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Jetty Plugin


The following table shows the versions of elasticsearch and jetty that Jetty Plugin was built with.

Jetty Plugin Elasticsearch Jetty
1.2.1 1.2.1 8.1.14.v20131031
1.1.1-beta 1.1.1 8.1.14.v20131031
1.1.0-beta 1.1.0 8.1.14.v20131031
1.0.1 1.0.1 8.1.14.v20131031
0.90.12 0.90.12 8.1.14.v20131031
0.90.0 0.90.0 8.1.4.v20120524
0.20.1 0.20.2 8.1.4.v20120524
0.19.9-master 0.19.9 8.1.4.v20120524
0.19.6-0.19.8 0.19.8 8.1.4.v20120524
0.19.0-0.19.5 0.19.2 7.4.5.v20110725
0.18.1-0.18.6 0.18.5 7.4.5.v20110725
0.18.0 0.18.4 7.4.5.v20110725


The elasticsearch-jetty plugin brings full power of Jetty and adds several new features to elasticsearch. With this plugin elasticsearch can now handle SSL connections, support basic authentication, and log all or some incoming requests in plain text or json formats.

Installation and Configuration


The elasticsearch-jetty plugin can be installed as any other ES plugin using bin/plugin utility:

(specifying the URL is required since github downloads are going away)

$ bin/plugin -url -install elasticsearch-jetty-1.2.1

The core of the plugin is JettyHttpServerTransport module that works as a replacement for NettyHttpServerTransport. To enable the elasticsearch-jetty plugin, the default netty http transport should be replaced with jetty http transport by adding the following line to elasticsearch.yml.

http.type: com.sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty.JettyHttpServerTransportModule

The elasticsearch-jetty plugin adds Server: Jetty(8.1.4.v20120524) header to all responses. So, it’s possible to verify that jetty plugin is running by checking the response headers using the following curl command:

$ curl -I "http://localhost:9200/"
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/plain;charset=UTF-8
Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
Content-Length: 0
Server: Jetty(8.1.4.v20120524)

Configuration Files

The embedded jetty is configured using standard jetty-*.xml files. The list of config files can be specified using the sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty.config setting. This setting should contain a comma-separated list of jetty configuration files. The files are loaded one by one in the order specified in the setting and used to configure the Jetty server. Elasticsearch tries to find each file by checking the following locations:

  • absolute path
  • elasticsearch config directory
  • elasticsearch classpath
  • config directory in elasticsearch classpath

If the sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty.config setting is not set, the elasticsearch-jetty plugin tries to locate and load a single file called jetty.xml.

The elasticsearch-jetty plugin comes with several generic jetty-*.xml configuration files that can be used to simplify the plugin setup. These files can be found in the plugins/jetty/config directory.

  • jetty.xml – basic elasticsearch configuration file that should be always the first file in the list of config files.
  • jetty-hash-auth.xml – adds login service for basic file-based authentication.
  • jetty-restrict-all.xml and jetty-restrict-writes.xml – set of security constraint that requires password for all or write access to elasticsearch. Only one of these files should be used at a time.
  • jetty-ssl.xml and jetty-strong-ssl.xml – both files add an SSL connector, the second file limits ciphers that SSL connector can use to only known strong ciphers. Only one of these files should be used at a time.
  • jetty-gzip.xml – enables GZip support. If used, this file should be the last file in the list.

Adding SSL Support

First step in enabling SSL support is generation of keys and certificates. The process is described on the How to Configure SSL page. For the test purposes, the keystore file from the elasticsearch-jetty plugin can be also used. The generated or downloaded keystore file should be places in the config directory of elasticsearch. The SSL connector can be enabled by adding the following settings in the elasticsearch.yml file:

http.type: com.sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty.JettyHttpServerTransportModule
    config: jetty.xml,jetty-ssl.xml
    ssl_port: 9443
    keystore_password: "OBF:1nc01vuz1w8f1w1c1rbu1rac1w261w9b1vub1ndq"

The keystore_password should contain the password used for keystore generation. The password "OBF:1nc01vuz1w8f1w1c1rbu1rac1w261w9b1vub1ndq" can be used with the test keystore downloaded from the elasticsearch-jetty plugin page. The jetty-strong-ssl.xml config file can be used instead of jetty-ssl.xml if it’s required to disable known weak ciphers and protocols. The password can be obfuscated using Jetty Password Utility.

