Filebeat and systemdedit

The DEB and RPM packages include a service unit for Linux systems with systemd. On these systems, you can manage Filebeat by using the usual systemd commands.

The service unit is configured with UMask=0027 which means the most permissive mask allowed for files created by Filebeat is 0640. All configured file permissions higher than 0640 will be ignored. Please edit the unit file manually in case you need to change that.

Start and stop Filebeatedit

Use systemctl to start or stop Filebeat:

sudo systemctl start filebeat
sudo systemctl stop filebeat

By default, the Filebeat service starts automatically when the system boots. To enable or disable auto start use:

sudo systemctl enable filebeat
sudo systemctl disable filebeat

Filebeat status and logsedit

To get the service status, use systemctl:

systemctl status filebeat

Logs are stored by default in journald. To view the Logs, use journalctl:

journalctl -u filebeat.service

Customize systemd unit for Filebeatedit

The systemd service unit file includes environment variables that you can override to change the default options.

Variable Description Default value


Log options


Flags for configuration file path

-c /etc/filebeat/filebeat.yml


Other paths

-path.home /usr/share/filebeat -path.config /etc/filebeat /var/lib/filebeat -path.logs /var/log/filebeat

You can use BEAT_LOG_OPTS to set debug selectors for logging. However, to configure logging behavior, set the logging options described in Configure logging.

To override these variables, create a drop-in unit file in the /etc/systemd/system/filebeat.service.d directory.

For example a file with the following content placed in /etc/systemd/system/filebeat.service.d/debug.conf would override BEAT_LOG_OPTS to enable debug for Elasticsearch output.

Environment="BEAT_LOG_OPTS=-d elasticsearch"

To apply your changes, reload the systemd configuration and restart the service:

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart filebeat

It is recommended that you use a configuration management tool to include drop-in unit files. If you need to add a drop-in manually, use systemctl edit filebeat.service.