# Getting Started

This quick tour will help you get started with MeiliSearch in only a few steps.

# Download and launch

First of all, let's download and run MeiliSearch.

$ curl -L https://install.meilisearch.com | sh
$ ./meilisearch
Server is listening on:

You can download & run MeiliSearch in many different ways (i.e: docker, apt, brew, ...).

Environment variables and options can be set before and on launch to configure MeiliSearch. Amongst all the options, you can use the master key and the port options.

# Communicate with MeiliSearch

Now that your MeiliSearch server is up and running, you should be able to communicate with it.

Communication to the server is done through a RESTful API or one of our SDKs.

# Create your Index

In MeiliSearch, the information is subdivided into indexes. Each index contains a data structure and associated documents.
Indexes can be comparable to SQL tables. Since MeiliSearch is , there's no need to define any attributes or data type when creating a table.

In order to be able to store your documents in an index, it is required you create one first.

API references

# Add Documents

Once the index has been created, the next step is to fill it with documents. These documents will be used and returned when search queries will be performed on MeiliSearch.

Documents are represented in JSON format.

To be processed, all documents must share one common which will serve as primary key for the document. Values in that field must always be unique.

There are several ways to let MeiliSearch know what the primary key is. The easiest one is to have an that contains the string id in a case-insensitive manner.

Below is an example to showcase how to add documents using the following test dataset: movies.json (opens new window).

API references

# Checking updates

Most actions are asynchronous, which allows you to stack them. All of the actions are executed in the order in which they were sent.

The document addition process returns a JSON object containing only an updateId attribute.

This kind of successful response indicates that the operation has been taken into account, but may not have been executed yet.

You can check the status of the operation via the updateId and the get update status route.

Checking the update status is not a mandatory step to search through your documents but could prove useful in tracing the origin of errors or unexpected behaviors.

Now that your documents have been ingested into MeiliSearch, you are able to search them.

MeiliSearch offers many parameters that you can play with to refine your search or change the format of the returned documents. However, by default, the search is already relevant.

The search engine is now aware of your documents and can serve those via an HTTP server.

MeiliSearch response:

  "hits": [
      "id": "29751",
      "title": "Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight",
      "poster": "https://image.tmdb.org/t/p/w1280/jjHu128XLARc2k4cJrblAvZe0HE.jpg",
      "overview": "Delve into the world of Batman and the vigilante justice tha",
      "release_date": "2008-07-15"
      "id": "471474",
      "title": "Batman: Gotham by Gaslight",
      "poster": "https://image.tmdb.org/t/p/w1280/7souLi5zqQCnpZVghaXv0Wowi0y.jpg",
      "overview": "ve Victorian Age Gotham City, Batman begins his war on crime",
      "release_date": "2018-01-12"
  "offset": 0,
  "limit": 20,
  "processingTimeMs": 2,
  "query": "botman"

API references

# Web Interface

We also deliver an out-of-the-box web interface in which you can test MeiliSearch interactively.

To do so, open your web browser and enter MeiliSearch address (in our case: into the browser address bar.
This will lead you to a web page with a search bar that will allow you to search in the selected index.

movies demo gif