Idiot's Guide to Upgrading Tika in Apache Solr

This is written as a relative outsider to Apache Solr development. It will appear painfully rudimentary to devs on Solr, and it assumes less-than-black-belt-familiarity with be it.

Many thanks to Uwe Schindler for walking me through these steps several times.


  1. python3 must be installed and callable as python3
  2. perl must be installed
  3. ivy must be installed: ant ivy-bootstrap
  4. Fork lucene-solr and clone your fork.
  5. Hint: if you're using Intellij, run ant idea before opening the project in Intellij
  6. Getting Solr built the first time can take a long time.
  7. Check out your local fork
  8. Make sure you're up to date
    1. git remote add upstream
    2. git fetch upstream
    3. git pull upstream master
    4. git push master

Phase 1

  1. create new branch, e.g jira/solr-11701
  2. mvn dependency:tree on the newly released Apache Tika and MEMORIZE it
  3. upgrade all dependencies in lucene/ – make sure that they are in alphabetical order
  4. add any new licenses in solr/licenses – must include a -LICENSE-XYZ.txt and -NOTICE.txt file for every jar
  5. update anything new in solr/contrib/extraction/ivy.xml
  6. ant clean (out of nervous habit) and then run the unit tests in contrib/dataimporthandler-extras and contrib/extraction
  7. Fix any problems in the source code, and this can include XLSXResponseWriter which relies on Apache POI.
  8. ant clean-jars jar-checksums
  9. git add new .sha1 files in solr/licenses and lucene/licenses and git rm old .sha1 files
  10. ant precommit
  11. Receive immediate errors that you missed something and go back two steps; repeat ant precommit as needed, waiting 15-20 minutes each time ... if you didn't break something obvious.
  12. In my environment, ant precommit eventually ends in errors about broken links in html. This means you are successful!!!
  13. Run ant test for kicks.  Something will likely break.  Try to figure out if it is caused by anything you did or just a flaky build.  Bonus points if the test failure is reproducible and you report it/fix it.

Phase 2: Integration Testing Solr

To test that you've gotten most of the dependencies right, why not run DIH on Tika's test documents?

  1. Build the Solr dist: cd solr/ and ant package
  2. Unzip your shiny new Solr and create a collection from:
  3. bin\solr start
  4. Copy the files from tika-parsers/src/test/resources/test-documents ... make sure to remove ucar files: *.nc, *.hdf, *.fb2, *.he5 – these wreak havoc with the data importer
  5. Navigate to the Solr admin window->Dataimport.
  6. Close your eyes, cross your fingers, pray to your appropriate diet(y|ies) or not, and press Execute
  7. Watch the command window to see if there were any catastrophic missing class problems
  8. Go to logs to see if there are any show stoppers for exceptions.
  9. When this completes, go to Query and check how many documents are actually indexed
  10. Compare the number of documents in Solr to the number you'd get if you ran java -jar tika-app.jar -i <input_dir> -o <output_dir>

In addition to DIH, the above configs are also set up to work with the ExtractingHandler. 

You can run either the SolrJ client ( or the

Curl wrapper

Make sure to set the source directory appropriately and the solr-collection name correctly for your test files and Solr collection.  Note that these indexers do not process files recursively.

Phase 3: Submit a Pull Request

  1. When everything looks good, commit your changes and submit a PR

Phase 4: Reflect, Rejoice, Work

  1. Reflect on:
    1. The tedium to get the dependencies right and the risks of not getting them right
    2. The ever present risks of jar hell by integrating Tika into Solr
    3. The seductive belief that Tika won't break Solr, when we know it will eventually, and we should really be keeping Tika out of Solr if at all possible...and yet maintain the awesome easy-to-get-started-ness of the current integration.
  2. Rejoice that Tika is being refactored out of Solr in 9x.
  3. Work towards whatever solution allows for an easy, out of the box extraction process for binary files
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  1. This page is really important and was at one time useful. Unfortunately it has become out of date seeing as Solr moved to Gradle build system and also Solr and Lucene codebases were  separated.

    Tim Allison by any chance do you know who originally developed this documentation? I've updated Tika a few times in Solr and honestly cannot remember whether I produced this documentation! Maybe you authored it? I honestly cannot remember but what I do know is that it needs updated now.

    Would be nice to see Solr upgrade to Tika 2.x.

  2. This was all me.  I should upgrade it, but I'm not sure I'll have the time before the new year. (sad)

  3. My hope is that we can work with Eric Pugh to carve Tika entirely out of Solr or move to default pipes module.  At the very least, get Tika's dependencies out of the Solr jvm.