Paginate search resultsedit

By default, searches return the top 10 matching hits. To page through a larger set of results, you can use the search API's from and size parameters. The from parameter defines the number of hits to skip, defaulting to 0. The size parameter is the maximum number of hits to return. Together, these two parameters define a page of results.

response = client.search(
  body: {
    from: 5,
    size: 20,
    query: {
      match: {
        "user.id": 'kimchy'
      }
    }
  }
)
puts response
res, err := es.Search(
	es.Search.WithBody(strings.NewReader(`{
	  "from": 5,
	  "size": 20,
	  "query": {
	    "match": {
	      "user.id": "kimchy"
	    }
	  }
	}`)),
	es.Search.WithPretty(),
)
fmt.Println(res, err)
GET /_search
{
  "from": 5,
  "size": 20,
  "query": {
    "match": {
      "user.id": "kimchy"
    }
  }
}

Avoid using from and size to page too deeply or request too many results at once. Search requests usually span multiple shards. Each shard must load its requested hits and the hits for any previous pages into memory. For deep pages or large sets of results, these operations can significantly increase memory and CPU usage, resulting in degraded performance or node failures.

By default, you cannot use from and size to page through more than 10,000 hits. This limit is a safeguard set by the index.max_result_window index setting. If you need to page through more than 10,000 hits, use the search_after parameter instead.

Elasticsearch uses Lucene’s internal doc IDs as tie-breakers. These internal doc IDs can be completely different across replicas of the same data. When paging search hits, you might occasionally see that documents with the same sort values are not ordered consistently.

Search afteredit

You can use the search_after parameter to retrieve the next page of hits using a set of sort values from the previous page.

Using search_after requires multiple search requests with the same query and sort values. If a refresh occurs between these requests, the order of your results may change, causing inconsistent results across pages. To prevent this, you can create a point in time (PIT) to preserve the current index state over your searches.

POST /my-index-000001/_pit?keep_alive=1m

The API returns a PIT ID.

{
  "id": "46ToAwMDaWR4BXV1aWQxAgZub2RlXzEAAAAAAAAAAAEBYQNpZHkFdXVpZDIrBm5vZGVfMwAAAAAAAAAAKgFjA2lkeQV1dWlkMioGbm9kZV8yAAAAAAAAAAAMAWICBXV1aWQyAAAFdXVpZDEAAQltYXRjaF9hbGw_gAAAAA=="
}

To get the first page of results, submit a search request with a sort argument. If using a PIT, specify the PIT ID in the pit.id parameter and omit the target data stream or index from the request path.

We recommend you include a tiebreaker field in your sort. This tiebreaker field should contain a unique value for each document. If you don’t include a tiebreaker field, your paged results could miss or duplicate hits.

GET /_search
{
  "size": 10000,
  "query": {
    "match" : {
      "user.id" : "elkbee"
    }
  },
  "pit": {
	    "id":  "46ToAwMDaWR4BXV1aWQxAgZub2RlXzEAAAAAAAAAAAEBYQNpZHkFdXVpZDIrBm5vZGVfMwAAAAAAAAAAKgFjA2lkeQV1dWlkMioGbm9kZV8yAAAAAAAAAAAMAWICBXV1aWQyAAAFdXVpZDEAAQltYXRjaF9hbGw_gAAAAA==", 
	    "keep_alive": "1m"
  },
  "sort": [ 
    {"@timestamp": "asc"},
    {"tie_breaker_id": "asc"}
  ]
}

PIT ID for the search.

Sorts hits for the search.

The search response includes an array of sort values for each hit. If you used a PIT, the response’s pit_id parameter contains an updated PIT ID.

