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 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. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following 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 to analyze Elasticsearch configuration and help resolve this error.

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);


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