Contributing to Beatsedit

If you have a bugfix or new feature that you would like to contribute, please start by opening a topic on the forums. It may be that somebody is already working on it, or that there are particular issues that you should know about before implementing the change.

We enjoy working with contributors to get their code accepted. There are many approaches to fixing a problem and it is important to find the best approach before writing too much code.

The process for contributing to any of the Elastic repositories is similar.

Contribution Stepsedit

  1. Please make sure you have signed our Contributor License Agreement. We are not asking you to assign copyright to us, but to give us the right to distribute your code without restriction. We ask this of all contributors in order to assure our users of the origin and continuing existence of the code. You only need to sign the CLA once.
  2. Send a pull request! Push your changes to your fork of the repository and submit a pull request. In the pull request, describe what your changes do and mention any bugs/issues related to the pull request.

Adding a New Beatedit

If you want to create a new Beat, please read Creating a New Beat. You don’t need to submit the code to this repository. Most new Beats start in their own repository and just make use of the libbeat packages. After you have a working Beat that you’d like to share with others, open a PR to add it to our list of community Beats.

Setting Up Your Dev Environmentedit

The Beats are Go programs, so install the latest version of golang if you don’t have it already. The current Go version used for development is Golang 1.8.3.

The location where you clone is important. Please clone under the source directory of your GOPATH. If you don’t have GOPATH already set, you can simply set it to the go directory in your home (export GOPATH=$HOME/go).

mkdir -p ${GOPATH}/src/
cd ${GOPATH}/src/
git clone

If you have multiple go paths, use ${GOPATH%%:*} instead of ${GOPATH}.

Then you can compile a particular Beat by using the Makefile. For example, for Packetbeat:

cd beats/packetbeat

Some of the Beats might have extra development requirements, in which case you’ll find a file in the Beat directory.

We use an EditorConfig file in the beats repository to standardise how different editors handle whitespace, line endings, and other coding styles in our files. Most popular editors have a plugin for EditorConfig and we strongly recommend that you install it.

Update scriptsedit

The Beats use a variety of scripts based on Python to generate configuration files and documentation. The command used for this is:

make update

This command has the following dependencies:

Virtualenv can be installed with the command easy_install virtualenv or pip install virtualenv. More details can be found here.


You can run the whole testsuite with the following command:

make testsuite

Running the testsuite has the following requirements:

  • Python >= 2.7.9
  • Docker >= 1.12
  • Docker-compose >= 1.11


The documentation for each Beat is located under {beatname}/docs and is based on asciidoc. After changing the docs, you should verify that the docs are still building to avoid breaking the automated docs build. To build the docs run make docs. If you want to preview the docs for a specific Beat, run make docs-preview inside the folder for the Beat. This will automatically open your browser with the docs for preview.


To manage the vendor/ folder we use govendor. Please see the govendor documentation on how to add or update vendored dependencies.

In most cases govendor fetch your/dependency@version +out will get the job done.