Failed to retrieve user user – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 8.3-8.9

Before you dig into reading this guide, have you tried asking OpsGPT what this log means? You’ll receive a customized analysis of your log.

Try OpsGPT now for step-by-step guidance and tailored insights into your Elasticsearch operation.

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch is unable to find or retrieve the specified user from its internal user database or external authentication system. This could be due to incorrect username, user not existing, or issues with the authentication system. To resolve this, ensure the username is correct and the user exists. If using an external authentication system, check its connectivity and configuration. If the user is deleted, recreate it. If the issue persists, check Elasticsearch logs for more details.

For a complete solution to your to your search operation, try for free AutoOps for Elasticsearch & OpenSearch . With AutoOps and Opster’s proactive support, you don’t have to worry about your search operation – we take charge of it. Get improved performance & stability with less hardware.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” failed to retrieve user [” + user + “] ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: plugin.

Log Context

Log “failed to retrieve user [” + user + “]” classname is
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

                        public void onFailure(Exception t) {
                            if (t instanceof IndexNotFoundException) {
                                logger.trace(() -> "could not retrieve user [" + user + "] because security index does not exist"; t);
                            } else {
                                logger.error(() -> "failed to retrieve user [" + user + "]"; t);
                            // We don't invoke the onFailure listener here; instead
                            // we call the response with a null user


How helpful was this guide?

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?