API conventionsedit

The Elasticsearch REST APIs are exposed over HTTP. Except where noted, the following conventions apply across all APIs.

Content-type requirementsedit

The type of the content sent in a request body must be specified using the Content-Type header. The value of this header must map to one of the supported formats that the API supports. Most APIs support JSON, YAML, CBOR, and SMILE. The bulk and multi-search APIs support NDJSON, JSON, and SMILE; other types will result in an error response.

When using the source query string parameter, the content type must be specified using the source_content_type query string parameter.

Elasticsearch only supports UTF-8-encoded JSON. Elasticsearch ignores any other encoding headings sent with a request. Responses are also UTF-8 encoded.

X-Opaque-Id HTTP headeredit

You can pass an X-Opaque-Id HTTP header to track the origin of a request in Elasticsearch logs and tasks. If provided, Elasticsearch surfaces the X-Opaque-Id value in the:

For the deprecation logs, Elasticsearch also uses the X-Opaque-Id value to throttle and deduplicate deprecation warnings. See Deprecation logs throttling.

The X-Opaque-Id header accepts any arbitrary value. However, we recommend you limit these values to a finite set, such as an ID per client. Don’t generate a unique X-Opaque-Id header for every request. Too many unique X-Opaque-Id values can prevent Elasticsearch from deduplicating warnings in the deprecation logs.

traceparent HTTP headeredit

Elasticsearch also supports a traceparent HTTP header using the official W3C trace context spec. You can use the traceparent header to trace requests across Elastic products and other services. Because it’s only used for traces, you can safely generate a unique traceparent header for each request.

If provided, Elasticsearch surfaces the header’s trace-id value as trace.id in the:

For example, the following traceparent value would produce the following trace.id value in the above logs.

`traceparent`: 00-0af7651916cd43dd8448eb211c80319c-b7ad6b7169203331-01
`trace.id`: 0af7651916cd43dd8448eb211c80319c

GET and POST requestsedit

A number of Elasticsearch GET APIs—​most notably the search API—​support a request body. While the GET action makes sense in the context of retrieving information, GET requests with a body are not supported by all HTTP libraries. All Elasticsearch GET APIs that require a body can also be submitted as POST requests. Alternatively, you can pass the request body as the source query string parameter when using GET.

Cron expressionsedit

A cron expression is a string of the following form:

    <seconds> <minutes> <hours> <day_of_month> <month> <day_of_week> [year]

Elasticsearch uses the cron parser from the Quartz Job Scheduler. For more information about writing Quartz cron expressions, see the Quartz CronTrigger Tutorial.

All schedule times are in coordinated universal time (UTC); other timezones are not supported.

You can use the elasticsearch-croneval command line tool to validate your cron expressions.

Cron expression elementsedit

All elements are required except for year. See Cron special characters for information about the allowed special characters.

(Required) Valid values: 0-59 and the special characters , - * /
(Required) Valid values: 0-59 and the special characters , - * /
(Required) Valid values: 0-23 and the special characters , - * /
(Required) Valid values: 1-31 and the special characters , - * / ? L W
(Required) Valid values: 1-12, JAN-DEC, jan-dec, and the special characters , - * /
(Required) Valid values: 1-7, SUN-SAT, sun-sat, and the special characters , - * / ? L #
(Optional) Valid values: 1970-2099 and the special characters , - * /

