Suppose you have a system with ElasticSearch server installed and need to upgrade it to a newer version. Below is a step-by-step guide explaining how you can do it, but note that it only works for ElasticSearch pre-1.x versions. It's also assumed that you have already stopped your ElasticSearch cluster before upgrading.
1) Get the latest ElasticSearch release and move it to the /opt directory:
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2) Get a service wrapper execution for ElasticSearch. This enables ElasticSearch to be installed and run as Unix daemon. You need to place the service directory to the /opt/elasticsearch-0.20.2/bin:
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3) Remove older version of ElasticSearch and install the newest one:
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4) Check version:
You must see something like this:
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5) Upgrade elasticsearch-head plugin:
UPD. For full info on ElasticSearch upgrade process (including rolling upgrade on newer versions), follow this reference from official ElasticSearch portal: https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/elasticsearch/reference/1.4/setup-upgrade.html.