Actual shard is not a primary – Elasticsearch Error How To Solve Related Issues

Actual shard is not a primary – Elasticsearch Error How To Solve Related Issues

Updated: July-20

Elasticsearch 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 causing 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, 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 discover the cause of many errors and provides suitable actionable recommendations (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);

Related issues to this log

We have gathered selected Q&A from the community and issues from Github, that can help fix related issues please review the following for further information :

1 Primary shard is not active or isn't assigned is a known node ? -views 30,240 ,score 18

Primary shard not available – Elasticsearch – Discuss the Elastic Stack  

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