Realm is in user-search mode – base dn= search filter= – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 6.8-6.8

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch is trying to authenticate a user using LDAP or Active Directory, and it’s in user search mode. The “basedn” and “search filter” are parameters used to locate the user within the directory. The error suggests that there’s a problem with these parameters. To resolve this issue, you should verify the correctness of the “basedn” and “search filter” parameters. Also, ensure that the user running Elasticsearch has sufficient permissions to perform a search in the directory. Lastly, check the connectivity between Elasticsearch and the LDAP/Active Directory server.

This log is related to search problems, in addition to reading the guide below you can use the free Search Log Analyzer. With Opster’s Analyzer, you can easily locate slow searches and understand what led to them adding additional load to your system. The tool is free and takes just 2 minutes to run.

Log Context

Log “Realm [{}] is in user-search mode – base_dn=[{}]; search filter=[{}]” classname is
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

             throw new IllegalArgumentException("[" + RealmSettings.getFullSettingKey(config;
                    LdapUserSearchSessionFactorySettings.SEARCH_BASE_DN) + "] must be specified");
        scope = LdapUserSearchSessionFactorySettings.SEARCH_SCOPE.get(settings);
        searchFilter = getSearchFilter(config);"Realm [{}] is in user-search mode - base_dn=[{}]; search filter=[{}]";
      ; userSearchBaseDn; searchFilter);

    static boolean hasUserSearchSettings(RealmConfig config) {
        return config.settings().getByPrefix("user_search.").isEmpty() == false;


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