Setup Elasticsearch 7 for Nextcloud

Nextcloud default search is very basic but it gets the job done. To enhance the search we will setup Elasticsearch 7 for Nextcloud in this article.

Elasticsearch is a free and open source search tool built with Java and Apache Lucene. Read more on their site about Elasticsearch and other products.

This setup was completed with:

  • Ubuntu 20.04 server
  • Nextcloud 22 and 23
  • Elasticsearch 7

Install required tools

Go to your Nextcloud Apps page and install the following apps from the Search tab(left side).

  • Full text search
  • Full text search - Elasticsearch platform
  • Full text search - Files

If you haven’t installed Java yet on the server.

sudo apt install openjdk-11-jre

Add repository

Elasticsearch GPG key:

wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -


echo "deb stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elastic-7.x.list

Install Elasticsearch

Update the system and install Elasticsearch:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install elasticsearch

Most likely you would want to search PDF and other files too, install it’s Elasticsearch plugin.

sudo /usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-plugin install ingest-attachment

After installation start and enable Elasticsearch:

sudo systemctl start elasticsearch
sudo systemctl enable elasticsearch

Securing Elasticsearch

It is a good idea to secure your setup of Elasticsearch even if it is accessible to localhost.

Find elasticsearch.yml if you don’t know where it is.

sudo find / -name 'elasticsearch.yml'

Add the following to sudo vim /etc/elasticsearch/elasticsearch.yml. true
discovery.type: single-node

Run elasticsearch-setup-passwords tool to set the passwords.

sudo /usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-setup-passwords auto

auto will create passwords automatically, if you want to set them manually use interactive flag.

Check if everything is installed and configured correctly.

curl -X GET "http://localhost:9200" -u USERNAME:PASSWORD

You will see an output like this:

  "name" : "server1",
  "cluster_name" : "elasticsearch",
  "cluster_uuid" : "LISBFDwcS5-tY8OxH9Jw7Q",
  "version" : {
    "number" : "7.16.3",
    "build_flavor" : "default",
    "build_type" : "deb",
    "build_hash" : "4e6e4eab2297e949ec994e688dad46290d018022",
    "build_date" : "2022-01-06T23:43:02.825887787Z",
    "build_snapshot" : false,
    "lucene_version" : "8.10.1",
    "minimum_wire_compatibility_version" : "6.8.0",
    "minimum_index_compatibility_version" : "6.0.0-beta1"
  "tagline" : "You Know, for Search"

Configure Nextcloud and run the index

Now go to your Nextcloud Settings and click on Full Text Search tab. Select Elasticsearch from the drop down for Search Platform and enter it’s URL with username and password in the following format.


On the server run the following command to test the integration.

*Change path to occ

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/occ fulltextsearch:test

Finally run the following command to start indexing the files for the first time*. Be patient as it may take time, depends on how much data you have.

*You don’t need to run this next time.

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/occ fulltextsearch:index

Search results when searching for a text inside a PDF file.