Ensure JNA temporary directory permits executables


Ensure JNA temporary directory permits executablesedit

This is only relevant for Linux.

Elasticsearch uses the Java Native Access (JNA) library, and another library called libffi, for executing some platform-dependent native code. On Linux, the native code backing these libraries is extracted at runtime into a temporary directory and then mapped into executable pages in Elasticsearch’s address space. This requires the underlying files not to be on a filesystem mounted with the noexec option.

By default, Elasticsearch will create its temporary directory within /tmp. However, some hardened Linux installations mount /tmp with the noexec option by default. This prevents JNA and libffi from working correctly. For instance, at startup JNA may fail to load with an java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkerError exception or with a message that says something similar to failed to map segment from shared object, or libffi may report a message such as failed to allocate closure. Note that the exception messages can differ between JVM versions. Additionally, the components of Elasticsearch that rely on execution of native code via JNA may fail with messages indicating that it is because JNA is not available.

To resolve these problems, either remove the noexec option from your /tmp filesystem, or configure Elasticsearch to use a different location for its temporary directory by setting the $ES_TMPDIR environment variable. For instance:

  • If you are running Elasticsearch directly from a shell, set $ES_TMPDIR as follows:

    export ES_TMPDIR=/usr/share/elasticsearch/tmp
  • For installs done through RPM or DEB packages, the environment variable needs to be set through the system configuration file.
  • If you are using systemd to run Elasticsearch as a service, add the following line to the [Service] section in a service override file:


If you need finer control over the location of these temporary files, you can also configure the path that JNA uses with the JVM flag -Djna.tmpdir=<path> and you can configure the path that libffi uses for its temporary files by setting the LIBFFI_TMPDIR environment variable. Future versions of Elasticsearch may need additional configuration, so you should prefer to set ES_TMPDIR wherever possible.

Elasticsearch does not remove its temporary directory. You should remove leftover temporary directories while Elasticsearch is not running. It is best to do this automatically, for instance on each reboot. If you are running on Linux, you can achieve this by using the tmpfs file system.