# Configure Meilisearch at launch

You can configure Meilisearch at launch with command-line options, environment variables, or a configuration file.

These startup options affect your entire Meilisearch instance, not just a single index. For settings that affect search within a single index, see index settings.

# Command-line options and flags

Pass command-line options and their respective values when launching a Meilisearch instance.

./meilisearch --db-path ./meilifiles --http-addr 'localhost:7700'

In the previous example, ./meilisearch is the command that launches a Meilisearch instance, while --db-path and --http-addr are options that modify this instance's behavior.

Meilisearch also has a number of command-line flags. Unlike command-line options, flags don't take values. If a flag is given, it is activated and changes Meilisearch's default behavior.

./meilisearch --no-analytics

The above flag disables analytics for the Meilisearch instance and does not accept a value.

Both command-line options and command-line flags take precedence over environment variables. All command-line options and flags are prepended with --.

# Environment variables

To configure a Meilisearch instance using environment variables, set the environment variable prior to launching the instance. If you are unsure how to do this, read more about setting and listing environment variables (opens new window), or use a command-line option instead.

In the previous example, ./meilisearch is the command that launches a Meilisearch instance, while MEILI_DB_PATH and MEILI_HTTP_ADDR are environment variables that modify this instance's behavior.

Environment variables for command-line flags accept n, no, f, false, off, and 0 as false. An absent environment variable will also be considered as false. Any other value is considered true.

Environment variables are always identical to the corresponding command-line option, but prepended with MEILI_ and written in all uppercase.

# Configuration file

Meilisearch accepts a configuration file in the .toml format as an alternative to command-line options and environment variables. Configuration files can be easily shared and versioned, and allow you to define multiple options.

When used simultaneously, environment variables override the configuration file, and command-line options override environment variables.

You can download a default configuration file using the following command:

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/meilisearch/meilisearch/main/config.toml > config.toml

By default, Meilisearch will look for a config.toml file in the working directory. If it is present, it will be used as the configuration file. You can verify this when you launch Meilisearch:

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888 Y888P 888 d8P  Y8b 888 888 888 88K      d8P  Y8b     "88b 888P"  d88P"    888 "88b
888  Y8P  888 88888888 888 888 888 "Y8888b. 88888888 .d888888 888    888      888  888
888   "   888 Y8b.     888 888 888      X88 Y8b.     888  888 888    Y88b.    888  888
888       888  "Y8888  888 888 888  88888P'  "Y8888  "Y888888 888     "Y8888P 888  888

Config file path:       "./config.toml"

If the Config file path is anything other than "none", it means that a configuration file was successfully located and used to start Meilisearch.

You can override the default location of the configuration file using the MEILI_CONFIG_FILE_PATH environment variable or the --config-file-path CLI option:

# Configuration file formatting

You can configure any environment variable or CLI option using a configuration file. In configuration files, options must be written in snake case (opens new window). For example, --import-dump would be written as import_dump.

import_dump = "./example.dump"

WARNING

Specifying the config_file_path option within the configuration file will throw an error. This is the only configuration option that cannot be set within a configuration file.

# All instance options

# Configuration file path

Environment variable: MEILI_CONFIG_FILE_PATH
CLI option: --config-file-path
Default: ./config.toml
Expected value: a filepath

Designates the location of the configuration file to load at launch.

WARNING

Specifying this option in the configuration file itself will throw an error (assuming Meilisearch is able to find your configuration file).

# Database path

Environment variable: MEILI_DB_PATH
CLI option: --db-path
Default value: "data.ms/"
Expected value: a filepath

Designates the location where database files will be created and retrieved.

# Environment

Environment variable: MEILI_ENV
CLI option: --env
Default value: development
Expected value: production or development

Configures the instance's environment. Value must be either production or development.

production:

development:

  • Setting a master key is optional
  • Search preview is enabled

TIP

When the server environment is set to development, providing a master key is not mandatory. This is useful when debugging and prototyping, but dangerous otherwise since API routes are unprotected.

# HTTP address & port binding

Environment variable: MEILI_HTTP_ADDR
CLI option: --http-addr
Default value: "localhost:7700"
Expected value: an HTTP address and port

Sets the HTTP address and port Meilisearch will use.

# Master key

Environment variable: MEILI_MASTER_KEY
CLI option: --master-key
Default value: None
Expected value: an alphanumeric string

Sets the instance's master key, automatically protecting all routes except GET /health. This means you will need an API key to access endpoints such as POST /search and GET /documents. You can read more about security keys in Meilisearch in our dedicated guide.

NOTE

You must supply an alphanumeric string when using this option.

Providing a master key is mandatory when --env is set to production. If none is given, Meilisearch will throw an error and refuse to launch.

If no master key is provided in a development environment, all routes will be unprotected and publicly accessible.

Learn more about Meilisearch's use of security keys.

# Disable auto-batching

WARNING

🚩 This option does not take any values. Assigning a value will throw an error. 🚩

Environment variable: MEILI_DISABLE_AUTO_BATCHING
CLI option: --disable-auto-batching

Deactivates auto-batching when provided.

