How to install Countly Analytics on Ubuntu Server

Countly is a powerful tool that can enable various types of data analysis. Here's how to install this server app on the Ubuntu platform.

Image: Jack Wallen

Countly is a highly-extensible, real-time mobile and web analytics server that gathers data from various sources and displays this information in a format that can help administrators and managers analyze application usage and end-user behavior. This widely-used software:

  • Centralizes the management of data analysis
  • Offers a powerful, real-time dashboard
  • Enables you to create custom dashboards
  • Easily manages user, application and permission functionalities
  • Includes multiple application support
  • Supports reading/writing APIs
  • Offers extensive plugins
  • Includes analytics features for mobile, web and desktop
  • Adds crash reporting for iOS and Android
  • Gives you Javascript error reporting
  • Offers rich and interactive push notifications (iOS and Android)
  • Includes custom email reporting
  • Makes viewing user profiles and flows easy
  • Helps you track retention
  • Gives you accurate campaign information

Believe it or not, all of this functionality can be had easily by installing Countly on an existing Linux Server. I'm going to demonstrate how you can accomplish this on the Ubuntu Server 16.10 platform (Countly can be installed on numerous distributions).

Know that there are two different versions of Countly--Enterprise and Community. For more information on the difference between the two, check out the feature/pricing matrix.

Let me show you just how easy it is to install this powerhouse.


Before we begin the installation of Countly, I highly recommend you first update your server. On the Ubuntu platform, open up a terminal window and issue the following two commands:

sudo apt update
​sudo apt upgrade

Before you begin the installation process, know that Countly uses the NGINX server. If you have Apache running on your server, the installation will fail. Disable Apache with the following commands:

sudo systemctl stop apache2
​sudo systemctl disable apache2

With Apache disabled, you can then install Countly with the following commands:

sudo -s
​wget -qO- | bash

At this point, either sit back and watch the magic happen, or go about your business (as the install can take a while).

Once the installation completes, open up a browser and point it to http://SERVER_IP (Where SERVER_IP is the actual IP address of your Countly server). At this point you will be asked to create an administrator account (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The installation is almost complete.

Once you've completed filling out the information for your admin user, click Create account and you can then begin the process of creating your first app for Countly (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

Creating your first Countly app.

I suggest creating a simple test app and include the Demo data, so you can see what Countly can actually do for you. With this test app created (Figure C), you will also be able to see just how much information the Countly Dashboard offers.

Figure C

Figure C

A Countly app with demo data installed.

The next step

Countly is a very large and very powerful system. In order to get the most out of it, you need to fully understand what it does and what it can do for you. The best place to start your education with Countly is the official user guide. There you'll find a very handy video where you can get up to speed quickly with the first steps and the user interface. You will find there is much to learn about Countly, with a fairly significant learning curve to get up to speed. It is very important, however, that you do take the time to read through the documentation, so you know what to do next. For example, you'll need to learn how to download and install various SDKs (for the likes of Android, iOS, Web, NodeJS, Python IoT, and more). Find out more on how to do this (as well as links to the various SDSs) here.

Enjoy your first steps with Countly.

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