understanding and troubleshooting


what does make start do?

make start may take some time, because it handles multiple actions :

  • building
    • downloading docker images of all bundled components (node,nginx,python,elasticsearch,kibana)
    • compiling the Vue.js frontend with node into static html/css/js files
    • building the python backend, with all pandas and scikit-learn dependencies
  • running
    • python backend
    • a 3-node elasticsearch cluster (if you need less, just edit Makefile and set ES_NODE to 1)
    • kibana (required for launching it for now)
    • nginx for serving stating compile frontend, and reverse proxy of the backend, elasticsearch and kibana

Here is the architecture overview :

matchID architecture


All commands here have to be executed from the machine where docker runs matchID (local or remote).

stopping everything

To stop all components

make stop


  • stop the backend : make backend-stop
  • start the backend : make backend
  • restart the backend : make backend-stop backend
  • get the logs : docker logs -f matchid-backend


  • build only the frontend : make docker-build
  • stop the frontend : make frontend-stop
  • start the frontend : make frontend
  • restart the frontend : make frontend-stop frontend
  • get the logs : docker logs -f matchid-backend


Elasticsearch is useful for powerfull fuzzy matching with levenshtein distance (but could be replaced with a phonetic or ngram indexation with postgres) and is required for now by the validation module.

  • stop elasticsearch : make elasticsearch-stop
  • start elasticsearch : make elasticsearch
  • restart elasticsearch : make elasticsearch-stop elasticsearch
  • check if you elasticsearch nodes containers are up : docker ps | egrep 'matchid-(elasticsearch|esnode)', you should have a line for every container
  • get the logs of a node : docker logs -f matchid-elasticsearch, you may replace elasticsearch with esnode2, esnode3, depending of the number of nodes you have

See avanced elasticsearch troubleshooting for configuring your cluster and more about elasticsearch and docker.


Postgres is not mandatory, so it is not up when you start. Postgres can be useful for a more reliable storage than elasticsearch, or to replace elasticsearch for quicker ngram matching.

  • start postgres : make postgres
  • stop postgres : make postgres-stop
  • restart postgres : make postgres-stop postgres


Kibana has to be started on start (for a dependency of the nginx configuration). It can be useful to analyse your elasticsearch data, but is absolutely not mandatory (it will next not be a requirement).

  • stop kibana : make kibana-stop
  • start kibana : make kibana
  • restart kibana : make kibana-stop kibana

docker troubleshooting

Some useful commands :

  • docker stats shows all containers running, like a top

developpement mode

You can switch to developpement mode without stopping the whole sevices : make frontend-stop frontend-dev

Please consult contributing to developement.

Advanced elasticsearch troubleshooting

docker and elasticsearch

When your run make start or make elasticsearch, the configuration of elasticsearch is created in docker-components/docker-compose-elasticsearch-huge.yml with one master and ES_NODES-1 nodes.

To change the configuration :

  • to change the number of nodes: edit Makefile and change the number of nodes in ES_NODES (default to 3, tested up to 20).
  • to change the amount of memory of each node : change ES_MEM (java memory).

We’ve encountered stability problems with elasticsearch, docker and memory limitation (mem_limit). Elasticsearch recommends twice the memory of the jvm for the virtual machine memory. But setting hard memory limit with mem_limit seems to be a wrong with the docker virtualisation. So we supressed this limiation, which may lead to performance problem when strong sollicitation. This problem will be followed in the matchID project, as elasticsearch is an essential component.

bulk indexing & matching : optmization

to be completed

heath check from your server

  • to check the status of the elasticsearch cluster : docker exec -it matchid-elasticsearch curl -XGET localhost:9200/_cluster/health?pretty, the status should be green and number_of_nodes to the ES_NODES value (default : 3)
  • to check the status of your indices : docker exec -it matchid-elasticsearch curl -XGET localhost:9200/_cat/indices, each indice should be green.

health check from your computer

Note that the API point of elasticsearch is accessible from any client (unless you protect this API with the nginx configuration) : http://${matchID-host}/matchID/elastiscearch is the same as localhost:9200/ within docker. For example, if you run matchID on your host :

  • cluster health : curl -XGET http://localhost/matchID/elasticsearch/_cluster/health?pretty
  • indices : curl -XGET http://localhost/matchID/elasticsearch/_cat/indices

my cluster is red

If you have large indices and multiples nodes, the coherence of your cluster may take some time when you just started the cluster. You can then check the health indices.

If your cluster is red for some time (more than one minute) you should make elasticsearch restart.

If it is still red, check the docker logs -f of each node.

Many problems can occure :

  • rights on the volume are not correct
  • the volume space is over 85% full
  • every indices are red because too much operations were driven in an inconsistant state of the cluster. This is the drama situation where you’ll have to clear all your indices with a curl -XDELETE http://localhost/matchID/elasticsearch/* and lose all indexed data

my cluster is yellow

It may be that one or many indices are red or at least one yellow. It may take some time but usually, elasticsearch self repairs.

With a persistent yellow state of an indice and the right amount of documents, you will still be able to access your data so that you may backup. You should do that with a recipe doing nothing from the dataset of your index to a msgpack dataset. Then try to restore it on another index, then delete the index.

You may have to delete every red and yellow indices.