Deploy ELK Stack 8 Cluster on Docker Containers

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Follow through this guide to learn how to deploy ELK Stack 8 cluster on Docker containers. Deploying a multinode ELK Stack 8 cluster on Docker containers on separate nodes offers a flexible and scalable solution for managing distributed search and analytics workloads. Docker provides a lightweight and portable containerization environment, allowing Elastic components to be easily deployed and orchestrated across various environments. As of this writing, Elastic 8.12.0 is the current stable release.

Deploy ELK Stack 8 Cluster on Docker Containers

We will be deploying a three node ELK Stack 8 cluster on Docker containers.

Note that a cluster typically involves multiple nodes working together to store and process data. In the context of Elastic, a cluster is formed when multiple Elasticsearch nodes join together to share the workload and provide high availability. If you have three Elasticsearch containers running on a single node, it’s still a single-node setup, not a cluster. A true Elasticsearch cluster would involve running multiple instances of Elasticsearch on separate nodes, allowing them to communicate and work together as a unified system.

Install Docker Engine

Depending on the your host system distribution, you need to install the Docker engine. You can link below to various guides to install Docker engine.

Install Docker CE on Linux

Checking Installed Docker version;

docker version

Sample output;

Docker version 24.0.7, build afdd53b

Install Docker Compose

If you are running Elasticsearch cluster in Docker containers for test/development purposes, you can just create the containers using the docker run commands. Otherwise, use Docker composer to deploy production Elasticsearch containers!

Download and install Docker Compose on a Linux system. Be sure to replace the VER variable below with the value of the current stable release version of Docker compose.

Check the current stable release version of Docker Compose on their Github release page. As of this writing, the Docker Compose version 2.24.1 is the current stable release.

VER=2.24.1
sudo curl -L "https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/v$VER/docker-compose-$(uname -s)-$(uname -m)" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

This downloads docker compose tool to /usr/local/bin directory.

Make the Docker compose binary executable;

chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

You should now be able to use Docker compose (docker-compose) on the CLI.

Check the version of installed Docker compose to confirm that it is working as expected.

docker-compose version
Docker Compose version v2.24.1

Important Elasticsearch Settings

Disable Memory Swapping on a Container

There are different ways to disable swapping. In an Elasticsearch Docker container, you can simply set the value of the bootstrap.memory_lock option to true. With this option, you also need to ensure that there is no maximum limit imposed on the locked-in-memory address space (LimitMEMLOCK=infinity).

For a respective service, this is memory_lock limits are defined in a Docker compose file.

    ulimits:
      memlock:
        soft: -1
        hard: -1

You can confirm the default values set on a Docker image using the command below;

docker run --rm docker.elastic.co/elasticsearch/elasticsearch:8.11.4 /bin/bash -c 'ulimit -Hm && ulimit -Sm'

Sample output;

unlimited
unlimited

If the value other than the required one is printed, then you have to set this via the Docker compose file to ensure that it set to appropriately for both Soft and Hard limits.

Set JVM Heap Size on All Cluster Nodes

Elasticsearch usually sets the heap size automatically based on the roles of the nodes’s roles and the total memory available to the node’s container. This is the recommended approach! For the Elasticsearch Docker containers, any custom JVM settings can be defined using the ES_JAVA_OPTS environment variable, either in compose file or on command line.

For example, you can set JVM heap size, Min and Max to 512M using the ES_JAVA_OPTS=-Xms512m -Xmx512m.

Set Maximum Open File Descriptor and Processes on Elasticsearch Containers

Set the maximum number of open files (nofile) for the containers to 65,536 and max number of processes to 4096 (both soft and hard limits).

You can use the command below to check the maximum number of user processes (-u) and max number of opens files (-n);

Replace the value of VER variable below with the current value of Elastic release!