Cron special charactersedit

Selects every possible value for a field. For example, * in the hours field means "every hour".
No specific value. Use when you don’t care what the value is. For example, if you want the schedule to trigger on a particular day of the month, but don’t care what day of the week that happens to be, you can specify ? in the day_of_week field.
A range of values (inclusive). Use to separate a minimum and maximum value. For example, if you want the schedule to trigger every hour between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., you could specify 9-17 in the hours field.
Multiple values. Use to separate multiple values for a field. For example, if you want the schedule to trigger every Tuesday and Thursday, you could specify TUE,THU in the day_of_week field.
Increment. Use to separate values when specifying a time increment. The first value represents the starting point, and the second value represents the interval. For example, if you want the schedule to trigger every 20 minutes starting at the top of the hour, you could specify 0/20 in the minutes field. Similarly, specifying 1/5 in day_of_month field will trigger every 5 days starting on the first day of the month.
Last. Use in the day_of_month field to mean the last day of the month—​day 31 for January, day 28 for February in non-leap years, day 30 for April, and so on. Use alone in the day_of_week field in place of 7 or SAT, or after a particular day of the week to select the last day of that type in the month. For example 6L means the last Friday of the month. You can specify LW in the day_of_month field to specify the last weekday of the month. Avoid using the L option when specifying lists or ranges of values, as the results likely won’t be what you expect.
Weekday. Use to specify the weekday (Monday-Friday) nearest the given day. As an example, if you specify 15W in the day_of_month field and the 15th is a Saturday, the schedule will trigger on the 14th. If the 15th is a Sunday, the schedule will trigger on Monday the 16th. If the 15th is a Tuesday, the schedule will trigger on Tuesday the 15th. However if you specify 1W as the value for day_of_month, and the 1st is a Saturday, the schedule will trigger on Monday the 3rd—​it won’t jump over the month boundary. You can specify LW in the day_of_month field to specify the last weekday of the month. You can only use the W option when the day_of_month is a single day—​it is not valid when specifying a range or list of days.
Nth XXX day in a month. Use in the day_of_week field to specify the nth XXX day of the month. For example, if you specify 6#1, the schedule will trigger on the first Friday of the month. Note that if you specify 3#5 and there are not 5 Tuesdays in a particular month, the schedule won’t trigger that month.


Setting daily triggersedit
0 5 9 * * ?
Trigger at 9:05 a.m. UTC every day.
0 5 9 * * ? 2020
Trigger at 9:05 a.m. UTC every day during the year 2020.
Restricting triggers to a range of days or timesedit
0 5 9 ? * MON-FRI
Trigger at 9:05 a.m. UTC Monday through Friday.
0 0-5 9 * * ?
Trigger every minute starting at 9:00 a.m. UTC and ending at 9:05 a.m. UTC every day.
Setting interval triggersedit
0 0/15 9 * * ?
Trigger every 15 minutes starting at 9:00 a.m. UTC and ending at 9:45 a.m. UTC every day.
0 5 9 1/3 * ?
Trigger at 9:05 a.m. UTC every 3 days every month, starting on the first day of the month.
Setting schedules that trigger on a particular dayedit
0 1 4 1 4 ?
Trigger every April 1st at 4:01 a.m. UTC.
0 0,30 9 ? 4 WED
Trigger at 9:00 a.m. UTC and at 9:30 a.m. UTC every Wednesday in the month of April.
0 5 9 15 * ?
Trigger at 9:05 a.m. UTC on the 15th day of every month.
0 5 9 15W * ?
Trigger at 9:05 a.m. UTC on the nearest weekday to the 15th of every month.
0 5 9 ? * 6#1
Trigger at 9:05 a.m. UTC on the first Friday of every month.
Setting triggers using lastedit
0 5 9 L * ?
Trigger at 9:05 a.m. UTC on the last day of every month.
0 5 9 ? * 2L
Trigger at 9:05 a.m. UTC on the last Monday of every month.
0 5 9 LW * ?
Trigger at 9:05 a.m. UTC on the last weekday of every month.

Date math support in index and index alias namesedit

Date math name resolution lets you to search a range of time series indices or index aliases rather than searching all of your indices and filtering the results. Limiting the number of searched indices reduces cluster load and improves search performance. For example, if you are searching for errors in your daily logs, you can use a date math name template to restrict the search to the past two days.

Most APIs that accept an index or index alias argument support date math. A date math name takes the following form:




Static text


Dynamic date math expression that computes the date dynamically


Optional format in which the computed date should be rendered. Defaults to yyyy.MM.dd. Format should be compatible with java-time https://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/api/java/time/format/DateTimeFormatter.html


Optional time zone. Defaults to UTC.

Pay attention to the usage of small vs capital letters used in the date_format. For example: mm denotes minute of hour, while MM denotes month of year. Similarly hh denotes the hour in the 1-12 range in combination with AM/PM, while HH denotes the hour in the 0-23 24-hour range.

Date math expressions are resolved locale-independent. Consequently, it is not possible to use any other calendars than the Gregorian calendar.