{
  "pit_id" : "46ToAwEPbXktaW5kZXgtMDAwMDAxFnVzaTVuenpUVGQ2TFNheUxVUG5LVVEAFldicVdzOFFtVHZTZDFoWWowTGkwS0EAAAAAAAAAAAQURzZzcUszUUJ5U1NMX3Jyak5ET0wBFnVzaTVuenpUVGQ2TFNheUxVUG5LVVEAAA==", 
  "took" : 17,
  "timed_out" : false,
  "_shards" : ...,
  "hits" : {
    "total" : ...,
    "max_score" : null,
    "hits" : [
      ...
      {
        "_index" : "my-index-000001",
        "_id" : "FaslK3QBySSL_rrj9zM5",
        "_score" : null,
        "_source" : ...,
        "sort" : [                                
          4098435132000,
          "FaslK3QBySSL_rrj9zM5"
        ]
      }
    ]
  }
}

Updated id for the point in time.

Sort values for the last returned hit.

To get the next page of results, rerun the previous search using the last hit’s sort values as the search_after argument. If using a PIT, use the latest PIT ID in the pit.id parameter. The search’s query and sort arguments must remain unchanged. If provided, the from argument must be 0 (default) or -1.

GET /_search
{
  "size": 10000,
  "query": {
    "match" : {
      "user.id" : "elkbee"
    }
  },
  "pit": {
	    "id":  "46ToAwEPbXktaW5kZXgtMDAwMDAxFnVzaTVuenpUVGQ2TFNheUxVUG5LVVEAFldicVdzOFFtVHZTZDFoWWowTGkwS0EAAAAAAAAAAAQURzZzcUszUUJ5U1NMX3Jyak5ET0wBFnVzaTVuenpUVGQ2TFNheUxVUG5LVVEAAA==", 
	    "keep_alive": "1m"
  },
  "sort": [
    {"@timestamp": "asc"},
    {"tie_breaker_id": "asc"}
  ],
  "search_after": [                                
    4098435132000,
    "FaslK3QBySSL_rrj9zM5"
  ]
}

PIT ID returned by the previous search.

Sort values from the previous search’s last hit.

You can repeat this process to get additional pages of results. If using a PIT, you can extend the PIT’s retention period using the keep_alive parameter of each search request.

When you’re finished, you should delete your PIT.

DELETE /_pit
{
    "id" : "46ToAwEPbXktaW5kZXgtMDAwMDAxFnVzaTVuenpUVGQ2TFNheUxVUG5LVVEAFldicVdzOFFtVHZTZDFoWWowTGkwS0EAAAAAAAAAAAQURzZzcUszUUJ5U1NMX3Jyak5ET0wBFnVzaTVuenpUVGQ2TFNheUxVUG5LVVEAAA=="
}

Scroll search resultsedit

We no longer recommend using the scroll API for deep pagination. If you need to preserve the index state while paging through more than 10,000 hits, use the search_after parameter with a point in time (PIT).

While a search request returns a single “page” of results, the scroll API can be used to retrieve large numbers of results (or even all results) from a single search request, in much the same way as you would use a cursor on a traditional database.

Scrolling is not intended for real time user requests, but rather for processing large amounts of data, e.g. in order to reindex the contents of one data stream or index into a new data stream or index with a different configuration.

The results that are returned from a scroll request reflect the state of the data stream or index at the time that the initial search request was made, like a snapshot in time. Subsequent changes to documents (index, update or delete) will only affect later search requests.

In order to use scrolling, the initial search request should specify the scroll parameter in the query string, which tells Elasticsearch how long it should keep the “search context” alive (see Keeping the search context alive), eg ?scroll=1m.

POST /my-index-000001/_search?scroll=1m
{
  "size": 100,
  "query": {
    "match": {
      "message": "foo"
    }
  }
}

The result from the above request includes a _scroll_id, which should be passed to the scroll API in order to retrieve the next batch of results.

response = client.scroll(
  body: {
    scroll: '1m',
    scroll_id: 'DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ=='
  }
)
puts response
res, err := es.Scroll(
	es.Scroll.WithBody(strings.NewReader(`{
	  "scroll": "1m",
	  "scroll_id": "DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ=="
	}`)),
	es.Scroll.WithPretty(),
)
fmt.Println(res, err)
POST /_search/scroll                                                               
{
  "scroll" : "1m",                                                                 
  "scroll_id" : "DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==" 
}

GET or POST can be used and the URL should not include the index name — this is specified in the original search request instead.