Learn more about auto-batching.

# Disable analytics

WARNING

🚩 This option does not take any values. Assigning a value will throw an error. 🚩

Environment variable: MEILI_NO_ANALYTICS
CLI option: --no-analytics

Deactivates Meilisearch's built-in telemetry when provided.

Meilisearch automatically collects data from all instances that do not opt out using this flag. All gathered data is used solely for the purpose of improving Meilisearch, and can be deleted at any time.

Read more about our policy on data collection, or take a look at the comprehensive list of all data points we collect.

# Dumps destination

Environment variable: MEILI_DUMPS_DIR
CLI option: --dumps-dir
Default value: dumps/
Expected value: a filepath pointing to a valid directory

Sets the directory where Meilisearch will create dump files.

Learn more about creating dumps.

# Import dump

Environment variable: MEILI_IMPORT_DUMP
CLI option: --import-dump
Default value: none
Expected value: a filepath pointing to a .dump file

Imports the dump file located at the specified path. Path must point to a .dump file. If a database already exists, Meilisearch will throw an error and abort launch.

Meilisearch will only launch once the dump data has been fully indexed. The time this takes depends on the size of the dump file.

# Ignore missing dump

WARNING

🚩 This option does not take any values. Assigning a value will throw an error. 🚩

Environment variable: MEILI_IGNORE_MISSING_DUMP
CLI option: --ignore-missing-dump

Prevents Meilisearch from throwing an error when --import-dump does not point to a valid dump file. Instead, Meilisearch will start normally without importing any dump.

This option will trigger an error if --import-dump is not defined.

# Ignore dump if DB exists

WARNING

🚩 This option does not take any values. Assigning a value will throw an error. 🚩

Environment variable: MEILI_IGNORE_DUMP_IF_DB_EXISTS
CLI option: --ignore-dump-if-db-exists

Prevents a Meilisearch instance with an existing database from throwing an error when using --import-dump. Instead, the dump will be ignored and Meilisearch will launch using the existing database.

This option will trigger an error if --import-dump is not defined.

# Log level

Environment variable: MEILI_LOG_LEVEL
CLI option: --log-level
Default value: 'INFO'
Expected value: one of ERROR, WARN, INFO, DEBUG, OR TRACE

Defines how much detail should be present in Meilisearch's logs.

Meilisearch currently supports five log levels, listed in order of increasing verbosity:

  • 'ERROR': only log unexpected events indicating Meilisearch is not functioning as expected
  • 'WARN': log all unexpected events, regardless of their severity
  • 'INFO': log all events. This is the default value of --log-level
  • 'DEBUG': log all events and include detailed information on Meilisearch's internal processes. Useful when diagnosing issues and debugging
  • 'TRACE': log all events and include even more detailed information on Meilisearch's internal processes. We do not advise using this level as it is extremely verbose. Use 'DEBUG' before considering 'TRACE'.

# Max index size

Environment variable: MEILI_MAX_INDEX_SIZE
CLI option: --max-index-size
Default value: 107374182400 (100 GiB)
Expected value: an integer

Sets the maximum size of the index. Value must be given in bytes or explicitly stating a base unit. For example, the default value can be written as 107374182400, '107.7Gb', or '107374 Mb'.

The index stores processed data and is different from the task database, which handles pending tasks.

Learn more about Meilisearch's database and storage engine.

# Max indexing memory

Environment variable: MEILI_MAX_INDEXING_MEMORY
CLI option: --max-indexing-memory
Default value: 2/3 of the available RAM
Expected value: an integer (104857600) or a human readable size ('100Mb')

Sets the maximum amount of RAM Meilisearch can use when indexing. By default, Meilisearch uses no more than two thirds of available memory.

The value must either be given in bytes or explicitly state a base unit: 107374182400, '107.7Gb', or '107374 Mb'.

It is possible that Meilisearch goes over the exact RAM limit during indexing. In most contexts and machines, this should be a negligible amount with little to no impact on stability and performance.

WARNING

Setting --max-indexing-memory to a value bigger than or equal to your machine's total memory is likely to cause your instance to crash.

# Max indexing threads

Environment variable: MEILI_MAX_INDEXING_THREADS
CLI option: --max-indexing-threads
Default value: half of the available threads
Expected value: an integer

Sets the maximum number of threads Meilisearch can use during indexing. By default, the indexer avoids using more than half of a machine's total processing units. This ensures Meilisearch is always ready to perform searches, even while you are updating an index.

If --max-indexing-threads is higher than the real number of cores available in the machine, Meilisearch uses the maximum number of available cores.

In single-core machines, Meilisearch has no choice but to use the only core available for indexing. This may lead to a degraded search experience during indexing.

WARNING

Avoid setting --max-indexing-threads to the total of your machine's processor cores. Though doing so might speed up indexing, it is likely to severely impact search experience.

