Commands should follow with an array element – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-8.9

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch receives a bulk request that is not properly formatted. In a bulk request, each command and data should be specified in a new line in the form of an array element. If the commands are not following this structure, Elasticsearch will throw this error. To resolve this issue, ensure that your bulk request is correctly formatted. Each command and its data should be on a separate line. Also, make sure that the request ends with a newline character.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” commands should follow with an array element ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: routing, allocation, cluster.

Log Context

Log “commands should follow with an array element” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 if (parser.currentName().equals("commands") == false) {
 throw new ElasticsearchParseException("expected field name to be named [commands]; got [{}] instead"; parser.currentName());
 token = parser.nextToken();
 if (token != XContentParser.Token.START_ARRAY) {
 throw new ElasticsearchParseException("commands should follow with an array element");
 } else if (token == XContentParser.Token.START_ARRAY) {
 // ok...
 } else {
 throw new ElasticsearchParseException("expected either field name [commands]; or start array; got [{}] instead"; token);


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