Load the Elasticsearch index templateedit

Elasticsearch uses index templates to define:

  • Settings that control the behavior of your indices. The settings include the lifecycle policy used to manage indices as they grow and age.
  • Mappings that determine how fields are analyzed. Each mapping sets the Elasticsearch datatype to use for a specific data field.

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.

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

This page shows how to change the default template loading behavior to:

For a full list of template setup options, see Elasticsearch index template.

Load your own index templateedit

To load your own index template, set the following options:

setup.template.name: "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 index templateedit

Do not enable this option for more than one instance of Journalbeat. If you start multiple instances at the same time, it can overload your Elasticsearch with too many template update requests.

To overwrite a template that’s already loaded into Elasticsearch, set:

setup.template.overwrite: true

Disable automatic index template loadingedit

You may want to disable automatic template loading if you’re using an output other than Elasticsearch and need to load the template manually. To disable automatic template loading, set:

setup.template.enabled: false

If you disable automatic template loading, you must load the index template manually.

Load the index template manuallyedit

To load the index 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 the Quick start: installation and configuration.

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

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

deb and rpm:

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


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


docker run docker.elastic.co/beats/journalbeat:7.11.2 setup --index-management -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 index 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-7.11.2 -d@journalbeat.template.json


curl -XPUT -H 'Content-Type: application/json' http://localhost:9200/_template/journalbeat-7.11.2 -d@journalbeat.template.json