Step 3: Load the index template in Elasticsearch


Step 3: Load the index template in Elasticsearchedit

A connection to Elasticsearch is required to load the index template. If the output is not Elasticsearch, you must load the template manually.

In Elasticsearch, index templates are used to define settings and mappings that determine how fields should be analyzed.

The recommended index template file for Journalbeat is installed by the Journalbeat packages. If you accept the default configuration in the journalbeat.yml config file, Journalbeat loads the template automatically after successfully connecting to Elasticsearch. If the template already exists, it’s not overwritten unless you configure Journalbeat to do so.

Configure template loadingedit

By default, Journalbeat automatically loads the recommended template file, fields.yml, if the Elasticsearch output is enabled. If you want to use the default index template, no additional configuration is required. Otherwise, you can change the defaults in the journalbeat.yml config file to:

  • Load a different template "your_template_name"
    setup.template.fields: "path/to/fields.yml"

    If the template already exists, it’s not overwritten unless you configure Journalbeat to do so.

  • Overwrite an existing template

    setup.template.overwrite: true
  • Disable automatic template loading

    setup.template.enabled: false

    If you disable automatic template loading, you need to load the template manually.

  • Change the index name

    By default, Journalbeat writes events to indices named journalbeat-6.6.2-yyyy.MM.dd, where yyyy.MM.dd is the date when the events were indexed. To use a different name, you set the index option in the Elasticsearch output. The value that you specify should include the root name of the index plus version and date information. You also need to configure the and setup.template.pattern options to match the new name. For example:

    output.elasticsearch.index: "customname-%{[beat.version]}-%{+yyyy.MM.dd}" "customname"
    setup.template.pattern: "customname-*"

See Load the Elasticsearch index template for the full list of configuration options.

Load the template manuallyedit

To load the template manually, run the setup command. A connection to Elasticsearch is required. If another output is enabled, you need to temporarily disable that output and enable Elasticsearch by using the -E option. The examples here assume that Logstash output is enabled. You can omit the -E flags if Elasticsearch output is already enabled.

If you are connecting to a secured Elasticsearch cluster, make sure you’ve configured credentials as described in Step 2: Configure Journalbeat.

If the host running Journalbeat does not have direct connectivity to Elasticsearch, see Load the template manually (alternate method).

To load the template, use the appropriate command for your system.

deb and rpm:

journalbeat setup --template -E output.logstash.enabled=false -E 'output.elasticsearch.hosts=["localhost:9200"]'


./journalbeat setup --template -E output.logstash.enabled=false -E 'output.elasticsearch.hosts=["localhost:9200"]'


docker run setup --template -E output.logstash.enabled=false -E 'output.elasticsearch.hosts=["localhost:9200"]'

Force Kibana to look at newest documentsedit

If you’ve already used Journalbeat to index data into Elasticsearch, the index may contain old documents. After you load the index template, you can delete the old documents from journalbeat-* to force Kibana to look at the newest documents.

Use this command:

deb and rpm:

curl -XDELETE 'http://localhost:9200/journalbeat-*'


curl -XDELETE 'http://localhost:9200/journalbeat-*'

This command deletes all indices that match the pattern journalbeat-*. Before running this command, make sure you want to delete all indices that match the pattern.

Load the template manually (alternate method)edit

If the host running Journalbeat does not have direct connectivity to Elasticsearch, you can export the index template to a file, move it to a machine that does have connectivity, and then install the template manually.

To export the index template, run:

deb and rpm:

journalbeat export template > journalbeat.template.json


./journalbeat export template > journalbeat.template.json

To install the template, run:

deb and rpm:

curl -XPUT -H 'Content-Type: application/json' http://localhost:9200/_template/journalbeat-6.6.2 -d@journalbeat.template.json


curl -XPUT -H 'Content-Type: application/json' http://localhost:9200/_template/journalbeat-6.6.2 -d@journalbeat.template.json