Bulk APIedit

The bulk API makes it possible to perform many index/delete operations in a single API call. This can greatly increase the indexing speed.

The REST API endpoint is /_bulk, and it expects the following JSON structure:


NOTE: the final line of data must end with a newline character \n.

The possible actions are index, create, delete and update. index and create expect a source on the next line, and have the same semantics as the op_type parameter to the standard index API (i.e. create will fail if a document with the same index and type exists already, whereas index will add or replace a document as necessary). delete does not expect a source on the following line, and has the same semantics as the standard delete API. update expects that the partial doc, upsert and script and its options are specified on the next line.

If you’re providing text file input to curl, you must use the --data-binary flag instead of plain -d. The latter doesn’t preserve newlines. Example:

$ cat requests
{ "index" : { "_index" : "test", "_type" : "type1", "_id" : "1" } }
{ "field1" : "value1" }
$ curl -s -XPOST localhost:9200/_bulk --data-binary "@requests"; echo
{"took":7, "errors": false, "items":[{"index":{"_index":"test","_type":"type1","_id":"1","_version":1,"result":"created","forced_refresh":false}}]}

Because this format uses literal \n's as delimiters, please be sure that the JSON actions and sources are not pretty printed. Here is an example of a correct sequence of bulk commands:

{ "index" : { "_index" : "test", "_type" : "type1", "_id" : "1" } }
{ "field1" : "value1" }
{ "delete" : { "_index" : "test", "_type" : "type1", "_id" : "2" } }
{ "create" : { "_index" : "test", "_type" : "type1", "_id" : "3" } }
{ "field1" : "value3" }
{ "update" : {"_id" : "1", "_type" : "type1", "_index" : "index1"} }
{ "doc" : {"field2" : "value2"} }

In the above example doc for the update action is a partial document, that will be merged with the already stored document.

The endpoints are /_bulk, /{index}/_bulk, and {index}/{type}/_bulk. When the index or the index/type are provided, they will be used by default on bulk items that don’t provide them explicitly.

A note on the format. The idea here is to make processing of this as fast as possible. As some of the actions will be redirected to other shards on other nodes, only action_meta_data is parsed on the receiving node side.

Client libraries using this protocol should try and strive to do something similar on the client side, and reduce buffering as much as possible.

The response to a bulk action is a large JSON structure with the individual results of each action that was performed. The failure of a single action does not affect the remaining actions.

There is no "correct" number of actions to perform in a single bulk call. You should experiment with different settings to find the optimum size for your particular workload.

If using the HTTP API, make sure that the client does not send HTTP chunks, as this will slow things down.


Each bulk item can include the version value using the _version/version field. It automatically follows the behavior of the index / delete operation based on the _version mapping. It also support the version_type/_version_type (see versioning)


Each bulk item can include the routing value using the _routing/routing field. It automatically follows the behavior of the index / delete operation based on the _routing mapping.


Each bulk item can include the parent value using the _parent/parent field. It automatically follows the behavior of the index / delete operation based on the _parent / _routing mapping.

Wait For Active Shardsedit

When making bulk calls, you can set the wait_for_active_shards parameter to require a minimum number of shard copies to be active before starting to process the bulk request. See here for further details and a usage example.


Control when the changes made by this request are visible to search. See refresh.


When using update action _retry_on_conflict can be used as field in the action itself (not in the extra payload line), to specify how many times an update should be retried in the case of a version conflict.

The update action payload, supports the following options: doc (partial document), upsert, doc_as_upsert, script, params (for script), lang (for script) and _source. See update documentation for details on the options. Curl example with update actions:

{ "update" : {"_id" : "1", "_type" : "type1", "_index" : "index1", "_retry_on_conflict" : 3} }
{ "doc" : {"field" : "value"} }
{ "update" : { "_id" : "0", "_type" : "type1", "_index" : "index1", "_retry_on_conflict" : 3} }
{ "script" : { "inline": "ctx._source.counter += params.param1", "lang" : "painless", "params" : {"param1" : 1}}, "upsert" : {"counter" : 1}}
{ "update" : {"_id" : "2", "_type" : "type1", "_index" : "index1", "_retry_on_conflict" : 3} }
{ "doc" : {"field" : "value"}, "doc_as_upsert" : true }
{ "update" : {"_id" : "3", "_type" : "type1", "_index" : "index1", "_source" : true} }
{ "doc" : {"field" : "value"} }
{ "update" : {"_id" : "4", "_type" : "type1", "_index" : "index1"} }
{ "doc" : {"field" : "value"}, "_source": true}


See URL-based access control