When/how does a topic "marked for deletion" get finally removed?

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I have issued the command to delete a topic:

./bin/kafka-topics.sh --zookeeper localhost:2181 --delete --topic  vip_ips_alerts

It seemed to give a happy response:

[2014-05-31 20:58:10,112] INFO zookeeper state changed (SyncConnected) (org.I0Itec.zkclient.ZkClient)
Topic "vip_ips_alerts" queued for deletion.

But now 10 minutes later the topic still appears in the --list command:

./bin/kafka-topics.sh --zookeeper localhost:2181 --list
vip_ips_alerts - marked for deletion

So what does that mean? When will the topic be really deleted? How do I expedite this process?

tl;dr Set delete.topic.enable = true in config/server.properties of Kafka brokers and...be patient.

It happens with the latest development version of Kafka 0.8.3-SNAPSHOT:

➜  kafka_2.11-0.8.3-SNAPSHOT git:(trunk) ✗ ./bin/kafka-topics.sh --zookeeper localhost:2181 --create --topic my-topic --partitions 2 --replication-factor 1
Created topic "my-topic".

➜  kafka_2.11-0.8.3-SNAPSHOT git:(trunk) ✗ ./bin/kafka-topics.sh --zookeeper localhost:2181 --describe --topic my-topic
Topic:my-topic  PartitionCount:2    ReplicationFactor:1 Configs:
    Topic: my-topic Partition: 0    Leader: 0   Replicas: 0 Isr: 0
    Topic: my-topic Partition: 1    Leader: 0   Replicas: 0 Isr: 0

➜  kafka_2.11-0.8.3-SNAPSHOT git:(trunk) ✗ ./bin/kafka-topics.sh --zookeeper localhost:2181 --delete --topic my-topic
Topic my-topic is marked for deletion.
Note: This will have no impact if delete.topic.enable is not set to true.

➜  kafka_2.11-0.8.3-SNAPSHOT git:(trunk) ✗ ./bin/kafka-topics.sh --zookeeper localhost:2181 --list
➜  kafka_2.11-0.8.3-SNAPSHOT git:(trunk) ✗

The point is to have delete.topic.enable=true in config/server.properties that you use to start a Kafka broker.

➜  kafka_2.11-0.8.3-SNAPSHOT git:(trunk) ✗ grep delete.topic.enable config/server.properties

You can also ensure the setting be true in a broker's log:

➜  kafka_2.11-0.8.3-SNAPSHOT git:(trunk) ✗ ./bin/kafka-server-start.sh config/server.properties
[2015-07-24 22:33:26,184] INFO KafkaConfig values:
        delete.topic.enable = true

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In my case where i am using Kafka 8.2.2, I had to delete entries from the following manually -

  1. Delete topic folder from Kafka broker machine.
  2. Login to zookeeper and -

    hbase zkcli
    rmr /brokers/topics/{topic_name}
    rmr /admin/delete_topics/{topic_name}

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You can do it.

sudo ./zookeeper-shell.sh localhost:2181 rmr /brokers/topics/your_topic

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I faced the same issue and spend a couple of days trying to identify with the issue was. I triggered command to delete the topics, however the topics were marked for deletion but they were not deleted.

  1. I first checked the configuration which are set right. Under: server.properties

    delete.topic.enable=true for all brokers

  2. I restarted the broker to check if the topics got delete (No!!).
  3. I check no data under /kafka/data folder.
  4. I even considered the option to wait until the retention time got exceed.

None helped. I had to finally login to zooker

./zkCli.sh # and delete the topics using 
rmr /brokers/topics/<<topic>> and rmr /admin/delete_topics/<<topic>>

Please remember to restart kafka after this. Hope this solves your issue.

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The correct answer is actually the following. HOT off the Kafka-user's group email distribution list:

François Langelier *@gmail.com über kafka.apache.org 05:57 (vor 1 Stunde)

an users The delete topic isn't working ATM

I think it will be available in the next release https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/KAFKA-1397

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  • "be patient" is somewhat imprecise - I'm sitting here hours after restarting the brokers (0.8.2) and waiting for those topics to disappear, but having a rough guideline of when they'll actually be gone would be helpful. Will they stick around for the full seven days of log.retention?
  • After being patient for a week, I assume the answer in the linked comment is in fact correct: If "delete.topic.enable = true" wasn't set during creation of the topic, it will not be taken into account for deletion.
  • I was having that problem, but after modify the server.properties and restart kafka and zookeeper the log showed the topic been deleted
  • Please mind that delete.topic.enable is now true by default since 1.0. version - see issues.apache.org/jira/browse/KAFKA-5384
  • I have a topic "marked for deletion" for over a day. I can't "be patient" indefinitely. I need to get the topic deleted and move forward with work tasks.
  • Only this worked for me, used rmr commands only. Using Kafka 11.0.1, topic to be deleted was created before setting delete.topic.enable to true. Removing logs, restarting didn't work, as topic stayed "marked for deletion"
  • Holy ****. Thanks for this!
  • Also, might I add, rebooting Kafka wasn't necessary, at least for me.
  • Yes, this worked quickly for me, without needing reboot. Thanks !
  • and by the way it pops up on version -- we recently made an upgrade (from 0.8.1) to it and observing problem as well