Solr setup debian (lenny) + tomcat6 + solr

I am working on a task to set solr enterprise search for elgg. I am as digging as getting surprised with this amazing search utility. First i am going to explain how to install solr with tomcat6.x.


  1. JDK, JRE (OpenJDK, SunJDK)
  2. Tomcat6.x
  3. Latest solr

Installation JDK,JRE:

Well i used to setup openjdk and openjre on my lenny server. It is quite easy to use debian package manager. You can install is using

apt-get install openjdk-6-jre, openjdk-6-jdk

And i was installed with all jdk and jre environment. You may need to setup JAVA_HOME environment variable if you do not wish to install JDK at default location. You can do this in “.profile” located under your home or “/etc/profile” to make it enable for all available users.

Download tomcate6.x

I downloaded tomcat binary “apache tomcat 6.0.24” and untar it at “/usr/local/”. You can choose any of your selected location. So my location of all tomcat binaries was “/usr/local/tomcat”. That’s it, you have done with tomcat installation. You can start tomcat as:

cd /usr/local/tomcat/bin/

Now put localhost:8080 in your browser. You will see the response of tomcat server. Now next step is to install solr as a tomcat application. It needs some configurations.

Installation & configuration of Solr

Download apache solr and unzip it at any accessible location. Now create some directories under tomcat as

mkdir /usr/local/tomcat/data/solr/elgg/conf -p
mkdir /usr/local/tomcat/data/solr/elgg/data -p

Now we need to copy “apache-solr-1.4.0.war” file for tomcat deployment. Go to the directory where you unzip the solr file. i found that file as “/apache-solr-1.4.0/dist/apache-solr-1.4.0.war”.

cp apache-solr-1.4.0/dist/apache-solr-1.4.0.war /usr/local/tomcat/data/solr

Now, in /usr/local/tomcat/conf/Catalina/localhost we need to create and save a files which will be read the next time you start Tomcat, and properly deploy Solr. Use a text editor of your choice and create a files name “solrelgg.xml” in the /usr/local/tomcat/conf//Catalina/localhost subdirectory. Put the contents as follow

<Context docBase=”/usr/local/tomcat/data/solr/apache-solr-1.4.0.war” 
debug=”0″ crossContext=”true”>
<Environment name=”solr/home” type=”java.lang.String” 
value=”/usr/local/tomcat/data/solr/elgg” override=”true” />

Now go to “apache-solr-1.4.0/example/solr/conf” and copy all default configuration files in to our configured configuration directory under tomcat.

cd apache-solr-1.4.0/example/solr/conf
cp * -R /usr/local/tomcat/data/solr/elgg/conf
cd /usr/local/tomcat/data/solr/elgg/conf

Now edit “solrconfig.xml” and find “” parameter. Change it’s value to new data directory. I gave relative path like “ ../data” So now it was pointing to new data directory “/usr/local/tomcat/data/solr/elgg/data”. Well this edit is an optional step. you can skip this. In that case, data directory will be created at default location according to the default value of “”. Now start tomcat server using “/usr/local/tomcat/bin/” and browse localhost:8080/solrelgg

It should show you “Welcome to Solr!” message with “Solr Admin” link. I hope, it would work for you. Now elgg integration is just the matter of pushing new entities at create entity hooks and all other crud operations.