Packetbeat and systemdedit

The DEB and RPM packages include a service unit for Linux systems with systemd. On these systems, you can manage Packetbeat by using the usual systemd commands.

Start and stop Packetbeatedit

Use systemctl to start or stop Packetbeat:

systemctl start packetbeat
systemctl stop packetbeat

By default, the Packetbeat service starts automatically when the system boots. To enable or disable auto start use:

systemctl enable packetbeat
systemctl disable packetbeat

Packetbeat status and logsedit

To get the service status, use systemctl:

systemctl status packetbeat

Logs are stored by default in journald. To view the Logs, use journalctl:

journalctl -u packetbeat.service
Note

The unit file included in the packages sets the -e flag by default. This flag makes Packetbeat log to stderr and disables other log outputs. Systemd stores all output sent to stderr in journald.

Customize systemd unit for Packetbeatedit

The systemd service unit file includes environment variables that you can override to change the default options.

VariableDescriptionDefault value

BEAT_LOG_OPTS

Log options

-e

BEAT_CONFIG_OPTS

Flags for configuration file path

-c /etc/packetbeat/packetbeat.yml

BEAT_PATH_OPTS

Other paths

-path.home /usr/share/packetbeat -path.config /etc/packetbeat -path.data /var/lib/packetbeat -path.logs /var/log/packetbeat

To override these variables, create a drop-in unit file in the /etc/systemd/system/packetbeat.service.d directory.

For example a file with the following content placed in /etc/systemd/system/packetbeat.service.d/debug.conf would override BEAT_LOG_OPTS to enable debug for Elasticsearch output.

[Service]
Environment="BEAT_LOG_OPTS=-e -d elasticsearch"

To change the logging output from the Packetbeat configuration file, empty the environment variable. For example:

[Service]
Environment="BEAT_LOG_OPTS="

To apply your changes, reload the systemd configuration and restart the service:

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart packetbeat
Note

It is recommended that you use a configuration management tool to include drop-in unit files. If you need to add a drop-in manually, use systemctl edit packetbeat.service.