19 Februar 2014

Logstash 1.4.0 beta1

Von Jordan Sissel

We are pleased to announce the beta release of Logstash 1.4.0! This release series is primarily focused on improving quality, maturity, and ease of use. The following major features are included in this beta:

  • A new release process with the intent of making Logstash upgrades easier and more predictable.
  • Huge improvements to the documentation, including a great new tutorial.
  • Many new tests for plugin correctness and performance help us produce releases that keep your logs flowing.
  • A new packaging; we release a tarball now instead of a .jar.
  • Split out some plugins into a contrib package.

Other points of note:

You can view the full changelog for this beta here: https://github.com/logstash/logstash/blob/v1.4.0.beta1/CHANGELOG#L1-L72

What’s the ‘beta’ mean? All tests are passing, but we are still waiting for at least one new feature to land. Additionally, beta means that some new features may change before general release.

Get started and download the new tarball package:

A tarball? What happened to the jar file? Read on, my inquisitive friend!

Jar? Tarball!

Past releases have been a single jar file which included all Ruby and Java library dependencies to eliminate deployment pains. The jar file served us well, but over time we found Java’s default heap size, garbage collector, and other settings weren’t well suited to Logstash.

In order to provide better Java defaults, we’ve changed to releasing a tarball (.tar.gz) that
includes all the same dependencies (yay!). What does this mean to you? Instead of running java -jar logstash.jar … you run bin/logstash … (for Windows users, bin/logstash.bat)

One pleasant side effect of using a tarball is that the Logstash code itself is much more accessible and able to satisfy any curiosity you may have.

Contrib plugins package

Logstash has grown brilliantly over the past few years with great contributions from the community. Now having 165 plugins, it became hard for us (the Logstash engineering team) to reliably support all the wonderful technologies in each contributed plugin. We combed through all the plugins and picked the ones we felt strongly we could support, and those now ship by default with Logstash.

All the other plugins are now available in a contrib package. All plugins continue to be open source and free, of course! Installing plugins from the contrib package is very easy and documented on the package site.

A bonus effect of this decision is that the default Logstash download size shrank by 19MB compared to the previous release because we were able to shed some lesser-used dependencies.

You can learn more about the contrib plugin package here: http://logstash.net/docs/1.4.0.beta1/contrib-plugins

New release cycle

This beta release is the first step in our new release process. Going forward, Logstash release cycles will more closely mirror Elasticsearch’s model of releases. Each new major release will start as a beta, continuing to a release candidate once all features are complete, and finally, becoming a general release once we feel it is production-ready. Maintenance of major versions will include bug fixes only. New features will wait until the next major release (for example, until 1.5.0).

A more formal release cycle lets us more effectively set expectations about changes going into Logstash and is intended to help make you happier when it comes to upgrades and bug fixes!

Better documentation

We’ve got a brand new Getting Started Tutorial that aims to more effectively educate new users about how to use Logstash. Beyond that, we took a look at the most popular plugins and put lots of effort into improving them.

Try out the new beta and let us know what you think!