Development Environment

This guide will walk you through setting up a typical development environment. You may set it up using devstack or manually.

Devstack Development Environment

Please see:

Manual Development Environment


Install prerequisites:

# Ubuntu/Debian:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-dev libssl-dev python-pip libxml2-dev \
                     libxslt-dev git git-review libffi-dev gettext \

# Fedora/RHEL:
sudo yum install python-devel openssl-devel python-pip libxml2-devel \
                 libxslt-devel git git-review libffi-devel gettext

# openSUSE/SLE 12:
sudo zypper install git git-review libffi-devel \
                    libopenssl-devel libxml2-devel libxslt-devel \
                    python-devel python-flake8 \
                    python-nose python-pip python-setuptools-git \
                    python-testrepository python-tox python-virtualenv \

sudo easy_install nose
sudo pip install virtualenv setuptools-git flake8 tox testrepository

If using RHEL and yum reports “No package python-pip available” and “No package git-review available”, use the EPEL software repository. Instructions can be found at

You may need to explicitly upgrade virtualenv if you’ve installed the one from your OS distribution and it is too old (tox will complain). You can upgrade it individually, if you need to:

sudo pip install -U virtualenv

This guide assumes that you also have the following services minimally available:


Some Elasticsearch installation methods may call for installing a headless JRE. If you are working on a desktop based OS (such as Ubuntu 14.04), this may cause tools like pycharms to no longer launch. You can switch between JREs and back: to a headed JRE version using: “sudo update-alternatives –config java”.

Additional services required to be installed will depend on the plugins activated in searchlight.

Installing Searchlight

  1. Clone the Searchlight repo from
$ mkdir openstack
$ cd openstack
$ git clone
$ cd searchlight
  1. Setup a virtualenv


This is an optional step, but will allow Searchlight’s dependencies to be installed in a contained environment that can be easily deleted if you choose to start over or uninstall Searchlight.

$ tox -evenv --notest

Activate the virtual environment whenever you want to work in it. All further commands in this section should be run with the venv active:

$ source .tox/venv/bin/activate


When ALL steps are complete, deactivate the virtualenv: $ deactivate

  1. Install Searchlight and its dependencies
(venv) $ python develop
  1. Generate sample config.
(venv) $ oslo-config-generator --config-file
  1. Create Searchlight’s config files by copying the sample config files
$ cd etc/
$ ls *.sample | while read f; do cp $f $(echo $f | sed "s/.sample$//g"); done
  1. Make the directory for Searchlight’s log files
$ mkdir -p ../log
  1. Make the directory for Searchlight’s state files
$ mkdir -p ../state

Configuring Searchlight

Searchlight has several configuration files. The following are the basic configuration suggestions.

Keystone integration

Keystone integration should be set up for proper authentication and service integration

Other development environment configuration

Additional development environment configuration items are specified below.

debug = true
log_file = log/searchlight.log

Plugin Configuration

The search service is driven using a plugin mechanism for integrating to other services. Each integrated service may require additional configuration settings. For example, you typically will need to enable the oslo_messaging_notifications messaging driver and may need to add the notifications topic to each service’s configuration.

Searchlight uses notification messaging pools. This usually does not require changing any service configurations beyond enabling the notifications driver. Searchlight uses sensible defaults for most deployments, but if you want to customize the settings see Searchlight Plugin Documentation for plugin installation and general configuration information.

See each plugin below for detailed information about specific plugins:

Initialize the Elasticsearch Index

Perform initial sync of the resources to Elasticsearch. All plugins for searchlight must have their services installed and available at an endpoint registered in keystone (e.g. glance).

$ cd <install dir. eg: openstack/searchlight>

# Make sure your virtualenv is sourced
$ source .tox/venv/bin/activate

# Run the index operation.
(venv) $ searchlight-manage index sync

# Alternatively, you can directly invoke the command using the following.
(venv) $ python searchlight/cmd/ --config-file etc/searchlight.conf index sync

This command may be re-run at any time to perform a full re-index.


You must perform initial sync to create a new index in Elasticsearch, even if there are no resources to sync in your environment.

The V2 Elasticsearch Client


Please read if you receive a warning about using the elasticsearch v2 client when running index sync

The v2 elasticsearch client removed functionality Searchlight uses to clear existing data. If the v2 client is installed, you will receive a warning when attempting to index data. A workaround is to run the index sync command below with the –no-delete flag. If you have existing data indexed, at present it is necessary to delete the entire index and reindex. You can do this by running

# Assume elasticsearch is running on localhost, and the default
# 'searchlight' index is in use
curl -X DELETE localhost:9200/searchlight

(venv) $ searchlight-manage --config-file etc/searchlight.conf index sync --no-delete

Alternatively, install the Elasticsearch 1.9.0 client by editing requirements.txt and making the following change

# Change THIS

Then re-install requirements and index

(venv) $ pip install -r requirements.txt
(venv) $ searchlight-manage --config-file etc/searchlight.conf index sync

Note that if you are running a version 2 elasticsearch server, the 1.x client will not work and you must follow the workaround above.

Start Index Update Monitoring

The index is updated continually based on updates to the source resource data. Start this service to start update monitoring. Note, depending on the resource type, this will typically require that you have configured notifications properly for the service which owns the resource (e.g. Glance images).

$ cd <install dir. eg: openstack/searchlight>

# Make sure your virtualenv is sourced
$ source .tox/venv/bin/activate

# Start the index update monitoring.
(venv) $ searchlight-listener --config-file etc/searchlight.conf

# Alternatively, you can directly invoke the command using the following.
(venv) $ python searchlight/cmd/ --config-file

Initialize & Start the API Service

Open up a new ssh window and log in to your server (or however you’re communicating with your server).

$ cd <install dir. eg: openstack/searchlight>

# Make sure your virtualenv is sourced
$ source .tox/venv/bin/activate

# Start the API Service.
(venv) $ searchlight-api --config-file etc/searchlight.conf

# Alternatively, you can directly invoke the command using the following.
(venv) $ python searchlight/cmd/ --config-file etc/searchlight.conf

You should now see the log from the API service.

Exercising the API


If you have a firewall enabled, make sure to open port 9393.

Using a web browser, curl statement, or a REST client, calls can be made to the Searchlight API using the following format where “api_version” is v1 and “command” is any of the commands listed under the Searchlight API


Example: List plugins:

$ curl http://localhost:9393/v1/search/plugins

Example: List all data:

# Prerequisite Setup:
$ token=<insert token>
$ touch search.json
# Paste content
  "query": {
    "match_all": {}
  "limit": 1000

# Execute query
$ curl -X POST http://localhost:9393/v1/search -H "X-Auth-Token:$token" \
-d @search.json -H "Content-Type: application/json" | python -mjson.tool

You can find the IP Address of your server by running

curl -s | sed -e 's/.*Current IP Address: //' -e 's/<.*$//'



You can directly connect to the Elasticsearch server and examine its contents. We recommend using the Sense extension for google chrome.


Use rabbitmqctl to examine unconsumed notifications:

sudo rabbitmqctl list_queues | grep info

There are also a number of management tools available to help with troubleshooting.

Please see:

If you have searchlight setup to share a notification topic, but do not have a notification pool configured, then notifications may be consumed by other listeners and searchlight will not receive the notifications.