The scripting module allows to use scripts in order to evaluate custom expressions. For example, scripts can be used to return "script fields" as part of a search request, or can be used to evaluate a custom score for a query and so on.

The scripting module uses by default mvel as the scripting language with some extensions. mvel is used since it is extremely fast and very simple to use, and in most cases, simple expressions are needed (for example, mathematical equations).

Groovy dynamic scripting disabled by default from v1.3.8

Elasticsearch versions 1.3.0-1.3.7 and 1.4.0-1.4.2 have a vulnerability in the Groovy scripting engine. The vulnerability allows an attacker to construct Groovy scripts that escape the sandbox and execute shell commands as the user running the Elasticsearch Java VM.

If you are running a vulnerable version of Elasticsearch, you should either upgrade to at least v1.3.8 or v1.4.3, or disable dynamic Groovy scripts by adding this setting to the config/elasticsearch.yml file in all nodes in the cluster:

script.groovy.sandbox.enabled: false

This will turn off the Groovy sandbox, thus preventing dynamic Groovy scripts from being accepted as part of a request or retrieved from the special .scripts index. You will still be able to use Groovy scripts stored in files in the config/scripts/ directory on every node.

To convert an inline script to a file, take this simple script as an example:

GET /_search
    "script_fields": {
        "my_field": {
            "script": "1 + my_var",
            "params": {
              "my_var": 2

Save the contents of the script as a file called config/scripts/my_script.groovy on every data node in the cluster:

1 + my_var

Now you can access the script by file name (without the extension):

GET /_search
    "script_fields": {
        "my_field": {
            "file": "my_test",
            "params": {
              "my_var": 2

Additional lang plugins are provided to allow to execute scripts in different languages. Currently supported plugins are lang-javascript for JavaScript, lang-groovy for Groovy, and lang-python for Python. All places where a script parameter can be used, a lang parameter (on the same level) can be provided to define the language of the script. The lang options are mvel, js, groovy, python, expression, and native.

Added in 1.2.0.

Dynamic scripting is disabled by default since version 1.2.0

To increase security, Elasticsearch does not allow you to specify scripts with a request. Instead, scripts must be placed in the scripts directory inside the configuration directory (the directory where elasticsearch.yml is). Scripts placed into this directory will automatically be picked up and be available to be used. Once a script has been placed in this directory, it can be referenced by name. For example, a script called calculate-score.mvel can be referenced in a request like this:

$ tree config
├── elasticsearch.yml
├── logging.yml
└── scripts
    └── calculate-score.mvel
$ cat config/scripts/calculate-score.mvel
Math.log(_score * 2) + my_modifier
curl -XPOST localhost:9200/_search -d '{
  "query": {
    "function_score": {
      "query": {
        "match": {
          "body": "foo"
      "functions": [
          "script_score": {
            "script": "calculate-score",
            "params": {
              "my_modifier": 8

The name of the script is derived from the hierarchy of directories it exists under, and the file name without the lang extension. For example, a script placed under config/scripts/group1/group2/ will be named group1_group2_test.

Default Scripting Languageedit

The default scripting language (assuming no lang parameter is provided) is mvel. In order to change it set the script.default_lang to the appropriate language.

Indexed Scriptsedit

If dynamic scripting is enabled, Elasticsearch allows you to store scripts in an internal index known as .scripts and reference them by id. There are REST endpoints to manage indexed scripts as follows:

Requests to the scripts endpoint look like :


Where the lang part is the language the script is in and the id part is the id of the script. In the .scripts index the type of the document will be set to the lang.

curl -XPOST localhost:9200/_scripts/mvel/indexedCalculateScore -d '{
     "script": "log(_score * 2) + my_modifier"

This will create a document with id: indexedCalculateScore and type: mvel in the .scripts index. The type of the document is the language used by the script.

This script can be accessed at query time by appending _id to the script parameter and passing the script id. So script becomes script_id.:

curl -XPOST localhost:9200/_search -d '{
  "query": {
    "function_score": {
      "query": {
        "match": {
          "body": "foo"
      "functions": [
          "script_score": {
            "script_id": "indexedCalculateScore",
            "params": {
              "my_modifier": 8

Note that you must have dynamic scripting enabled to use indexed scripts at query time.

The script can be viewed by:

curl -XGET localhost:9200/_scripts/mvel/calculate-score

This is rendered as:

     "script": "log(_score * 2) + my_modifier"

Indexed scripts can be deleted by:

curl -XDELETE localhost:9200/_scripts/mvel/calculate-score

Enabling dynamic scriptingedit

We recommend running Elasticsearch behind an application or proxy, which protects Elasticsearch from the outside world. If users are allowed to run dynamic scripts (even in a search request), then they have the same access to your box as the user that Elasticsearch is running as. For this reason dynamic scripting is disabled by default.

