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You're viewing version 1.0 of the OpenSearch documentation. This version is no longer maintained. For the latest version, see the current documentation. For information about OpenSearch version maintenance, see Release Schedule and Maintenance Policy.

Create index

Introduced 1.0

While you can create an index by using a document as a base, you can also just create an empty index for use later.


The following example demonstrates how to create an index with a non-default number of primary and replica shards, specifies that age is of type integer, and assigns a sample-alias1 alias to the index.

PUT /sample-index1

  "settings": {
    "index": {
      "number_of_shards": 2,
      "number_of_replicas": 1
  "mappings": {
    "properties": {
      "age": {
        "type": "integer"
  "aliases": {
    "sample-alias1": {}

Path and HTTP methods

PUT <index-name>

Index naming restrictions

OpenSearch indices have the following naming restrictions:

  • All letters must be lowercase.
  • Index names can’t begin with underscores (_) or hyphens (-).
  • Index names can’t contain spaces, commas, or the following characters:

    :, ", *, +, /, \, |, ?, #, >, or <

URL parameters

You can include the following URL parameters in your request. All parameters are optional.

Parameter Type Description
include_type_name Boolean If true, the request expects a type in the body of mappings. Because OpenSearch indices all have a type of _doc, we recommend that this parameter is left as the default of false.
wait_for_active_shards String Specifies the number of active shards that must be available before OpenSearch processes the request. Default is 1 (only the primary shard). Set to all or a positive integer. Values greater than 1 require replicas. For example, if you specify a value of 3, the index must have two replicas distributed across two additional nodes for the request to succeed.
master_timeout Time How long to wait for a connection to the master node. Default is 30s.
timeout Time How long to wait for the request to return. Default is 30s.

Request body

As part of your request, you can supply parameters in your request’s body that specify index settings, mappings, and aliases for your newly created index. The following sections provide more information about index settings and mappings.

Index settings

Index settings are separated into two varieties: static index settings and dynamic index settings. Static index settings are settings that you specify at index creation and can’t change later. You can change dynamic settings at any time, including at index creation.

Static index settings

Setting Description
index.number_of_shards The number of primary shards in the index. Default is 1.
index.number_of_routing_shards The number of routing shards used to split an index.
index.shard.check_on_startup Whether the index’s shards should be checked for corruption. Available options are false (do not check for corruption), checksum (check for physical corruption), and true (check for both physical and logical corruption). Default is false.
index.codec The compression type to use to compress stored data. Available values are best_compression and default.
index.routing_partition_size The number of shards a custom routing value can go to. Routing helps an imbalanced cluster by relocating values to a subset of shards rather than just a single shard. To enable, set this value to greater than 1 but less than index.number_of_shards. Default is 1.
index.soft_deletes.retention_lease.period The maximum amount of time to retain a shard’s history of operations. Default is 12h.
index.load_fixed_bitset_filters_eagerly Whether OpenSearch should pre-load cached filters. Available options are true and false. Default is true.
index.hidden Whether the index should be hidden. Hidden indices are not returned as part of queries that have wildcards. Available options are true and false. Default is false.