The scroll parameter tells Elasticsearch to keep the search context open for another 1m.

The scroll_id parameter

The size parameter allows you to configure the maximum number of hits to be returned with each batch of results. Each call to the scroll API returns the next batch of results until there are no more results left to return, ie the hits array is empty.

The initial search request and each subsequent scroll request each return a _scroll_id. While the _scroll_id may change between requests, it doesn’t always change — in any case, only the most recently received _scroll_id should be used.

If the request specifies aggregations, only the initial search response will contain the aggregations results.

Scroll requests have optimizations that make them faster when the sort order is _doc. If you want to iterate over all documents regardless of the order, this is the most efficient option:

$params = [
    'body' => [
        'sort' => [
            '_doc',
        ],
    ],
];
$response = $client->search($params);
var searchResponse = client.Search<Tweet>(s => s
    .AllIndices()
    .Scroll("1m")
    .Sort(so => so
        .Descending(SortSpecialField.DocumentIndexOrder)
    )
);
resp = client.search(scroll="1m", body={"sort": ["_doc"]})
print(resp)
response = client.search(
  scroll: '1m',
  body: {
    sort: [
      '_doc'
    ]
  }
)
puts response
res, err := es.Search(
	es.Search.WithBody(strings.NewReader(`{
	  "sort": [
	    "_doc"
	  ]
	}`)),
	es.Search.WithScroll(time.Duration(60000000000)),
	es.Search.WithPretty(),
)
fmt.Println(res, err)
const response = await client.search({
  scroll: '1m',
  body: {
    sort: [
      '_doc'
    ]
  }
})
console.log(response)
GET /_search?scroll=1m
{
  "sort": [
    "_doc"
  ]
}

Keeping the search context aliveedit

A scroll returns all the documents which matched the search at the time of the initial search request. It ignores any subsequent changes to these documents. The scroll_id identifies a search context which keeps track of everything that Elasticsearch needs to return the correct documents. The search context is created by the initial request and kept alive by subsequent requests.

The scroll parameter (passed to the search request and to every scroll request) tells Elasticsearch how long it should keep the search context alive. Its value (e.g. 1m, see Time units) does not need to be long enough to process all data — it just needs to be long enough to process the previous batch of results. Each scroll request (with the scroll parameter) sets a new expiry time. If a scroll request doesn’t pass in the scroll parameter, then the search context will be freed as part of that scroll request.

Normally, the background merge process optimizes the index by merging together smaller segments to create new, bigger segments. Once the smaller segments are no longer needed they are deleted. This process continues during scrolling, but an open search context prevents the old segments from being deleted since they are still in use.

Keeping older segments alive means that more disk space and file handles are needed. Ensure that you have configured your nodes to have ample free file handles. See File Descriptors.

Additionally, if a segment contains deleted or updated documents then the search context must keep track of whether each document in the segment was live at the time of the initial search request. Ensure that your nodes have sufficient heap space if you have many open scrolls on an index that is subject to ongoing deletes or updates.

To prevent against issues caused by having too many scrolls open, the user is not allowed to open scrolls past a certain limit. By default, the maximum number of open scrolls is 500. This limit can be updated with the search.max_open_scroll_context cluster setting.

You can check how many search contexts are open with the nodes stats API:

$params = [
    'metric' => 'indices',
    'index_metric' => 'search',
];
$response = $client->nodes()->stats($params);
var nodesStatsResponse = client.Nodes.Stats(s => s
    .Metric(NodesStatsMetric.Indices)
    .IndexMetric(NodesStatsIndexMetric.Search)
);
resp = client.nodes.stats(metric="indices", index_metric="search")
print(resp)
response = client.nodes.stats(
  metric: 'indices',
  index_metric: 'search'
)
puts response
res, err := es.Nodes.Stats(
	es.Nodes.Stats.WithMetric([]string{"indices"}...),
	es.Nodes.Stats.WithIndexMetric([]string{"search"}...),
)
fmt.Println(res, err)
const response = await client.nodes.stats({
  metric: 'indices',
  index_metric: 'search'
})
console.log(response)
GET /_nodes/stats/indices/search

