Unattended Install for Ubuntu

Available for

✔︎ Prey Tracking
✔︎ Prey Protection
✔︎ Prey Full Suite

Before We Start

In order for Prey to work as intended, you need all relevant dependencies installed in your machine. To install them, just run the following command in a terminal window:

sudo apt install libgtk-3-dev scrot streamer mpg123

For Ubuntu machines running Ubuntu 20 or earlier, run the following command instead:

sudo apt install python-gtk2 scrot streamer mpg123

If you have issues adding these dependencies, run the following command:

sudo apt --fix-broken install

This command will fix all dependencies that were added that ran into issues when installing. Once you run this, run the previous command again and then re-install Prey.

You can download the latest Prey installers for laptops from our GitHub releases page. You will need to have installers downloaded on beforehand for deployment.

You can find your Setup API Key on your About page, on the Setup API Key section. Click on it to save to the clipboard.

When replacing the installer name, you should include its location directory just before the installer name.

For Ubuntu and Debian-based Distributions

Run the following commands a terminal:

sudo apt-get update


API_KEY=foobar123 && sudo -E dpkg -i Downloads/prey_1.X.X_amd64.deb

In case dependencies aren't found, just run these two additional commands:

sudo apt-get -f install

API_KEY=foobar123 && sudo -E dpkg -i Downloads/prey_1.X.X_amd64.deb

As an alternative, you can also run the following commands:

npm install -g prey

sudo prey hooks post_install

sudo prey config account authorize -a foobar123

In all the above commands, " foobar123" is your API key.

Friendly reminder 

We only provide official Linux support for Ubuntu systems. It is only a tiny fraction of our users, and most of them run Ubuntu. Let us know if we can help you with anything else by reaching us at help@preyproject.com.

Image Deployment

To image deploy Prey on your computers is simple. Steps must be followed entirely, though, or bad things might happen. The most important part is that Prey must be the last app to be installed on the master machine. You can't connect it to the internet after this process or you'll get cloned machines on your Prey account.

Once you're done with everything else and you are ready to setup Prey,

  1. Install the regular Prey package on the master machine, double clicking on the installer.
  2. When the process finishes, close the config dialog. Do not enter your account's credentials. We can't insist enough on this.
  3. Disconnect from the internet.
  4. Edit the prey.conf file and add your API Key to line 36. The location of the file is /etc/prey/prey.conf
  5. Save changes.

Do not connect to the internet.

Now you can deploy the image into other computers. As soon as the new devices connect to the internet they'll be added to your Prey account.

Troubleshooting and Known Issues


Cloned Devices From an Unattended Install

Device registration is based on hardware. assign a serial number to all computers they sell, and it ends up being "To Be Filled O.E.M." In this case, Prey won't be able to tell that those are separate devices, and they will share the same device key. That means that a single device entry on your Prey account will manage several computers, the one sharing hardware information.

To prevent this from happening you can disable the "Overwrite devices if their hardware information already exists on this account" option from the Device Management settings and install Prey again. is only available for accounts with 100 or more device slots. If this affects you, please contact us to get it fixed.


Cloned Devices From Image Deployment

If the previous case doesn't fix the problem, then it means that you connected the master machine to the internet after installing Prey. That made it create the device on your Prey account, and then it cloned that same configuration all other computers. To fix that, completely uninstall Prey and start again.

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