Installing Logstash (Optional)edit

The simplest architecture for the Beats platform setup consists of one or more Beats, Elasticsearch, and Kibana. This architecture is easy to get started with and sufficient for networks with low traffic. It also uses the minimum amount of servers: a single machine running Elasticsearch and Kibana. The Beats insert the transactions directly into the Elasticsearch instance.

If you want to perform additional processing or buffering on the data, however, you’ll want to install Logstash.

An important advantage to this approach is that you can use Logstash to modify the data captured by Beats in any way you like. You can also use Logstash’s many output plugins to integrate with other systems.

To download and install Logstash, use the commands that work with your system:


sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jre
curl -L -O
sudo dpkg -i logstash-5.6.16.deb


sudo yum install java-1.8.0-openjdk
curl -L -O
sudo rpm -i logstash-5.6.16.rpm


# install Java, e.g. from:
curl -L -O


  1. If necessary, download and install the latest version of the Java from
  2. Download the Logstash 5.6.16 Windows zip file from the downloads page.
  3. Extract the contents of the zip file to a directory on your computer, for example, C:\Program Files.

Don’t start Logstash yet. You need to set a couple of configuration options first.

Setting Up Logstashedit

In this setup, the Beat sends events to Logstash. Logstash receives these events by using the Beats input plugin for Logstash and then sends the transaction to Elasticsearch by using the Elasticsearch output plugin for Logstash. The Elasticsearch output plugin uses the bulk API, making indexing very efficient.

To set up Logstash, you create a Logstash pipeline configuration file that configures Logstash to listen on port 5044 for incoming Beats connections and to index into Elasticsearch. For example, you can save the following example configuration to a file called logstash.conf:

input {
  beats {
    port => 5044

# The filter part of this file is commented out to indicate that it is
# optional.
# filter {
# }

output {
  elasticsearch {
    hosts => "localhost:9200"
    manage_template => false
    index => "%{[@metadata][beat]}-%{+YYYY.MM.dd}" 
    document_type => "%{[@metadata][type]}" 

%{[@metadata][beat]} sets the first part of the index name to the value of the beat metadata field, and %{+YYYY.MM.dd} sets the second part of the name to a date based on the Logstash @timestamp field. For example: beatname-2017.03.29.

%{[@metadata][type]} sets the document type based on the value of the type metadata field.

When you run Logstash with this configuration, it indexes events into Elasticsearch in the same way that the Beat would, but you get access to other capabilities provided by Logstash for collecting, enriching, and transforming data. See the Logstash introduction for more information about these capabilities.

To use this setup, you’ll also need to configure your Beat to use Logstash. For more information, see the documentation for the Beat.

Updating the Beats Input Plugin for Logstashedit

Plugins have their own release cycle and are often released independent of Logstash’s core release cycle. To ensure that you have the latest version of the Beats input plugin for Logstash, run the following command from your Logstash installation:

deb, rpm, and mac:

./bin/logstash-plugin update logstash-input-beats


bin\logstash-plugin update logstash-input-beats

Keep in mind that you can update to the latest version of the plugin without having to upgrade to a newer version of Logstash. More details about working with input plugins in Logstash are available here.

Starting Logstashedit

Now you can start Logstash. Use the command that works with your system. If you installed Logstash as a deb or rpm package, make sure the config file is in the expected directory.


sudo /etc/init.d/logstash start


sudo service logstash start


./bin/logstash -f logstash.conf


bin\logstash.bat -f logstash.conf

The default configuration for Beats and Logstash uses plain TCP. For encryption you must explicitly enable SSL when you configure Beats and Logstash.

You can learn more about installing, configuring, and running Logstash here.