Kibana not available after license expiration


Within Kibana, I activated a 30 day trial license. To my surprise, I was "locked out" of Kibana when it expired, getting the "Kibana server is not ready yet" message. Kibana outputs the following:

[INFO ][savedobjects-service] [.kibana_analytics] WAIT_FOR_YELLOW_SOURCE -> WAIT_FOR_YELLOW_SOURCE. took: 4ms.
[ERROR][savedobjects-service] [.kibana_alerting_cases] Action failed with 'security_exception
	Root causes:
		security_exception: current license is non-compliant for [security]'. Retrying attempt 1 in 2 seconds.

It then keeps retrying and failing with these messages. Elasticsearch outputs the following (for various monitoring operations):

blocking [indices:monitor/stats] operation due to expired license. Cluster health, cluster stats and indices stats operations are blocked on license expiration. All data operations (read and write) continue to work. If you have a new license, please update it. Otherwise, please reach out to your support contact.

That's fine, but I'm just surprised to see that this causes Kibana to become unavailable. I expected Kibana to work with less features due to reverting to the Basic license. That's the impression I got from the documentation. And I'm pretty sure I have experienced that behavior myself in past versions. Not being able to access Kibana to manage the license in this situation is inconvenient.

Is this a bug? If so, I can submit a bug report on GitHub.

FYI, I used the following command to revert to the Basic license and everything then worked.

curl -k -u elastic -XDELETE "https://localhost:9200/_license"

Version: 8.9.2

Hi @Andy0708

I would take a look at this thread

And to answer your question after digging around a bit internally ... this is working "As Designed" at this time but would we welcome feedback in an issue.

Also that is not the correct command to revert to basic not sure if it will work the correct command is in that thread.

$ curl -X POST -k -u elastic https://localhost:9200/_license/start_basic?acknowledge=true
Enter host password for user 'elastic':

One issue is that the user would expect to still have access, even if limited to Kibana, but this seems not to be the case.

The documentation changed and a lot of things about license expiration was removed.

For example, in the documentation for version 8.1 you have this page:

And you have this about Kibana:


  • Users can still log into Kibana.
  • Kibana works for data exploration and visualization, but some features are disabled.
  • The license management UI is available to easily upgrade your license. See Update your license and License Management.

But from 8.2 this page was changed and all this information was removed and the current documentation basically does not tell what will stop working or not, only link to the subscription page, which is not helpful as the subscription page itself is really confusing now.

It would be better if the documentation stated that Kibana will not work after the license expiration.

1 Like

@leandrojmp I pinged the team about this.

Thank you for the clarification, I appreciate it! It wasn't a problem in my case, but I was a bit surprised to see this behavior. In terms of feedback, I think being able to manage licenses directly within Kibana—even if your current license has expired—would be the optimal solution. If that's not feasible, I think providing a more user friendly experience would be great. It's easy enough to figure out the root cause if you look at the logs, but it's not really apparent based on the "Kibana server is not ready yet" message, let alone how to resolve it.

Again, not a big deal by any means, as I mostly just wondered if this was by design. :slightly_smiling_face:

Ah yeah, I was just hacking away on a "throwaway cluster" and it did the trick. Thanks for the heads up, though! :slightly_smiling_face:

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