ElasticSearch 2.1.1 (2) - Setup


  • Elasticsearch can be started using:

      $ bin/elasticsearch
  • Running as a daemon

      $ bin/elasticsearch -d
  • PID

    The PID is written to a file called pid.

      $ bin/elasticsearch -d -p pid

    The kill command sends a TERM signal to the PID stored in the pid file.

      $ kill `cat pid`

    Another feature is the ability to pass -D or getopt long style configuration parameters directly to the script. When set, all override anything set using either JAVA_OPTS or ES_JAVA_OPTS. For example:

      $ bin/elasticsearch -Des.index.refresh_interval=5s --node.name=my-node


Environment Variables




      ES_MIN_MEM (defaults to 256m)
    ES_MAX_MEM (defaults to 1g)

    It is recommended to set the min and max memory to the SAME value, and enable mlockall.

System Configuration

  • File Descriptors

    Setting it to 32k or even 64k is recommended.



      curl localhost:9200/_nodes/stats/process?pretty
  • Virtual memory

    Elasticsearch uses a hybrid mmapfs / niofs directory by default to store its indices. The default operating system limits on mmap counts is likely to be too low, which may result in out of memory exceptions. On Linux, you can increase the limits by running the following command as root:

      sysctl -w vm.max_map_count=262144

    To set this value permanently, update the vm.max_map_count setting in /etc/sysctl.conf.

  • Memory Settings

    Most operating systems try to use as much memory as possible for file system caches and eagerly swap out unused application memory, possibly resulting in the elasticsearch process being swapped. Swapping is very bad for performance and for node stability, so it should be avoided at all costs.

    • Disable swap

      • Box -


      • Linux -


          sudo swapoff -a

        Permanently (comment out swap)

      • Windows -

        System Properties → Advanced → Performance → Advanced → Virtual memory

    • Configure swappiness

      This reduces the kernel’s tendency to swap and should not lead to swapping under normal circumstances, while still allowing the whole system to swap in emergency conditions.


      From kernel version 3.5-rc1 and above, a swappiness of 0 will cause the OOM killer to kill the process instead of allowing swapping. You will need to set swappiness to 1 to still allow swapping in emergencies.

    • mlockall

      • Linux - mlockall

          bootstrap.mlockall: true
      • Windows - VirtualLock


        curl http://localhost:9200/_nodes/process?pretty

      Grant(as root):

        $ ulimit -l unlimited


        ./bin/elasticsearch -Djna.tmpdir=/path/to/new/dir

      mlockall might cause the JVM or shell session to exit if it tries to allocate more memory than is available!

Elasticsearch Settings

  • Directory

    • module - elasticsearch.yml

    • logging - logging.yml

    • network

      The address all network based modules will use to bind and publish to:

        network :
      host :
  • Path

    logs: /var/log/elasticsearch
    data: /var/data/elasticsearch
  • Cluster name

    Don’t forget to give your production cluster a name, which is used to discover and auto-join other nodes:


    Don’t reuse the same cluster names in different environment

    • development: logging-dev
    • staging: logging-stage
    • production: logging-prod
  • Node name

    • Default (Marvel Character Name)

    • Provided

      name: <NAME OF YOUR NODE>
    • Single Node on Machine

      name: ${HOSTNAME}
  • Configuration style

    • JSON


      "network" : {
      "host" : ""
    • Command

        $ elasticsearch -Des.network.host=
    • Default

    • Environment

      "network" : {
      "host" : "${ES_NET_HOST}"
    • Non-store

      ${prompt.text} or ${prompt.secret}

      name: ${prompt.text}

      On execution:

        Enter value for [node.name]:

      Elasticsearch will not start if ${prompt.text} or ${prompt.secret} is used in the settings and the process is run as a service or in the background.

Index Settings

  • Index Level (YAML or JSON)

      $ curl -XPUT http://localhost:9200/kimchy/ -d \
    refresh_interval: 5s
  • Node Level (elasticsearch.yml)

      index :
    refresh_interval: 5s
  • Collapsed

      $ elasticsearch -Des.index.refresh_interval=5s


  • Log4j (log4j-extras)

  • Format

    • .yml
    • .yaml
    • .json
    • .properties
  • Deprecation


      deprecation: DEBUG, deprecation_log_file

Running as a Service on Linux



The user to run as, defaults to elasticsearch


The group to run as, defaults to elasticsearch


The heap size to start with


The size of the new generation heap


The maximum size of the direct memory


Maximum number of open files, defaults to 65535


Maximum locked memory size. Set to "unlimited" if you use the bootstrap.mlockall option in elasticsearch.yml. You must also set ES_HEAP_SIZE.


