Running Filebeat on Docker

Docker images for Filebeat are available from the Elastic Docker registry. The base image is centos:7.

A list of all published Docker images and tags is available at www.docker.elastic.co.

These images are free to use under the Elastic license. They contain open source and free commercial features and access to paid commercial features. Start a 30-day trial to try out all of the paid commercial features. See the Subscriptions page for information about Elastic license levels.

Pulling the image

Obtaining Filebeat for Docker is as simple as issuing a docker pull command against the Elastic Docker registry.

docker pull docker.elastic.co/beats/filebeat:7.3.2

Alternatively, you can download other Docker images that contain only features available under the Apache 2.0 license. To download the images, go to www.docker.elastic.co.

Run the Filebeat setup

Running Filebeat with the setup command will create the index pattern and load visualizations , dashboards, and machine learning jobs. Run this command:

docker run \
docker.elastic.co/beats/filebeat:7.3.2 \
setup -E setup.kibana.host=kibana:5601 \
-E output.elasticsearch.hosts=["elasticsearch:9200"]  

Substitute your Kibana and Elasticsearch hosts and ports.

If you are using the hosted Elasticsearch Service in Elastic Cloud, replace the -E output.elasticsearch.hosts line with the Cloud ID and elastic password using this syntax:

-E cloud.id=<Cloud ID from Elasticsearch Service> \
-E cloud.auth=elastic:<elastic password>

Configure Filebeat on Docker

The Docker image provides several methods for configuring Filebeat. The conventional approach is to provide a configuration file via a volume mount, but it’s also possible to create a custom image with your configuration included.

Example configuration file

Download this example configuration file as a starting point:

curl -L -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/elastic/beats/7.3/deploy/docker/filebeat.docker.yml

Volume-mounted configuration

One way to configure Filebeat on Docker is to provide filebeat.docker.yml via a volume mount. With docker run, the volume mount can be specified like this.

docker run -d \
  --name=filebeat \
  --user=root \
  --volume="$(pwd)/filebeat.docker.yml:/usr/share/filebeat/filebeat.yml:ro" \
  --volume="/var/lib/docker/containers:/var/lib/docker/containers:ro" \
  --volume="/var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro" \
  docker.elastic.co/beats/filebeat:7.3.2 filebeat -e -strict.perms=false \
  -E output.elasticsearch.hosts=["elasticsearch:9200"]  

Substitute your Elasticsearch hosts and ports.

If you are using the hosted Elasticsearch Service in Elastic Cloud, replace the -E output.elasticsearch.hosts line with the Cloud ID and elastic password using the syntax shown earlier.

Customize your configuration

The filebeat.docker.yml file you downloaded earlier is configured to deploy Beats modules based on the Docker labels applied to your containers. See Hints based autodiscover for more details. Add labels to your application Docker containers, and they will be picked up by the Beats autodiscover feature when they are deployed. Here is an example command for an Apache HTTP Server container with labels to configure the Filebeat and Metricbeat modules for the Apache HTTP Server:

docker run \
  --label co.elastic.logs/module=apache2 \
  --label co.elastic.logs/fileset.stdout=access \
  --label co.elastic.logs/fileset.stderr=error \
  --label co.elastic.metrics/module=apache \
  --label co.elastic.metrics/metricsets=status \
  --label co.elastic.metrics/hosts='${data.host}:${data.port}' \
  --detach=true \
  --name my-apache-app \
  -p 8080:80 \
  httpd:2.4

Custom image configuration

It’s possible to embed your Filebeat configuration in a custom image. Here is an example Dockerfile to achieve this:

FROM docker.elastic.co/beats/filebeat:7.3.2
COPY filebeat.yml /usr/share/filebeat/filebeat.yml
USER root
RUN chown root:filebeat /usr/share/filebeat/filebeat.yml
USER filebeat