# Max TASK_DB size

Environment variable: MEILI_MAX_TASK_DB_SIZE
CLI option: --max-task-db-size
Default value: 107374182400 (100 GiB)
Expected value: an integer

Sets the maximum size of the task database. Value must be given in bytes or explicitly stating a base unit. For example, the default value can be written as 107374182400, '107.7Gb', or '107374 Mb'.

The task database handles pending tasks. This is different from the index database, which only stores processed data.

Learn more about Meilisearch's database and storage engine.

# Payload limit size

Environment variable: MEILI_HTTP_PAYLOAD_SIZE_LIMIT
CLI option: --http-payload-size-limit
Default value: 104857600 (~100MB)
Expected value: an integer

Sets the maximum size of accepted payloads. Value must be given in bytes or explicitly stating a base unit. For example, the default value can be written as 107374182400, '107.7Gb', or '107374 Mb'.

# Schedule snapshot creation

WARNING

🚩 This option does not take any values. Assigning a value will throw an error. 🚩

Environment variable: MEILI_SCHEDULE_SNAPSHOT
CLI option: --schedule-snapshot

Activates scheduled snapshots when provided. Snapshots are disabled by default.

Learn more about snapshots.

# Snapshot destination

Environment variable: MEILI_SNAPSHOT_DIR
CLI option: --snapshot-dir
Default value: snapshots/
Expected value: a filepath pointing to a valid directory

Sets the directory where Meilisearch will store snapshots.

# Snapshot interval

Environment variable: MEILI_SNAPSHOT_INTERVAL_SEC
CLI option: --snapshot-interval-sec
Default value: 86400 (1 day)
Expected value: an integer

Defines the interval between each snapshot. Value must be given in seconds.

# Import snapshot

Environment variable: MEILI_IMPORT_SNAPSHOT
CLI option: --import-snapshot
Default value: None
Expected value: a filepath pointing to a snapshot file

Launches Meilisearch after importing a previously-generated snapshot at the given filepath.

This command will throw an error if:

  • A database already exists
  • No valid snapshot can be found in the specified path

This behavior can be modified with the --ignore-snapshot-if-db-exists and --ignore-missing-snapshot options, respectively.

# Ignore missing snapshot

WARNING

🚩 This option does not take any values. Assigning a value will throw an error. 🚩

Environment variable: MEILI_IGNORE_MISSING_SNAPSHOT
CLI option: --ignore-missing-snapshot

Prevents a Meilisearch instance from throwing an error when --import-snapshot does not point to a valid snapshot file.

This command will throw an error if --import-snapshot is not defined.

# Ignore snapshot if DB exists

WARNING

🚩 This option does not take any values. Assigning a value will throw an error. 🚩

Environment variable: MEILI_IGNORE_SNAPSHOT_IF_DB_EXISTS
CLI option: --ignore-snapshot-if-db-exists

Prevents a Meilisearch instance with an existing database from throwing an error when using --import-snapshot. Instead, the snapshot will be ignored and Meilisearch will launch using the existing database.

This command will throw an error if --import-snapshot is not defined.

# SSL options

# SSL authentication path

Environment variable: MEILI_SSL_AUTH_PATH
CLI option: --ssl-auth-path
Default value: None
Expected value: a filepath

Enables client authentication in the specified path.

# SSL certificates path

Environment variable: MEILI_SSL_CERT_PATH
CLI option: --ssl-cert-path
Default value: None
Expected value: a filepath pointing to a valid SSL certificate

Sets the server's SSL certificates.

Value must be a path to PEM-formatted certificates. The first certificate should certify the KEYFILE supplied by --ssl-key-path. The last certificate should be a root CA.

# SSL key path

Environment variable: MEILI_SSL_KEY_PATH
CLI option: --ssl-key-path
Default value: None
Expected value: a filepath pointing to a valid SSL key file

Sets the server's SSL key files.

Value must be a path to an RSA private key or PKCS8-encoded private key, both in PEM format.

# SSL OCSP path

Environment variable: MEILI_SSL_OCSP_PATH
CLI option: --ssl-ocsp-path
Default value: None
Expected value: a filepath pointing to a valid OCSP certificate

Sets the server's OCSP file. Optional

Reads DER-encoded OCSP response from OCSPFILE and staple to certificate.

# SSL require auth

WARNING

🚩 This option does not take any values. Assigning a value will throw an error. 🚩

Environment variable: MEILI_SSL_REQUIRE_AUTH
CLI option: --ssl-require-auth
Default value: None

Makes SSL authentication mandatory.

Sends a fatal alert if the client does not complete client authentication.

# SSL resumption

WARNING

🚩 This option does not take any values. Assigning a value will throw an error. 🚩

Environment variable: MEILI_SSL_RESUMPTION
CLI option: --ssl-resumption
Default value: None

Activates SSL session resumption.

# SSL tickets

WARNING

🚩 This option does not take any values. Assigning a value will throw an error. 🚩

Environment variable: MEILI_SSL_TICKETS
CLI option: --ssl-tickets
Default value: None

Activates SSL tickets.