VER=8.12.0
docker run --rm docker.elastic.co/elasticsearch/elasticsearch:${VER} bash -c 'ulimit -Hn && ulimit -Sn && ulimit -Hu && ulimit -Su'

Sample output;

1048576
1048576
unlimited
unlimited

These values may look like this on Docker compose file. Adjust them accordingly!

    ulimits:
      nofile:
        soft: 65536
        hard: 65536
      nproc:
        soft: 2048
        hard: 2048

Update Virtual Memory Settings on All Cluster Nodes

Elasticsearch uses a mmapfs directory by default to store its indices. To ensure that you do not run out of virtual memory, edit the /etc/sysctl.conf on the Docker host and update the value of vm.max_map_count as shown below.

vm.max_map_count=262144

On each of the cluster node, simply run the command below to configure virtual memory settings.

echo "vm.max_map_count=262144" >> /etc/sysctl.conf

To apply the changes;

sysctl -p

Deploy ELK Stack 8 on First Cluster Docker Host

Create a Network Share for Docker Volumes

In this setup, we are running ELK stack 8 containers on three separate nodes. As a result, there will be a number of files that we will need to share among the three containers on three different nodes. As much as there could other ways to share file on containers running on separate nodes, one of the option that became easy and achievable for me in this setup is the use of NFS shares to share volumes/files across the containers.

Hence, we have deployed an NFS server and mounted a directory with the files that needs to be shared across the ELK stack 8 cluster.

This is our NFS share export configuration;

cat /etc/exports
/mnt/elkstack/	192.168.122.152(rw,sync,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check) 192.168.122.123(rw,sync,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check) 192.168.122.60(rw,sync,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check)

As you can see, we create an NFS share under /mnt/elkstack and allow access from our ELK stack cluster nodes.

In this share, we have created the following directories:

  • /mnt/elkstack/certs for ELK stack SSL/TLS certificates;
  • /mnt/elkstack/configs/{logstash} for shared configuration files
  • /mnt/elkstack/data/ for Elasticsearch components data.
    • elasticsearch/{01,02,03}
    • kibana/{01,02,03}
    • logstash/{01,02,03}

In the Logstash configuration directory, we have use the same pipeline configuration used in our previous guide. However, we adjusted the output to connect to multiple Elasticsearch outputs;

output {
   elasticsearch {
     hosts => ["https://${NODE1_NAME}:9200","https://${NODE2_NAME}:9200", "https://${NODE3_NAME}:9200"]
     user => "${ELASTICSEARCH_USERNAME}"
     password => "${ELASTICSEARCH_PASSWORD}"
     ssl => true
     cacert => "config/certs/ca/ca.crt"
 

Create Docker-Compose file for your Container Services

To demonstrate how to deploy ELK stack 8 cluster on Docker containers, we will spin 3 nodes. On each node, we will run a single Docker container of ELK stack components, Elasticsearch 8, Logstash 8, Kibana 8. We will later on connect the Elasticsearch 8 containers together to make a cluster.

Thus, on the first node, let’s create a Docker compose file for our ELK stack.

mkdir elkstack-docker
cd elkstack-docker
vim docker-compose.yml

Below is a sample Docker compose file configs for first node of our ELK Stack 8 Cluster Docker container.

version: '3.8'

