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Manticore Search Docker image

This is the git repo of official Docker image for Manticore Search.

❗ Please note: This is a development version repo. For the latest release's information, refer to the readme at

Manticore Search is an easy to use open source fast database for search. It helps thousands of companies from small to large, such as Craigslist, to search and filter petabytes of text data on a single or hundreds of nodes, do stream full-text filtering, add auto-complete, spell correction, more-like-this, faceting and other search-related technologies to their websites and applications.

The default configuration includes a sample Real-Time index and listens on the default ports:

  • 9306 for connections from a MySQL client
  • 9308 for connections via HTTP
  • 9312 for connections via a binary protocol (e.g. in case you run a cluster)

The image comes with libraries for easy indexing data from MySQL, PostgreSQL XML and CSV files.

How to run Manticore Search Docker image

Quick usage

The below is the simplest way to start Manticore in a container and log in to it via the mysql client:

docker run -e EXTRA=1 --name manticore --rm -d manticoresearch/manticore && echo "Waiting for Manticore docker to start. Consider mapping the data_dir to make it start faster next time" && until docker logs manticore 2>&1 | grep -q "accepting connections"; do sleep 1; echo -n .; done && echo && docker exec -it manticore mysql && docker stop manticore

Note that upon exiting the MySQL client, the Manticore container will be stopped and removed, resulting in no saved data. For information on using Manticore in a production environment, please see below.

The image comes with a sample table that can be loaded like this:

mysql> source /sandbox.sql

Also, the mysql client has several sample queries in its history that you can run on the above table, just use Up/Down keys in the client to see and run them.

Production use

Ports and mounting points

For data persistence the folder /var/lib/manticore/ should be mounted to local storage or other desired storage engine.

The configuration file within the instance can be found at /etc/manticoresearch/manticore.conf. To apply custom settings, ensure that this file is mounted to your own configuration file. Additionally, configuration parameters can be set through environment variables.

It is important to note that configuring certain parameters through environment variables takes precedence. For example, if you set -e searchd_listen='19306:mysql' via environments and concurrently include listen = 9306:mysql in the configuration, the search functionality will ultimately listen on port 19306 for SQL connections.

The ports are 9306/9308/9312 for SQL/HTTP/Binary, expose them depending on how you are going to use Manticore. For example:

docker run -e EXTRA=1 --name manticore -v $(pwd)/data:/var/lib/manticore -p -p -d manticoresearch/manticore


docker run -e EXTRA=1 --name manticore -v $(pwd)/manticore.conf:/etc/manticoresearch/manticore.conf -v $(pwd)/data:/var/lib/manticore/ -p -p -d manticoresearch/manticore

Make sure to remove if you want the ports to be available for external hosts.

Manticore Columnar Library and Manticore Buddy

The Manticore Search Docker image doesn't come with the Manticore Columnar Library pre-installed, which is necessary if you require columnar storage and secondary indexes. However, it can easily be enabled during runtime by setting the environment variable EXTRA=1. For example, docker run -e EXTRA=1 ... manticoresearch/manticore. This will download and install the library in the data directory (which is typically mapped as a volume in production environments) and it won't be re-downloaded unless the Manticore Search version is changed.

Using EXTRA=1 also activates Manticore Buddy, which is used for processing certain commands. For more information, refer to the changelog.

If you only need the MCL, you can use the environment variable MCL=1.


In many cases, you may want to use Manticore in conjunction with other images specified in a Docker Compose YAML file. Below is the minimal recommended configuration for Manticore Search in a docker-compose.yml file:

version: '2.2'

    container_name: manticore
    image: manticoresearch/manticore
      - EXTRA=1
    restart: always
      nproc: 65535
         soft: 65535
         hard: 65535
        soft: -1
        hard: -1
      - ./data:/var/lib/manticore
#      - ./manticore.conf:/etc/manticoresearch/manticore.conf # uncomment if you use a custom config

Besides using the exposed ports 9306 and 9308, you can log into the instance by running docker-compose exec manticore mysql.

HTTP protocol

HTTP protocol is exposed on port 9308. You can map the port locally and connect using curl.:

docker run -e EXTRA=1 --name manticore -p 9308:9308 -d manticoresearch/manticore

Create a table:

curl -X POST '' -d 'mode=raw&query=CREATE TABLE testrt ( title text, content text, gid integer)'

Insert a document:

curl -X POST '' -d'{"index":"testrt","id":1,"doc":{"title":"Hello","content":"world","gid":1}}'

Perform a simple search:

curl -X POST '' -d '{"index":"testrt","query":{"match":{"*":"hello world"}}}'


By default, the server is set to send its logging to /dev/stdout, which can be viewed from the host with:

docker logs manticore

The query log can be diverted to Docker log by passing the variable QUERY_LOG_TO_STDOUT=true.

