Start array expected snapshots – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-7.9

Briefly, this error occurs when Elasticsearch expects an array to start but doesn’t find it. It’s usually due to incorrect JSON formatting in the request body, specifically related to the “snapshots” field. To resolve this, ensure that the “snapshots” field is correctly formatted as an array. If it’s a single snapshot, it should still be enclosed in square brackets. Also, check for any missing or extra commas, brackets, or quotation marks in your JSON request.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” start array expected [snapshots] ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: repositories.

Log Context

Log “start array expected [snapshots]” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 if (INDEX_ID.equals(indexMetaFieldName)) {
 indexId = new IndexId(indexName; parser.text());
 } else if (SNAPSHOTS.equals(indexMetaFieldName)) {
 if (parser.currentToken() != XContentParser.Token.START_ARRAY) {
 throw new ElasticsearchParseException("start array expected [snapshots]");
 while (parser.nextToken() != XContentParser.Token.END_ARRAY) {
 String uuid = null;
 // the old format pre 5.4.1 which contains the snapshot name and uuid
 if (parser.currentToken() == XContentParser.Token.START_OBJECT) {


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