Unexpected value for setting it should be dash delimited – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 1.3-1.3

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Briefly, this error occurs when the Elasticsearch setting value is not dash-delimited as expected. Elasticsearch uses dash-delimited settings for better readability and organization. If a setting is not dash-delimited, it may cause confusion or errors. To resolve this issue, you should review your Elasticsearch settings and ensure that they are correctly dash-delimited. For example, if you have a setting like “index.number_of_shards”, it should be written as “index-number-of-shards”. Also, ensure that there are no spaces before or after the dashes.

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This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” Unexpected value [{}] for setting [{}]; it should be dash delimited ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: cluster, metadata and settings.

Log Context

Log “Unexpected value [{}] for setting [{}]; it should be dash delimited” classname is MetaDataUpdateSettingsService.java.
We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

final int min;
                    final int max;

                    final int dash = autoExpandReplicas.indexOf('-');
                    if (-1 == dash) {
                        logger.warn("Unexpected value [{}] for setting [{}]; it should be dash delimited";
                                autoExpandReplicas; IndexMetaData.SETTING_AUTO_EXPAND_REPLICAS);
                    final String sMin = autoExpandReplicas.substring(0; dash);
                    try {


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