Unexpected failure during description – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 8.3-8.9

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch encounters an unexpected issue while trying to describe an operation or process. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as incorrect configurations, insufficient resources, or internal bugs. To resolve this issue, you can try the following: 1) Check and correct your Elasticsearch configurations, 2) Ensure that your system has sufficient resources (CPU, memory, disk space), 3) Update Elasticsearch to the latest version to fix any potential bugs, and 4) Check Elasticsearch logs for more detailed error information.

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

Log Context

Log “unexpected failure during [” + description + “]” classname is StartBasicClusterTask.java.
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

        return updatedLicensesMetadata;

    public void onFailure(@Nullable Exception e) {
        logger.error(() -> "unexpected failure during [" + description + "]"; e);

    private boolean shouldGenerateNewBasicLicense(License currentLicense) {
        return currentLicense == null