Running Packetbeat on Dockeredit

Docker images for Packetbeat are available from the Elastic Docker registry. The base image is centos:7.

A list of all published Docker images and tags is available at The source code is in GitHub.

These images are free to use under the Elastic license. They contain open source and free commercial features and access to paid commercial features. Start a 30-day trial to try out all of the paid commercial features. See the Subscriptions page for information about Elastic license levels.

Pulling the imageedit

Obtaining Beats for Docker is as simple as issuing a docker pull command against the Elastic Docker registry.

docker pull

Alternatively, you can download other Docker images that contain only features available under the Apache 2.0 license. To download the images, go to

Configure Packetbeat on Dockeredit

The Docker image provides several methods for configuring Packetbeat. The conventional approach is to provide a configuration file via a bind mount, but it’s also possible to create a custom image with your configuration included.

Bind-mounted configurationedit

One way to configure Packetbeat on Docker is to provide packetbeat.yml via a bind mount. With docker run, the bind mount can be specified like this:

docker run \
  --mount type=bind,source="$(pwd)"/packetbeat.yml,target=/usr/share/packetbeat/packetbeat.yml \
Custom image configurationedit

It’s possible to embed your Packetbeat configuration in a custom image. Here is an example Dockerfile to achieve this:

COPY packetbeat.yml /usr/share/packetbeat/packetbeat.yml
USER root
RUN chown root:packetbeat /usr/share/packetbeat/packetbeat.yml
USER packetbeat

Required network capabilitiesedit

Under Docker, Packetbeat runs as a non-root user, but requires some privileged network capabilities to operate correctly. Ensure that the NET_ADMIN capability is available to the container.

docker run --cap-add=NET_ADMIN

Capture traffic from the host systemedit

By default, Docker networking will connect the Packetbeat container to an isolated virtual network, with a limited view of network traffic. You may wish to connect the container directly to the host network in order to see traffic destined for, and originating from, the host system. With docker run, this can be achieved by specifying --network=host.

docker run --cap-add=NET_ADMIN --network=host

On Windows and MacOS, specifying --network=host will bind the container’s network interface to the virtual interface of Docker’s embedded Linux virtual machine, not to the physical interface of the host system.