services:
  es_setup:
    image: docker.elastic.co/elasticsearch/elasticsearch:${STACK_VERSION}
    volumes:
      - certs:/usr/share/elasticsearch/config/certs
    user: "0"
    command: >
      bash -c '
        echo "Creating ES certs directory..."
        [[ -d config/certs ]] || mkdir config/certs
        # Check if CA certificate exists
        if [ ! -f config/certs/ca/ca.crt ]; then
          echo "Generating Wildcard SSL certs for ES (in PEM format)..."
          bin/elasticsearch-certutil ca --pem --days 3650 --out config/certs/elkstack-ca.zip
          unzip -d config/certs config/certs/elkstack-ca.zip
          bin/elasticsearch-certutil cert \
            --name elkstack-certs \
            --ca-cert config/certs/ca/ca.crt \
            --ca-key config/certs/ca/ca.key \
            --pem \
            --dns "*.${DOMAIN_SUFFIX},localhost,${NODE1_NAME},${NODE2_NAME},${NODE3_NAME}" \
            --ip 192.168.122.60 \
            --ip 192.168.122.123 \
            --ip 192.168.122.152 \
            --days ${DAYS} \
            --out config/certs/elkstack-certs.zip
          unzip -d config/certs config/certs/elkstack-certs.zip
        else
          echo "CA certificate already exists. Skipping Certificates generation."
        fi
        # Check if Elasticsearch is ready
        until curl -s --cacert config/certs/ca/ca.crt -u "elastic:${ELASTIC_PASSWORD}" https://${NODE1_NAME}:9200 | grep -q "${CLUSTER_NAME}"; do sleep 10; done
        # Set kibana_system password
        if curl -sk -XGET --cacert config/certs/ca/ca.crt "https://${NODE1_NAME}:9200" -u "kibana_system:${KIBANA_PASSWORD}" | grep -q "${CLUSTER_NAME}"; then
          echo "Password for kibana_system is working. Proceeding with Elasticsearch setup for kibana_system."
        else
          echo "Failed to authenticate with kibana_system password. Trying to set the password for kibana_system."
          until curl -s -XPOST --cacert config/certs/ca/ca.crt -u "elastic:${ELASTIC_PASSWORD}" -H "Content-Type: application/json" https://${NODE1_NAME}:9200/_security/user/kibana_system/_password -d "{\"password\":\"${KIBANA_PASSWORD}\"}" | grep -q "^{}"; do sleep 10; done
        fi
        echo "Setup is done!"
      '
    networks:
      - elastic
    healthcheck:
      test: ["CMD-SHELL", "[ -f config/certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.crt ]"]
      interval: 1s
      timeout: 5s
      retries: 120

  elasticsearch:
    depends_on:
      es_setup:
        condition: service_healthy
    container_name: ${NODE1_NAME}
    image: docker.elastic.co/elasticsearch/elasticsearch:${STACK_VERSION}
    environment:
      - node.name=${NODE1_NAME}
      - network.publish_host=${NODE1} 
      - cluster.name=${CLUSTER_NAME}
      - bootstrap.memory_lock=true
      - "ES_JAVA_OPTS=-Xms1g -Xmx1g"
      - ELASTIC_PASSWORD=${ELASTIC_PASSWORD}
      - xpack.security.enabled=true
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.enabled=true
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.enabled=true
      - xpack.security.enrollment.enabled=false
      - xpack.security.autoconfiguration.enabled=false
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.key=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.key
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.certificate=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.crt
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.certificate_authorities=certs/ca/ca.crt
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.key=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.key
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.certificate=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.crt
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.certificate_authorities=certs/ca/ca.crt
      - cluster.initial_master_nodes=${NODE1_NAME},${NODE2_NAME},${NODE3_NAME}
      - discovery.seed_hosts=192.168.122.60,192.168.122.123,192.168.122.152
      - KIBANA_USERNAME=${KIBANA_USERNAME}
      - KIBANA_PASSWORD=${KIBANA_PASSWORD}
    ulimits:
      memlock:
        soft: -1
        hard: -1
    volumes:
      - elasticsearch_data:/usr/share/elasticsearch/data
      - certs:/usr/share/elasticsearch/config/certs
      - /etc/hosts:/etc/hosts
    ports:
      - 9200:9200
      - 9300:9300
    networks:
      - elastic
    healthcheck:
      test: ["CMD-SHELL", "curl --fail -k -s -u elastic:${ELASTIC_PASSWORD} --cacert config/certs/ca/ca.crt https://${NODE1_NAME}:9200"]
      interval: 30s
      timeout: 10s
      retries: 5
    restart: unless-stopped

