Before running Journalbeat, you can specify the location of the systemd journal files and configure how you want the files to be read. If you accept the default configuration, Journalbeat reads from the local journal.
To configure Journalbeat, you edit the configuration file. The default
configuration file is called
journalbeat.yml. The location of the file
varies by platform. To locate the file, see Directory layout.
There’s also a full example configuration file called
that shows all non-deprecated options.
See the Config File Format section of the Beats Platform Reference for more about the structure of the config file.
Here is a sample of the
journalbeat section of the
Journalbeat uses predefined default values for most configuration options.
journalbeat.inputs: - paths: ["/path/to/journal/directory"] seek: head
To configure Journalbeat:
Specify a list of paths to your systemd journal files. Each path can be a directory path (to collect events from all journals in a directory), or a file path. For example:
journalbeat.inputs: - paths: - "/dev/log" - "/var/log/messages/my-journal-file.journal"
If no paths are specified, Journalbeat reads from the default journal.
- Set the
seekoption to control the position where Journalbeat starts reading the journal. The available options are
cursor. The default is
cursor, which means that on first read, Journalbeat starts reading at the beginning of the file, but continues reading at the last known position after a reload or restart. For more detail about the settings, see the reference docs for the
(Optional) Set the
include_matchesoption to filter entries in journald before collecting any log events. This reduces the number of events that Journalbeat needs to process. For example, to fetch only Redis events from a Docker container tagged as
journalbeat.inputs: - paths:  include_matches: - "CONTAINER_TAG=redis" - "_COMM=redis"
Configure the output. Journalbeat supports a variety of outputs, but typically you’ll either send events directly to Elasticsearch, or to Logstash for additional processing.
To send output directly to Elasticsearch (without using Logstash), set the location of the Elasticsearch installation:
If you’re running Elasticsearch on your own hardware, set the host and port where Journalbeat can find the Elasticsearch installation. For example:
output.elasticsearch: hosts: ["myEShost:9200"]
If you plan to use the sample Kibana dashboards provided with Journalbeat, configure the Kibana endpoint. You can skip this step if Kibana is running on the same host as Elasticsearch.
If Elasticsearch and Kibana are secured, set credentials in the
journalbeat.ymlconfig file before you run the commands that set up and start Journalbeat.
If you’re running Elasticsearch on your own hardware, specify your Elasticsearch and Kibana credentials:
This examples shows a hard-coded password, but you should store sensitive values in the secrets keystore.
passwordsettings for Kibana are optional. If you don’t specify credentials for Kibana, Journalbeat uses the
passwordspecified for the Elasticsearch output.
To use the pre-built Kibana dashboards, this user must have the
kibana_userbuilt-in role or equivalent privileges.
For more information, see Securing Journalbeat.
To test your configuration file, change to the directory where the
Journalbeat binary is installed, and run Journalbeat in the foreground with
the following options specified:
./journalbeat test config -e. Make sure your
config files are in the path expected by Journalbeat (see Directory layout),
or use the
-c flag to specify the path to the config file.
Before starting Journalbeat, you should look at the configuration options in the configuration file. For more information about these options, see Configuring Journalbeat.