How to Install and Configure Memcached on CentOS 7

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Memcached is an open-source, distributed, in-memory object caching system. It is mainly used for speeding up dynamic web applications by storing chunks of data from the results of database calls and page rendering.

In this guide, we will install and secure Memcached on CentOS 7.

Installing Memcached

First, update the system:

yum update -y

Next, install the official Memcached package memcached; as well as libmemcached, which provides several utilities to work with Memcached:

yum install -y memcached libmemcached

Memcached will now be installed as a service.

To start Memcached at boot, use the systemctl command:

systemctl enable memcached

Configuring Memcached

Let’s bind Memcached to the local interface and disable the UDP port to avoid potential DDOS attacks. Open the /etc/sysconfig/memcached file in your favorite editor:

nano /etc/sysconfig/memcached

Find this line in the file:


Change it to the following:

OPTIONS="-l -U 0"

Save the file and exit the editor.

Restart Memcached to apply your changes:

systemctl restart memcached

You can ensure that it is running by using systemctl:

systemctl status memcached

The output will resemble the following:

● memcached.service - MemcachedLoaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/memcached.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)Active: active (running) since Thu 2019-04-04 17:01:41 UTC; 8s agoMain PID: 31312 (memcached)CGroup: /system.slice/memcached.service        └─31312 /usr/bin/memcached -u memcached -p 11211 -m 64 -c 1024 -l -U 0Apr 04 17:01:41 docs systemd[1]: Started Memcached.

You can verify Memcached is bound only to the local interface and listening only to TCP connections with the ss command:

ss -plunt | grep memcachedtcp    LISTEN     0      128                 *:*                   users:(("memcached",pid=31312,fd=26))

There are also a few other options that can be modified in the /etc/sysconfig/memcached configuration file:

  • CACHESIZE: Caps the amount of memory available to Memcached. The default is 64 MB.
  • PORT: Specifies on which port Memcached should listen. The default port is 11211.
  • USER: Specifies which user the service will use to run. By default, the service will run as memcached.
  • MAXCONN: Caps the number of concurrent connections. The default is 1024.

Verifying Memcached Setup

Now, you can verify the set up using the memstat command from the libmemcached package:

memstat --servers="localhost"

The output will resemble the following:

Server: localhost (11211)    pid: 31312    uptime: 385    time: 1554397684    version: 1.4.15    libevent: 2.0.21-stable    pointer_size: 64    rusage_user: 0.006269    rusage_system: 0.014105    curr_connections: 1...


In this guide, we covered how to install and configure Memcached and used memstat to fetch stats. The libmemcached package also comes with a few other utilities that can aid in interacting with Memcached.

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