Clear scrolledit

Search context are automatically removed when the scroll timeout has been exceeded. However keeping scrolls open has a cost, as discussed in the previous section so scrolls should be explicitly cleared as soon as the scroll is not being used anymore using the clear-scroll API:

response = client.clear_scroll(
  body: {
    scroll_id: 'DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ=='
  }
)
puts response
res, err := es.ClearScroll(
	es.ClearScroll.WithBody(strings.NewReader(`{
	  "scroll_id": "DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ=="
	}`)),
)
fmt.Println(res, err)
DELETE /_search/scroll
{
  "scroll_id" : "DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ=="
}

Multiple scroll IDs can be passed as array:

response = client.clear_scroll(
  body: {
    scroll_id: [
      'DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==',
      'DnF1ZXJ5VGhlbkZldGNoBQAAAAAAAAABFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAAAxZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFBAAAAAAAAAAIWa1JZZFFZQmtTajZkTGlIYkJWZDFhQQAAAAAAAAAFFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAABBZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFB'
    ]
  }
)
puts response
res, err := es.ClearScroll(
	es.ClearScroll.WithBody(strings.NewReader(`{
	  "scroll_id": [
	    "DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==",
	    "DnF1ZXJ5VGhlbkZldGNoBQAAAAAAAAABFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAAAxZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFBAAAAAAAAAAIWa1JZZFFZQmtTajZkTGlIYkJWZDFhQQAAAAAAAAAFFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAABBZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFB"
	  ]
	}`)),
)
fmt.Println(res, err)
DELETE /_search/scroll
{
  "scroll_id" : [
    "DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==",
    "DnF1ZXJ5VGhlbkZldGNoBQAAAAAAAAABFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAAAxZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFBAAAAAAAAAAIWa1JZZFFZQmtTajZkTGlIYkJWZDFhQQAAAAAAAAAFFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAABBZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFB"
  ]
}

All search contexts can be cleared with the _all parameter:

$params = [
    'scroll_id' => '_all',
];
$response = $client->clearScroll($params);
var clearScrollResponse = client.ClearScroll(c => c
    .ScrollId("_all") 
);
resp = client.clear_scroll(scroll_id="_all")
print(resp)
response = client.clear_scroll(
  scroll_id: '_all'
)
puts response
res, err := es.ClearScroll(
	es.ClearScroll.WithScrollID("_all"),
)
fmt.Println(res, err)
const response = await client.clearScroll({
  scroll_id: '_all'
})
console.log(response)
DELETE /_search/scroll/_all

The client always sends scroll_id in the request body

The scroll_id can also be passed as a query string parameter or in the request body. Multiple scroll IDs can be passed as comma separated values:

