Starting up with ElasticSearch on Linux or MacOS

If you’re here, you’ve probably heard that ElasticSearch is awesome and you can do many things, such as searching your databases, aggregating your data and monitoring your servers, collecting logs and auto-suggesting your users’ search input.

This article has the purpose to get you started with ElasticSearch by quickly instlling and running the database on a Linux or MacOS computer, in a few simple steps.


For this tutorial, you will need two things:

  • Open terminal windows - as we will be executing some system commands
  • Internet connection

Downloading ElasticSearch

It’s recommended to download the latest version of the software, as it’s usually the most secure and offers best performance. At the time of writing this article, the latest of ElasticSearch is 8.3, but regardless of when you’re reading this article, you can find the latest version on this official page.

Without further ado, you can run this command, to download ElasticSearch on Linux:

wget && tar -xzf elasticsearch-8.3.2-linux-x86_64.tar.gz

or run this one, if you’re using MacOS

curl -O && tar -xzf elasticsearch-8.3.2-darwin-x86_64.tar.gz

From here on, the steps overlap, so the commands will be the same for either of these operating systems.

Starting ElasticSearch

The above command will have download the software archive and unarchived it to a folder called elasticsearch-8.3.2.
Navigate to that folder, using cd elasticsearch-8.3.2

There is no further configuration required, so you can start ElasticSearch using the following command:


After a few seconds, you should see JVM (Java Virtual Machine) initializing and ElasticSearch preparing to start.

After everything is ready and the software have started, you will see notes likes this

✅ Elasticsearch security features have been automatically configured!
✅ Authentication is enabled and cluster connections are encrypted.

ℹ️ Password for the elastic user (reset with `bin/elasticsearch-reset-password -u elastic`):

ℹ️ HTTP CA certificate SHA-256 fingerprint:

ℹ️ Configure Kibana to use this cluster:
• Run Kibana and click the configuration link in the terminal when Kibana starts.
• Copy the following enrollment token and paste it into Kibana in your browser (valid for the next 30 minutes):

ℹ️ Configure other nodes to join this cluster:
• On this node:
⁃ Create an enrollment token with `bin/elasticsearch-create-enrollment-token -s node`.
⁃ Uncomment the setting at the end of config/elasticsearch.yml.
⁃ Restart Elasticsearch.
• On other nodes:
⁃ Start Elasticsearch with `bin/elasticsearch --enrollment-token <token>`, using the enrollment token that you generated.

Write down the password, for your elastic user, because you will need it to access ElasticSearch, directly through a browser, Kibana or any other UI.

To test your setup, you can open the URL to your ElasticSearch server in a browser or use CURL to make a request directly from the command line.
Note that the terminal window that we used so far will be blocked by ElasticSearch and if you want to use terminal, you will have to open another window.

curl --cacert $ES_HOME/config/certs/http_ca.crt -u elastic https://localhost:9200

If everything went fine, you will asked to login with username elastic and the password, generated by ElasticSearcg.
After that, you will be greeted with this message from the web page:

If you see the following message, you need to switch from using http to https:

Running in the background

As you can already see, running ElasticSearch in the terminal, like this, is not very convenient. The terminal windows is blocked and unusable, and ElasticSearch will stop if we close the terminal. To avoid these issues, we can start ElasticSearch in the background, where it will be running until we stop it, even after the terminal is closed or the computer is restarted. We can do that with the following command:

./bin/elasticsearch -d -p pid

Note: ElasticSearch will stop when your server is restarted or shutdown and will not start automatically when the server is turned on. To make ElasticSearch run on startup, you will have to install the system.d package.

Setting up a rootless Docker server (with Ansible) and deploying an application. Notes on biulding REST APIs