  9. Go to the CLI Tour to learn how to connect to different resources, such as datasources and servers.

Run Without Installation

Once you have downloaded and unzipped StrongDM, you can run certain commands without completing a full installation.

For instance, to run audit or admin commands, you can provide an admin token in the SDM_ADMIN_TOKEN environment variable. However, connecting to datasources or servers requires a running SDM daemon, so we suggest running the full installation:

curl -J -O -L

The output is similar to:

  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100   128  100   128    0     0    384      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--   384
100 6733k  100 6733k    0     0  2896k      0  0:00:02  0:00:02 --:--:-- 3435k
curl: Saved to filename ''
$ unzip
  inflating: sdm
$ export SDM_ADMIN_TOKEN=<token here>
$ ./sdm audit users
User ID,Email,First Name,Last Name,Role ID,StrongDM Permission,Role Name

If any errors occur or if the installation fails in any way, please contact for assistance.