MQTT is a publish/subscribe model based, “lightweight” messaging protocol over TCP/IP for communication between “Internet of Things” devices such as ESP8266, Raspberry Pi, etc. It is very popular with low resources and battery powered applications such as home automation, security alarm systems and battery-powered sensor networks.
Mosquitto is an open source message broker (or server) that implements MQTT protocols. With its good community support, documentation, and ease of installation it has become one of the most popular MQTT brokers.
- An Ubuntu 16.04 server with
- Open port
Step One: Install Mosquitto Broker
Update Ubuntu’s package list and install the latest Mosquitto Broker available from it
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install mosquitto
The Mosquitto service will start after installation.
Step Two: Install the Clients and Test
Install MQTT clients
sudo apt-get install mosquitto-clients
Mosquitto clients help us easily test MQTT through a command line utility. We will use two command windows, one to subscribe to a topic named
"test" and one to publish a message to it.
Topics are labels used by the broker to filter messages for each connected client. A client program subscribed to a topic
"Home1/BedroomTemp" will only listen to messages published to the same topic by other clients.
Subscribe to topic
mosquitto_sub -t "test"
Mosquito_sub is a subscribe client we installed in the previous command. Here we are specifying “
-t” followed by a topic name.
Publish a message to topic
Login to the terminal as a second instance and publish a message to the
mosquitto_pub -m "message from mosquitto_pub client" -t "test"
Here the additional parameter “
–m” is followed by the message we want to publish. Hit “
Enter” and you should see a message from
mosquitto_pub client displayed in other terminal where
mosquito_sub client is running.
Step Three: Secure with a Password
Mosquitto comes with a password file generating utility called
sudo mosquitto_passwd -c /etc/mosquitto/passwd dave Password: password
Create a configuration file for Mosquitto pointing to the password file we have just created.
sudo nano /etc/mosquitto/conf.d/default.conf
This will open an empty file. Paste the following into it.
allow_anonymous false password_file /etc/mosquitto/passwd
Save and exit the text editor with “
Enter” and “
Now restart Mosquitto server and test our changes.
sudo systemctl restart mosquitto
In the subscribe client window, press “
Ctrl+C” to exit the subscribe client and restart it with following command.
mosquitto_sub -t "test" -u "dave" -P "password"
Note the capital -P here.
In the publish client window, try to publish a message without a password.
mosquitto_pub -t "test" -m "message from mosquitto_pub client"
The message will be rejected with following error message.
Connection Refused: not authorised. Error: The connection was refused.
Now publish a message with the
mosquitto_pub -t "test" -m "message from mosquitto_pub client" -u "dave" -P "password"
Enter” and you will see the message in subscribe client window, as in Step Two.
We have now set up a password protected MQTT server. You can use the Public IP of your Ubuntu server as an MQTT broker for your projects.
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