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pfSense Firewall

Ship your pfSense firewall logs using Filebeat to your Stack

Configure a pfSense firewall to ship logs via Filebeat to your stacks via Logstash.

Send Your DataLogsFirewallspfSense Firewall Guide

Follow this step by step guide to get 'logs' from your system to

Step 1 - Install Filebeat

To get started first follow the steps below:

  • Install
  • Root access
  • Verify the required port is open

Older versions can be found here 7, 6, 5

Step 2 - Configure pfSense Logging

Configure the pfSense firewall to log to a syslog server running Filebeat:

On your pfSense firewall interface navigate to "Status" -> "System Logs" -> "Settings"

In Settings under the General Logging Options set the log message format to syslog(RFC 5424, with RFC 3339 microsecond-precision timestamps)

In Settings under Remote Logging Options ensure the following configuration:

  • Enable Remote Logging: Enabled
  • Source Address: Default (any)
  • IP Protocol: IPV4
  • Remote Log Servers: FILEBEAT-IP-ADDRESS:514
  • Remote Syslog Contents: Everything

Step 3 - Configure Filebeat.yml

The configuration file below is pre-configured to send data to your Stack.

Copy the configuration file below and overwrite the contents of the Filebeat configuration file typically located at /etc/filebeat/filebeat.yml

# ============================== Filebeat inputs ===============================

- type: udp
  max_message_size: 10MiB
  host: ""
  enabled: true

  fields_under_root: true
  encoding: utf-8
  ignore_older: 12h

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

If you’re running Filebeat 7, add this code block to the end. Otherwise, you can leave it out.

# ... For Filebeat 7 only ...
filebeat.registry.path: /var/lib/filebeat

If you’re running Filebeat 6, add this code block to the end.

# ... For Filebeat 6 only ...
registry_file: /var/lib/filebeat/registry

It’s a good idea to run the configuration file through a YAML validator to rule out indentation errors, clean up extra characters, and check if your YAML file is valid. is a great choice.

Step 4 - Validate configuration

If you have issues starting in the next step, you can use these commands below to troubleshoot.

Let's check the configuration file is syntactically correct by running directly inside the terminal. If the file is invalid, will print an error loading config file error message with details on how to correct the problem.


sudo  -e -c /etc//.yml


sudo ./ -e -c .yml


.\.exe -e -c .yml

Step 5 - Start filebeat

Start or restart to apply the configuration changes.

Step 6 - Launch to view your logs

Now you should view your data:

Launch Dashboard

If you don't see logs take a look at How to diagnose no data in Stack below for how to diagnose common issues.

Step 7 - How to diagnose no data in Stack

If you don't see data appearing in your Stack after following the steps, visit the Help Centre guide for steps to diagnose no data appearing in your Stack or Chat to support now.

Step 8 - pfSense Overview

The pfSense firewall is designed to offer advanced network security features for enterprise environments by safeguarding against cyber threats and unauthorized access. In order to effectively monitor and analyze network activity, it is crucial to have a dependable and efficient log management solution. The pfSense firewall generates logs that record important details about network traffic, threats, and user activity.

To manage these logs efficiently, organizations can employ Filebeat, an open-source shipping tool, to transfer logs from pfSense firewalls to various destinations such as Elasticsearch, Logstash, and OpenSearch. Filebeat is widely used due to its reliability and minimal memory footprint. It is also compatible and easy to use.

To transfer pfSense firewall logs to Filebeat, organizations can configure the firewall to forward logs to a syslog server and then utilize Filebeat to collect and forward log data to Elasticsearch or other destinations. This process involves configuring a syslog server to receive the logs, configuring the firewall to send logs to the syslog server, and configuring Filebeat to collect and forward the logs from the syslog server to Elasticsearch or other destinations.

In summary, utilizing Filebeat to send pfSense firewall logs to various destinations, including Elasticsearch, Logstash, and OpenSearch, is a dependable and effective log management solution. By configuring the firewall to forward logs to a syslog server and utilizing Filebeat to collect and forward the logs to Elasticsearch or other destinations, organizations can gain insights into network traffic, threats, and user activity, and take action to protect their networks against cyber threats and unauthorized access.

If you need any further assistance with migrating your log data to ELK we're here to help you get started. Feel free to get in contact with our support team by sending us a message via live chat & we'll be happy to assist.

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