Maximum number of memory map areas a process may have. If you use mmapfs as index store type, make sure this is set to a high value. For more information, check the linux kernel documentation about max_map_count. This is set via sysctl before starting elasticsearch. Defaults to 65535


Log directory, defaults to /var/log/elasticsearch


Data directory, defaults to /var/lib/elasticsearch


Configuration file directory (which needs to include elasticsearch.yml and logging.yml files), defaults to /etc/elasticsearch


Any additional java options you may want to apply. This may be useful, if you need to set the node.name property, but do not want to change the elasticsearch.yml configuration file, because it is distributed via a provisioning system like puppet or chef. Example: ES_JAVA_OPTS="-Des.node.name=search-01"


Configure restart on package upgrade, defaults to false. This means you will have to restart your elasticsearch instance after installing a package manually. The reason for this is to ensure, that upgrades in a cluster do not result in a continuous shard reallocation resulting in high network traffic and reducing the response times of your cluster.


The absolute log file path for creating a garbage collection logfile, which is done by the JVM. Note that this logfile can grow pretty quick and thus is disabled by default.


  • runlevels


  • init script


  • configuration


  • after install

      dpkg -i
  • start on boot and start up

      sudo update-rc.d elasticsearch defaults 95 10
    sudo /etc/init.d/elasticsearch start

Oracle JDK

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
java -version

RPM based distribution

  • Using chkconfig

    • init script


    • configuration


    • manual start

        sudo /sbin/chkconfig --add elasticsearch
      sudo service elasticsearch start
  • Using systemd

    • system rpm based


    • configuration


    • up

        sudo /bin/systemctl daemon-reload
      sudo /bin/systemctl enable elasticsearch.service
      sudo /bin/systemctl start elasticsearch.service
    • MAX_MAP_COUNT setting

      /etc/sysconfig/elasticsearch (no effect)


Running as a Service on Windows


Directory Layout

  • Type(Setting) - Default Location


  • home(path.home) - N/A

    Home of elasticsearch installation.

  • bin(N/A) - {path.home}/bin

    Binary scripts including elasticsearch to start a node.

  • conf(path.conf) - {path.home}/config

    Configuration files including elasticsearch.yml

  • data(path.data) - {path.home}/data

    The location of the data files of each index / shard allocated on the node. Can hold multiple locations.

  • logs(path.logs) - {path.home}/logs

    Log files location.

  • plugins(path.plugins) - {path.home}/plugins

    Plugin files location. Each plugin will be contained in a subdirectory.

  • repo(path.repo) - Not configured

    Shared file system repository locations. Can hold multiple locations. A file system repository can be placed in to any subdirectory of any directory specified here.

  • script(path.script) - {path.conf}/scripts

    Location of script files.

Multiple data paths

path.data: /mnt/first,/mnt/second

Or array format

path.data: ["/mnt/first", "/mnt/second"]

To stripe shards across multiple disks, please use a RAID driver instead.

Default Path

  • deb & rpm

    Type | Location Debian/Ubuntu | Location RHEL/CentOS
    home | /usr/share/elasticsearch | /usr/share/elasticsearch
    bin | /usr/share/elasticsearch/bin | /usr/share/elasticsearch/bin
    conf | /etc/elasticsearch | /etc/elasticsearch
    conf | /etc/default/elasticsearch | /etc/sysconfig/elasticsearch
    data | /var/lib/elasticsearch/data | /var/lib/elasticsearch
    logs | /var/log/elasticsearch | /var/log/elasticsearch
    plugins | /usr/share/elasticsearch/plugins | /usr/share/elasticsearch/plugins
    repo | Not configured | Not configured
    script | /etc/elasticsearch/scripts | /etc/elasticsearch/scripts
  • zip

    Type | Description | Location
    home | Home of elasticsearch installation | {extract.path}
    bin | scripts to start a node | {extract.path}/bin
    conf | files elasticsearch.yml and logging.yml | {extract.path}/config
    data | location of files of each index / shard | {extract.path}/data
    logs | Log files location | {extract.path}/logs
    plugins | Plugin files location. | {extract.path}/plugins
    repo | Shared file system repository locations. | Not configured
    script | Location of script files. | {extract.path}/config/scripts



We use the PGP key D88E42B4, Elasticsearch Signing Key, with fingerprint

4609 5ACC 8548 582C 1A26 99A9 D27D 666C D88E 42B4


Download and install the Public Signing Key:

wget -qO - https://packages.elastic.co/GPG-KEY-elasticsearch | sudo apt-key add -

Save the repository definition to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elasticsearch-2.x.list:

echo "deb http://packages.elastic.co/elasticsearch/2.x/debian stable main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elasticsearch-2.x.list

Run apt-get update and the repository is ready for use. You can install it with:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install elasticsearch

Configure Elasticsearch to automatically start during bootup. If your distribution is using SysV init, then you will need to run:

sudo update-rc.d elasticsearch defaults 95 10

Otherwise if your distribution is using systemd:

sudo /bin/systemctl daemon-reload
sudo /bin/systemctl enable elasticsearch.service


Download and install the public signing key:

rpm --import https://packages.elastic.co/GPG-KEY-elasticsearch

Add the following in your /etc/yum.repos.d/ directory in a file with a .repo suffix, for example elasticsearch.repo

name=Elasticsearch repository for 2.x packages

And your repository is ready for use. You can install it with:

yum install elasticsearch
  • SysV init

      chkconfig --add elasticsearch
  • Systemd

      sudo /bin/systemctl daemon-reload
    sudo /bin/systemctl enable elasticsearch.service



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