Multi-node cluster with replication

Here is a simple docker-compose.yml for defining a two node cluster:

version: '2.2'


    image: manticoresearch/manticore
      - EXTRA=1
    restart: always
      nproc: 65535
         soft: 65535
         hard: 65535
        soft: -1
        hard: -1
      - manticore
    image: manticoresearch/manticore
      - EXTRA=1
    restart: always
      nproc: 65535
        soft: 65535
        hard: 65535
        soft: -1
        hard: -1
      - manticore
    driver: bridge
  • Start it: docker-compose up
  • Create a cluster:
    $ docker-compose exec manticore-1 mysql
    mysql> CREATE TABLE testrt ( title text, content text, gid integer);
    mysql> CREATE CLUSTER posts;
    Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.24 sec)
    mysql> ALTER CLUSTER posts ADD testrt;
    Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.07 sec)
    MySQL [(none)]> exit
  • Join to the the cluster on the 2nd instance
    $ docker-compose exec manticore-2 mysql
    mysql> JOIN CLUSTER posts AT 'manticore-1:9312';
    mysql> INSERT INTO posts:testrt(title,content,gid)  VALUES('hello','world',1);
    Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
    MySQL [(none)]> exit
  • If you now go back to the first instance you'll see the new record:
    $ docker-compose exec manticore-1 mysql
    MySQL [(none)]> select * from testrt;
    | id                  | gid  | title | content |
    | 3891565839006040065 |    1 | hello | world   |
    1 row in set (0.00 sec)
    MySQL [(none)]> exit

Memory locking and limits

It's recommended to overwrite the default ulimits of docker for the Manticore instance:

 --ulimit nofile=65536:65536

For best performance, table components can be "mlocked" into memory. When Manticore is run under Docker, the instance requires additional privileges to allow memory locking. The following options must be added when running the instance:

  --cap-add=IPC_LOCK --ulimit memlock=-1:-1

Configuring Manticore Search with Docker

If you want to run Manticore with a custom configuration that includes table definitions, you will need to mount the configuration to the instance:

docker run -e EXTRA=1 --name manticore -v $(pwd)/manticore.conf:/etc/manticoresearch/manticore.conf -v $(pwd)/data/:/var/lib/manticore -p -d manticoresearch/manticore

Take into account that Manticore search inside the container is run under user manticore. Performing operations with table files (like creating or rotating plain tables) should be also done under manticore. Otherwise the files will be created under root and the search daemon won't have rights to open them. For example here is how you can rotate all tables:

docker exec -it manticore gosu manticore indexer --all --rotate

You can also set individual searchd and common configuration settings using Docker environment variables.

The settings must be prefixed with their section name, example for in case of mysql_version_string the variable must be named searchd_mysql_version_string:

docker run -e EXTRA=1 --name manticore  -p  -e searchd_mysql_version_string='5.5.0' -d manticoresearch/manticore

If you intend to enable the own listen directive, utilize the searchd_listen environment variable.

You can specify multiple interfaces separated by a semicolon (|). To exclusively listen on a network address, employ the $ip variable (internally retrieved from hostname -i) as an address alias.

For instance, using -e searchd_listen='9316:http|9307:mysql|$ip:5443:mysql_vip' will incorporate an additional SQL interface on port 9307, an SQL VIP listener on port 5443 operating solely on the instance's IP (such as, and an HTTP listener on port 9316.

Attention: Setting this variable overrides default listeners!

$ docker run -e EXTRA=1 --rm -p 1188:9307  -e searchd_mysql_version_string='5.5.0' -e searchd_listen='9316:http|9307:mysql|$ip:5443:mysql_vip' manticoresearch/manticore
[Mon Feb 19 10:12:20.501 2024] [1] using config file '/etc/manticoresearch/' (297 chars)...
starting daemon version '6.2.13 56aaf1f55@24021713 dev (columnar 2.2.5 8c90c1f@240217) (secondary 2.2.5 8c90c1f@240217) (knn 2.2.5 8c90c1f@240217)' ...
listening on all interfaces for sphinx and http(s), port=9316
listening on all interfaces for mysql, port=9307
listening on for VIP mysql
prereading 0 tables
preread 0 tables in 0.000 sec
accepting connections

