Curator: Tending your Elasticsearch indices
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Latest commit 9bf6412 Oct 26, 2016 @untergeek untergeek committed on GitHub Merge pull request #794 from untergeek/doc/cluster_routing_typo
Doc/cluster routing typo



Have indices in Elasticsearch? This is the tool for you!

Like a museum curator manages the exhibits and collections on display, Elasticsearch Curator helps you curate, or manage your indices.

Compatibility Matrix

Version ES 1.x AWS ES 1.x ES 2.x AWS ES 2.x ES 5.x
3 yes yes yes yes no
4 no no yes no yes

It is important to note that Curator 4 will not work with indices created in versions of Elasticsearch older than 1.4 (if they have been subsequently re-indexed, they will work). This is because those older indices lack index metadata that Curator 4 requires. Curator 4 will simply exclude any such indices from being acted on, and you will get a warning message like the following:

2016-07-31 10:36:17,423 WARNING Index: YOUR_INDEX_NAME has no
"creation_date"! This implies that the index predates Elasticsearch v1.4.
For safety, this index will be removed from the actionable list.

It is also important to note that Curator 4 requires access to the /_cluster/state/metadata endpoint. Forks of Elasticsearch which do not support this endpoint (such as AWS ES, see #717) will not be able to use Curator version 4.

Build Status

Branch Status
Master master
4.x 4_x
4.0 4_0
4.1 4_1

PyPI: pypi_pkg

Curator API Documentation

Version 4 of Curator ships with both an API and a wrapper script (which is actually defined as an entry point). The API allows you to write your own scripts to accomplish similar goals, or even new and different things with the Curator API, and the Elasticsearch Python API.

Curator CLI Documentation

The Curator CLI Documentation is now a part of the document repository at at

Getting Started

See the Installation guide and the command-line usage guide

Running curator --help will also show usage information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Encountering issues like DistributionNotFound? See the FAQ for that issue, and more.

Documentation & Examples

The documentation for the CLI is now part of the document repository at at

The Curator Wiki on Github is now a place to add your own examples and ideas.


  • fork the repo
  • make changes in your fork
  • add tests to cover your changes (if necessary)
  • run tests
  • sign the CLA
  • send a pull request!

To run from source, use the script in the root directory of the project.

Running Tests

To run the test suite just run python test

When changing code, contributing new code or fixing a bug please make sure you include tests in your PR (or mark it as without tests so that someone else can pick it up to add the tests). When fixing a bug please make sure the test actually tests the bug - it should fail without the code changes and pass after they're applied (it can still be one commit of course).

The tests will try to connect to your local elasticsearch instance and run integration tests against it. This will delete all the data stored there! You can use the env variable TEST_ES_SERVER to point to a different instance (for example, 'otherhost:9203').

Binary Executables

The combination of setuptools and cx_Freeze allows for Curator to be compiled into binary packages. These consist of a binary file placed in a directory which contains all the libraries required to run it.

In order to make a binary package you must manually install the cx_freeze python module. You can do this via pip, or python install, or by package, if such exists for your platform. In order to make it compile on recent Debian/Ubuntu platforms, a patch had to be applied to the file in the extracted folder. This patch file is in the unix_packages directory in this repository.

With cx_freeze installed, building a binary package is as simple as running python build_exe. In Linux distributions, the results will be in the build directory, in a subdirectory labelled exe.linux-x86_64-${PYVER}, where ${PYVER} is the current major/minor version of Python, e.g. 2.7. This directory can be renamed as desired.

Other entry-points that are defined in the file, such as es_repo_mgr, will also appear in this directory.

The process is identical for building the binary package for Windows. It must be run from a Windows machine with all dependencies installed. Executables in Windows will have the .exe suffix attached. The directory in build will be named${PYVER}, where ${PYVER} is the current major/minor version of Python, e.g. 2.7. This directory can be renamed as desired.

In Windows, cx_Freeze also allows for building rudimentary MSI installers. This can be done by invoking python bdist_msi. The MSI fill will be in the dist directory, and will be named elasticsearch-curator-#.#.#-amd64.msi, where the major, minor, and patch version numbers are substituted accordingly. One drawback to this rudimentary MSI is that it does not allow updates to be installed on top of the existing installation. You must uninstall the old version before installing the newer one.

The unix_packages directory contains the script used to generate the packages for the Curator YUM and APT repositories. The Vagrant directory has the Vagrantfiles used in conjunction with the script. If you wish to use this method on your own, you must ensure that the shared folders exist. /curator_packages is where the packages will be placed after building. /curator_source is the path to the Curator source code, so that the script can be called from there. The script does not use the local source code, but rather pulls the version specified as an argument directly from GitHub.


Version 4 of Curator is the current master branch. It supports Elasticsearch versions 2.0 through 5.0. This is the first release of Curator that is not fully reverse compatible.

The 3.x branch will continue to be available to support earlier versions of Elasticsearch. No new development is being done with the 3.x branch, but bug fixes may be merged as necessary.


Curator was first called [1] and was almost immediately renamed to [1]. After a time it was migrated under the [logstash]( repository as expire_logs. Soon thereafter, Jordan Sissel was hired by Elasticsearch, as was the original author of this tool. It became Elasticsearch Curator after that and is now hosted at <>

[1] <>