Adding Basic Authentication

Setting up authentication for elasticsearch starts with configuring login service. The elasticsearch-jetty plugin comes with sample script jetty-hash-auth.xml that shows how to setup HashLoginService. This service obtains usersnames, passwords and roles from the file in the config directory of elasticsearch. The file should contain a list of users, one line per user in the following format:

username: password[,rolename ...]

For example:


superuser: Adm1n,admin,readwrite
user: Passw0rd,readwrite

The passwords can be obfuscated or MD5 hashed using Jetty Password Utility

After the login service is configured, the next step is to set security constraints. The elasticsearch-jetty plugin comes with two sample constraints configuration files: jetty-restrict-all.xml and jetty-restrict-writes.xml that demonstrate two different approaches to controlling access to elasticsearch. The first file requires password for any access to elasticsearch, and the second one uses more granular restrictions depending on the type of the access.

The following settings in elasticsearch.yml will enable granular restrictions:

http.type: com.sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty.JettyHttpServerTransportModule
    config: jetty.xml,jetty-hash-auth.xml,jetty-restrict-writes.xml

Authentication can be used with SSL connector. The following settings will restrict access to all pages and enable SSL connector:

http.type: com.sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty.JettyHttpServerTransportModule
    config: jetty.xml,jetty-ssl.xml,jetty-hash-auth.xml,jetty-restrict-all.xml
    ssl_port: 9443
    keystore_password: "OBF:1nc01vuz1w8f1w1c1rbu1rac1w261w9b1vub1ndq"

Security constraints in the elasticsearch-jetty plugin is very similar to security constraints in Jetty. The only difference is the custom security handler, which is a modified version of standard Jetty security handler The standard Jetty security handler is using servlet spec for path mapping, which makes it very difficult to express elasticsearch paths. The RestConstraintSecurityHandler behaves identically to ConstraintSecurityHandler but it treats path wildcards in a slightly different way. RestConstraintSecurityHandler supports both named {name} and anonymous * wildcards. Both types of wildcards match exactly one element of the path and can appear at any position in the path. For example: /{index}/_search will match /myindex/_search but will not match /_search or /myindex/mytype/_search.

Request Logging

The elasticsearch-jetty plugin contains two versions of the HTTP Server Transport: JettyHttpServerTransport and FilterHttpTransportModule. While JettyHttpServerTransport uses Jetty to handle all incoming requests, FilterHttpTransportModule simply wraps another HTTP Server Transport (JettyHttpServerTransport by default) to filter requests and responses. FilterHttpTransportModule can be configured to pass all incoming requests through a chain of filters. The elasticsearch-jetty plugin contains one such filter that can be used for request logging.

In order to setup request logging, elasticsearch should be switched to use FilterHttpTransportModule. It can be done by the following setting:

http.type: com.sonian.elasticsearch.http.filter.FilterHttpServerTransportModule

Then FilterHttpTransportModule has to be configured with an appropriate filter:

    http_filter_chain: ["logging"]
        # Request logging filter
            type: com.sonian.elasticsearch.http.filter.logging.LoggingFilterHttpServerAdapter
            logger: request
            format: text
            level: INFO
            log_body: false

This configuration will create one logger with the name request that will log all incoming requests in plain text format on the INFO level and request bodies will not be logged. By default, this new logger will log all messages into the same log file as a standard elasticsearch logger. It’s possible to redirect requests logging into a separate log file. The following logging.yml configuration specifies that logger request logs on the INFO level and above using appender request_log_file, which is the same dailyRollingFile appender that is used by elasticsearch, but it logs into logs/elasticsearch-request.log instead of logs/elasticsearch.log file. Dots “………” in the example below indicate existing lines in the logger and appender sections, that should be left intact.

  request: INFO, request_log_file

  request: false

      type: dailyRollingFile
      file: ${path.logs}/${}_requests.log
      datePattern: "'.'yyyy-MM-dd"
        type: pattern
        conversionPattern: "[%d{ABSOLUTE}] %m%n"

Not all requests are equally important. For example, /_cluster/health requests can be ignored, and body of a /_search request is an important part of the request. So, the LoggingFilterHttpServerAdapter can be configured to treat different request in different ways. The following elasticsearch.yml fragment will cause cluster health, state, info and stats requests to be logged on the TRACE level, while all _search and _count requests will be logged with request bodies.

