Create index APIedit

Creates a new index.

PUT /my-index-000001


PUT /<index>


  • If the Elasticsearch security features are enabled, you must have the create_index or manage index privilege for the target index.


You can use the create index API to add a new index to an Elasticsearch cluster. When creating an index, you can specify the following:

  • Settings for the index
  • Mappings for fields in the index
  • Index aliases

Path parametersedit


(Required, string) Name of the index you wish to create.

Index names must meet the following criteria:

  • Lowercase only
  • Cannot include \, /, *, ?, ", <, >, |, ` ` (space character), ,, #
  • Indices prior to 7.0 could contain a colon (:), but that’s been deprecated and won’t be supported in 7.0+
  • Cannot start with -, _, +
  • Cannot be . or ..
  • Cannot be longer than 255 bytes (note it is bytes, so multi-byte characters will count towards the 255 limit faster)
  • Names starting with . are deprecated, except for hidden indices and internal indices managed by plugins

Query parametersedit

[7.0.0] Deprecated in 7.0.0. Mapping types have been deprecated. See Removal of mapping types. (Optional, boolean) If true, a mapping type is expected in the body of mappings. Defaults to false.

(Optional, string) The number of shard copies that must be active before proceeding with the operation. Set to all or any positive integer up to the total number of shards in the index (number_of_replicas+1). Default: 1, the primary shard.

See Active shards.

(Optional, time units) Period to wait for a connection to the master node. If no response is received before the timeout expires, the request fails and returns an error. Defaults to 30s.
(Optional, time units) Period to wait for a response. If no response is received before the timeout expires, the request fails and returns an error. Defaults to 30s.

Request bodyedit


(Optional, object) Aliases for the index.

Properties of aliases objects

(Required, object) The key is the alias name. Supports date math.

The object body contains options for the alias. Supports an empty object.

Properties of <alias>
(Optional, Query DSL object) Query used to limit the documents the alias can access.
(Optional, string) Value used to route indexing operations to a specific shard. If specified, this overwrites the routing value for indexing operations.
(Optional, Boolean) If true, the alias is hidden. Defaults to false.
(Optional, Boolean) If true, the index is the write index for the alias. Defaults to false.
(Optional, string) Value used to route indexing and search operations to a specific shard.
(Optional, string) Value used to route search operations to a specific shard. If specified, this overwrites the routing value for search operations.

(Optional, mapping object) Mapping for fields in the index. If specified, this mapping can include:

See Mapping.

(Optional, index setting object) Configuration options for the index. See Index Settings.


Index settingsedit

Each index created can have specific settings associated with it, defined in the body:

PUT /my-index-000001
  "settings": {
    "index": {
      "number_of_shards": 3,  
      "number_of_replicas": 2 

Default for number_of_shards is 1

Default for number_of_replicas is 1 (ie one replica for each primary shard)

or more simplified

PUT /my-index-000001
  "settings": {
    "number_of_shards": 3,
    "number_of_replicas": 2

You do not have to explicitly specify index section inside the settings section.

For more information regarding all the different index level settings that can be set when creating an index, please check the index modules section.


The create index API allows for providing a mapping definition:

PUT /test
  "settings": {
    "number_of_shards": 1
  "mappings": {
    "properties": {
      "field1": { "type": "text" }

Before 7.0.0, the mappings definition used to include a type name. Although specifying types in requests is now deprecated, a type can still be provided if the request parameter include_type_name is set. For more details, please see Removal of mapping types.


The create index API allows also to provide a set of aliases:

PUT /test
  "aliases": {
    "alias_1": {},
    "alias_2": {
      "filter": {
        "term": { "": "kimchy" }
      "routing": "shard-1"

Wait for active shardsedit

By default, index creation will only return a response to the client when the primary copies of each shard have been started, or the request times out. The index creation response will indicate what happened:

  "acknowledged": true,
  "shards_acknowledged": true,
  "index": "test"

acknowledged indicates whether the index was successfully created in the cluster, while shards_acknowledged indicates whether the requisite number of shard copies were started for each shard in the index before timing out. Note that it is still possible for either acknowledged or shards_acknowledged to be false, but the index creation was successful. These values simply indicate whether the operation completed before the timeout. If acknowledged is false, then we timed out before the cluster state was updated with the newly created index, but it probably will be created sometime soon. If shards_acknowledged is false, then we timed out before the requisite number of shards were started (by default just the primaries), even if the cluster state was successfully updated to reflect the newly created index (i.e. acknowledged=true).

We can change the default of only waiting for the primary shards to start through the index setting index.write.wait_for_active_shards (note that changing this setting will also affect the wait_for_active_shards value on all subsequent write operations):

PUT /test
  "settings": {
    "index.write.wait_for_active_shards": "2"

or through the request parameter wait_for_active_shards:

PUT /test?wait_for_active_shards=2

A detailed explanation of wait_for_active_shards and its possible values can be found here.