Send data via NGINX to your Logstash instance provided by


Ship logs from NGINX to logstash

Configure Filebeat to ship logs from a NGINX web server to Logstash and Elasticsearch.

Step 1 - Install Filebeat

deb (Debian/Ubuntu/Mint)

sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https
wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -
echo 'deb stable main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/beats.list

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install filebeat

rpm (CentOS/RHEL/Fedora)

sudo rpm --import
echo "[elastic-6.x]
name=Elastic repository for 6.x packages
type=rpm-md" | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/elastic-beats.repo

sudo yum install filebeat


curl -L -O 
tar xzvf filebeat-oss-6.6.2-darwin-x86_64.tar.gz


  • Download the Filebeat Windows zip file from the official downloads page.

  • Extract the contents of the zip file into C:\Program Files.

  • Rename the filebeat-<version>-windows directory to Filebeat.

  • Open a PowerShell prompt as an Administrator (right-click the PowerShell icon and select Run As Administrator). If you are running Windows XP, you may need to download and install PowerShell.

  • Run the following commands to install Filebeat as a Windows service:

    PS > cd 'C:\Program Files\Filebeat'
    PS C:\Program Files\Filebeat> .\install-service-filebeat.ps1`
    If script execution is disabled on your system, you need to set the execution policy for the current session to allow the script to run. For example: PowerShell.exe -ExecutionPolicy UnRestricted -File .\install-service-filebeat.ps1.
My OS isn't here! Don't see your system? Check out the official downloads page for more options (including 32-bit versions).

Step 2 - Locate Configuration File

deb/rpm /etc/filebeat/filebeat.yml
mac/win <EXTRACTED_ARCHIVE>/filebeat.yml

Step 3 - Enable the NGINX Module

There are several built in filebeat modules you can use. You will need to enable the nginx module. deb/rpm_

sudo filebeat modules list
sudo filebeat modules enable nginx


./filebeat modules list
./filebeat modules enable nginx


.\filebeat.exe modules list
.\filebeat.exe modules enable nginx

Additional module configuration can be done using the per module config files located in the modules.d folder, most commonly this would be to read logs from a non-default location

deb/rpm /etc/filebeat/modules.d/
mac/win <EXTRACTED_ARCHIVE>/modules.d/

Step 4 - Configure Output

We'll be shipping to Logstash so that we have the option to run filters before the data is indexed.
Comment out the elasticsearch output block.

## Comment out elasticsearch output
#  hosts: ["localhost:9200"]

Uncomment and change the logstash output to match below.

    hosts: ["your-logstash-host:your-port"]
    loadbalance: true
    ssl.enabled: true

Step 5 - (Optional) Update Logstash Filters

All Logit stacks come pre-configured with popular Logstash filters. We would recommend that you add NGINX specific filters if you don't already have them, to ensure enhanced dashboards and modules work correctly.

Edit your Logstash filters by choosing Stack > Settings > Logstash Filters

if [fileset][module] == "nginx" {
  if [fileset][name] == "access" {
    grok {
      match => { "message" => ["%{IPORHOST:[nginx][access][remote_ip]} - %{DATA:[nginx][access][user_name]} \[%{HTTPDATE:[nginx][access][time]}\] \"%{WORD:[nginx][access][method]} %{DATA:[nginx][access][url]} HTTP/%{NUMBER:[nginx][access][http_version]}\" %{NUMBER:[nginx][access][response_code]} %{NUMBER:[nginx][access][body_sent][bytes]} \"%{DATA:[nginx][access][referrer]}\" \"%{DATA:[nginx][access][agent]}\""] }
      remove_field => "message"
    mutate {
      add_field => { "read_timestamp" => "%{@timestamp}" }
    date {
      match => [ "[nginx][access][time]", "dd/MMM/YYYY:H:m:s Z" ]
      remove_field => "[nginx][access][time]"
    useragent {
      source => "[nginx][access][agent]"
      target => "[nginx][access][user_agent]"
      remove_field => "[nginx][access][agent]"
    geoip {
      source => "[nginx][access][remote_ip]"
      target => "[nginx][access][geoip]"
  else if [fileset][name] == "error" {
    grok {
      match => { "message" => ["%{DATA:[nginx][error][time]} \[%{DATA:[nginx][error][level]}\] %{NUMBER:[nginx][error][pid]}#%{NUMBER:[nginx][error][tid]}: (\*%{NUMBER:[nginx][error][connection_id]} )?%{GREEDYDATA:[nginx][error][message]}"] }
      remove_field => "message"
    mutate {
      rename => { "@timestamp" => "read_timestamp" }
    date {
      match => [ "[nginx][error][time]", "YYYY/MM/dd H:m:s" ]
      remove_field => "[nginx][error][time]"

Step 6 - Validate Configuration

Let's check the configuration file is syntactically correct.


sudo filebeat -e -c /etc/filebeat/filebeat.yml


./filebeat -e -c filebeat.yml


filebeat.exe -e -c filebeat.yml

Step 7 - Start Filebeat

Ok, time to start ingesting data!


sudo systemctl enable filebeat
sudo systemctl start filebeat




PS C:\Program Files\Filebeat> Start-Service filebeat

Step 8 - NGINX Logs Overview

NGINX is an open-source HTTP server and reverse proxy that was created by Igor Sysoev & released in 2004. It has gone on to power many of the web’s highest traffic sites (including Netflix, Google & Wordpress) as it is a highly reliable server for enabling businesses to scale their operations.

Viewing NGINX log files can allow you to see spikes in 5XX/4XX status codes affecting the performance of your applications, and allow your Dev teams to drill down into the data to resolve errors. Analysing these at scale can rapidly drain your resources if your teams need to configure separate parsing, configuration, visualisation and reporting tools for a single large NGINX instance.

Many NGINX log analyzers can slow down the process of troubleshooting & increase time to resolution unnecessarily as they often struggle to process large amounts of log data. The Logit log management platform is built on ELK and can easily process large amounts of NGINX server data for root cause analysis.

Our platform is built to scale with your infrastructure, once data is migrated to your ELK Stack you’ll be able to benefit from automatic parsing with Logstash and visualise your NGINX metrics in Kibana. Alert on errors and notify your teams of spikes in real-time with our integrated alerting features that can send notifications to a variety of sources including Jira, Slack, PagerDuty & Webhooks.

In case you need any further assistance with sending your NGINX data to Logstash & Elasticsearch we're here to help. Just get in touch with our support team via live chat & we'll be happy to assist.

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