Startup flags

To start Manticore with custom startup flags, specify them as arguments when using docker run. Ensure you do not include the searchd command and include the --nodetach flag. Here's an example:

docker run -e EXTRA=1 --name manticore --rm manticoresearch/manticore:latest --replay-flags=ignore-trx-errors --nodetach

Running under non-root

By default, the main Manticore process searchd is running under user manticore inside the container, but the script which runs on starting the container is run under your default docker user which in most cases is root. If that's not what you want you can use docker ... --user manticore or user: manticore in docker compose yaml to make everything run under manticore. Read below about possible volume permissions issue you can get and how to solve it.

Building plain tables

There are several methods to build plain tables from your custom configuration file. There's the CREATE_PLAIN_TABLES (docker run -e CREATE_PLAIN_TABLES=...) evironment variable for that.

  1. Build all plain tables on startup:
    Simply set the environment variable to CREATE_PLAIN_TABLES=1.

  2. Build specific tables on startup:
    To initiate indexing for specific tables, use the following syntax: CREATE_PLAIN_TABLES=tbl1;tbl2.

  3. Scheduled building of specific tables:
    Schedule indexing tasks for specific tables using the format CREATE_PLAIN_TABLES={table name}:{schedule in cron format}.

    • For a single table, use: CREATE_PLAIN_TABLES=tbl:* * * * *.
    • To index multiple tables, format it like this: CREATE_PLAIN_TABLES=tbl:* * * * *;tbl2:*/5 2 * * *.
  4. Combining scheduled and startup table rebuilding:
    To combine scheduled building with the indexing of desired tables on startup, use this format: CREATE_PLAIN_TABLES=tbl:* * * * *;tbl2:*/5 2 * * *;deltaTable;tbl3.

Backup and restore

Full backup

To create a full backup, you need to include the -e EXTRA=1 flag. The manticore-backup package utilizes the manticore-executor, which is installed with the EXTRA packages.

Creating a full backup is a straightforward process. Simply run the following command:

docker exec -it CONTAINER-ID manticore-backup --backup-dir=/tmp

This command will generate a backup in your /tmp/ directory.

$ ls /tmp/ | grep backup-*

Inside this folder, you will find your backup.

Restore full dump

To restore your full backup on startup, you need to mount your backup to the /docker-entrypoint-initdb.d folder.

Please note that you should mount the content of your backup, not the backup folder itself (e.g., backup-202307..).

The backup will be restored if the data directory is empty. Otherwise, it will be skipped, even if it's mounted on the second launch or any other time. Once the backup is restored, the daemon will start.

Creating SQL dumps

manticore-backup creates a physical backup. If you prefer a logical backup, you can use mysqldump in the container. For that use docker exec to log in to the container and run the tool. Here's an example:

docker exec some-mysql sh -c 'exec mysqldump' > /some/path/on/your/host/dump.sql

Restore SQL dumps

For restoring data from an sql file created by mysqldump, you can use the docker exec command with the -i flag like this:

docker exec -i MANTICORE_CONTAINER sh -c 'exec mysql' < /some/path/on/your/host/dump.sql

Building docker image with buildx

To build multi-arch images, we use the buildx docker plugin. Before building, follow these steps:

docker buildx create  --name manticore_build --platform linux/amd64,linux/arm64
docker buildx use manticore_build
docker run --rm --privileged multiarch/qemu-user-static --reset -p yes

Once the above steps are completed, run the following build and push commands:

docker buildx build --push --build-arg DEV=1 --platform linux/arm64,linux/amd64 --tag  manticoresearch/manticore:$BUILD_TAG .


Permissions issue with a mounted volume

In case you are running Manticore Search docker under non-root (using docker ... --user manticore or user: manticore in docker compose yaml), you can face a permissions issue, for example:

FATAL: directory /var/lib/manticore write error: failed to open /var/lib/manticore/tmp: Permission denied

or in case you are using -e EXTRA=1:

mkdir: cannot create directory ‘/var/lib/manticore/.mcl/’: Permission denied

This can happen because the user which is used to run processes inside the container may have no permissions to modify the directory you have mounted to the container. To fix it you can chown or chmod the mounted directory. If you run the container under user manticore you need to do:

chown -R 999:999 data

since user manticore has ID 999 inside the container.


For reporting issues, please use the issue tracker.