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Experimental feature flags

OpenSearch releases may contain experimental features that you can enable or disable as needed. There are several methods for enabling feature flags, depending on the installation type.

Enable in opensearch.yml

If you are running an OpenSearch cluster and want to enable feature flags in the config file, add the following line to opensearch.yml:

opensearch.experimental.feature.<feature_name>.enabled: true

Enable on Docker containers

If you’re running Docker, add the following line to docker-compose.yml under the opensearch-node > environment section:


Enable on a tarball installation

To enable feature flags on a tarball installation, provide the new JVM parameter either in config/jvm.options or OPENSEARCH_JAVA_OPTS.

Option 1: Modify jvm.options

Add the following lines to config/jvm.options before starting the opensearch process to enable the feature and its dependency:


Then run OpenSearch:


Option 2: Enable with an environment variable

As an alternative to directly modifying config/jvm.options, you can define the properties by using an environment variable. This can be done using a single command when you start OpenSearch or by defining the variable with export.

To add the feature flags inline when starting OpenSearch, run the following command:

OPENSEARCH_JAVA_OPTS="-Dopensearch.experimental.feature.<feature_name>.enabled=true" ./opensearch-2.13.0/bin/opensearch

If you want to define the environment variable separately prior to running OpenSearch, run the following commands:

export OPENSEARCH_JAVA_OPTS="-Dopensearch.experimental.feature.<feature_name>.enabled=true"


Enable for OpenSearch development

To enable feature flags for development, you must add the correct properties to run.gradle before building OpenSearch. See the Developer Guide for information about to use how Gradle to build OpenSearch.

Add the following properties to run.gradle to enable the feature:

testClusters {
    runTask {
      testDistribution = 'archive'
      if (numZones > 1) numberOfZones = numZones
      if (numNodes > 1) numberOfNodes = numNodes
      systemProperty 'opensearch.experimental.feature.<feature_name>.enabled', 'true'