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Create Apache Kafka® topics automatically

Apache Kafka® provides the capability to automatically create topics when a message is produced to a topic that does not exist. By default, this feature is disabled in Aiven for Apache Kafka as a precaution against accidental topic creation. When a message is produced to a non-existent topic, the common error message is as follows:

KafkaTimeoutError: Failed to update metadata after 60.0 secs.

In such cases, you have two options available:

  1. Create topics in advance: This approach involves manually creating the topics before they are used. It is generally recommended for production environments as it provides better control over topic settings such as partition count, replication factor, and retention time.
  2. Enable topic automatic creation: While simpler, enabling automatic topic creation carries some drawbacks. It introduces the risk of inadvertently creating new topics, especially in the case of typos. Additionally, it may result in topics created with default configuration values defined at the service level.

Enable automatic topic creation using Aiven Console

To enable automatic topic creation through the Aiven Console, follow these steps:

  1. In the Aiven Console, select your project and then choose your Aiven for Apache Kafka® service.
  2. In the service page, select Service settings from the sidebar.
  3. On the Service settings page, scroll down to the Advanced configuration section, and click Configure.
  4. In the Advanced configuration dialog, click Add configuration options.
  5. Find the auto_create_topics_enable parameter and set it to true to enable automatic topic creation.
  6. Select Save configuration.

Even when you enable automatic topic creation, the user account that produces a message to a non-existing topic must have admin permissions. Aiven for Apache Kafka validates the access control list (ACL) before creating the topic. To change user permissions, go to the Users tab in your service detail page in the Aiven web console.

Enable automatic topic creation with Aiven CLI

The Aiven CLI service update command enables to modify service parameters on an existing service. To enable the automatic creation of topics on an existing Aiven for Apache Kafka service set the auto_create_topics_enable to true by using the following command replacing the SERVICE_NAME with the name of your service:

You can enable the automatic creation of topics on an existing Aiven for Apache Kafka service by using the Aiven CLI service update command:

  1. Use the following command:

    avn service update SERVICE_NAME -c kafka.auto_create_topics_enable=true


  • auto_create_topics_enable is true.
  • SERVICE_NAME matches the name of your service.