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Deprecated since elasticsearch 1.0. Use the cat API instead. Also check out

Elasticsearch API consumable by the command line.

JSON isn't always the most convenient output, particularly on a terminal. The tabular format has stuck around for good reason. It's compact. It's line-oriented. es2unix strives to keep spaces significant so all output works with existing *NIX tools. grep, sort, & awk are first-class citizens here.


es2unix's only dependency is Java (Oracle or OpenJDK). Version 7 should be preferred, but there is no functional difference with 6. Earlier versions aren't supported.

    curl -s >~/bin/es
    chmod +x ~/bin/es

You can also pin to a particular version from your provisioning tools.

    curl -s >~/bin/es


The es command takes subcommands and a few options. It assumes it's talking to ES at its default HTTP port using http://localhost:9200 but accepts -u to change that. It must be a fully qualifed URL with scheme, host, & port.

You can also supply -v, for most commands, to print a column header.


    % es version
    es            1.0.0
    elasticsearch 0.21.0.Beta1


    % es health -v
    cluster status nodes data pri shards relo init unassign
    kluster green      2    2   3      6    0    0        0


Sometimes you need a quick count to tell whether a cluster has any data and whether it's indexing. You can also supply a query.

    % es count
    % es count elasticsearch
    3 "q=elasticsearch"
    % es count "john deacon"
    225,839 "q=john deacon"
    % es count "\"saved by the bell\""
    220 "q="saved by the bell""


Not exhaustive access to the query API by any stretch, but it suffices when you need to get a glance of the data in your cluster. Searches across indices with a default query of *:*.

    % es search
    1.0     wiki    page 1228929
    1.0     wiki    page 1229142
    1.0     wiki    page 1229146
    1.0     wiki    page 1229153
    1.0     wiki    page 1228943
    1.0     wiki    page 1229155
    1.0     wiki    page 1228950
    1.0     wiki    page 1229159
    1.0     wiki    page 1228956
    1.0     wiki    page 1229160
     Total: 2319799

Can also specify a query, like es search \"george costanza\", and, possibly more interestingly, a list of fields to return.

    % es search -v "george costanza" title
    score   index  type id      title
    5.78647 wiki   page 660183  George Costansa
    5.78647 wiki   page 273868  George Constanza
    5.63803 wiki   page 865781  Vandelay Industries
    4.69835 wiki   page 932333  Art Vandelay
    4.69835 wiki   page 2147975 Can't Stand Ya
    4.67351 wiki   page 2486208 Art vandelay
    4.07630 wiki   page 2147959 Costanza
    3.23200 wiki   page 2147971 The Costanza family
    3.21007 wiki   page 2147972 Costanza family
    2.94863 wiki   page 4946953 Santa costanza
     Total: 118186


    % es master
    J-erllamTOiW5WoGVUd04A Slade, Frederick


    % es indices -v
    status name   pri rep    docs        size
    green  _river   0   1       4        8068
    green  wiki     1   1 1104894 13805525784

Maybe your cluster is red and you need to know which indices are affected:

    % es indices | grep \^red
    red    bb           5 0
    red    test         4 1   218b   218  0
    red    enron        5 0
    red    uno          1 0


Displays shard allocation counts across nodes

    % es allocation -v
    count ip           name
       12 Sage
       30 x.x.x.x      UNASSIGNED


What HTTP port is Cannonball I listening on? Who's the master? Who's master-eligible? Who's got data=true?

    % es nodes
    Uv1Iy8FvR0y6_RzPXKBolg 9201 9300   d Cannonball I
    J-erllamTOiW5WoGVUd04A 9200 9301 * d Slade, Frederick
    j27iagsmQQaeIpl6yU6mCg 9203 9303 - c Georgianna Castleberry
    T1aFDU2BSUm748gYxjEN9w 9202 9302   d Living Tribunal

If you have access to logs from all the nodes, you can run lifecycle to get a playback of all the node joinings and leavings with their timestamps ordered sequentially. This is much faster than combing the logs and piecing together the sequence manually.

    % es lifecycle /tmp/es-*/logs/elasticsearch.log
    2013-02-08 13:47:15,516 Lurking Unknown INIT   0.21.0.Beta1-SNAPSHOT
    2013-02-08 13:47:20,413 Lurking Unknown MASTER Lurking Unknown
    2013-02-08 13:47:20,467 Lurking Unknown START
    2013-02-08 13:47:36,319 Cameron Hodge   INIT   0.21.0.Beta1-SNAPSHOT
    2013-02-08 13:47:41,211 Lurking Unknown ADD    Cameron Hodge
    2013-02-08 13:47:41,223 Cameron Hodge   MASTER Lurking Unknown
    2013-02-08 13:47:41,278 Cameron Hodge   START
    2013-02-08 13:47:59,426 Armageddon      INIT   0.21.0.Beta1-SNAPSHOT
    2013-02-08 13:48:04,279 Lurking Unknown ADD    Armageddon
    2013-02-08 13:48:04,280 Cameron Hodge   ADD    Armageddon
    2013-02-08 13:48:04,287 Armageddon      MASTER Lurking Unknown
    2013-02-08 13:48:04,340 Armageddon      START
    2013-02-08 13:48:30,333 Lurking Unknown REMOVE Armageddon
    2013-02-08 13:48:30,339 Cameron Hodge   REMOVE Armageddon
    2013-02-08 13:48:30,362 Armageddon      STOP


Heap across the cluster.

