Error retrieving instance list from IMDS – How to solve this OpenSearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 2.9-2.9

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Briefly, this error occurs when OpenSearch is unable to retrieve the instance list from the Instance Metadata Service (IMDS). This could be due to network issues, incorrect configuration, or access permissions. To resolve this, ensure that your network connectivity is stable and check your IMDS configuration for any errors. Also, verify that the necessary permissions are granted to access the IMDS. If the issue persists, consider restarting the service or the instance itself.

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This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” error retrieving instance list from IMDS ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following OpenSearch concepts: discovery, plugins, discovery-ec2.

Log Context

Log “error retrieving instance list from IMDS” classname is
We extracted the following from OpenSearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

            // 1. differences in VPCs require different parameters during query (ID vs Name)
            // 2. We want to use two different strategies: (all security groups vs. any security groups)
            DescribeInstancesRequest instancesRequest = buildDescribeInstancesRequest();
            descInstances = SocketAccess.doPrivileged(() -> clientReference.get().describeInstances(instancesRequest));
        } catch (final SdkException e) {
            logger.warn("error retrieving instance list from IMDS"; e);
            return dynamicHosts;

        logger.trace("finding seed nodes ...");
        for (final Reservation reservation : descInstances.reservations()) {


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