You must enclose date math names in angle brackets. If you use the name in a request path, special characters must be URI encoded. For example:

response = client.indices.create(
  index: '<my-index-{now/d}>'
puts response
# PUT /<my-index-{now/d}>
PUT /%3Cmy-index-%7Bnow%2Fd%7D%3E

Percent encoding of date math characters

The special characters used for date rounding must be URI encoded as follows:



















The following example shows different forms of date math names and the final names they resolve to given the current time is 22nd March 2024 noon UTC.

Expression Resolves to











To use the characters { and } in the static part of a name template, escape them with a backslash \, for example:

  • <elastic\{ON\}-{now/M}> resolves to elastic{ON}-2024.03.01

The following example shows a search request that searches the Logstash indices for the past three days, assuming the indices use the default Logstash index name format, logstash-YYYY.MM.dd.

$params = [
    'index' => '%3Clogstash-%7Bnow%2Fd-2d%7D%3E%2C%3Clogstash-%7Bnow%2Fd-1d%7D%3E%2C%3Clogstash-%7Bnow%2Fd%7D%3E',
    'body' => [
        'query' => [
            'match' => [
                'test' => 'data',
$response = $client->search($params);
resp = client.search(
    body={"query": {"match": {"test": "data"}}},
response = client.search(
  index: '<logstash-{now/d-2d}>,<logstash-{now/d-1d}>,<logstash-{now/d}>',
  body: {
    query: {
      match: {
        test: 'data'
puts response
res, err := es.Search(
	  "query": {
	    "match": {
	      "test": "data"
fmt.Println(res, err)
const response = await client.search({
  index: '%3Clogstash-%7Bnow%2Fd-2d%7D%3E%2C%3Clogstash-%7Bnow%2Fd-1d%7D%3E%2C%3Clogstash-%7Bnow%2Fd%7D%3E',
  body: {
    query: {
      match: {
        test: 'data'
# GET /<logstash-{now/d-2d}>,<logstash-{now/d-1d}>,<logstash-{now/d}>/_search
GET /%3Clogstash-%7Bnow%2Fd-2d%7D%3E%2C%3Clogstash-%7Bnow%2Fd-1d%7D%3E%2C%3Clogstash-%7Bnow%2Fd%7D%3E/_search
  "query" : {
    "match": {
      "test": "data"

Multi-target syntaxedit

Most APIs that accept a <data-stream>, <index>, or <target> request path parameter also support multi-target syntax.

In multi-target syntax, you can use a comma-separated list to run a request on multiple resources, such as data streams, indices, or aliases: test1,test2,test3. You can also use glob-like wildcard (*) expressions to target resources that match a pattern: test* or *test or te*t or *test*.

You can exclude targets using the - character: test*,-test3.

Aliases are resolved after wildcard expressions. This can result in a request that targets an excluded alias. For example, if test3 is an index alias, the pattern test*,-test3 still targets the indices for test3. To avoid this, exclude the concrete indices for the alias instead.

You can also exclude clusters from a list of clusters to search using the - character: remote*:*,-remote1:*,-remote4:* will search all clusters with an alias that starts with "remote" except for "remote1" and "remote4". Note that to exclude a cluster with this notation you must exclude all of its indexes. Excluding a subset of indexes on a remote cluster is currently not supported. For example, this will throw an exception: remote*:*,-remote1:logs*.

Multi-target APIs that can target indices support the following query string parameters:

(Optional, Boolean) If false, the request returns an error if it targets a missing or closed index. Defaults to false.
(Optional, Boolean) If false, the request returns an error if any wildcard expression, index alias, or _all value targets only missing or closed indices. This behavior applies even if the request targets other open indices. For example, a request targeting foo*,bar* returns an error if an index starts with foo but no index starts with bar.

(Optional, string) Type of index that wildcard patterns can match. If the request can target data streams, this argument determines whether wildcard expressions match hidden data streams. Supports comma-separated values, such as open,hidden. Valid values are:

Match any data stream or index, including hidden ones.
Match open, non-hidden indices. Also matches any non-hidden data stream.
Match closed, non-hidden indices. Also matches any non-hidden data stream. Data streams cannot be closed.
Match hidden data streams and hidden indices. Must be combined with open, closed, or both.
Wildcard patterns are not accepted.

The defaults settings for the above parameters depend on the API being used.