    % es heap | sort -rnk6
    XO6c2A1D 23.9mb 25138608 123.7mb  129761280 19.4% Junkpile
    uVP8g9_l 94.6mb 99257976 990.7mb 1038876672  9.6% Hammond, Jim
    pjbeg_k8 76.9mb 80730208 990.7mb 1038876672  7.8% Scarlet Centurion

For some quick and dirty monitoring, I like to put this in a loop.

    % while true; do es heap | sort -rnk6 | head -1; sleep 60; done
    XO6c2A1D 57.3mb 60157200 123.7mb 129761280 46.4% Junkpile
    XO6c2A1D 54.7mb 57405904 123.7mb 129761280 44.2% Junkpile
    XO6c2A1D 62.7mb 65834752 123.7mb 129761280 50.7% Junkpile
    XO6c2A1D 56.9mb 59743504 123.7mb 129761280 46.0% Junkpile
    XO6c2A1D 52.1mb 54676216 123.7mb 129761280 42.1% Junkpile
    XO6c2A1D 37.1mb 38971744 123.7mb 129761280 30.0% Junkpile
    XO6c2A1D   52mb 54528424 123.7mb 129761280 42.0% Junkpile
    XO6c2A1D 46.5mb 48787064 123.7mb 129761280 37.6% Junkpile

This can be extremely helpful during indexing, for example. If you see a single node showing up a lot, you might have hot shard(s) there. If you see all the nodes regularly showing up with varying heap usage percentage, it's likely a healthy cluster with good shard distribution.

Searching has slightly different characteristics, but you can make similarly helpful inferences.


Sometimes it's helpful to retrieve the ids of all documents in an ES index.

    % es ids test -v
    index type id
    test doc 1
    test doc 2
    test doc 3
    test doc 4


Node startup

We've started up three nodes where we had two before. ES decided to move one shard to the third node.

    % es shards
    wiki 0 p STARTED    1160290 7.2gb 7776371641 Feline
    wiki 0 r STARTED    1160290 7.2gb 7776371602 Jenkins, Abner
    wiki 1 p RELOCATING 1159509 7.5gb 8116295811 Feline -> Amphibius
    wiki 1 r STARTED    1159509 7.5gb 8116295811 Jenkins, Abner

After turning on more replicas

We set index.number_of_replicas to 2, so ES is creating another copy of each primary shard.

    % es shards
    wiki     0 p STARTED      1160290   7.2gb 7776371641 Feline
    wiki     0 r INITIALIZING       0 100.2mb  105077522 Amphibius
    wiki     0 r STARTED      1160290   7.2gb 7776371602 Jenkins, Abner
    wiki     1 r INITIALIZING       0 120.3mb  126157581 Feline
    wiki     1 p STARTED      1159509   7.5gb 8116295811 Amphibius
    wiki     1 r STARTED      1159509   7.5gb 8116295811 Jenkins, Abner

Single node filter by index, sort reverse by bytes

You can limit the results to a substring match of an index. This filters that output's sixth column through a descending sort.

    % es shards wik | sort -rnk6
    wiki 1 r STARTED 2.7gb 2980767835 276016 Namora
    wiki 0 r STARTED 2.7gb 2953985585 276441 Namora
    wiki 1 p STARTED 2.7gb 2909784771 276016 Android Man
    wiki 0 p STARTED 2.6gb 2846741702 276441 Android Man

Normal three-node cluster operation

Add column names.

    % es shards -v
    index shard pri/rep state           docs size       bytes ip        node
    wiki      0 p       STARTED      1160290 7.2gb 7776371641 Feline
    wiki      0 r       INITIALIZING       0 3.1gb 3384641066 Amphibius
    wiki      0 r       STARTED      1160290 7.2gb 7776371602 Jenkins, Abner
    wiki      1 r       INITIALIZING       0 3.7gb 4029041251 Feline
    wiki      1 p       STARTED      1159509 7.5gb 8116295811 Amphibius
    wiki      1 r       STARTED      1159509 7.5gb 8116295811 Jenkins, Abner


es2unix is written in Clojure. You'll need leiningen 2.0+ to build.

    % make package


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

    Copyright 2012-2013 ElasticSearch <>

    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.