This is the detailed installation guide for Rally. If you are in a hurry you can check the quickstart guide.

Hardware Requirements#

Use an SSD on the load generator machine. If you run bulk-indexing benchmarks, Rally will read one or more data files from disk. Usually, you will configure multiple clients and each client reads a portion of the data file. To the disk this appears as a random access pattern where spinning disks perform poorly. To avoid an accidental bottleneck on client-side you should therefore use an SSD on each load generator machine.


Rally does not support Windows and is only actively tested on macOS and Linux. Install the following packages first.


  • Python 3.8 or better available as python3 on the path. Verify with: python3 --version.

  • Python3 header files (included in the Python3 development package).

  • pip3 available on the path. Verify with pip3 --version.

We recommend to use pyenv to manage installation of Python. For details refer to their installation instructions and ensure that all of pyenv’s prerequisites are installed.

Once pyenv is installed, install a compatible Python version:

# Install Python
pyenv install 3.8.16

# select that version for the current user
# see for details
pyenv global 3.8.16

# Upgrade pip
python3 -m pip install --user --upgrade pip


Git is not required if all of the following conditions are met:

  • You are using Rally only as a load generator (--pipeline=benchmark-only) or you are referring to Elasticsearch configurations with --team-path.

  • You create your own tracks and refer to them with --track-path.

In all other cases, Rally requires git 1.9 or better. Verify with git --version.

Debian / Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install git

Red Hat / CentOS / Amazon Linux

sudo yum install git


If you use RHEL, install a recent version of git via the Red Hat Software Collections.


git is already installed on macOS.

pbzip2, pigz, zstd#

It is strongly recommended to install pbzip2 to speed up decompressing the corpora of Rally standard tracks. If you have created custom tracks using corpora compressed with gzip instead of bzip2, it’s also advisable to install pigz to speed up the process. Rally also supports zst compressed corpora out of the box, installing zstd speeds up the process.

Debian / Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install pbzip2

Red Hat / CentOS / Amazon Linux

pbzip is available via the EPEL repository.

sudo yum install pbzip2


Install via Homebrew:

brew install pbzip2


A JDK is required on all machines where you want to launch Elasticsearch. If you use Rally just as a load generator to benchmark remote clusters, no JDK is required. For details on how to install a JDK check your operating system’s documentation pages.

To find the JDK, Rally expects the environment variable JAVA_HOME to be set on all targeted machines. To have more specific control, for example when you want to benchmark across a wide range of Elasticsearch releases, you can also set JAVAx_HOME where x is the major version of a JDK (e.g. JAVA8_HOME would point to a JDK 8 installation). Rally will then choose the highest supported JDK per version of Elasticsearch that is available.


If you have Rally download, install and benchmark a local copy of Elasticsearch (i.e., the default Rally behavior) be sure to configure the Operating System (OS) of your Rally server with the recommended kernel settings

Optional dependencies#

S3 support is optional and can be installed using the s3 extra. If you need S3 support, install esrally[s3] instead of just esrally, but other than that follow the instructions below.

Installing Rally#

  1. Ensure ~/.local/bin is in your $PATH.

  2. Ensure pip is the latest version: python3 -m pip install --user --upgrade pip

  3. Install Rally: python3 -m pip install --user esrally.

Virtual environment Install#

You can also use virtualenv to install Rally into an isolated Python environment without sudo.

  1. Set up a new virtualenv environment in a directory with python3 -m venv .venv

  2. Activate the environment with source /path/to/virtualenv/.venv/bin/activate

  3. Ensure pip is the latest version: python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip


    Omitting this step might cause the next step (Rally installation) to fail due to broken dependencies. The pip version must be at minimum 20.3.

  4. Install Rally with python3 -m pip install esrally

Whenever you want to use Rally, run the activation script (step 2 above) first. When you are done, simply execute deactivate in the shell to exit the virtual environment.


Docker images of Rally can be found in Docker Hub.

Please refer to Running Rally with Docker for detailed instructions.

Offline Install#


This documentation is for the version of Rally currently under development. We do not provide offline installation packages for development versions. Were you looking for the documentation of the latest stable version?

If you are in a corporate environment using Linux servers that do not have any access to the Internet, you can use Rally’s offline installation package. Follow these steps to install Rally:

  1. Install all prerequisites as documented above.

  2. Download the offline installation package for the latest release and copy it to the target machine(s).

  3. Decompress the installation package with tar -xzf esrally-dist-linux-*.tar.gz.

  4. Run the install script with sudo ./esrally-dist-linux-*/

Next Steps#

On the first invocation Rally creates a default configuration file which you can customize. Follow the configuration help page for more guidance.