$params = [
    'scroll_id' => 'DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==,DnF1ZXJ5VGhlbkZldGNoBQAAAAAAAAABFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAAAxZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFBAAAAAAAAAAIWa1JZZFFZQmtTajZkTGlIYkJWZDFhQQAAAAAAAAAFFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAABBZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFB',
];
$response = $client->clearScroll($params);
var clearScrollResponse = client.ClearScroll(c => c
    .ScrollId(
        "DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==", 
        "DnF1ZXJ5VGhlbkZldGNoBQAAAAAAAAABFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAAAxZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFBAAAAAAAAAAIWa1JZZFFZQmtTajZkTGlIYkJWZDFhQQAAAAAAAAAFFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAABBZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFB")
);
resp = client.clear_scroll(
    scroll_id=[
        "DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==",
        "DnF1ZXJ5VGhlbkZldGNoBQAAAAAAAAABFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAAAxZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFBAAAAAAAAAAIWa1JZZFFZQmtTajZkTGlIYkJWZDFhQQAAAAAAAAAFFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAABBZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFB",
    ],
)
print(resp)
response = client.clear_scroll(
  scroll_id: 'DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==,DnF1ZXJ5VGhlbkZldGNoBQAAAAAAAAABFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAAAxZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFBAAAAAAAAAAIWa1JZZFFZQmtTajZkTGlIYkJWZDFhQQAAAAAAAAAFFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAABBZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFB'
)
puts response
res, err := es.ClearScroll(
	es.ClearScroll.WithScrollID("DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==", "DnF1ZXJ5VGhlbkZldGNoBQAAAAAAAAABFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAAAxZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFBAAAAAAAAAAIWa1JZZFFZQmtTajZkTGlIYkJWZDFhQQAAAAAAAAAFFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAABBZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFB"),
)
fmt.Println(res, err)
const response = await client.clearScroll({
  scroll_id: 'DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==,DnF1ZXJ5VGhlbkZldGNoBQAAAAAAAAABFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAAAxZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFBAAAAAAAAAAIWa1JZZFFZQmtTajZkTGlIYkJWZDFhQQAAAAAAAAAFFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAABBZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFB'
})
console.log(response)
DELETE /_search/scroll/DXF1ZXJ5QW5kRmV0Y2gBAAAAAAAAAD4WYm9laVYtZndUQlNsdDcwakFMNjU1QQ==,DnF1ZXJ5VGhlbkZldGNoBQAAAAAAAAABFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAAAxZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFBAAAAAAAAAAIWa1JZZFFZQmtTajZkTGlIYkJWZDFhQQAAAAAAAAAFFmtSWWRRWUJrU2o2ZExpSGJCVmQxYUEAAAAAAAAABBZrUllkUVlCa1NqNmRMaUhiQlZkMWFB

The client always sends scroll_id in the request body

Sliced scrolledit

For scroll queries that return a lot of documents it is possible to split the scroll in multiple slices which can be consumed independently:

GET /my-index-000001/_search?scroll=1m
{
  "slice": {
    "id": 0,                      
    "max": 2                      
  },
  "query": {
    "match": {
      "message": "foo"
    }
  }
}
GET /my-index-000001/_search?scroll=1m
{
  "slice": {
    "id": 1,
    "max": 2
  },
  "query": {
    "match": {
      "message": "foo"
    }
  }
}

The id of the slice

The maximum number of slices

The result from the first request returned documents that belong to the first slice (id: 0) and the result from the second request returned documents that belong to the second slice. Since the maximum number of slices is set to 2 the union of the results of the two requests is equivalent to the results of a scroll query without slicing. By default the splitting is done on the shards first and then locally on each shard using the _id field with the following formula: slice(doc) = floorMod(hashCode(doc._id), max) For instance if the number of shards is equal to 2 and the user requested 4 slices then the slices 0 and 2 are assigned to the first shard and the slices 1 and 3 are assigned to the second shard.

Each scroll is independent and can be processed in parallel like any scroll request.

If the number of slices is bigger than the number of shards the slice filter is very slow on the first calls, it has a complexity of O(N) and a memory cost equals to N bits per slice where N is the total number of documents in the shard. After few calls the filter should be cached and subsequent calls should be faster but you should limit the number of sliced query you perform in parallel to avoid the memory explosion.

To avoid this cost entirely it is possible to use the doc_values of another field to do the slicing but the user must ensure that the field has the following properties:

  • The field is numeric.
  • doc_values are enabled on that field
  • Every document should contain a single value. If a document has multiple values for the specified field, the first value is used.
  • The value for each document should be set once when the document is created and never updated. This ensures that each slice gets deterministic results.
  • The cardinality of the field should be high. This ensures that each slice gets approximately the same amount of documents.
GET /my-index-000001/_search?scroll=1m
{
  "slice": {
    "field": "@timestamp",
    "id": 0,
    "max": 10
  },
  "query": {
    "match": {
      "message": "foo"
    }
  }
}

For append only time-based indices, the timestamp field can be used safely.

By default the maximum number of slices allowed per scroll is limited to 1024. You can update the index.max_slices_per_scroll index setting to bypass this limit.