Some multi-target APIs that can target indices also support the following query string parameter:


(Optional, Boolean) If true, concrete, expanded or aliased indices are ignored when frozen. Defaults to true.

[7.16.0] Deprecated in 7.16.0.

APIs with a single target, such as the get document API, do not support multi-target syntax.

Hidden data streams and indicesedit

For most APIs, wildcard expressions do not match hidden data streams and indices by default. To match hidden data streams and indices using a wildcard expression, you must specify the expand_wildcards query parameter.

Alternatively, querying an index pattern starting with a dot, such as .watcher_hist*, will match hidden indices by default. This is intended to mirror Unix file-globbing behavior and provide a smoother transition path to hidden indices.

You can create hidden data streams by setting data_stream.hidden to true in the stream’s matching index template. You can hide indices using the index.hidden index setting.

The backing indices for data streams are hidden automatically. Some features, such as machine learning, store information in hidden indices.

Global index templates that match all indices are not applied to hidden indices.

System indicesedit

Elasticsearch modules and plugins can store configuration and state information in internal system indices. You should not directly access or modify system indices as they contain data essential to the operation of the system.

Direct access to system indices is deprecated and will no longer be allowed in a future major version.


Rest parameters (when using HTTP, map to HTTP URL parameters) follow the convention of using underscore casing.

Request body in query stringedit

For libraries that don’t accept a request body for non-POST requests, you can pass the request body as the source query string parameter instead. When using this method, the source_content_type parameter should also be passed with a media type value that indicates the format of the source, such as application/json.

REST API version compatibilityedit

Major version upgrades often include a number of breaking changes that impact how you interact with Elasticsearch. While we recommend that you monitor the deprecation logs and update applications before upgrading Elasticsearch, having to coordinate the necessary changes can be an impediment to upgrading.

You can enable an existing application to function without modification after an upgrade by including API compatibility headers, which tell Elasticsearch you are still using the previous version of the REST API. Using these headers allows the structure of requests and responses to remain the same; it does not guarantee the same behavior.

You set version compatibility on a per-request basis in the Content-Type and Accept headers. Setting compatible-with to the same major version as the version you’re running has no impact, but ensures that the request will still work after Elasticsearch is upgraded.

To tell Elasticsearch 8.0 you are using the 7.x request and response format, set compatible-with=7:

Content-Type: application/vnd.elasticsearch+json; compatible-with=7
Accept: application/vnd.elasticsearch+json; compatible-with=7

URL-based access controledit

Many users use a proxy with URL-based access control to secure access to Elasticsearch data streams and indices. For multi-search, multi-get, and bulk requests, the user has the choice of specifying a data stream or index in the URL and on each individual request within the request body. This can make URL-based access control challenging.

To prevent the user from overriding the data stream or index specified in the URL, set rest.action.multi.allow_explicit_index to false in elasticsearch.yml.

This causes Elasticsearch to reject requests that explicitly specify a data stream or index in the request body.

Boolean Valuesedit

All REST API parameters (both request parameters and JSON body) support providing boolean "false" as the value false and boolean "true" as the value true. All other values will raise an error.

Number Valuesedit

All REST APIs support providing numbered parameters as string on top of supporting the native JSON number types.

Byte size unitsedit

Whenever the byte size of data needs to be specified, e.g. when setting a buffer size parameter, the value must specify the unit, like 10kb for 10 kilobytes. Note that these units use powers of 1024, so 1kb means 1024 bytes. The supported units are:













Distance Unitsedit

Wherever distances need to be specified, such as the distance parameter in the Geo-distance), the default unit is meters if none is specified. Distances can be specified in other units, such as "1km" or "2mi" (2 miles).

The full list of units is listed below:


mi or miles


yd or yards


ft or feet


in or inch


km or kilometers


m or meters


cm or centimeters


mm or millimeters

Nautical mile

NM, nmi, or nauticalmiles

Time unitsedit

Whenever durations need to be specified, e.g. for a timeout parameter, the duration must specify the unit, like 2d for 2 days. The supported units are:















Unit-less quantitiesedit

Unit-less quantities means that they don’t have a "unit" like "bytes" or "Hertz" or "meter" or "long tonne".

If one of these quantities is large we’ll print it out like 10m for 10,000,000 or 7k for 7,000. We’ll still print 87 when we mean 87 though. These are the supported multipliers: