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Installing Solr

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The manual installation documentation is in need of attention. We are aware that some components no longer work as documented here. If you are interested in helping us improve the documentation, please see Contributing.

In this section, we will install:

Solr 8

Downloading and Placing Solr

The Solr binaries can be found at the Solr downloads page; the most recent stable release of Solr 8 should be used.

# While generally we download tarballs as .tar.gz files without version
# information, the Solr installer is a bit particular in that it expects a .tgz
# file with the same name as the extracted folder it contains. It's odd, and we
# can't really get around it.
tar -xzvf SOLR_TARBALL
- SOLR_DOWNLOAD_LINK: NOTICE: This will depend on a few different things, not least of all the current version of Solr. The link to the .tgz for the binary on the downloads page will take you to a list of mirrors that Solr can be downloaded from, and provide you with a preferred mirror at the top. This preferred mirror should be used as the SOLR_DOWNLOAD_LINK. - SOLR_TARBALL: The filename that was downloaded, e.g., solr-8.9.0.tgz

Running the Solr Installer

Solr includes an installer that does most of the heavy lifting of ensuring we have a Solr user, a location where Solr lives, and configurations in place to ensure it’s running on boot.

- UNTARRED_SOLR_FOLDER: This will likely simply be solr-VERSION, where VERSION is the version number that was downloaded.

The port that Solr runs on can potentially be configured at this point, but we'll expect it to be running on 8983.

Wait until the command output reaches:

Started Solr server on port 8983 (pid=****). Happy searching!
systemd[1]: Started LSB: Controls Apache Solr as a Service.

After which you can press q to quit the output (this won't kill Solr so it's safe).

You can check if Solr is running correctly by going to http://localhost:8983/solr

Increasing the Open File Limit (Optional)

Solr's installation guide recommends that you increase the open file limit so that operations aren't disrupted while Solr is trying to access things in its index. This limit can be increased while the system is running, but doing so won't persist after a reboot. You can hard-increase this limit using your system's sysctl file:


Add the following line to the end of the file:

fs.file-max = 65535

Then apply your new configuration.

sudo sysctl -p

Creating a New Solr Core

Initially, our new Solr core will contain a configuration copied from the example included with the installation, so that we have something to work with when we configure this on the Drupal side. We’ll later update this with generated configurations we create in Drupal.

cd /opt/solr
sudo mkdir -p /var/solr/data/SOLR_CORE/conf
sudo cp -r example/files/conf/* /var/solr/data/SOLR_CORE/conf
sudo chown -R solr:solr /var/solr
sudo -u solr bin/solr create -c SOLR_CORE -p 8983
- SOLR_CORE: islandora8

You should see an output similar to this:

WARNING: Using _default configset with data driven schema functionality. NOT RECOMMENDED for production use.
         To turn off: bin/solr config -c islandora8 -p 8983 -action set-user-property -property update.autoCreateFields -value false

Created new core 'islandora8'

Installing search_api_solr

Rather than use an out-of-the-box configuration that won’t be suitable for our purposes, we’re going to use the Drupal search_api_solr module to generate one for us. This will also require us to install the module so we can create these configurations using Drush.

cd /opt/drupal
sudo -u www-data composer require drupal/search_api_solr:^4.2
drush -y en search_api_solr

You should see an output similar to this:

The following module(s) will be enabled: search_api_solr, language, search_api

 // Do you want to continue?: yes.

 [success] Successfully enabled: search_api_solr, language, search_api

Configuring search_api_solr

Before we can create configurations to use with Solr, the core we created earlier needs to be referenced in Drupal.

Log in to the Drupal site at /user using the sitewide administrator username and password (if using defaults from previous chapters this should be islandora and islandora), then navigate to /admin/config/search/search-api/add-server.

Fill out the server addition form using the following options:

Adding a Solr Search Server

Configuring the Standard Solr Connector

Setting the Solr Install Directory

  • SERVER_NAME: islandora8
    • This is completely arbitrary, and is simply used to differentiate this search server configuration from all others. Write down or otherwise pay attention to the machine_name generated next to the server name you type in; this will be used in the next step.

As a recap for this configuration:

  • Server name should be an arbitrary identifier for this server
  • Enabled should be checked
  • Backend should be set to Solr
  • Under CONFIGURE SOLR BACKEND, Solr Connector should be set to Standard
    • HTTP protocol is simply set to http since we've set this up on the same machine Drupal lives on. On a production installation, Solr should likely be installed behind an HTTPS connection.
    • Solr host can be set to localhost since, again, this is set up on the same machine Drupal lives on. On a production installation, this may vary, especially if parts of the installation live on different severs
    • Solr port should be set to the port Solr was installed on, which is 8983 by default
    • Solr path should be set to the configured path to the instance of Solr; in a default installation, there is only one Solr instance, and it lives at /
    • Solr core should be the name of the Solr core you created earlier, which is why it's listed as SOLR_CORE here
  • Under ADVANCED SERVER CONFIGURATION, solr.install.dir should be set to the path where we installed Solr, which this guide has established at /opt/solr

Click Save to create the server configuration.

NOTICE You can ignore the error about an incompatible Solr schema; we're going to set this up in the next step. In fact, if you refresh the page after restarting Solr in the next step, you should see the error disappear.

Generating and Applying Solr Configurations

Now that our core is in place and our Drupal-side configurations exist, we’re ready to generate Solr configuration files to connect this site to our search engine.

cd /opt/drupal
drush solr-gsc SERVER_MACHINE_NAME /opt/drupal/
unzip -d ~/solrconfig
sudo cp ~/solrconfig/* /var/solr/data/SOLR_CORE/conf
sudo systemctl restart solr
- SERVER_MACHINE_NAME: This should be the machine_name that was automatically generated when creating the configuration in the above step.

Adding an Index

In order for content to be indexed back into Solr, a search index needs to be added to our server. Navigate to /admin/config/search/search-api/add-index and check off the things you'd like to be indexed.

NOTICE You should come back here later and reconfigure this after completing the last step in this guide. The default indexing configuration is pretty permissive, and you may want to restrict, for example, indexed content to just Islandora-centric bundles. This guide doesn't set up the index's fields either, which are going to be almost wholly dependent on the needs of your installation. Once you complete that configuration later on, re-index Solr from the configuration page of the index we're creating here.

Adding a Search Index

Specifying the Solr Server

Click Save to add your index and kick off indexing of existing items.

Last update: June 19, 2024