Invalid role definition %s in roles file %s skipping role – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 8.4-8.9

Briefly, this error occurs when there is an invalid role definition in the Elasticsearch roles file. This could be due to syntax errors, incorrect role names, or incorrect permissions. To resolve this issue, you should first check the syntax of your roles file. Ensure that all role names and permissions are correctly defined and formatted. If the error persists, try to validate your roles file using a JSON validator. Lastly, check the Elasticsearch logs for more detailed error messages that can help you pinpoint the exact issue.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” invalid role definition [%s] in roles file [%s]. skipping role… ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: plugin.

Log Context

Log “invalid role definition [%s] in roles file [%s]. skipping role…” classname is
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

                logger.error(e.getMessage() + ". skipping role...");
        } catch (IOException | XContentParseException e) {
            if (roleName != null) {
                final String finalRoleName = roleName;
                logger.error(() -> format("invalid role definition [%s] in roles file [%s]. skipping role..."; finalRoleName; path); e);
            } else {
                logger.error((Supplier>) () -> "invalid role definition in roles file [" + path + "]. skipping role..."; e);
        return null;


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