winlogbeat section of the
winlogbeat.yml config file specifies all options that are specific to Winlogbeat.
Most importantly, it contains the list of event logs to monitor.
Here is a sample configuration:
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: Application ignore_older: 72h - name: Security - name: System
You can specify the following options in the
winlogbeat section of the
winlogbeat.yml config file:
The name of the file where Winlogbeat stores information that it uses to resume
monitoring after a restart. By default the file is stored as
in the directory where the Beat was started. When you run the process as a
Windows service, it’s recommended that you set the value to
The forward slashes (/) in the path are automatically changed to backslashes (\) for Windows compatibility. You can use either forward or backslashes. Forward slashes are easier to work with in YAML because there is no need to escape them.
The amount of time to wait for all events to be published when shutting down. By default there is no shutdown timeout so Winlogbeat will stop without waiting. When you restart it will resume from the last successfully published event in each event log.
In some use cases you do want to wait for the publishing queue to drain before exiting and that’s when you would use this option.
Valid time units are
A list of entries (called dictionaries in YAML) that specify which event logs
to monitor. Each entry in the list defines an event log to monitor as well as
any information to be associated with the event log (filter, tags, and so on).
name field is the only required field for each event log.
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: Application
The maximum number of event log records to read from the Windows API in a single batch. The default batch size is 100. Most Windows versions return an error if the value is larger than 1024. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).
Winlogbeat starts a goroutine (a lightweight thread) to read from each individual event log. The goroutine reads a batch of event log records using the Windows API, applies any processors to the events, publishes them to the configured outputs, and waits for an acknowledgement from the outputs before reading additional event log records.
The name of the event log to monitor. Each dictionary under
name field. You can get a list of available event logs by running
Get-EventLog * in PowerShell. Here is a sample of the output from the
PS C:\Users\vagrant> Get-EventLog * Max(K) Retain OverflowAction Entries Log ------ ------ -------------- ------- --- 20,480 0 OverwriteAsNeeded 75 Application 20,480 0 OverwriteAsNeeded 0 HardwareEvents 512 7 OverwriteOlder 0 Internet Explorer 20,480 0 OverwriteAsNeeded 0 Key Management Service 20,480 0 OverwriteAsNeeded 1,609 Security 20,480 0 OverwriteAsNeeded 1,184 System 15,360 0 OverwriteAsNeeded 464 Windows PowerShell
Channel names can also be specified if running on Windows Vista or newer. A channel is a named stream of events that transports events from an event source to an event log. Most channels are tied to specific event publishers. Here is an example showing how to list all channels using PowerShell.
PS C:\> Get-WinEvent -ListLog * | Format-List -Property LogName LogName : Application LogName : HardwareEvents LogName : Internet Explorer LogName : Key Management Service LogName : Security LogName : System LogName : Windows PowerShell LogName : ForwardedEvents LogName : Microsoft-Management-UI/Admin LogName : Microsoft-Rdms-UI/Admin LogName : Microsoft-Rdms-UI/Operational LogName : Microsoft-Windows-Windows Firewall With Advanced Security/Firewall ...
You must specify the full name of the channel in the configuration file.
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: Microsoft-Windows-Windows Firewall With Advanced Security/Firewall
To read events from an archived
.evtx file you can specify the
name as the
absolute path (it cannot be relative) to the file. There’s a complete example
of how to read from an .evtx file in the FAQ.
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: 'C:\backup\sysmon-2019.08.evtx'
If this option is specified, Winlogbeat filters events that are older than the specified amount of time. Valid time units are "ns", "us" (or "µs"), "ms", "s", "m", "h". This option is useful when you are beginning to monitor an event log that contains older records that you would like to ignore. This field is optional.
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: Application ignore_older: 168h
A boolean flag to indicate that the log contains only events collected from remote hosts using the Windows Event Collector. The value defaults to true for the ForwardedEvents log and false for any other log. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).
This settings allows Winlogbeat to optimize reads for forwarded events that are already rendered. When the value is true Winlogbeat does not attempt to render the event using message files from the host computer. The Windows Event Collector subscription should be configured to use the "RenderedText" format (this is the default) to ensure that the events are distributed with messages and descriptions.
