Getting started with the Elastic Stackedit

Looking for a guide that shows how to quickly install and configure the Elastic Stack ("ELK")? You’re in the right place! You can install the Elastic Stack on a single VM, or even on your laptop. Install each component in the following order:

Logstash adds powerful data parsing and transformation features, but usually isn’t required. To get started with Logstash, see Getting Started with Logstash.

After completing the installation process, learn how to implement a system monitoring solution that uses Metricbeat to collect server metrics and ship the data to Elasticsearch. Then use Kibana to search and visualize the data.

Before you beginedit

Install Elasticsearchedit

Elasticsearch is a real-time, distributed storage, search, and analytics engine. It can be used for many purposes, but one context where it excels is indexing streams of semi-structured data, such as logs or decoded network packets.

You can run Elasticsearch on your own hardware, or use our hosted Elasticsearch Service on Elastic Cloud. The Elasticsearch Service is available on AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP. Try out the Elasticsearch Service for free.

To download and install Elasticsearch, open a terminal window and use the commands that work with your system:

  • deb for Debian/Ubuntu
  • rpm for Redhat/Centos/Fedora
  • mac for OS X
  • linux for Linux
  • win for Windows

When you start Elasticsearch for the first time, security features such as authentication, authorization and network encryption (TLS) for elasticsearch are enabled by default. The following security configuration occurs automatically:

  • Certificates and keys for TLS are generated for the transport and HTTP layers.
  • The TLS configuration settings are written to elasticsearch.yml.
  • A password is generated for the elastic user.
  • An enrollment token is generated for Kibana.

You can then start Kibana and enter the enrollment token to securely connect Kibana with Elasticsearch. The enrollment token is valid for 30 minutes.

On deb and rpm installations, an enrollment token isn’t generated for Kibana during installation. To generate an enrollment token for Kibana, use the elasticsearch-create-enrollment-token tool.


curl -L -O
sudo dpkg -i elasticsearch-8.1.3-amd64.deb
sudo /etc/init.d/elasticsearch start


curl -L -O
sudo rpm -i elasticsearch-8.1.3-x86_64.rpm
sudo service elasticsearch start


curl -L -O
tar -xzvf elasticsearch-8.1.3-darwin-x86_64.tar.gz
cd elasticsearch-8.1.3


curl -L -O
tar -xzvf elasticsearch-8.1.3-linux-x86_64.tar.gz
cd elasticsearch-8.1.3


  1. Download the Elasticsearch 8.1.3 Windows zip file from the Elasticsearch download page.
  2. Extract the contents of the zip file to a directory on your computer, for example, C:\Program Files.
  3. Open a command prompt as an Administrator and navigate to the directory that contains the extracted files, for example:

    cd C:\Program Files\elasticsearch-8.1.3
  4. Start Elasticsearch:


For other operating systems, go to the Elasticsearch download page.

The default and are elasticsearch and your hostname, respectively. If you plan to keep using this cluster or add more nodes, it is a good idea to change these default values to unique names. For details about changing these and other settings in the elasticsearch.yml file, see Configuring Elasticsearch.

To learn more about installing, configuring, and running Elasticsearch, read the Elasticsearch Reference.

Make sure that Elasticsearch is up and runningedit

Open a new terminal and verify that you can connect to your Elasticsearch cluster by making an authenticated call. Enter the password for the elastic user when prompted:

curl --cacert $ES_PATH_CONF/certs/http_ca.crt -u elastic https://localhost:9200
Path to the generated http_ca.crt certificate for the HTTP layer. This file is created in the Elasticsearch configuration directory, which is defined by the $ES_PATH_CONF environment variable.

On Windows, if you don’t have cURL installed, point your browser to the URL.

You should see a response similar to this:

  "name" : "QtI5dUu",
  "cluster_name" : "elasticsearch",
  "cluster_uuid" : "v8OWkR1OQO-rgV8o_lRhEA",
  "version" : {
    "number" : "8.1.3",
    "build_flavor" : "default",
    "build_type" : "tar",
    "build_hash" : "f4d76bd413ecfbd5122c3aa5dc85465960f18afe",
    "build_date" : "2021-10-27T22:47:53.634020433Z",
    "build_snapshot" : false,
    "lucene_version" : "9.0.0",
    "minimum_wire_compatibility_version" : "7.16.0",
    "minimum_index_compatibility_version" : "7.0.0"
  "tagline" : "You Know, for Search"

Install Kibanaedit

Kibana is an open source analytics and visualization platform designed to work with Elasticsearch. You use Kibana to search, view, and interact with data stored in Elasticsearch indices. You can easily perform advanced data analysis and visualize your data in a variety of charts, tables, and maps.

Running our hosted Elasticsearch Service on Elastic Cloud? Kibana is enabled automatically in most templates.

We recommend that you install Kibana on the same server as Elasticsearch, but it’s not required. If you install the products on different servers, you’ll need to change the URL (IP:PORT) of the Elasticsearch server in the Kibana configuration file, kibana.yml, before starting Kibana.

To download and install Kibana, open a terminal window and use the commands that work with your system:

  • deb for Debian/Ubuntu/Redhat/Centos/Fedora
  • mac for OS X
  • win for Windows

If this is the first time you’re starting Kibana, this command generates a unique link in your terminal to enroll your Kibana instance with Elasticsearch.

  1. In your terminal, click the generated link to open Kibana in your browser.
  2. In your browser, paste the enrollment token that was generated in the terminal when you started Elasticsearch, and then click the button to connect your Kibana instance with Elasticsearch.
  3. Log in to Kibana as the elastic user with the password that was generated when you started Elasticsearch.