    http_filter_chain: ["logging"]
        # Request logging filter
            logger: request
            format: text
            type: com.sonian.elasticsearch.http.filter.logging.LoggingFilterHttpServerAdapter
            level: INFO
            log_body: false
                    path: ["/_cluster/health", "/_cluster/nodes", "/_cluster/state", "/_cluster/nodes/{node}/stats"]
                    method: GET
                    level: TRACE
                    path: ["/_search", "/_search/scroll", "/_search/scroll/{scroll_id}", "/{index}/_search",
                            "/{index}/{type}/_search", "/{index}/{type}/{id}/_mlt"]
                    method: GET, POST
                    log_body: true
                    path: ["/_count", "/{index}/_count", "/{index}/{type}/_count"]
                    method: GET, POST
                    log_body: true

The LoggingFilterHttpServerAdapter can also support json format, which is more difficult to read, but much easier to parse and index. FilterHttpTransportModule supports chaining of multiple filters, see elasticsearch.xml for an example.

GZip Compression of Responses

Compression of responses can be enabled by adding jetty-gzip.xml to the end of the configuration file list:

    port: 9200
    ssl_port: 9443
    keystore_password: "OBF:1nc01vuz1w8f1w1c1rbu1rac1w261w9b1vub1ndq"
    config: jetty.xml,jetty-strong-ssl.xml,jetty-hash-auth.xml,jetty-restrict-writes.xml,jetty-gzip.xml

Jetty Plugin Settings

The following settings under sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty can be used to configure elasticsearch-jetty plugin

Setting Description Default Used by
config List of jetty config files jetty.xml plugin
server_id The id of the Jetty Server that will handle elasticsearch requests ESServer plugin
port The port Jetty should listen on http.port or 9200-9300 jetty.xml
bind_host The port Jetty should listen on http.bind_host or jetty.xml
publish_host The port Jetty should listen on http.publish_host or jetty.xml
ssl_port The port SSL connector should listen on jetty-ssl.xml and jetty-strong-ssl.xml
ssl_bind_host The bind host SSL connector should use jetty-ssl.xml and jetty-strong-ssl.xml
keystore_password The keystore password for SSL connector. Plain text of obfuscated passwords can be used. Hashed passwords are not supported. jetty-ssl.xml and jetty-strong-ssl.xml

Advanced Configuration

Custom configuration

The elasticsearch-jetty plugin comes with several sample jetty*.xml files, but it can be used with entirely custom configuration. For the plugin to function correctly the custom configuration has to only satisfy the following two requirements:

  • The custom configuration has to create at least one Jetty server.
  • The first connector of the created Jetty server has to be Internet Socket Connector. If the custom configuration creates more than one Jetty Server, the plugin tries to find server with ID specified in the sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty.server_id, which is ESServer by default. If such server doesn’t exists, elasticsearch picks the Jetty Server that was created first.
  • All elasticsearch requests have to be handled by JettyHttpServerTransportHandler that has to be configured the following way:
    <New class="com.sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty.handler.JettyHttpServerTransportHandler"
        <Set name="transport"><Ref id="ESServerTransport"/></Set>

To simplify custom configuration, the elasticsearch-jetty plugin exposes several ES settings as Jetty properties that can be used in Jetty configuration files using <Property name=""/>

  • es.home – ElasticSearch home directory
  • es.config – ElasticSearch configuration directory
  • – ElasticSearch data directory
  • – ElasticSearch data directory for the cluster
  • es.cluster – Cluster name
  • jetty.bind_host – Http bind host, if the setting sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty.bind_host is not specified, ElasticSearch will try to use values specified in http.bind_host and settings.
  • jetty.port – Http port, if the setting sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty.port is not specified, ElasticSearch will try to use http.port or default to 9200-9300. If port is specified in form of the range, ElasticSearch will try to start Jetty with each individual port number iterating through the range.
  • jetty.* – all other settings specified in sonian.elasticsearch.http.jetty. are exposed as Jetty properties. For example, the setting can be referred to in Jetty configuration as .

It also exposes two elasticsearch objects using the following ids:

  • ESServerTransport – The JettyHttpServerTransport object that is needed to configure JettyHttpServerTransportHandler properly.
  • ESClient – elasticsearch client that can be used by custom component to communicate to local instance of elasticsearch.

User group

Join elasticsearch-jetty group for questions and discussions related to this plugin.

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