How to manually delete indexes with elasticsearch running

I ran into an issue this morning after leaving a test running over the weekend. The test generated more data then available space in my elasticsearch data partition. I am running 7.7.1 on a single node in a docker container with no replicas. My data directory is bind mounted so the data survives container restarts.

When I tried to view my indexes in Kibana so that I could delete some, it just threw errors and would not display any index.

I manually tried to delete an index using curl:

[root@d234bc67034e elasticsearch]# curl -XDELETE "http://localhost:9200/filebeat-2020-11-23"

I tried to restart elasticsearch and that made things worse because the container refused to even attempt a start. So, at this point elasticsearch isn't running.

I also looked at the directories to see if I could delete indexes with rm. The disk names of indexes are less then helpful:

$ ls -l elastic-data/elasticsearch/nodes/0/indices
total 48
drwxrwxr-x 4 user group 4096 Nov 23 17:27 0qYQLn1zQrGADve76AnL4w
drwxrwxr-x 4 user group 4096 Nov 23 17:27 0UlEcuzmTHOBbeDSx0MIXg
drwxrwxr-x 4 user group 4096 Nov 23 17:27 8zM11IVTT56t1wWsG2lcuw

Searching online for how to manually remove indexes only gave results for using the API in one form or another, which is not helpful for a scenario where elasticsearch is either not responding properly or not running at all.

I ended up completely deleting the contents of the the elastic-data partition and starting over. While elasticsearch is up and running again, I lost all my data from over the weekend.

My question then, is there a way to delete indexes when elasticsearch is not running? This way I could have freed up some space and got things going again without losing all my data.

Thank you.

No, there's various cross-references and consistency checks between the all the files in the data folder to detect corruption and other meddling. You can't manipulate them yourself in a way that would satisfy all those checks. There are no user-serviceable parts inside the data folder.

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You didn't necessarily need to lose your data tho. A master_not_discovered_exception is normally transient, and there will be details in the server logs that will help you understand what actions, if any, are needed.

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Thanks for the information. If it happens again, I'll try to gather more details to try and recover before being so drastic.

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