Where is the real API documentation?

I am looking for documentation, that lists every possible command I can execute via the Rest-API, and every possible piece of data/url I can apply them to. Currently, I want to delete an index pattern via the rest API and am unable to find out how the API-call must be constructed.

But this leads me to a major problem I currently have with Kibana, Elasticsearch and the whole ELK-Stack: Where is the boring, wholistic documentation? The PDF that has 100 pages and just lists all the functions/calls/data structures with all their members? All I ever find are cute little pages that give you one or two examples and leave it at that. Sporadically a listing of all options for a single sub-feature. Or forum posts where someone gets an answer to their specific problem, but no mention of where that knowledge is documented.

None of those are proper documentation. I could have just titled this post "how to delete index pattern", but I know that I will have similar questions tomorrow again, so I wanted to ask the more important question instead: Where is the real documentation? The Intel Architectures Software Developer Manual of ELK? It feels very frustrating trying to do real work with elastic and kibana, but only encountering toy-like documentation that doesn't take the developer seriously.

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Am sorry that you are having trouble finding the answers for your questions in the documentation.
For you initial question : delete an index via cURL : Delete index API should help.

Delete index API | Elasticsearch Reference [7.6] | Elastic

www.elastic.co › guide › current › indices-delete-index

But am tagging our tech pubs person here for more detailed explanation: @gchaps/ @debadair for more explanation on docs.


Thanks for the reply, but I am not trying to delete an index in elasticsearch, I am trying to delete an index pattern in kibana. The link you provided does not contain the information I'm looking for. (That one is sensibly documented though.)

Sorry for the understanding your question wrong. You can either delete an index pattern via UI/ API.

Delete an index pattern removes the pattern from the list of Saved Objects in Kibana. You will not be able to recover field formatters, scripted fields, source filters, and field popularity data associated with the index pattern.

Deleting an index pattern breaks all visualizations, saved searches, and other saved objects that reference the pattern. Deleting a pattern does not remove any indices or data documents from Elasticsearch.

To delete an index pattern:

  1. Go to the Settings > Indices tab.
  2. Select the pattern you want to remove in the Index Patterns list.
  3. Click the pattern’s Delete button.
  4. Confirm that you want to remove the index pattern.

Via API: Index patterns are treated as saved objects- Once you delete a saved object, it cannot be recovered .
Example can be found here:



For Elasticsearch, I think this is what you're looking for: https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/elasticsearch/reference/current/rest-apis.html

For Kibana, the equivalent reference is at:

We've been working at standardizing the pure reference docs and filling in the gaps. In addition to the changes to the API reference content, similar changes are being rolled out for the various text analysis components.

Would love to hear if this content meets your needs and how we can further improve how it's presented. (Clearly, making it more discoverable would help!)

ETA: And for deleting an index pattern, this is the API you're looking for: https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/kibana/current/saved-objects-api-delete.html

@svbernem at this time we do consider Kibana APIs to be experimental and not a fully supported product. If you look at the last several minors, you will notice a lot of significant change in the signatures and functionality available. That is because we are in the process of making a set of changes to our platform.

We expect to stabilize and be able to fully support our APIs in the future, but we are not there yet. Once we feel like our APIs are stable and ready, documentation is certainly one of the things we plan to add to enable users.

Thanks for your answers. The delete saved objects api is indeed what I was looking for. And it also lists every possible type of object, which is also what I wanted. So I guess the problem is not that you don't have the appropriate documentation, it is that I usually don't find it.

I feel like most of the time, google (or duckduckgo) points me to the most popular site instead of the most relevant. So most of the time when I search for index pattern stuff, It will point me to beginner tutorials and forum posts about indices. I mentioned the Intel Intrinsics guide because it just a huge PDF that you can search for keywords, and I feel this is (ironically) harder on the internet with a search engine due to all the fuzzy logic.

Thanks for the links to the API documentations, I will get to you if I find them lacking. But you definitely solved my immediate problem.

Good to know your issue is solved. Happy to help. For the larger problem of finding the documentation, our Tech Pubs is at work on this. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

cc @debadair


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