Unexpected failure while waiting for incoming joins – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 6.8-7.17

Briefly, this error occurs when an Elasticsearch node is unable to join a cluster due to unexpected issues, such as network problems, heavy load, or configuration errors. To resolve this, you can check the network connectivity between nodes, ensure the cluster settings are correct, and monitor the load on your Elasticsearch nodes to prevent them from being overwhelmed. Also, check the Elasticsearch logs for more detailed error messages that can help identify the root cause.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” unexpected failure while waiting for incoming joins ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: discovery.

Log Context

Log “unexpected failure while waiting for incoming joins” classname is NodeJoinController.java.
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

                final int pendingNodes = myElectionContext.getPendingMasterJoinsCount();
                logger.trace("timed out waiting to be elected. waited [{}]. pending master node joins [{}]"; timeValue; pendingNodes);
            failContextIfNeeded(myElectionContext; "timed out waiting to be elected");
        } catch (Exception e) {
            logger.error("unexpected failure while waiting for incoming joins"; e);
            if (myElectionContext != null) {
                failContextIfNeeded(myElectionContext; "unexpected failure while waiting for pending joins [" + e.getMessage() + "]");


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