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Elasticsearch FIPS

An elastic license is required to use this image!

A Wolfi-based image tailored for Elasticsearch, incorporating the required bouncycastle FIPS modules (bcfips) to facilitate Elasticsearch's operation in FIPS mode.

Both OpenJDK and Elasticsearch have been configured to harness the BouncyCastle FIPS API at their core. The included bcfips module meets FIPS 140-2 compliance requirements and is accredited under: FIPS certificate 4616.


To run Elasticsearch in FIPS mode, you will need to provide a license key. To obtain a license for Elasticsearch, see their subscriptions page here.

This image is equipped with the essential components for Elasticsearch to operate in FIPS mode. However, it's important for users to ensure they use it in line with FIPS compliance standards.

This includes tasks such as KeyStore generation, configuration, and launching Elasticsearch with the correct configuration parameters. More guidance is provided in the sections below.


Elasticsearch requires a bcfips-compatible KeyStore to manage its SSL/TLS certificates.

Although Elasticsearch supports various KeyStore types, only BCKFS offers the capability to operate in approved (strict) mode under FIPS standards, ensuring only approved ciphers are used.

BCKFS KeyStore creation

Refer to the official documentation for information on how to create and configure a KeyStore.

Note: The KeyStore needs to be generated on a seperate image, as the keytool application will not operate when bcfips is running in approved mode. Here is a snippet from our communication with the BouncyCastle maintainers:

keytool will not run if bcfips is running in approved mode. It is hard coded to pass a new SecureRandom(), which will always fail the approved RNG test.

Below is an example, using a wolfi-base container to generate a bckfs KeyStore:

docker run -v $(pwd):/tmp/keystore -it sh

apk update && apk add curl openjdk-17-default-jvm

# for latest `bc-fips` version
curl<VERSION>.jar \
-o bc-fips.jar

keytool -v -keystore /tmp/keystore/server.keystore \
  -J--add-exports=java.base/ \
  -storetype bcfks \
  -providername BCFIPS \
  -providerclass org.bouncycastle.jcajce.provider.BouncyCastleFipsProvider \
  -providerpath bc-fips.jar \
  -alias "localhost" \
  -genkeypair -sigalg SHA512withRSA -keyalg RSA \
  -dname CN="localhost" \

Run image

This image aligns with the original upstream image regarding its entrypoint and command-line arguments. Also see the Elasticsearch GitHub repository, and the Elasticsearch FIPS documentation.

Running in a production environment

First, we need to start the container and open a shell. The reason we must do this is because, by default, Elasticsearch will create its own KeyStore with a non-compliant password length:

docker run \
  -it --rm \
  -p 9200:9200 \
  -e "discovery.type=single-node" \
  --entrypoint bash \
  --name elasticsearch \

Now, from a different terminal, copy over the TLS KeyStore:

docker cp server.keystore elasticsearch:/usr/share/elasticsearch/config/server.keystore

Return to the terminal running the Elasticsearch container and generate the KeyStore for Elasticsearch. You'll be prompted to enter and confirm a password. Like the TLS KeyStore, the password set for the Elasticsearch KeyStore must be FIPS compliant (at least 112 bits):

elasticsearch-keystore create -p

Now we can start Elasticsearch! You'll be prompted for your Elasticsearch KeyStore password:


In this example, the Elasticsearch is accessible via: http://localhost:9200.

FIPS validation

You'll see the JVM security providers loaded after starting Elasticsearch if it is running in FIPS mode:

JVM Security Providers: [bcjsse, bcfips, sun]

Additionally, you can check bcfips is enforcing minimum password lengths, by running the container with a non-compliant Elasticsearch KeyStore password, such as 1234:

Caused by: org.bouncycastle.crypto.fips.FipsUnapprovedOperationError:
password must be at least 112 bits

Adding plugins to the image

Elasticsearch provides a mechanism to add plugins to the image. This process is outlined in the Elasticsearch ECK documentation.

Unlike the upstream Elasticsearch image, we provide all Elasticsearch utilities in the local path so that they can be ran directly. Due to this, we do not need to prefix bin/ to the executable path for elasticsearch-plugin, and we can just invoke it directly. Here's an example installing the analysis-icu plugin:

RUN elasticsearch-plugin install --batch analysis-icu


KeyStore corrupted error upon launch

Error Message:

BCFKS KeyStore corrupted: MAC calculation failed.

Solution: The error indicates that a KeyStore was detected, but there was an issue parsing it. Usually this means that the password used to create the KeyStore does not match what was provided to Elasticsearch.

Password must be at least 112 bits

Error Message:

Exception in thread "main" Error generating an encryption key from the provided password
Caused by: org.bouncycastle.crypto.fips.FipsUnapprovedOperationError: password must be at least 112 bits

Solution: This is expected whenever Elasticsearch is running in strict (approved) mode for FIPS. Choose a longer user or KeyStore password which is compliant.


Chainguard Images contain software packages that are direct or transitive dependencies. The following licenses were found in the "latest" version of this image:

  • Elastic-2.0

  • GPL-2.0-or-later

  • LGPL-3.0-or-later

  • MIT

  • Apache-2.0

  • BSD-3-Clause

  • FTL

View more

For a complete list of licenses, please refer to this Image's SBOM.

Software license agreement 

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