Using service-linked roles to provide Amazon Elasticsearch Service access to resources - Amazon Elasticsearch Service

Using service-linked roles to provide Amazon Elasticsearch Service access to resources

Provide Amazon Elasticsearch Service (Amazon ES) access to resources in your AWS account using service-linked roles. A service-linked role is a unique type of AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role that's linked directly to Amazon ES. Service-linked roles are predefined by Amazon ES and include all the permissions the service requires to call other AWS services on your behalf.

A service-linked role makes setting up Amazon ES easier because you don’t have to manually add the necessary permissions. Amazon ES defines the permissions of its service-linked roles, and unless defined otherwise, only Amazon ES can assume its roles. The defined permissions include the trust policy and the permissions policy, and that permissions policy cannot be attached to any other IAM entity.

You can delete a service-linked role only after first deleting its related resources. This protects your Amazon ES resources because you can't inadvertently remove permission to access the resources.

For a list of all services that support service-linked roles, see AWS Services That Work with IAM and look for the services that have Yes in the Service-Linked Role column.


Amazon ES uses the service-linked role named AWSServiceRoleForAmazonElasticsearchService.

The AWSServiceRoleForAmazonElasticsearchService service-linked role trusts the following services to assume the role:


The role permissions policy allows Amazon ES to complete the following actions on the specified resources:

  • Action: ec2:CreateNetworkInterface on *

  • Action: ec2:DeleteNetworkInterface on *

  • Action: ec2:DescribeNetworkInterfaces on *

  • Action: ec2:ModifyNetworkInterfaceAttribute on *

  • Action: ec2:DescribeSecurityGroups on *

  • Action: ec2:DescribeSubnets on *

  • Action: ec2:DescribeVpcs on *

  • Action: elasticloadbalancing:AddListenerCertificates on *

  • Action: elasticloadbalancing:RemoveListenerCertificates on *

You must configure permissions to allow an IAM entity (such as a user, group, or role) to create, edit, or delete a service-linked role. For more information, see Service-Linked Role Permissions in the IAM User Guide.

Creating a service-linked role

You don't need to manually create a service-linked role. When you create a VPC access domain using the AWS Management Console, Amazon ES creates the service-linked role for you. In order for this automatic creation to succeed, you must have permissions for the es:CreateElasticsearchServiceRole and iam:CreateServiceLinkedRole actions.

If you delete this service-linked role and then need to create it again, you can use the same process to recreate the role in your account.

You can also use the IAM console, the IAM CLI, or the IAM API to create a service-linked role manually. For more information, see Creating a Service-Linked Role in the IAM User Guide.

Editing a service-linked role

Amazon ES doesn't let you edit the AWSServiceRoleForAmazonElasticsearchService service-linked role. After you create a service-linked role, you cannot change the name of the role because various entities might reference the role. However, you can edit the description of the role using IAM. For more information, see Editing a Service-Linked Role in the IAM User Guide.

Deleting a service-linked role

If you no longer need to use a feature or service that requires a service-linked role, we recommend that you delete that role. That way you don’t have an unused entity that is not actively monitored or maintained. However, you must clean up your service-linked role before you can manually delete it.

Cleaning up a service-linked role

Before you can use IAM to delete a service-linked role, you must first confirm that the role has no active sessions and remove any resources used by the role.

To check whether the service-linked role has an active session in the IAM console

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the IAM console at

  2. In the navigation pane of the IAM console, choose Roles. Then choose the name (not the check box) of the AWSServiceRoleForAmazonElasticsearchService role.

  3. On the Summary page for the selected role, choose the Access Advisor tab.

  4. On the Access Advisor tab, review recent activity for the service-linked role.


    If you are unsure whether Amazon ES is using the AWSServiceRoleForAmazonElasticsearchService role, you can try to delete the role. If the service is using the role, then the deletion fails and you can view the regions where the role is being used. If the role is being used, then you must wait for the session to end before you can delete the role. You cannot revoke the session for a service-linked role.

To remove Amazon ES resources used by the AWSServiceRoleForAmazonElasticsearchService

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the Amazon ES console.

  2. Delete any domains that list VPC under the Endpoint column.

Manually deleting a service-linked role

Use the Amazon ES configuration API to delete the AWSServiceRoleForAmazonElasticsearchService service-linked role. For more information, see DeleteElasticsearchServiceRole.