Dynamic index Settings

Setting Description
index.number_of_replicas The number of replica shards each primary shard should have. For example, if you have 4 primary shards and set index.number_of_replicas to 3, the index has 12 replica shards. Default is 1.
index.auto_expand_replicas Whether the cluster should automatically add replica shards based on the number of data nodes. Specify a lower bound and upper limit (for example, 0-9), or all for the upper limit. For example, if you have 5 data nodes and set index.auto_expand_replicas to 0-3, then the cluster does not autoamtically add another replica shard. However, if you set this value to 0-all and add 2 more nodes for a total of 7, the cluster will expand to now have 6 replica shards. Default is disabled. Amount of time a shard should wait for a search or get request until it goes idle. Default is 30s.
index.refresh_interval How often the index should refresh, which publishes its most recent changes and makes them available for searching. Can be set to -1 to disable refreshing. Default is 1s.
index.max_result_window The maximum value of from + size for searches to the index. from is the starting index to search from, and size is the amount of results to return. Default: 10000.
index.max_inner_result_window Maximum value of from + size to return nested search hits and most relevant document aggregated during the query. from is the starting index to search from, and size is the amount of top hits to return. Default is 100.
index.max_rescore_window The maximum value of window_size for rescore requests to the index. Rescore requests reorder the index’s documents and return a new score, which can be more precise. Default is the same as index.max_inner_result_window or 10000 by default.
index.max_docvalue_fields_search Maximum amount of docvalue_fields allowed in a query. Default is 100.
index.max_script_fields Maximum amount of script_fields allowed in a query. Default is 32.
index.max_ngram_diff Maximum difference between min_gram and max_gram values for NGramTokenizer and NGramTokenFilter fields. Default is 1.
index.max_shingle_diff Maximum difference between max_shingle_size and min_shingle_size to feed into the shingle token filter. Default is 3.
index.max_refresh_listeners Maximum amount of refresh listeners each shard is allowed to have.
index.analyze.max_token_count Maximum amount of tokens that can return from the _analyze API operation. Default is 10000.
index.highlight.max_analyzed_offset The amount of characters a highlight request can analyze. Default is 1000000.
index.max_terms_count The maximum amount of terms a terms query can accept. Default is 65536.
index.max_regex_length The maximum character length of regex that can be in a regexp query. Default is 1000.
index.query.default_field A field or list of fields that OpenSearch uses in queries in case a field isn’t specified in the parameters.
index.routing.allocation.enable Specifies options for the index’s shard allocation. Available options are all (allow allocation for all shards), primaries (allow allocation only for primary shards), new_primaries (allow allocation only for new primary shards), and none (do not allow allocation). Default is all.
index.routing.rebalance.enable Enables shard rebalancing for the index. Available options are all (allow rebalancing for all shards), primaries (allow rebalancing only for primary shards), replicas (allow rebalancing only for replicas), and none (do not allow rebalancing). Default is all.
index.gc_deletes Amount of time to retain a deleted document’s version number. Default is 60s.
index.default_pipeline The default ingest node pipeline for the index. If the default pipeline is set and the pipeline does not exist, then index requests fail. The pipeline name _none specifies that the index does not have an ingest pipeline.
index.final_pipeline The final ingest node pipeline for the index. If the final pipeline is set and the pipeline does not exist, then index requests fail. The pipeline name _none specifies that the index does not have an ingest pipeline.


Mappings define how a documents and its fields are stored and indexed. If you’re just starting to build out your cluster and data, you may not know exactly how your data should be stored. In those cases, you can use dynamic mappings, which tell OpenSearch to dynamically add data and their fields. However, if you know exactly what types your data fall under and want to enforce that standard, then you can use explicit mappings.

For example, if you want to indicate that year should be of type text instead of an integer, and age should be an integer, you can do so with explicit mappings. Using dynamic mapping, OpenSearch might interpret both year and age as integers.

Dynamic mapping types

Type Description
null A null field can’t be indexed or searched. When a field is set to null, OpenSearch behaves as if that field has no values.
boolean OpenSearch accepts true and false as boolean values. An empty string is equal to false.
float A single-precision 32-bit floating point number.
double A double-precision 64-bit floating point number.
integer A signed 32-bit number.
object Objects are standard JSON objects, which can have fields and mappings of their own. For example, a movies object can have additional properties such as title, year, and director.
array Arrays in OpenSearch can only store values of one type, such as an array of just integers or strings. Empty arrays are treated as though they are fields with no values.
text A string sequence of characters that represent full-text values.
keyword A string sequence of structured characters, such as an email or ZIP code.
date detection string Enabled by default, if new string fields match a date’s format, then the string is processed as a date field. For example, date: "2012/03/11" is processed as a date.
numeric detection string If disabled, OpenSearch may automatically process numeric values as strings when they should be processed as numbers. When enabled, OpenSearch can process strings into long, integer, short, byte, double, float, half_float, scaled_float, unsigned_long. Default is disabled.

Explicit mapping

If you know exactly what your data’s typings need to be, you can specify them in your request body when creating your index.

  "mappings": {
    "properties": {
      "year":    { "type" : "text" },
      "age":     { "type" : "integer" },
      "director":{ "type" : "text" }


    "acknowledged": true,
    "shards_acknowledged": true,
    "index": "sample-index1"