Getting Started

Pterodactyl Panel is designed to run on your own web server. You will need to have root access to your server in order to run and use this panel.

You are expected to understand how to read documentation to use this Panel. We have spent many hours detailing how to install or upgrade our software; take some time and read rather than copy and pasting and then complaining when things do not work. This panel does not exist as a drag-and-drop service to run your servers. It is a highly complex system requiring multiple dependencies and administrators willing to spend some time learning how to use it. If you expect to be able to install this with no understanding of basic linux system administration you should stop and turn around now.

Picking a Server OS

Pterodactyl runs on a wide range of operating systems, so pick whichever you are most comfortable using.


Pterodactyl does not support most OpenVZ systems due to incompatabilities with Docker. If you are planning on running this software on an OpenVZ based system you will — most likely — not be successful.

Operating System Version Supported Notes
Ubuntu 14.04 ⚠️ Documentation assumes changes to systemd introduced in 16.04
16.04 Documentation written assuming Ubuntu 16 as the base OS.
CentOS 6 🚫 Does not support all of the required packages.
Debian 8


  • PHP 7.2 with the following extensions: cli, openssl, gd, mysql, PDO, mbstring, tokenizer, bcmath, xml or dom, curl, zip
  • MySQL 5.7 or higher or MariaDB 10.1.3 or higher
  • Redis (redis-server)
  • A webserver (Apache, NGINX, Caddy, etc.)
  • curl
  • tar
  • unzip
  • git
  • composer

Example Dependency Installation

The commands below are simply an example of how you might install these dependencies. Please consult with your operating system's package manager to determine the correct packages to install.

# Add "add-apt-repository" command
apt -y install software-properties-common

# Add additional repositories for PHP, Redis, and MariaDB
LC_ALL=C.UTF-8 add-apt-repository -y ppa:ondrej/php
add-apt-repository -y ppa:chris-lea/redis-server
curl -sS | sudo bash

# Update repositories list
apt update

# Install Dependencies
apt -y install php7.2 php7.2-cli php7.2-gd php7.2-mysql php7.2-pdo php7.2-mbstring php7.2-tokenizer php7.2-bcmath php7.2-xml php7.2-fpm php7.2-curl php7.2-zip mariadb-server nginx curl tar unzip git redis-server

Installing Composer

Composer is a dependency manager for PHP that allows us to ship everything you'll need code wise to operate the Panel. You'll need composer installed before continuing in this process.

curl -sS | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

Download Files

The first step in this process is to create the folder where the panel will live and then move ourselves into that newly created folder. Below is an example of how to perform this operation.

mkdir -p /var/www/pterodactyl
cd /var/www/pterodactyl

Once you have created a new directory for the Panel and moved into it you'll need to download the Panel files. This is as simple as using curl to download our pre-packaged content. Once it is downloaded you'll need to unpack the archive and then set the correct permissions on the storage/ and bootstrap/cache/ directories. These directories allow us to store files as well as keep a speedy cache available to reduce load times.

curl -Lo panel.tar.gz
tar --strip-components=1 -xzvf panel.tar.gz
chmod -R 755 storage/* bootstrap/cache/


Now that all of the files have been downloaded we need to configure some core aspects of the Panel.

Database Configuration

You will need a database setup and a user with the correct permissions created for that database before continuing any further. If you are unsure how to do this, please consult our documentation.

First we will copy over our default environment settings file, install core dependencies, and then generate a new application encryption key. You should make a backup of the encryption key and store it in a secure location, not on the server itself.

cp .env.example .env
composer install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader

# Only run the command below if you are installing this Panel for
# the first time and do not have any Pterodactyl Panel data in the database.
php artisan key:generate --force

Environment Configuration

Pterodactyl's core environment is easily configured using a few different CLI commands built into the app. This step will cover setting up things such as sessions, caching, database credentials, and email sending.

php artisan p:environment:setup
php artisan p:environment:database

# To use PHP's internal mail sending (not recommended), select "mail". To use a
# custom SMTP server, select "smtp".
php artisan p:environment:mail

Database Setup

Now we need to setup all of the base data for the Panel in the database you created earlier. The command below may take some time to run depending on your machine. Please DO NOT exit the process until it is completed! This command will setup the database tables and then add all of the Nests & Eggs that power Pterodactyl.

php artisan migrate --seed

You'll then need to create an administrative user so that you can log into the panel. To do so, run the command below. At this time passwords must meet the following requirements: 8 characters, mixed case, at least one number.

php artisan p:user:make

Set Permissions

The last step in the installation process is to set the correct permissions on the Panel files so that the webserver can use them correctly.

# If using NGINX or Apache (not on CentOS):
chown -R www-data:www-data * 

# If using NGINX on CentOS:
chown -R nginx:nginx *

# If using Apache on CentOS
chown -R apache:apache *

Queue Listeners

We make use of queues to make the application faster and handle sending emails and other actions in the background. You will need to setup the queue worker for these actions to be processed.

Crontab Configuration

The first thing we need to do is create a new cronjob that runs every minute to process specific Pterodactyl tasks, such as session cleanup and sending scheduled tasks to daemons. You'll want to open your crontab using sudo crontab -e and then paste the line below.

* * * * * php /var/www/pterodactyl/artisan schedule:run >> /dev/null 2>&1

Create Queue Worker

Next you need to create a new systemd worker to keep our queue process running in the background. This queue is responsible for sending emails and handling many other background tasks for Pterodactyl.


If you are using Ubuntu 14.04 you cannot use this method to run your queue worker. Please see these instructions for installing Supervisor and setting up your queue. Ensure you use the same ExecStart line as below.

Create a file called pteroq.service in /etc/systemd/system with the contents below.

# Pterodactyl Queue Worker File
# ----------------------------------

Description=Pterodactyl Queue Worker

# On some systems the user and group might be different.
# Some systems use `apache` as the user and group.
ExecStart=/usr/bin/php /var/www/pterodactyl/artisan queue:work --queue=high,standard,low --sleep=3 --tries=3



If you are not using redis for anything you should remove the After= line, otherwise you will encounter errors when the service starts.

Finally, enable the service and set it to boot on machine start.

sudo systemctl enable pteroq.service
sudo systemctl start pteroq