Using Solr With TYPO3 On Debian Squeeze

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Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
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TYPO3's default search extension called "Indexed Search" is fine for small web sites, but if your web site is bigger (> 500 pages), it is getting very slow. Fortunately, you can replace it with a search extension that uses the ultra-fast Apache Solr search server. This tutorial explains how to use Apache Solr with TYPO3 on Debian Squeeze.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I'm using two servers:

  • (IP: web server where the TYPO3 4.7 Introduction package is installed (in the vhost).
  • (IP: separate server where I will install Apache Solr.

Of course, it's possible to install Solr on the same system as the web server; however, I'd like to split up both services so that they do not impact each other's performance.


2 Installing Solr

Open /etc/apt/sources.list...

vi /etc/apt/sources.list

... and make sure you have the contrib and non-free repositories enabled:

deb squeeze main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze main contrib non-free

deb squeeze/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze/updates main contrib non-free

deb squeeze-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze-updates main contrib non-free

Update your packages database...

apt-get update

... and install Java:

apt-get install sun-java6-bin sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-jre unzip

update-alternatives --config java
update-alternatives --config javac

The TYPO3 project provides a Solr installation script which we download as follows:

chmod 755

Now we install Solr. By default (if you don't provide any languages as parameters), Solr is installed with support for the English language only; if you need support for more languages, just append them to the command, e.g. like this:

./ german english french

This installs a Tomcat server (where Solr is run on) and Solr. By default, Tomcat listens on only; because we want to access Solr from a remote host, we must configure Tomcat to listen on all interfaces, therefore we replace with in /opt/solr-tomcat/tomcat/conf/server.xml:

vi /opt/solr-tomcat/tomcat/conf/server.xml

    <Connector port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
               URIEncoding="UTF-8" />

Restart Tomcat:


Next we can configure cores in Solr. By default, an English core is already configured; if you need more languages, you can add them to /opt/solr-tomcat/solr/solr.xml, e.g. like this:

vi /opt/solr-tomcat/solr/solr.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<solr persistent="true">
        <cores adminPath="/admin/cores" shareSchema="true">
                <core name="core_en" instanceDir="typo3cores" schema="english/schema.xml" dataDir="data/core_en" />
                <core name="core_de" instanceDir="typo3cores" schema="german/schema.xml" dataDir="data/core_de" />
                <core name="core_fr" instanceDir="typo3cores" schema="french/schema.xml" dataDir="data/core_fr" />

Restart Solr afterwards:


Because we don't want to start Tomcat manually each time the server is booted, we can add the Tomcat startup command to /etc/rc.local:

vi /etc/rc.local



2.1 Adding Authentication To Solr

Because Solr is listening on all interfaces, it is a good idea to add authentication to it. I will now configure the user user1 with the password secret for the English core.

Open /opt/solr-tomcat/tomcat/conf/web.xml...

vi /opt/solr-tomcat/tomcat/conf/web.xml

... and add the following section somewhere inside the <web-app> container:

      <web-resource-name>Solr authenticated application</web-resource-name>

    <realm-name>Admin and Update protection</realm-name>

As you see, this is valid for the English core only (<url-pattern>/core_en/*</url-pattern>), and I've configured this for the role role1, so valid users must belong to that role. To add the user user1 with his password to that role, open /opt/solr-tomcat/tomcat/conf/tomcat-users.xml...

vi /opt/solr-tomcat/tomcat/conf/tomcat-users.xml

... and add the following section inside the <tomcat-users> container:

  <role rolename="role1"/>
  <user username="user1" password="secret" roles="role1"/>

Restart Tomcat afterwards:


You can now open a browser and visit Solr under where you should see all configured cores:

When you visit the English core (for which we have just configured authentication), you should be asked for a username and a password:

After successful authentication, you should see the following page which means Solr is running successfully:

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