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Send data via Winlogbeat to your Logstash instance provided by

Winlogbeat Configuration

Ship logs with Winlogbeat

Winlogbeat is a Windows specific event-log shipping agent installed as a Windows service. It can be used to collect and send event logs to one or more destinations, including Logstash.

Step 1 - InstallCopy

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

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

  • Rename the winlogbeat-<version> directory to Winlogbeat.

  • 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 Winlogbeat as a Windows service:

    PS C:\Users\Administrator> cd 'C:\Program Files\Winlogbeat'
    PS C:\Program Files\Winlogbeat> .\install-service-winlogbeat.ps1
    Security warning
    Run only scripts that you trust. While scripts from the internet can be useful,
    this script can potentially harm your computer. If you trust this script, use
    the Unblock-File cmdlet to allow the script to run without this warning message.
    Do you want to run C:\Program Files\Winlogbeat\install-service-winlogbeat.ps1?
    [D] Do not run  [R] Run once  [S] Suspend  [?] Help (default is "D"): R
    Status   Name               DisplayName
    ------   ----               -----------
    Stopped  winlogbeat         winlogbeat
    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-winlogbeat.ps1

Step 2 - Configure WinlogbeatCopy

Configuration for Winlogbeat is found in the winlogbeat.yml file in C:\Program Files\Winlogbeat.

In the event_logs section, specify the event logs that you want to monitor. By default, Winlogbeat is set to monitor application, security, and system logs:

  - name: Application
  - name: Security
  - name: System
To obtain a list of available event logs, run Get-EventLog *

Step 3 - Configure outputCopy

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"]
No input available! Your stack is missing the required input for this data source Talk to support to add the input

Step 4 - Validate configurationCopy

Let's check the configuration file is syntactically correct.

PS C:\Program Files\Winlogbeat> .\winlogbeat.exe test config -c .\winlogbeat.yml -e

Step 5 - Start winlogbeatCopy

Ok, time to start ingesting data!

PS C:\Program Files\Winlogbeat> Start-Service winlogbeat

Winlogbeat should now be running. If you used the configuration described here, then you can view the log file at C:\ProgramData\winlogbeat\Logs\winlogbeat.

You can view the status of the service and control it from the Services management console in Windows. To launch the management console, run this command:

PS C:\Program Files\Winlogbeat> services.msc

Step 6 - Stopping winlogbeatCopy

Stop the Winlogbeat service with the following command:

PS C:\Program Files\Winlogbeat> Stop-Service winlogbeat

Step 7 - Winlogbeat OverviewCopy

Winlogbeat is a logging agent maintained by Elastic for the purposes of collecting Windows event logs. It is part of the beats family that makes up the Elastic Stack. Winlogbeat can read events from any event log channel using the Windows OS.

Windows log data once centralised in the ELK stack can be monitored for anomaly detection & other security-related incidents including unauthorised access and backdoor installations. These logs can also deliver metrics to Kibana allowing you to create visualisations & security reports easily.

If you need any further assistance with migrating your Winlogbeat logs to Logstash we're here to help you get started. Feel free to reach out by contacting our support team by visiting our dedicated Help Centre or via live chat & we'll be happy to assist.

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