Important Elasticsearch configurationedit

While Elasticsearch requires very little configuration, there are a number of settings which need to be configured manually and should definitely be configured before going into production. and path.logsedit

If you are using the .zip or .tar.gz archives, the data and logs directories are sub-folders of $ES_HOME. If these important folders are left in their default locations, there is a high risk of them being deleted while upgrading Elasticsearch to a new version.

In production use, you will almost certainly want to change the locations of the data and log folder:

  logs: /var/log/elasticsearch
  data: /var/data/elasticsearch

The RPM and Debian distributions already use custom paths for data and logs.

The settings can be set to multiple paths, in which case all paths will be used to store data (although the files belonging to a single shard will all be stored on the same data path):

    - /mnt/elasticsearch_1
    - /mnt/elasticsearch_2
    - /mnt/elasticsearch_3


A node can only join a cluster when it shares its with all the other nodes in the cluster. The default name is elasticsearch, but you should change it to an appropriate name which describes the purpose of the cluster. logging-prod

Make sure that you don’t reuse the same cluster names in different environments, otherwise you might end up with nodes joining the wrong cluster.


By default, Elasticsearch will use the first seven characters of the randomly generated UUID as the node id. Note that the node id is persisted and does not change when a node restarts and therefore the default node name will also not change.

It is worth configuring a more meaningful name which will also have the advantage of persisting after restarting the node: prod-data-2

The can also be set to the server’s HOSTNAME as follows: ${HOSTNAME}


It is vitally important to the health of your node that none of the JVM is ever swapped out to disk. One way of achieving that is set the bootstrap.memory_lock setting to true.

For this setting to have effect, other system settings need to be configured first. See Enable bootstrap.memory_lock for more details about how to set up memory locking correctly.


By default, Elasticsearch binds to loopback addresses only — e.g. and [::1]. This is sufficient to run a single development node on a server.

In fact, more than one node can be started from the same $ES_HOME location on a single node. This can be useful for testing Elasticsearch’s ability to form clusters, but it is not a configuration recommended for production.

In order to communicate and to form a cluster with nodes on other servers, your node will need to bind to a non-loopback address. While there are many network settings, usually all you need to configure is

The setting also understands some special values such as _local_, _site_, _global_ and modifiers like :ip4 and :ip6, details of which can be found in Special values for

As soon you provide a custom setting for, Elasticsearch assumes that you are moving from development mode to production mode, and upgrades a number of system startup checks from warnings to exceptions. See Development mode vs production mode for more information.

Out of the box, without any network configuration, Elasticsearch will bind to the available loopback addresses and will scan ports 9300 to 9305 to try to connect to other nodes running on the same server. This provides an auto- clustering experience without having to do any configuration.

When the moment comes to form a cluster with nodes on other servers, you have to provide a seed list of other nodes in the cluster that are likely to be live and contactable. This can be specified as follows:

The port will default to transport.profiles.default.port and fallback to transport.tcp.port if not specified.

A hostname that resolves to multiple IP addresses will try all resolved addresses.


To prevent data loss, it is vital to configure the discovery.zen.minimum_master_nodes setting so that each master-eligible node knows the minimum number of master-eligible nodes that must be visible in order to form a cluster.

Without this setting, a cluster that suffers a network failure is at risk of having the cluster split into two independent clusters — a split brain — which will lead to data loss. A more detailed explanation is provided in Avoiding split brain with minimum_master_nodes.

To avoid a split brain, this setting should be set to a quorum of master- eligible nodes:

(master_eligible_nodes / 2) + 1

In other words, if there are three master-eligible nodes, then minimum master nodes should be set to (3 / 2) + 1 or 2:

discovery.zen.minimum_master_nodes: 2

JVM heap dump pathedit

The RPM and Debian package distributions default to configuring the JVM to dump the heap on out of memory exceptions to /var/lib/elasticsearch. If this path is not suitable for storing heap dumps, you should modify the entry -XX:HeapDumpPath=/var/lib/elasticsearch in jvm.options to an alternate path. If you specify a filename instead of a directory, the JVM will repeatedly use the same file; this is one mechanism for preventing heap dumps from accumulating in the heap dump path. Alternatively, you can configure a scheduled task via your OS to remove heap dumps that are older than a configured age.

Note that the archive distributions do not configure the heap dump path by default. Instead, the JVM will default to dumping to the working directory for the Elasticsearch process. If you wish to configure a heap dump path, you should modify the entry #-XX:HeapDumpPath=/heap/dump/path in jvm.options to remove the comment marker # and to specify an actual path.