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A cluster terminates with the BOOTSTRAP_FAILURE_BA_DOWNLOAD_FAILED_PRIMARY error when the primary instance can’t download a bootstrap action script from the Amazon S3 location that you specify. Potential causes include the following:

  • The bootstrap action script file isn’t in the specified Amazon S3 location.

  • The service role for Amazon EC2 instances on the cluster (also called the EC2 instance profile for Amazon EMR) doesn't have permissions to access the Amazon S3 bucket where the bootstrap action script resides. For more information about service roles, see Service role for cluster EC2 instances (EC2 instance profile).

For more information about bootstrap actions, see Create bootstrap actions to install additional software.


To resolve this error, ensure that your primary instance has appropriate access to the bootstrap action script.

To troubleshoot the failed EMR cluster, refer to the ErrorDetail information returned from the DescribeCluster and ListClusters APIs. For more information, see Error codes with ErrorDetail information. The ErrorData array within ErrorDetail returns the following information for this error code:


The ID of the primary instance where the bootstrap action failed.


The ordinal number for the bootstrap action that failed. A script with a bootstrap-action value of 1 is the first bootstrap action to run on the instance.


The Amazon S3 location of the bootstrap action that failed.


The public URL of the documentation for the error code.

Steps to complete

Perform the following steps to identify and fix the root cause of the bootstrap action error. Then launch a new cluster.

Troubleshooting steps
  1. Use the amazon-s3-path value from the ErrorData array to find the relevant bootstrap action script in Amazon S3.

  2. If you turned on cluster logs when you created the instance, refer to the stdout log for more information. You can find the stdout log for the bootstrap action in this Amazon S3 location:


    For more information on cluster logs, see Configure cluster logging and debugging.

  3. To determine the bootstrap action failure, review the exceptions in the stdout logs, and the return-code value in ErrorData.

  4. Use your findings from the previous step to revise your bootstrap action so that it avoids exceptions or can gracefully handle exceptions when they occur.

  5. Launch a new cluster with your updated bootstrap action.