Troubleshooting common problems

If you have something to add to this section, please consider creating a pull request with your proposed changes at https://github.com/elastic/kibana.

Also check out the APM discussion forum.

No APM data found

This section can help with any of the following:

  • Data isn’t displaying in the APM app
  • You’re seeing a message like "No Services Found",
  • You’re seeing errors like "Fielddata is disabled on text fields by default…​"

There are a number of factors that could be at play here. One important thing to double-check first is your index template.

An APM index template must exist for the APM app to work correctly. By default, this index template is created by APM Server on startup. However, this only happens if setup.template.enabled is true in apm-server.yml. You can create the index template manually by running apm-server setup. Take note that index templates cannot be applied retroactively — they are only applied at index creation time. More information is available in Set up and configure.

You can check for the existence of an APM index template using the Get index template API. If you’re using the default index naming pattern, that request would be:

GET /_template/apm-{version}

If you’re not outputting data directly from APM Server to Elasticsearch (perhaps you’re using Logstash or Kafka), then the index template will not be set up automatically. Instead, you’ll need to load the template manually.

Finally, this problem can also occur if you’ve changed the index name that you write APM data to. The default index pattern can be found here. If you change this setting, you must also configure the setup.template.name and setup.template.pattern options. See Load the Elasticsearch index template.

Unknown route

The transaction overview will only display helpful information when the transactions in your services are named correctly. If you’re seeing "GET unknown route" or "unknown route" in the APM app, it could be a sign that something isn’t working like it should.

Elastic APM Agents come with built-in support for popular frameworks out-of-the-box. This means, among other things, that the Agent will try to automatically name HTTP requests. As an example, the Node.js Agent uses the route that handled the request, while the Java Agent uses the Servlet name.

"Unknown route" indicates that the Agent can’t determine what to name the request, perhaps because the technology you’re using isn’t supported, the Agent has been installed incorrectly, or because something is happening to the request that the Agent doesn’t understand.

To resolve this, you’ll need to head over to the relevant Agent documentation. Specifically, view the Agent’s supported technologies page. You can also use the Agent’s public API to manually set a name for the transaction.

Fields are not searchable

In Elasticsearch, index templates are used to define settings and mappings that determine how fields should be analyzed. The recommended index template file for APM Server is installed by the APM Server packages. This template, by default, enables and disables indexing on certain fields.

As an example, some agents store cookie values in http.request.cookies. Since http.request has disabled dynamic indexing, and http.request.cookies is not declared in a custom mapping, the values in http.request.cookies are not indexed and thus not searchable.

Ensure an index pattern exists As a first step, you should ensure the correct index pattern exists. In Kibana, navigate to Management > Kibana > Index Patterns. In the pattern list, you should see an apm index pattern; The default is apm-*. If you don’t, the index pattern doesn’t exist. See No APM data found for information on how to fix this problem.

Selecting the apm-* index pattern shows a listing of every field defined in the pattern.

Ensure a field is searchable There are two things you can do to if you’d like to ensure a field is searchable:

  1. Index your additional data as {apm-overview-ref}/metadata.html[labels] instead. These are dynamic by default, which means they will be indexed and become searchable and aggregatable.
  2. Use the append_fields feature. As an example, adding the following to apm-server.yml will enable dynamic indexing for http.request.cookies:
setup.template.enabled: true
setup.template.overwrite: true
setup.template.append_fields:
  - name: http.request.cookies
    type: object
    dynamic: true