Missing start of array in include/exclude clause – 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 ” Missing start of array in include/exclude clause ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: search and aggregations.

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 “Missing start of array in include/exclude clause”classname  is IncludeExclude.java We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 private static Set parseArrayToSet(XContentParser parser) throws IOException {
 final Set set = new HashSet<>();
 if (parser.currentToken() != XContentParser.Token.START_ARRAY) {
 throw new ElasticsearchParseException("Missing start of array in include/exclude clause");
 while (parser.nextToken() != XContentParser.Token.END_ARRAY) {
 if (!parser.currentToken().isValue()) {
 throw new ElasticsearchParseException("Array elements in include/exclude clauses should be string values");


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