First, you should not run Elasticsearch as the root user, as this would allow a script to access or do anything on your server, without limitations. Second, you should not expose Elasticsearch directly to users, but instead have a proxy application inbetween. If you do intend to expose Elasticsearch directly to your users, then you have to decide whether you trust them enough to run scripts on your box or not. If you do, you can enable dynamic scripting by adding the following setting to the config/elasticsearch.yml file on every node:

script.disable_dynamic: false

While this still allows execution of named scripts provided in the config, or native Java scripts registered through plugins, it also allows users to run arbitrary scripts via the API. Instead of sending the name of the file as the script, the body of the script can be sent instead.

There are three possible configuration values for the script.disable_dynamic setting, the default value is sandbox:

Value Description


all dynamic scripting is disabled, scripts must be placed in the config/scripts directory.


all dynamic scripting is enabled, scripts may be sent as strings in requests.


scripts may be sent as strings for languages that are sandboxed.

Groovy Sandboxingedit

Elasticsearch sandboxes Groovy scripts that are compiled and executed in order to ensure they don’t perform unwanted actions. There are a number of options that can be used for configuring this sandbox:

Comma-separated list of string classes for objects that may have methods invoked.
Comma-separated list of packages under which new objects may be constructed.
Comma-separated list of classes that are allowed to be constructed.
Comma-separated list of methods that are never allowed to be invoked, regardless of target object.
Flag to disable the sandbox (defaults to false [v1.4.3] Added in v1.4.3. meaning the sandbox is disabled).

When specifying whitelist or blacklist settings for the groovy sandbox, all options replace the current whitelist, they are not additive.

Automatic Script Reloadingedit

The config/scripts directory is scanned periodically for changes. New and changed scripts are reloaded and deleted script are removed from preloaded scripts cache. The reload frequency can be specified using watcher.interval setting, which defaults to 60s. To disable script reloading completely set script.auto_reload_enabled to false.

Native (Java) Scriptsedit

Even though mvel is pretty fast, this allows to register native Java based scripts for faster execution.

In order to allow for scripts, the NativeScriptFactory needs to be implemented that constructs the script that will be executed. There are two main types, one that extends AbstractExecutableScript and one that extends AbstractSearchScript (probably the one most users will extend, with additional helper classes in AbstractLongSearchScript, AbstractDoubleSearchScript, and AbstractFloatSearchScript).

Registering them can either be done by settings, for example: set to sample.MyNativeScriptFactory will register a script named my. Another option is in a plugin, access ScriptModule and call registerScript on it.

Executing the script is done by specifying the lang as native, and the name of the script as the script.

Note, the scripts need to be in the classpath of elasticsearch. One simple way to do it is to create a directory under plugins (choose a descriptive name), and place the jar / classes files there. They will be automatically loaded.

Lucene Expressions Scriptsedit

This feature is experimental and subject to change in future versions.

Lucene’s expressions module provides a mechanism to compile a javascript expression to bytecode. This allows very fast execution, as if you had written a native script. Expression scripts can be used in script_score, script_fields, sort scripts and numeric aggregation scripts.

See the expressions module documentation for details on what operators and functions are available.

Variables in expression scripts are available to access:

  • Single valued document fields, e.g. doc['myfield'].value
  • Parameters passed into the script, e.g. mymodifier
  • The current document’s score, _score (only available when used in a script_score)

There are a few limitations relative to other script languages:

  • Only numeric fields may be accessed
  • Stored fields are not available
  • If a field is sparse (only some documents contain a value), documents missing the field will have a value of 0


In all scripts that can be used in facets, the current document’s score is accessible in doc.score. When using a script_score, the current score is available in _score.

Computing scores based on terms in scriptsedit

see advanced scripting documentation

Document Fieldsedit

Most scripting revolve around the use of specific document fields data. The doc['field_name'] can be used to access specific field data within a document (the document in question is usually derived by the context the script is used). Document fields are very fast to access since they end up being loaded into memory (all the relevant field values/tokens are loaded to memory). Note, however, that the doc[...] notation only allows for simple valued fields (can’t return a json object from it) and makes sense only on non-analyzed or single term based fields.

The following data can be extracted from a field:

Expression Description


The native value of the field. For example, if its a short type, it will be short.


The native array values of the field. For example, if its a short type, it will be short[]. Remember, a field can have several values within a single doc. Returns an empty array if the field has no values.


A boolean indicating if the field has no values within the doc.


A boolean indicating that the field has several values within the corpus.


The latitude of a geo point type.


The longitude of a geo point type.


The latitudes of a geo point type.


