Important discovery and cluster formation settingsedit

There are two important discovery and cluster formation settings that should be configured before going to production so that nodes in the cluster can discover each other and elect a master node.


Out of the box, without any network configuration, Elasticsearch will bind to the available loopback addresses and will scan local ports 9300 to 9305 to try to connect to other nodes running on the same server. This provides an auto- clustering experience without having to do any configuration.

When you want to form a cluster with nodes on other hosts, you must use the discovery.seed_hosts setting to provide a list of other nodes in the cluster that are master-eligible and likely to be live and contactable in order to seed the discovery process. This setting should normally contain the addresses of all the master-eligible nodes in the cluster. This setting contains either an array of hosts or a comma-delimited string. Each value should be in the form of host:port or host (where port defaults to the setting transport.profiles.default.port falling back to transport.port if not set). Note that IPv6 hosts must be bracketed. The default for this setting is, [::1].


When you start a brand new Elasticsearch cluster for the very first time, there is a cluster bootstrapping step, which determines the set of master-eligible nodes whose votes are counted in the very first election. In development mode, with no discovery settings configured, this step is automatically performed by the nodes themselves. As this auto-bootstrapping is inherently unsafe, when you start a brand new cluster in production mode, you must explicitly list the master-eligible nodes whose votes should be counted in the very first election. This list is set using the cluster.initial_master_nodes setting. You should not use this setting when restarting a cluster or adding a new node to an existing cluster.

   - master-node-a
   - master-node-b
   - master-node-c

The port will default to transport.profiles.default.port and fallback to transport.port if not specified.

If a hostname resolves to multiple IP addresses then the node will attempt to discover other nodes at all resolved addresses.

The initial master nodes should be identified by their, which defaults to their hostname. Make sure that the value in cluster.initial_master_nodes matches the exactly. If you use a fully-qualified domain name such as for your node names then you must use the fully-qualified name in this list; conversely if is a bare hostname without any trailing qualifiers then you must also omit the trailing qualifiers in cluster.initial_master_nodes.

For more information, see Bootstrapping a cluster and Discovery and cluster formation settings.