Unknown order direction dir – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 7.16-8.9

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Briefly, this error occurs when an invalid sorting direction is specified in an Elasticsearch query. The only acceptable values for sorting direction are “asc” for ascending order and “desc” for descending order. To resolve this issue, check your query and ensure that the sorting direction is correctly specified. If you’re dynamically generating the direction, validate the input to prevent invalid values.

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This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” Unknown order direction [” + dir + “] ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: search, aggregations.

Log Context

Log “Unknown order direction [” + dir + “]” class name is InternalOrder.java. We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 if ("asc".equalsIgnoreCase(dir)) {
 orderAsc = true;
 } else if ("desc".equalsIgnoreCase(dir)) {
 orderAsc = false;
 } else {
 throw new ParsingException(parser.getTokenLocation(); "Unknown order direction [" + dir + "]");
 } else {
 throw new ParsingException(parser.getTokenLocation(); "Unexpected token [" + token + "] for [order]");


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