Skip to content
Elasticsearch Groovy client
Branch: master
Clone or download

Groovy Client for Elasticsearch

The Elasticsearch Groovy client project helps you to use Elasticsearch in Groovy projects. This Groovy client inherently supports 100% of the Elasticsearch API for the supported version by using Groovy extension modules with the Java client. Literally anything possible in the same version of the Java client is possible with the Groovy client, plus some Groovy-friendly extensions.

You can use the Java client code from any Java client example that you find online with the benefit of the Groovy extensions.

TransportClient client = TransportClient.builder().settings(Settings.settingsBuilder {
  client.transport.sniff = true = "your-cluster-name"

// identical to the Java client:
client.addTransportAddress( ... )

String userId = "some-user-id"

// asynchronously fetch the results
ListenableActionFuture<SearchResponse> future = client.searchAsync {
  indices "your-index"
  types "your-type"
  source {
    query {
      match { = userId

// block until the response is retrieved (you could alternatively use listeners)
SearchResponse response = future.actionGet()

Besides the usage of Closures, the above example should look very familiar to any existing Java client users, as well as those familiar with the Elasticsearch DSL (Domain Specific Language used for indexing and querying).


You need to install a version matching your Elasticsearch version:

Elasticsearch Groovy Client Java Groovy
master [5.0] Build from source [5.0] 8 or later 2.4.5
2.1 - 2.4 2.1 7u60 or later 2.4.4
2.0 2.0 7u60 or later 2.4.4
1.7 1.7 7u60 or later 2.4.4
1.6 1.6 7u60 or later 2.4.4
1.5 1.5 7u60 or later 2.4.1*
1.4 1.4 7u60 or later 2.3.7*

Please read documentation relative to the version that you are using!

To build a SNAPSHOT version, you need to build it with Gradle (see below for further details):

$ gradle clean installDist

Groovy Warning

Groovy released Groovy 2.4.4 to fix a vulnerability with CVE-2015-3253.

You are considered vulnerable just by having an earlier version of Groovy on your classpath! All users should upgrade to Groovy 2.4.4, or later, as a result.

JVM Warning

Both Elasticsearch and the Elasticsearch Groovy client require at least Java 7. In addition, the Groovy client is compiled with indy support enabled, which means that it theoretically could cause issues if you are running with Java 7u22 to 7u55 due to a bug in the JVM related to invokedynamic. This is reported directly from the Groovy developers and it is strongly suggested that you run Java 7u60 or later.

JVM Release Groovy Client Support invokedynamic Support
Java 5 Unsupported None
Java 6 Unsupported None
Java 7u22 to 7u55 Unsupported Buggy
Java 7u60 or later Supported [1.x, 2.x] Supported
Java 8 Supported [1.x or later] Supported

Groovy is supported on any JDK supported by Elasticsearch, which currently includes Oracle JDK and OpenJDK.

Adding to your Groovy projects


repositories {

dependencies {
  compile 'org.elasticsearch:elasticsearch-groovy:2.1.2'



Grails 2.x

Out-of-the-box support for Grails is limited to Grails 2.4.4 or later. To use with earlier versions, you must follow the instructions found in GRAILS-10652 to load Groovy extension modules.

repositories {

dependencies {
  // You may be able to use the 'runtime' scope
  compile group: 'org.elasticsearch', name: 'elasticsearch-groovy', version: '2.1.2', classifier: 'grails'

Grails 3.x has overhauled their build system to use Gradle, which makes it easy for you to select the version of Groovy to use with it, including the use of invokedynamic. However, Grails 2.x did not make it easy. A part of not being easy, Grails 2.x does not use the invokedynamic-compatible Groovy jar, which means that any Grails 2.x project requires a jar that is not compiled with invokedynamic.

With the release of Elasticsearch Groovy 1.4.3, we have introduced a secondary jar with a new grails classifier that can be used by Grails users. All other users are strongly recommended to use the invokedynamic-compatible versions described above (it's both faster and slightly smaller!).

Support for this is intended to assist the Grails community to use the Elasticsearch Groovy client prior to the release of Grails 3.0. If you are using Grails 3.0 or later, then you should use the invokedynamic version of Groovy and the Gradle dependency above.

Compiling Groovy Client

To compile this code on your own, then run:

$ gradle clean installDist

This will skip all tests and place the compiled jar in ./build/install/elasticsearch-groovy/elasticsearch-groovy-{version}.jar. It will package all dependencies (e.g., elasticsearch-{version}.jar) into ./build/install/elasticsearch-groovy/lib.

Testing Groovy Client

The Groovy client makes use of the Randomized Testing framework used by Elasticsearch itself. The unit tests and integration tests that this uses can be invoked with the same command:

$ gradle clean test

The various tests.* and es.* system properties that are used by Elasticsearch are also used by the Gradle build script. As a result, any recommendation that suggests running mvn clean test -DsystemProp=xyz can be replaced with gradle clean test -DsystemProp=xyz (the only change was from mvn to gradle). This only applies to the Groovy client.

Testing with IntelliJ

By default, IntelliJ will place all of the compile-time dependencies above the testCompile dependencies. In the case of the test frameworks used, this presents issues that occasionally trigger test failures (that tell you to fix your classpath with respect to "test-framework.jar"). To fix this behavior, put your test dependencies above any non-test dependencies within IntelliJ.

  1. Open Project Structure
  2. Select Modules

Suggested Groovy Settings

Since the release of Java 7 (aka Java 1.7), higher level languages like Groovy have had access to the invokedynamic JVM instruction. This avoids the need for some runtime code generation (e.g., $callSiteArrays) and it theoretically speeds up all Groovy code. In the Groovy world, there is still support for Java 5 and Java 6, which means that invokedynamic cannot be enabled by default.

Compiling Groovy with invokedynamic support

To support invokedynamic in your own Groovy project(s), at a minimum, you must include the invokedynamic-compiled Groovy jar, which the Groovy developers call the indy (invokedynamic) jar.


repositories {

dependencies {
  compile 'org.codehaus.groovy:groovy-all:2.4.5:indy'



Using invokedynamic in your Groovy code

After including the indy jar, you now only have an invokedynamic-compatible Groovy runtime. All internal Groovy calls will use invokedynamic, as will any other Groovy code compiled with invokedynamic support (e.g., the Groovy client), but your code must also be compiled with invokedynamic support to gain the benefits within your compiled jar(s).


apply plugin: 'groovy'

// ...

 * Customize Groovy compilation.
tasks.withType(GroovyCompile) {
  groovyOptions.optimizationOptions.indy = true


Maven has numerous ways to do this, and it largely depends on how you compile your Groovy code. If you are wrapping the Ant task, then add indy="true" to the Groovy compilation. Otherwise check your plugin's documentation.


When allowing IntelliJ to control the compilation of your project, then you must enable Invoke dynamic support within the preferences for the Groovy Compiler.

To change this setting:

  1. Open Preferences
  2. Select Compiler
  3. Select Groovy Compiler
  4. Check Invoke dynamic support

With IntelliJ 13, I have noticed that it is sometimes necessary to manually rebuild the project because it loses track of the resource files. This happens infrequently, but it will cause practically every test to fail when it does happen.


This software is licensed under the Apache 2 license, quoted below.

Copyright 2009-2015 Elastic <>

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not
use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of
the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT
WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the
License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under
the License.
You can’t perform that action at this time.