Actual shard is not a primary – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Actual shard is not a primary – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

July-20, Version: 1.7-8.0

Before you begin reading this guide, we recommend you try running the Elasticsearch Error Check-Up which can resolve issues that cause many errors.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” actual shard is not a primary ” to appear. It’s important to understand the issues related to the log, so to get started, read the general overview on common issues and tips related to the Elasticsearch concepts: replication and shard.

Advanced users might want to skip right to the common problems section in each concept or try running the Check-Up which analyses ES to pinpoint the cause of many errors and provides suitable actionable recommendations how to resolve them (free tool that requires no installation).

Log Context

Log”actual shard is not a primary”classname  is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

final ShardRouting shardRouting = indexShard.routingEntry();
  // we may end up here if the cluster state used to route the primary is so stale that the underlying
  // index shard was replaced with a replica. For example - in a two node cluster; if the primary fails
  // the replica will take over and a replica will be assigned to the first node.
  if (shardRouting.primary() == false) {
  throw new ReplicationOperation.RetryOnPrimaryException(shardId; "actual shard is not a primary " + shardRouting);
  final String actualAllocationId = shardRouting.allocationId().getId();
  if (actualAllocationId.equals(primaryRequest.getTargetAllocationID()) == false) {
  throw new ShardNotFoundException(shardId; "expected allocation id [{}] but found [{}]";
  primaryRequest.getTargetAllocationID(); actualAllocationId);


Run the Check-Up to get a customized report like this:

Analyze your cluster