How to fix ElasticSearch client exception “A binding to org.elasticsearch.shield.transport was already configured at _unknown_. at _unknown_”

This ticket explains a possible solution  for the “A binding to org.elasticsearch.shield.transport was already configured at _unknown_. at _unknown_” exception when a Java ElasticSearch client tries to connect to a (ElasticSearch) cluster using Shield.


ElasticSearch version: 1.7.3

Shield version: 1.3.3


The way to connect a Java ElasticSearch client to a cluster using Shield is quite straightforward; you can see the ElasticSearch documentation. The most important part (at least in the context of this problem) is the creation of the Settings instance:

Settings settings = ImmutableSettings.settingsBuilder()
                .put("", clusterName)
                .put("shield.ssl.keystore.path", jksPath)
                .put("shield.ssl.keystore.password", jksPassword)
                .put("shield.transport.ssl", "true")
                .put("plugin.types", "org.elasticsearch.shield.ShieldPlugin")

When the client is executed, the following strange stacktrace is thrown:

Full stacktrace

1) A binding to org.elasticsearch.shield.transport.filter.IPFilter was already configured at _unknown_.
  at _unknown_
2) A binding to org.elasticsearch.shield.transport.ClientTransportFilter was already configured at _unknown_.
  at _unknown_
3) A binding to org.elasticsearch.shield.ssl.ClientSSLService was already configured at _unknown_.
  at _unknown_
4) A binding to org.elasticsearch.shield.ssl.ServerSSLService was already configured at _unknown_.
  at _unknown_
4 errors
       at org.elasticsearch.common.inject.internal.Errors.throwCreationExceptionIfErrorsExist(
       at org.elasticsearch.common.inject.InjectorBuilder.initializeStatically(
       at org.elasticsearch.common.inject.Guice.createInjector(
       at org.elasticsearch.common.inject.Guice.createInjector(
       at org.elasticsearch.common.inject.ModulesBuilder.createInjector(
       at org.elasticsearch.client.transport.TransportClient.<init>(
       at org.elasticsearch.client.transport.TransportClient.<init>(


Root cause

The root cause of this problem is the line:

.put("plugin.types", "org.elasticsearch.shield.ShieldPlugin")

If this line is removed then the problem is solved. This property should be exclusively used with the 2.0 version of Shield and not with  1.3.3 version.

The moral of this story ? First of all you should use the right version of the ElaticSearch documentation (in my case I was running the 1.7.3  version but I used the documentation for the 2.o). The second point is  that ElasticSearch API is not very user friendly (I even dare to say that is badly designed). I would preferred that ImmutableSettings.Builder class to have a put method with a Java enum as first parameter not a Java String.