KB-1880 Kafka fails to start with "CorruptRecordException" error


After a migration or upgrade, Kafka will not start with the following error printed in the console:

Unable to start service Kafka
org.apache.kafka.common.errors.CorruptRecordException: Record size is smaller than minimum record overhead (14).
process Kafka shutdown
Service Kafka failed to start
Error running script: Unable to start transaction log.
Unable to start distributed transaction log. Check the Kafka and Zookeeper logs for more information.


This happens when the Kafka data on disk is not saved correctly from an improper shutdown.


  1. Revert to a backup of the environment that was taken before the upgrade.
  2. Shutdown all services gracefully using the documentation. This will ensure that the engines are checkpointed upon shutdown.
  3. Perform the migration/upgrade again.

Affected Versions

This article applies to Appian 17.3 and later.

Last Reviewed: March 2019