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 www.docker.elastic.co. 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 docker.elastic.co/beats/packetbeat:6.5.3

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

Run the Packetbeat setupedit

Running Packetbeat with the setup command will create the index pattern and load visualizations, dashboards, and machine learning jobs. Run this command:

docker run \
--cap-add=NET_ADMIN \
docker.elastic.co/beats/packetbeat:6.5.3 \
setup -E setup.kibana.host=kibana:5601 \
-E output.elasticsearch.hosts=["elasticsearch:9200"]  

Substitute your Kibana and Elasticsearch hosts and ports.

If you are using the hosted Elasticsearch Service in Elastic Cloud, replace the -E output.elasticsearch.hosts line with the Cloud ID and elastic password using this syntax:

-E cloud.id=<Cloud ID from Elasticsearch Service> \
-E cloud.auth=elastic:<elastic password>

Configure Packetbeat on Dockeredit

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

Example configuration fileedit

Download this example configuration file as a starting point:

curl -L -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/elastic/beats/6.5/deploy/docker/packetbeat.docker.yml

Volume-mounted configurationedit

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

docker run -d \
  --name=packetbeat \
  --user=packetbeat \
  --volume="$(pwd)/packetbeat.docker.yml:/usr/share/packetbeat/packetbeat.yml:ro" \
  --cap-add="NET_RAW" \
  --cap-add="NET_ADMIN" \
  --network=host \
  docker.elastic.co/beats/packetbeat:6.5.3 \
  --strict.perms=false -e \
  -E output.elasticsearch.hosts=["elasticsearch:9200"]  

Substitute your Elasticsearch hosts and ports.

If you are using the hosted Elasticsearch Service in Elastic Cloud, replace the -E output.elasticsearch.hosts line with the Cloud ID and elastic password using the syntax shown earlier.

Customize your configurationedit

The packetbeat.docker.yml downloaded earlier should be customized for your environment. See Configuring Packetbeat for more details. Edit the configuration file and customize it to match your environment then re-deploy your Packetbeat container.

Custom image configurationedit

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

FROM docker.elastic.co/beats/packetbeat:6.5.3
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 docker.elastic.co/beats/packetbeat:6.5.3

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 docker.elastic.co/beats/packetbeat:6.5.3
Note

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.