The longitudes of a geo point type.

doc['field_name'].distance(lat, lon)

The plane distance (in meters) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon.

doc['field_name'].distanceWithDefault(lat, lon, default)

The plane distance (in meters) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon with a default value.

doc['field_name'].distanceInMiles(lat, lon)

The plane distance (in miles) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon.

doc['field_name'].distanceInMilesWithDefault(lat, lon, default)

The plane distance (in miles) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon with a default value.

doc['field_name'].distanceInKm(lat, lon)

The plane distance (in km) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon.

doc['field_name'].distanceInKmWithDefault(lat, lon, default)

The plane distance (in km) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon with a default value.

doc['field_name'].arcDistance(lat, lon)

The arc distance (in meters) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon.

doc['field_name'].arcDistanceWithDefault(lat, lon, default)

The arc distance (in meters) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon with a default value.

doc['field_name'].arcDistanceInMiles(lat, lon)

The arc distance (in miles) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon.

doc['field_name'].arcDistanceInMilesWithDefault(lat, lon, default)

The arc distance (in miles) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon with a default value.

doc['field_name'].arcDistanceInKm(lat, lon)

The arc distance (in km) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon.

doc['field_name'].arcDistanceInKmWithDefault(lat, lon, default)

The arc distance (in km) of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon with a default value.

doc['field_name'].factorDistance(lat, lon)

The distance factor of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon.

doc['field_name'].factorDistance(lat, lon, default)

The distance factor of this geo point field from the provided lat/lon with a default value.


The arc distance (in meters) of this geo point field from the provided geohash.


The arc distance (in km) of this geo point field from the provided geohash.


The arc distance (in miles) of this geo point field from the provided geohash.

Stored Fieldsedit

Stored fields can also be accessed when executing a script. Note, they are much slower to access compared with document fields, as they are not loaded into memory. They can be simply accessed using _fields['my_field_name'].value or _fields['my_field_name'].values.

Accessing the score of a document within a scriptedit

When using scripting for calculating the score of a document (for instance, with the function_score query), you can access the score using the _score variable inside of a Groovy script.

Source Fieldedit

The source field can also be accessed when executing a script. The source field is loaded per doc, parsed, and then provided to the script for evaluation. The _source forms the context under which the source field can be accessed, for example _source.obj2.obj1.field3.

Accessing _source is much slower compared to using _doc but the data is not loaded into memory. For a single field access _fields may be faster than using _source due to the extra overhead of potentially parsing large documents. However, _source may be faster if you access multiple fields or if the source has already been loaded for other purposes.

mvel Built In Functionsedit

There are several built in functions that can be used within scripts. They include:

Function Description


The current time in milliseconds.


Returns the trigonometric sine of an angle.


Returns the trigonometric cosine of an angle.


Returns the trigonometric tangent of an angle.


Returns the arc sine of a value.


Returns the arc cosine of a value.


Returns the arc tangent of a value.


Converts an angle measured in degrees to an approximately equivalent angle measured in radians


Converts an angle measured in radians to an approximately equivalent angle measured in degrees.


Returns Euler’s number e raised to the power of value.


Returns the natural logarithm (base e) of a value.


Returns the base 10 logarithm of a value.


Returns the correctly rounded positive square root of a value.


Returns the cube root of a double value.

IEEEremainder(f1, f2)

Computes the remainder operation on two arguments as prescribed by the IEEE 754 standard.


Returns the smallest (closest to negative infinity) value that is greater than or equal to the argument and is equal to a mathematical integer.


Returns the largest (closest to positive infinity) value that is less than or equal to the argument and is equal to a mathematical integer.


Returns the value that is closest in value to the argument and is equal to a mathematical integer.

atan2(y, x)

Returns the angle theta from the conversion of rectangular coordinates (x, y) to polar coordinates (r,theta).

pow(a, b)

Returns the value of the first argument raised to the power of the second argument.


Returns the closest int to the argument.


Returns a random double value.


Returns the absolute value of a value.

max(a, b)

Returns the greater of two values.

min(a, b)

Returns the smaller of two values.


Returns the size of an ulp of the argument.


Returns the signum function of the argument.


Returns the hyperbolic sine of a value.


Returns the hyperbolic cosine of a value.


Returns the hyperbolic tangent of a value.

hypot(x, y)

Returns sqrt(x2 + y2) without intermediate overflow or underflow.

Arithmetic precision in MVELedit

When dividing two numbers using MVEL based scripts, the engine tries to be smart and adheres to the default behaviour of java. This means if you divide two integers (you might have configured the fields as integer in the mapping), the result will also be an integer. This means, if a calculation like 1/num is happening in your scripts and num is an integer with the value of 8, the result is 0 even though you were expecting it to be 0.125. You may need to enforce precision by explicitly using a double like 1.0/num in order to get the expected result.