  kibana:
    image: docker.elastic.co/kibana/kibana:${STACK_VERSION}
    container_name: kibana
    environment:
      - SERVER_NAME=${KIBANA_SERVER_HOST}
      - ELASTICSEARCH_HOSTS=https://${NODE1_NAME}:9200
      - ELASTICSEARCH_SSL_CERTIFICATEAUTHORITIES=config/certs/ca/ca.crt
      - ELASTICSEARCH_USERNAME=${KIBANA_USERNAME}
      - ELASTICSEARCH_PASSWORD=${KIBANA_PASSWORD}
      - XPACK_REPORTING_ROLES_ENABLED=false
      - XPACK_REPORTING_KIBANASERVER_HOSTNAME=localhost
      - XPACK_ENCRYPTEDSAVEDOBJECTS_ENCRYPTIONKEY=${SAVEDOBJECTS_ENCRYPTIONKEY}
      - XPACK_SECURITY_ENCRYPTIONKEY=${REPORTING_ENCRYPTIONKEY}
      - XPACK_REPORTING_ENCRYPTIONKEY=${SECURITY_ENCRYPTIONKEY}
    volumes:
      - kibana_data:/usr/share/kibana/data
      - certs:/usr/share/kibana/config/certs
      - /etc/hosts:/etc/hosts
    ports:
      - ${KIBANA_PORT}:5601
    networks:
      - elastic
    depends_on:
      elasticsearch:
        condition: service_healthy
    restart: unless-stopped
  
  logstash:
    image: docker.elastic.co/logstash/logstash:${STACK_VERSION}
    container_name: logstash
    environment:
      - XPACK_MONITORING_ENABLED=false
      - ELASTICSEARCH_USERNAME=${ES_USER}
      - ELASTICSEARCH_PASSWORD=${ELASTIC_PASSWORD}
      - NODE_NAME=${NODE1_NAME}
    ports:
      - 5044:5044
    volumes:
      - logstash_filters:/usr/share/logstash/pipeline/:ro
      - certs:/usr/share/logstash/config/certs
      - logstash_data:/usr/share/logstash/data
      - /etc/hosts:/etc/hosts
    networks:
      - elastic
    depends_on:
      elasticsearch:
        condition: service_healthy
    restart: unless-stopped

volumes:
  certs:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/certs"
  elasticsearch_data:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/data/elasticsearch/01"
  kibana_data:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/data/kibana/01"
  logstash_filters:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/configs/logstash"
  logstash_data:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/data/logstash/01"

networks:
  elastic:

Where:

  • es_setup Service:
    • Image: Uses the official Elasticsearch Docker image with a specified version (${STACK_VERSION}).
    • Volumes: Mounts a volume named certs to the Elasticsearch configuration directory.
    • User: Sets the user to root (user ID 0).
    • Command: Shell script for setting up Elasticsearch certificates, checking cluster readiness, and setting the kibana_system password.
    • Networks: Connects to the elastic network.
    • Healthcheck: Uses a custom health check to test the existence of a specific file (config/certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.crt).
  • elasticsearch Service:
    • Depends On: Depends on the es_setup service with the condition that es_setup is healthy.
    • Container Name: Specifies a custom name for the Elasticsearch container (${NODE1_NAME}).
    • Image: Uses the official Elasticsearch Docker image with the specified version (${STACK_VERSION}).
    • Environment: Configures various environment variables for Elasticsearch, such as node name, network settings, security, etc.
    • Ulimits: Sets memory lock limits for Elasticsearch.
    • Volumes: Mounts volumes for Elasticsearch data, certificates, and the hosts file.
    • Ports: Exposes ports 9200 and 9300.
    • Networks: Connects to the elastic network.
    • Healthcheck: Uses a custom health check to check Elasticsearch availability.
  • kibana Service:
  • Image: Uses the official Kibana Docker image with the specified version (${STACK_VERSION}).
  • Container Name: Specifies a custom name for the Kibana container (kibana).
  • Environment: Configures environment variables for Kibana, including Elasticsearch connection details and security settings.
  • Volumes: Mounts volumes for Kibana data, certificates, and the hosts file.
  • Ports: Exposes the specified port for Kibana.
  • Networks: Connects to the elastic network.
  • Depends On: Depends on the elasticsearch service with the condition that elasticsearch is healthy.
  • Logstash Service:
    • Image: Uses the official Logstash Docker image with the specified version (${STACK_VERSION}).
    • Container Name: Specifies a custom name for the Logstash container (logstash).
    • Environment: Configures environment variables for Logstash, including Elasticsearch connection details and security settings.
    • Ports: Exposes port 5044 for Logstash.
    • Volumes: Mounts volumes for Logstash filters, certificates, and Logstash data.
    • Networks: Connects to the elastic network.
    • Depends On: Depends on the elasticsearch service with the condition that elasticsearch is healthy.
  • Volumes:
    • Defines multiple volumes for storing certificates, Elasticsearch data, Kibana data, Logstash filters, and Logstash data. These volumes are configured to use NFS.
  • Networks:
    • Defines a custom network named elastic for connecting the services.

