Running Packetbeat on Dockeredit

Docker images for Packetbeat are available from the Elastic Docker registry. You can retrieve an image with a docker pull command.

docker pull

The base image is centos:7 and the source code can be found on GitHub.

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-mounted volume, 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 bind-mounting. With docker run, the bind-mount can be specified like this:

docker run \
  -v ~/packetbeat.yml:/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 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.