Resolving Elasticsearch Service Token Authentication Error

Elasticsearch, a widely used open-source search and analytics engine, often requires the creation of service tokens for authentication purposes. These tokens are typically generated via the command-line interface (CLI) without any issues. However, a recurring problem has been identified when these tokens are used with curl or other types of authentication methods, such as Kibana login.

The error message received is as follows:

received token fails with error
cannot authenticate with auth token to Elasticsearch, error: failed to authenticate service account [elastic/kibana] with token name [<token name>]

This issue has been a source of frustration for many users, as it prevents successful authentication with Elasticsearch.

Interestingly, the problem seems to be resolved when the authentication token is created using the API instead of the CLI. This suggests that the issue may lie within the CLI token generation process, rather than with Elasticsearch or the authentication methods themselves.

This problem has been extensively discussed in a GitHub issue, which can be accessed via the following link: The thread provides a detailed analysis of the problem, as well as potential solutions and workarounds.

In conclusion, while the CLI is a convenient tool for generating service tokens for Elasticsearch, it appears to be causing authentication issues when these tokens are used with curl or other authentication methods. Until a permanent solution is found, it is recommended to create authentication tokens using the API to avoid this problem


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