Daily Elasticsearch Snapshots


Daily Elasticsearch Snapshotsedit

For local development and CI, Kibana, by default, uses Elasticsearch snapshots that are built daily when running tasks that require Elasticsearch (e.g. functional tests).

A snapshot is just a group of tarballs, one for each supported distribution/architecture/os of Elasticsearch, and a JSON-based manifest file containing metadata about the distributions.

A dashboard is available that shows the current status and compatibility of the latest Elasticsearch snapshots.

Process Overviewedit

  1. Elasticsearch snapshots are built for each current tracked branch of Kibana.
  2. Each snapshot is uploaded to a public Google Cloud Storage bucket, kibana-ci-es-snapshots-daily.

    • At this point, the snapshot is not automatically used in CI or local development. It needs to be tested/verified first.
  3. Each snapshot is tested with the latest commit of the corresponding Kibana branch, using the full CI suite. 3a. If a test fails during snapshot verification the Kibana Operations team will skip it and create an issue for the team to fix the test, or work with the Elasticsearch team to get a fix implemented there. Once the fix is ready a Kibana PR can be opened to unskip the test.
  4. After CI

    • If the snapshot passes, it is promoted and automatically used in CI and local development.
    • If the snapshot fails, the issue must be investigated and resolved. A new incompatibility may exist between Elasticsearch and Kibana.

Using the latest snapshotedit

When developing locally, you may wish to use the most recent Elasticsearch snapshot, even if it’s failing CI. To do so, prefix your commands with the follow environment variable:


You can use this flag with any command that downloads and runs Elasticsearch snapshots, such as scripts/es or the FTR.

For example, to run functional tests with the latest snapshot:

KBN_ES_SNAPSHOT_USE_UNVERIFIED=true node scripts/functional_tests_server

For Pull Requestsedit

Currently, there is not a way to run your pull request with the latest unverified snapshot without a code change. You can, however, do it with a small code change.

  1. Edit Jenkinsfile in the root of the Kibana repo
  2. Add env.KBN_ES_SNAPSHOT_USE_UNVERIFIED = 'true' at the top of the file.
  3. Commit the change

Your pull request should then use the latest snapshot the next time that it runs. Just don’t merge the change to Jenkinsfile!

Google Cloud Storage bucketsedit


This bucket stores snapshots that are created on a daily basis, and is the primary location used by kbn-es to download snapshots.

Snapshots are automatically deleted after 10 days.

The file structure for this bucket looks like this:

  • <version>/manifest-latest.json
  • <version>/manifest-latest-verified.json
  • <version>/archives/<unique id>/*.tar.gz
  • <version>/archives/<unique id>/*.tar.gz.sha512
  • <version>/archives/<unique id>/manifest.json


This bucket stores only the most recently promoted snapshot for each version. Old snapshots are only deleted when new ones are uploaded.

This bucket serves as permanent snapshot storage for old branches/versions that are no longer being built. kbn-es checks the daily bucket first, followed by this one if no snapshots were found.

The file structure for this bucket looks like this:

  • <version>/*.tar.gz
  • <version>/*.tar.gz.sha512
  • <version>/manifest.json

How snapshots are built, tested, and promotededit

Each day, a Jenkins job runs that triggers Elasticsearch builds for each currently tracked branch/version. This job is automatically updated with the correct branches whenever we release new versions of Kibana.


This Jenkins job builds the Elasticsearch snapshots and uploads them to GCS.

The Jenkins job pipeline definition is in the Kibana repo.

  1. Checkout Elasticsearch repo for the given branch/version.
  2. Run ./gradlew -p distribution/archives assemble --parallel to create all of the Elasticsearch distributions.
  3. Create a tarball for each distribution.
  4. Create a manifest JSON file containing info about the distribution, as well as its download URL.
  5. Upload the tarballs and manifest to a unique location in the GCS bucket kibana-ci-es-snapshots-daily.

    • e.g. <version>/archives/<unique id>
  6. Replace <version>/manifest-latest.json in GCS with this newest manifest.

    • This allows the KBN_ES_SNAPSHOT_USE_UNVERIFIED flag to work.
  7. Trigger the verification job, to run the full Kibana CI test suite with this snapshot.

Verification and Promotionedit

This Jenkins job tests the latest Elasticsearch snapshot with the full Kibana CI pipeline, and promotes if it there are no test failures.

The Jenkins job pipeline definition is in the Kibana repo.

  1. Checkout Kibana and set up CI environment as normal.
  2. Set the ES_SNAPSHOT_MANIFEST env var to point to the latest snapshot manifest.
  3. Run CI (functional tests, integration tests, etc).
  4. After CI

    • If there was a test failure or other build error, send out an e-mail notification and stop.
    • If there were no errors, promote the snapshot.

Promotion is done as part of the same pipeline:

  1. Replace the manifest at kibana-ci-es-snapshots-daily/<version>/manifest-latest-verified.json with the manifest from the tested snapshot.

    • At this point, the snapshot has been promoted and will automatically be used in CI and in local development.
  2. Replace the snapshot at kibana-ci-es-snapshots-permanent/<version>/ with the tested snapshot by copying all of the tarballs and the manifest file.