A list of included and excluded (blocked) event IDs. The value is a comma-separated list. The accepted values are single event IDs to include (e.g. 4624), a range of event IDs to include (e.g. 4700-4800), and single event IDs to exclude (e.g. -4735). This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: Security event_id: 4624, 4625, 4700-4800, -4735
If you specify more that 22 event IDs to include or 22 event IDs to exclude, Windows will prevent Winlogbeat from reading the event log because it limits the number of conditions that can be used in an event log query. If this occurs a similar warning as shown below will be logged by Winlogbeat, and it will continue processing data from other event logs. For more information, see https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/970453.
WARN EventLog[Application] Open() error. No events will be read from this
source. The specified query is invalid.
If you have more than 22 event IDs, you can workaround this Windows limitation
by using a drop_event[drop-event] processor to do the filtering after
Winlogbeat has received the events from Windows. The filter shown below is
event_id: 903, 1024, 4624 but can be expanded beyond 22
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: Security processors: - drop_event.when.not.or: - equals.winlog.event_id: 903 - equals.winlog.event_id: 1024 - equals.winlog.event_id: 4624
A list of event levels to include. The value is a comma-separated list of levels. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).
0 or 4
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: Security level: critical, error, warning
A list of providers (source names) to include. The value is a YAML list. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: Application provider: - Application Error - Application Hang - Windows Error Reporting - EMET
You can obtain a list of providers associated with a log by using PowerShell. Here is an example showing the providers associated with the Security log.
PS C:\> (Get-WinEvent -ListLog Security).ProviderNames DS LSA SC Manager Security Security Account Manager ServiceModel 18.104.22.168 Spooler TCP/IP VSSAudit Microsoft-Windows-Security-Auditing Microsoft-Windows-Eventlog
Boolean option that controls if the raw XML representation of an event is included in the data sent by Winlogbeat. The default is false. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).
The XML representation of the event is useful for troubleshooting purposes. The data in the fields reported by Winlogbeat can be compared to the data in the XML to diagnose problems.
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: Microsoft-Windows-Windows Defender/Operational include_xml: true
A list of tags that the Beat includes in the
tags field of each published
event. Tags make it easy to select specific events in Kibana or apply
conditional filtering in Logstash. These tags will be appended to the list of
tags specified in the general configuration.
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: CustomLog tags: ["web"]
Optional fields that you can specify to add additional information to the
output. For example, you might add fields that you can use for filtering event
data. Fields can be scalar values, arrays, dictionaries, or any nested
combination of these. By default, the fields that you specify here will be
grouped under a
fields sub-dictionary in the output document. To store the
custom fields as top-level fields, set the
fields_under_root option to true.
If a duplicate field is declared in the general configuration, then its value
will be overwritten by the value declared here.
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: CustomLog fields: customer_id: 51415432
If this option is set to true, the custom fields
are stored as top-level fields in the output document instead of being grouped
fields sub-dictionary. If the custom field names conflict with other
field names added by Winlogbeat, then the custom fields overwrite the other
A list of processors to apply to the data generated by the event log.
See Processors for information about specifying processors in your config.
If present, this formatted string overrides the index for events from this
event log (for elasticsearch outputs), or sets the
raw_index field of the event’s
metadata (for other outputs). This string can only refer to the agent name and
version and the event timestamp; for access to dynamic fields, use
output.elasticsearch.index or a processor.
If this option is set to true, fields with
null values will be published in
the output document. By default,
keep_null is set to
The action that the event log reader should take when it receives a signal from
Windows that there are no more events to read. It can either
wait for more
events to be written (the default behavior) or it can
stop. The overall
Winlogbeat process will stop when all of the individual event log readers have
stopped. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).
stop is useful when reading from archived event
log files where you want to read the whole file then exit. There’s a complete
example of how to read from an
.evtx file in the FAQ.
This selects the event log reader implementation that is used to read events
from the Windows APIs. You should only set this option when testing experimental
features. When the value is set to
wineventlog-experimental Winlogbeat will
replace the default event log reader with the experimental implementation.
We are evaluating this implementation to see if it can provide increased
performance and reduce CPU usage. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).
winlogbeat.event_logs: - name: ForwardedEvents api: wineventlog-experimental
There are a few notable differences in the events:
Events that contained data under
winlog.user_datawill now have it under
include_xml: truehas no effect.