Bootstrap error regarding failure to lock memory

I have enabled the bootstrap.memory_lock: true setting in elasticsearch.yml; however, Elasticsearch refuses to start due to failure during bootstrap check because it cannot lock the memory. The log advised the following:

[2020-03-13T11:39:56,299][WARN ][o.e.b.JNANatives         ] [hostname] Unable to lock JVM Memory: error=12, reason=Cannot allocate memory
[2020-03-13T11:39:56,303][WARN ][o.e.b.JNANatives         ] [hostname] This can result in part of the JVM being swapped out.
[2020-03-13T11:39:56,304][WARN ][o.e.b.JNANatives         ] [hostname] Increase RLIMIT_MEMLOCK, soft limit: 16777216, hard limit: 16777216
[2020-03-13T11:39:56,305][WARN ][o.e.b.JNANatives         ] [hostname] These can be adjusted by modifying /etc/security/limits.conf, for example:
        # allow user 'elasticsearch' mlockall
        elasticsearch soft memlock unlimited
        elasticsearch hard memlock unlimited
[2020-03-13T11:39:56,306][WARN ][o.e.b.JNANatives         ] [hostname] If you are logged in interactively, you will have to re-login for the new limits to take effect.
[2020-03-13T11:40:08,428][INFO ][o.e.b.BootstrapChecks    ] [hostname] bound or publishing to a non-loopback address, enforcing bootstrap checks
[2020-03-13T11:40:08,474][ERROR][o.e.b.Bootstrap          ] [hostname] node validation exception
[1] bootstrap checks failed
[1]: memory locking requested for elasticsearch process but memory is not locked

I edited /etc/security/limits.conf and added the configuration as instructed, but Elasticsearch still fails the bootstrap check due to failure to lock the memory even after a system reboot.

How do I solve this?

Elasticsearch 7.6.1 on Ubuntu 18.04.

I was able to solve the issue on my own via the instructions here.


  1. Run sudo systemctl edit elasticsearch.

  2. Add the following lines to the new file /usr/lib/systemd/system/elasticsearch.service.d/override.conf:


  3. Run sudo systemctl daemon-reload.

  4. Restart Elasticsearch.

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