Operation only allowed when shard is active – 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 ” operation only allowed when shard is active ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: shard and index.

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 “operation only allowed when shard is active”classname  is IndexShard.java We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 protected final void verifyActive() throws IllegalIndexShardStateException {
 IndexShardState state = this.state; // one time volatile read
 if (state != IndexShardState.STARTED) {
 throw new IllegalIndexShardStateException(shardId; state; "operation only allowed when shard is active");
 * Returns number of heap bytes used by the indexing buffer for this shard; or 0 if the shard is closed


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