If you need to reset the password for the elastic user or other built-in users, run the elasticsearch-reset-password tool. To generate new enrollment tokens for Kibana or Elasticsearch nodes, run the elasticsearch-create-enrollment-token tool. These tools are available in the Elasticsearch bin directory.

deb, rpm, or linux:

curl -L -O
tar xzvf kibana-8.1.3-linux-x86_64.tar.gz
cd kibana-8.1.3-linux-x86_64/


curl -L -O
tar xzvf kibana-8.1.3-darwin-x86_64.tar.gz
cd kibana-8.1.3-darwin-x86_64/


  1. Download the Kibana 8.1.3 Windows zip file from the Kibana download page.
  2. Extract the contents of the zip file to a directory on your computer, for example, C:\Program Files.
  3. Open a command prompt as an Administrator and navigate to the directory that contains the extracted files, for example:

    cd C:\Program Files\kibana-8.1.3-windows
  4. Start Kibana:


For other operating systems, go to the Kibana download page.

To learn more about installing, configuring, and running Kibana, read the Kibana Reference.

Access the Kibana web interfaceedit

To access the Kibana web interface, point your browser to port 5601. For example,

Install Beatsedit

The Beats are open source data shippers that you install as agents on your servers to send operational data to Elasticsearch. Beats can send data directly to Elasticsearch or via Logstash, where you can further process and enhance the data.

Each Beat is a separately installable product. In this guide, you learn how to install and run Metricbeat with the system module enabled to collect system metrics.

To learn more about installing and configuring other Beats, see the Getting Started documentation:

Elastic Beats To capture


Audit data


Log files


Cloud data


Availability monitoring




Network traffic


Windows event logs

Install Metricbeatedit

To download and install Metricbeat, open a terminal window and use the commands that work with your system:


curl -L -O
sudo dpkg -i metricbeat-8.1.3-amd64.deb


curl -L -O
sudo rpm -vi metricbeat-8.1.3-x86_64.rpm


curl -L -O
tar xzvf metricbeat-8.1.3-darwin-x86_64.tar.gz


curl -L -O
tar xzvf metricbeat-8.1.3-linux-x86_64.tar.gz


  1. Download the Metricbeat Windows zip file from the Metricbeat download page.
  2. Extract the contents of the zip file into C:\Program Files.
  3. Rename the metricbeat-8.1.3-windows directory to Metricbeat.
  4. Open a PowerShell prompt as an Administrator (right-click the PowerShell icon and select Run As Administrator).
  5. From the PowerShell prompt, run the following commands to install Metricbeat as a Windows service:

    PS > cd 'C:\Program Files\Metricbeat'
    PS C:\Program Files\Metricbeat> .\install-service-metricbeat.ps1

    If script execution is disabled on your system, set the execution policy for the current session to allow the script to run. For example: PowerShell.exe -ExecutionPolicy UnRestricted -File .\install-service-metricbeat.ps1.

For other operating systems, go to the Beats download page.

Ship system metrics to Elasticsearchedit

Metricbeat provides pre-built modules that you can use to rapidly implement and deploy a system monitoring solution, complete with sample dashboards and data visualizations, in about 5 minutes.

In this section, you learn how to run the system module to collect metrics from the operating system and services running on your server. The system module collects system-level metrics, such as CPU usage, memory, file system, disk IO, and network IO statistics, as well as statistics for every process running on your system.

Before you begin: Verify that Elasticsearch and Kibana are running and that Elasticsearch is ready to receive data from Metricbeat.

To set up the system module and start collecting system metrics:

  1. From the Metricbeat install directory, enable the system module:

    deb and rpm:

    sudo metricbeat modules enable system

    mac and linux:

    ./metricbeat modules enable system


    PS C:\Program Files\Metricbeat> .\metricbeat.exe modules enable system
  2. Set up the initial environment:

    deb and rpm:

    sudo metricbeat setup -e

    mac and linux:

    ./metricbeat setup -e


    PS C:\Program Files\Metricbeat> metricbeat.exe setup -e

    The setup command loads the Kibana dashboards. If the dashboards are already set up, omit this command. The -e flag is optional and sends output to standard error instead of syslog.

  3. Start Metricbeat:

    deb and rpm:

    sudo service metricbeat start

    mac and linux:

    ./metricbeat -e


    PS C:\Program Files\Metricbeat> Start-Service metricbeat

Metricbeat runs and starts sending system metrics to Elasticsearch.

Visualize system metrics in Kibanaedit

To visualize system metrics, open your browser and navigate to the Metricbeat system overview dashboard: http://localhost:5601/app/kibana#/dashboard/Metricbeat-system-overview-ecs

If you don’t see data in Kibana, try changing the date range to a larger range. By default, Kibana shows the last 15 minutes. If you see errors, make sure Metricbeat is running, then refresh the page.

Click Host Overview to see detailed metrics about the selected host.

What’s next?edit

Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up the Elastic Stack and securely connected Kibana with Elasticsearch. You learned how to stream system metrics to Elasticsearch and visualize the data in Kibana.

Next, you’ll want to activate your trial license to unlock the full capabilities of the Elastic Stack.

Want to get up and running quickly with metrics monitoring and centralized log analytics? Try out the Metrics app and the Logs app in Kibana. For more details, see Analyze metrics and Monitor logs.

Later, when you’re ready to set up a production environment, also see the Elastic Stack Installation and Upgrade Guide.