Contributing to the docsedit

The Beats documentation follows the tagging guidelines described in the Docs HOWTO. However it extends these capabilities in a couple ways:

  • The documentation makes extensive use of AsciiDoc conditionals to provide content that is reused across multiple books. This means that there might not be a single source file for each published HTML page. Some files are shared across multiple books, either as complete pages or snippets. For more details, refer to Where to find the Beats docs source.
  • The documentation includes some files that are generated from YAML source or pieced together from content that lives in _meta directories under the code (for example, the module and exported fields documentation). For more details, refer to Generated docs.

Where to find the Beats docs sourceedit

Because the Beats documentation makes use of shared content, doc generation scripts, and componentization, the source files are located in several places:

Documentation Location of source files

Main docs for the Beat, including index files


Shared docs and Beats Platform Reference


Processor docs

docs folders under processors in libbeat/processors/, x-pack/<beatname>/processors/, and x-pack/libbeat/processors/

Output docs

docs folders under outputs in libbeat/outputs/

Module docs

_meta folders under modules and datasets in libbeat/module/, <beatname>/module/, and x-pack/<beatname>/module/

The conf.yaml file in the docs repo shows all the resources used to build each book. This file is used to drive the classic docs build and is the source of truth for file locations.

If you can’t find the source for a page you want to update, go to the published page at and click the Edit link to navigate to the source.

The Beats documentation build also has dependencies on the following files in the docs repo:

  • shared/versions/stack/<version>.asciidoc
  • shared/attributes.asciidoc

Generated docsedit

After updating docs.asciidoc files in _meta directories, you must run the doc collector scripts to regenerate the docs.

Make sure you set up your Beats development environment and use the correct Go version. The Go version is listed in the version.asciidoc file for the branch you want to update.

To run the docs collector scripts, change to the beats directory and run:

make update

The make update command overwrites files in the docs directories without warning. If you accidentally update a generated file and run make update, your changes will be overwritten.

To format your files, you might also need to run this command:

make fmt

The make command calls the following scripts to generate the docs:

auditbeat/scripts/ generates:

  • auditbeat/docs/modules_list.asciidoc
  • auditbeat/docs/modules/*.asciidoc

filebeat/scripts/ generates:

  • filebeat/docs/modules_list.asciidoc
  • filebeat/docs/modules/*.asciidoc

metricbeat/scripts/mage/docs_collector.go generates:

  • metricbeat/docs/modules_list.asciidoc
  • metricbeat/docs/modules/*.asciidoc

libbeat/scripts/ generates

  • auditbeat/docs/fields.asciidoc
  • filebeat/docs/fields.asciidoc
  • functionbeat/docs/fields.asciidoc
  • heartbeat/docs/fields.asciidoc
  • metricbeat/docs/fields.asciidoc
  • packetbeat/docs/fields.asciidoc
  • winlogbeat/docs/fields.asciidoc