Elasticsearch Elasticsearch Disable SSL: Securing Your Cluster Without SSL/TLS

By Opster Team

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

| 2 min read

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While SSL/TLS is a widely recommended security measure for Elasticsearch clusters, there might be situations where you need to disable it temporarily or permanently. This article will guide you through the process of disabling SSL/TLS in Elasticsearch, as well as provide alternative security measures to ensure your cluster remains protected.

Disabling SSL/TLS in Elasticsearch

To disable SSL/TLS in Elasticsearch, you need to modify the configuration settings in the `elasticsearch.yml` file. Follow these steps:

1. Locate the `elasticsearch.yml` file in your Elasticsearch installation directory. The default location is `/etc/elasticsearch` on Linux systems and `%ES_HOME%\config` on Windows systems.

2. Open the `elasticsearch.yml` file in a text editor.

3. Find the following lines related to SSL/TLS configuration:

xpack.security.transport.ssl.enabled: true
xpack.security.http.ssl.enabled: true

4. Change the values from `true` to `false`:

xpack.security.transport.ssl.enabled: false
xpack.security.http.ssl.enabled: false

5. Save the changes and close the file.

6. Restart the Elasticsearch service for the changes to take effect. On Linux systems, use the following command:

sudo systemctl restart elasticsearch

On Windows systems, restart the Elasticsearch service from the Services management console.

7. Verify that SSL/TLS is disabled by checking the Elasticsearch logs or by attempting to access the Elasticsearch API without HTTPS.

Alternative Security Measures

Disabling SSL/TLS can expose your Elasticsearch cluster to potential security risks. To maintain a secure environment, consider implementing the following alternative security measures:

  1. Network Security: Restrict access to your Elasticsearch cluster by configuring firewall rules and security groups. Allow only trusted IP addresses and networks to access the cluster.
  1. Authentication and Authorization: Enable Elasticsearch’s built-in security features, such as role-based access control (RBAC), to restrict access to specific indices, documents, and API endpoints. Create user accounts with appropriate permissions and use strong, unique passwords.
  1. Encryption at Rest: Protect your data on disk by enabling encryption at rest. This can be achieved using third-party tools like dm-crypt for Linux or BitLocker for Windows.
  1. Monitoring and Auditing: Regularly monitor your Elasticsearch cluster for signs of unauthorized access or suspicious activity. Enable auditing to track user actions and detect potential security breaches.
  1. Regular Updates: Keep your Elasticsearch installation up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. Regularly review the Elasticsearch release notes and security advisories to stay informed about potential vulnerabilities and fixes.


Disabling SSL/TLS in Elasticsearch can be necessary in certain situations, but it is essential to implement alternative security measures to protect your cluster. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can disable SSL/TLS and maintain a secure Elasticsearch environment. Always consider the potential risks and weigh them against the benefits before making any changes to your cluster’s security configuration.

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