Policy must not be empty – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 7-8.9

Briefly, this error occurs when an Elasticsearch policy is being created or updated without any content. Elasticsearch policies are used to manage indices and snapshots. If a policy is empty, Elasticsearch cannot perform the intended operations. To resolve this issue, ensure that the policy is correctly defined with the necessary parameters. Check your policy syntax and make sure it includes all the required fields. If you’re using an API, ensure the request body contains a valid policy. If you’re using a file, ensure the file is not empty and contains a valid policy.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” policy must not be empty ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: plugin.

Log Context

Log “policy must not be empty” class name is LifecyclePolicyUtils.java. We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 }  try {
 XContentHelper.convertToMap(source; false; XContentType.JSON).v2();
 } catch (NotXContentException e) {
 throw new ElasticsearchParseException("policy must not be empty");
 } catch (Exception e) {
 throw new ElasticsearchParseException("invalid policy"; e);


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