No role descriptors found for API key – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-8.9

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch cannot find any role descriptors associated with the provided API key. This could be due to incorrect configuration or the API key not having any roles assigned. To resolve this issue, you can either assign roles to the API key or check the configuration to ensure it’s correctly set up. Additionally, ensure that the API key is valid and has not expired. If the problem persists, consider regenerating a new API key and assigning the necessary roles to it.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” no role descriptors found for API key ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: plugin.

Log Context

Log “no role descriptors found for API key” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 assert ApiKey.Type.REST == getApiKeyType() : "only a REST API key should have its role built here";  final BytesReference roleDescriptorsBytes = (BytesReference) metadata.get(API_KEY_ROLE_DESCRIPTORS_KEY);
 final BytesReference limitedByRoleDescriptorsBytes = getLimitedByRoleDescriptorsBytes();
 if (roleDescriptorsBytes == null && limitedByRoleDescriptorsBytes == null) {
 throw new ElasticsearchSecurityException("no role descriptors found for API key");
 }  final RoleReference.ApiKeyRoleReference limitedByRoleReference = new RoleReference.ApiKeyRoleReference(