Configure your django project

After installing djangoes, you need to configure your django project settings with two variables:

  • ES_SERVERS: configure connections to ElasticSearch servers,
  • ES_INDICES: configure ElasticSearch indices used by connections.

The main idea behind this separation is to configure the connections, the way to access the ElasticSearch API, and the indices separatly, where the documents are stored and how to access to them, then to decide what indices each connection will use.

For example, you can have two connections, one for each host, and both use the same index configuration.



The setting ES_SERVERS is a dict, where each key is a connection configuration alias (its name), and each value is a dict that describes one connection. By default, there is one connection named default - the same way there is a default database connection alias in Django.

The keys expected in a connection dict are:

  • HOSTS: a hosts configuration, as expected by elasticsearch-py,
  • ENGINE: a string giving the class path to the engine backend class,
  • INDICES: a list of index alias as found in ES_INDICES,
  • PARAMS: a dict used as keyword arguments to instanciate the backend class.


    'default': {
        'HOSTS': ['es_host_1', 'es_host_2'],
        'ENGINE': 'djangoes.backends.elasticsearch.SimpleHttpClient',
        'INDICES': ['index_1']

See also


The Backends chapter gives more information about the available backends, how they work and how to build yours.


The setting ES_INDICES is a dict, where each key is an index configuration alias (its name as used by connections in ES_SERVERS in their INDICES option), and each value is a dict that describes one index. By default, no index are defined.

The expected keys are:

  • NAME: a string, its index name, by default it will be its configuration alias if not explicitly given,
  • ALIASES: a list of alias names, by default an empty list,
  • SETTINGS: an optionnal dict used to describe the index’s settings when creating this index.
  • TESTS: a dict used to configure index when testing.


    'index_1': {
        'NAME': 'real_index_name',
        'ALIASES': ['index_catalog', 'index_public'],

The SETTINGS parameter

Each index can have its own configuration: analyzers, tokenizers, and other index-specific settings. djangoes uses these settings in its test-case methods to create the test indices.

You might also use it in your own code thanks to the get_indices_with_settings() method:

>>> indices_with_settings = connection.get_server_indices()
>>> for index_name, settings_body in indices_with_settings.items():
...     connection.client.indices.create(index_name, settings_body)

Timeout and retry on error

Timeout configuration and management can be very important for your application, and it can become complicated to understand which parameters are available, and what they exactly mean - thus how to configure them.

As djangoes uses the official ElasticSearch python library to implement its client engines, it allows to configure the behavior on error caused by timeout: should the client retry on another server on timeout or not? How long a server should be marked as dead after a timeout? How many time should the client retry after an error?

In ES_SERVERS, each connection has a PARAMS key that contains the keyword arguments that will be given to the ENGINE backend class. Some of these arguments, described below, allow to control the behavior after a timeout or a connection error.


Maximum number of retry after an error before a request raise an error.

It means that, when performing a request, the client will try as many time as max_retries before it raises an error.

It won’t retry on client error, such as invalid request, but it will retry on another host if one is not reachable.

By default, it does not retry after a timeout error.


The time (in seconds) until a request to a server raises a timeout error.


Indicates if the client must retry after a timeout or not. By default the client won’t retry after a timeout, and will raise directly.


Number of seconds a connection should be retired for after a failure, increases on consecutive failures


Number of consecutive failures after which the timeout doesn’t increase.


    'default': {
        'HOSTS': ['host_1', 'host_2']
        'PARAMS': {
            'timeout': 1,
            'retry_on_timeout': True,
            'max_retries': 3

In this example, a request will raise a timeout error after 1 second, but the client will retry at most 3 times before raising a connection error itself.

See also

ElasticSearch Transport documentation gives information about the behavior after an error (retry or not), and the ConnectionPool documentation gives information about timeout configuration.