Running as a Service on Windowsedit

Windows users can configure Elasticsearch to run as a service to run in the background or start automatically at startup without any user interaction. This can be achieved through service.bat script under bin/ folder which allows one to install, remove, manage or configure the service and potentially start and stop the service, all from the command-line.

c:\elasticsearch-1.6.2\bin>service

Usage: service.bat install|remove|start|stop|manager [SERVICE_ID]

The script requires one parameter (the command to execute) followed by an optional one indicating the service id (useful when installing multiple Elasticsearch services).

The commands available are:

install

Install Elasticsearch as a service

remove

Remove the installed Elasticsearch service (and stop the service if started)

start

Start the Elasticsearch service (if installed)

stop

Stop the Elasticsearch service (if started)

manager

Start a GUI for managing the installed service

Note that the environment configuration options available during the installation are copied and will be used during the service lifecycle. This means any changes made to them after the installation will not be picked up unless the service is reinstalled.

Based on the architecture of the available JDK/JRE (set through JAVA_HOME), the appropriate 64-bit(x64) or 32-bit(x86) service will be installed. This information is made available during install:

c:\elasticsearch-{version}bin>service install
Installing service      :  "elasticsearch-service-x64"
Using JAVA_HOME (64-bit):  "c:\jvm\jdk1.7"
The service 'elasticsearch-service-x64' has been installed.
Note

While a JRE can be used for the Elasticsearch service, due to its use of a client VM (as oppose to a server JVM which offers better performance for long-running applications) its usage is discouraged and a warning will be issued.

Customizing service settingsedit

There are two ways to customize the service settings:

Manager GUI
accessible through manager command, the GUI offers insight into the installed service including its status, startup type, JVM, start and stop settings among other things. Simply invoking service.bat from the command-line with the aforementioned option will open up the manager window:
Windows Service Manager GUI
Customizing service.bat
at its core, service.bat relies on Apache Commons Daemon project to install the services. For full flexibility such as customizing the user under which the service runs, one can modify the installation parameters to tweak all the parameters accordingly. Do note that this requires reinstalling the service for the new settings to be applied.
Note

There is also a community supported customizable MSI installer available: https://github.com/salyh/elasticsearch-msi-installer (by Hendrik Saly).