The shipper section contains configuration options for the Beat and some general settings that control its behaviour.

Here is an example configuration:

  # The name of the shipper that publishes the network data. It can be used to group
  # all the transactions sent by a single shipper in the web interface.
  # If this options is not defined, the hostname is used.

  # The tags of the shipper are included in their own field with each
  # transaction published. Tags make it easy to group servers by different
  # logical properties.
  tags: ["service-X", "web-tier"]

  # Uncomment the following if you want to ignore transactions created
  # by the server on which the shipper is installed. This option is useful
  # to remove duplicates if shippers are installed on multiple servers.
  ignore_outgoing: true

  # How often (in seconds) shippers are publishing their IPs to the topology map.
  # The default is 10 seconds.
  refresh_topology_freq: 10

  # Expiration time (in seconds) of the IPs published by a shipper to the topology map.
  # All the IPs will be deleted afterwards. Note, that the value must be higher than
  # refresh_topology_freq. The default is 15 seconds.
  topology_expire: 15

  # Configure local GeoIP database support.
  # If no paths are not configured geoip is disabled.
    #  - "/usr/share/GeoIP/GeoLiteCity.dat"
    #  - "/usr/local/var/GeoIP/GeoLiteCity.dat"



The name of the Beat. If this option is empty, the hostname of the server is used. The name is included as the shipper field in each published transaction. You can use the name to group all transactions sent by a single Beat.

At startup, each Beat can publish its IP, port, and name to Elasticsearch. This information is stored in Elasticsearch as a network topology map that maps the IP and port of each Beat to the name that you specify here.

When a Beat receives a new request and response (called a transaction), the Beat can query Elasticsearch to see if the network topology includes the IP and port of the source and destination servers. If this information is available, the client_server field in the output is set to the name of the Beat running on the source server, and the server field is set to the name of the Beat running on the destination server.

To use the topology map in Elasticsearch, you must enable Elasticsearch as output and set the save_topology option to true.


  name: "my-shipper"


A list of tags that the Beat includes in the tags field of each published transaction. Tags make it easy to group servers by different logical properties. For example, if you have a cluster of web servers, you can add the "webservers" tag to the Beat on each server, and then use filters and queries in the Kibana web interface to get visualisations for the whole group of servers.


  tags: ["my-service", "hardware", "test"]


If the ignore_outgoing option is enabled, the Beat ignores all the transactions initiated from the server running the Beat.

This is useful when two Beats publish the same transactions. Because one Beat sees the transaction in its outgoing queue and the other sees it in its incoming queue, you can end up with duplicate transactions. To remove the duplicates, you can enable the ignore_outgoing option on one of the servers.

For example, in the following scenario, you see a 3-server architecture where a Beat is installed on each server. t1 is the transaction exchanged between Server1 and Server2, and t2 is the transaction between Server2 and Server3.

Beats Architecture

By default, each transaction is indexed twice because Beat2 sees both transactions. So you would see the following published transactions (when ignore_outgoing is false):

  • Beat1: t1
  • Beat2: t1 and t2
  • Beat3: t2

To avoid duplicates, you can force your Beats to send only the incoming transactions and ignore the transactions created by the local server. So you would see the following published transactions (when ignore_outgoing is true):

  • Beat1: none
  • Beat2: t1
  • Beat3: t2


The refresh interval of the topology map in seconds. In other words, this setting specifies how often each Beat publishes its IP addresses to the topology map. The default is 10 seconds.


The expiration time for the topology in seconds. This is useful in case a Beat stops publishing its IP addresses. The IP addresses are removed automatically from the topology map after expiration. The default is 15 seconds.


This configuration option is currently used by Packetbeat only.

The paths to search for GeoIP databases. The Beat loads the first installed GeoIP database that if finds. Then, for each transaction, the Beat exports the GeoIP location of the client.

The recommended values for geoip.paths are /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoLiteCity.dat and /usr/local/var/GeoIP/GeoLiteCity.dat.

Important: For GeoIP support to function correctly, the GeoLite City database is required.