All the environment variables used are defined in the .env file.

cat .env
# Version of Elastic products
STACK_VERSION=8.12.0

# Set the cluster name
CLUSTER_NAME=elk-docker-cluster

# Set Elasticsearch Node Name
NODE1_NAME=es01
NODE2_NAME=es02
NODE3_NAME=es03

# Docker Host IP to advertise to cluster nodes
NODE1=192.168.122.60
NODE2=192.168.122.123
NODE3=192.168.122.152

# Elasticsearch super user
ES_USER=elastic

# Password for the 'elastic' user (at least 6 characters). No special characters, ! or @ or $.
ELASTIC_PASSWORD=ChangeME

# Elasticsearch container name
ES_NAME=elasticsearch

# Port to expose Elasticsearch HTTP API to the host
ES_PORT=9200
#ES_PORT=127.0.0.1:9200

# Port to expose Kibana to the host
KIBANA_PORT=5601
KIBANA_SERVER_HOST=localhost

# Kibana Encryption. Requires atleast 32 characters. Can be generated using `openssl rand -hex 16
SAVEDOBJECTS_ENCRYPTIONKEY=ca11560aec8410ff002d011c2a172608
REPORTING_ENCRYPTIONKEY=288f06b3a14a7f36dd21563d50ec76d4
SECURITY_ENCRYPTIONKEY=62c781d3a2b2eaee1d4cebcc6bf42b48

# Kibana - Elasticsearch Authentication Credentials for user kibana_system
# Password for the 'kibana_system' user (at least 6 characters). No special characters, ! or @ or $.
KIBANA_USERNAME=kibana_system
KIBANA_PASSWORD=ChangeME

# Domain Suffix for ES Wildcard SSL certs
DOMAIN_SUFFIX=kifarunix-demo.com

# Generated Certs Validity Period
DAYS=3650

# Logstash Input Port
LS_PORT=5044

Similarly, create on the other nodes, create Docker compose file and respective environment variables file. We will use same environment variables across the nodes!

One the second node;

cat docker-compose.yml
services:
  elasticsearch:
    container_name: ${NODE2_NAME}
    image: docker.elastic.co/elasticsearch/elasticsearch:${STACK_VERSION}
    command: >
      bash -c '
      until [ -f "config/certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.crt" ]; do
          sleep 10;
        done;
        exec /usr/local/bin/docker-entrypoint.sh
      '
    environment:
      - node.name=${NODE2_NAME}
      - network.publish_host=${NODE2}
      - cluster.name=${CLUSTER_NAME}
      - bootstrap.memory_lock=true
      - cluster.initial_master_nodes=${NODE1_NAME},${NODE2_NAME},${NODE3_NAME}
      - discovery.seed_hosts=${NODE1},${NODE2},${NODE3}
      - "ES_JAVA_OPTS=-Xms1g -Xmx1g"
      - ELASTIC_PASSWORD=${ELASTIC_PASSWORD}
      - xpack.security.enabled=true
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.enabled=true
      - xpack.security.enrollment.enabled=false
      - xpack.security.autoconfiguration.enabled=false        
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.enabled=true
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.key=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.key
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.certificate=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.crt
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.certificate_authorities=certs/ca/ca.crt
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.key=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.key
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.certificate=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.crt
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.certificate_authorities=certs/ca/ca.crt
      - KIBANA_USERNAME=${KIBANA_USERNAME}
      - KIBANA_PASSWORD=${KIBANA_PASSWORD}
    ulimits:
      memlock:
        soft: -1
        hard: -1
    volumes:
      - elasticsearch_data:/usr/share/elasticsearch/data
      - certs:/usr/share/elasticsearch/config/certs
      - /etc/hosts:/etc/hosts
    ports:
      - 9200:9200
      - 9300:9300
    networks:
      - elastic
    healthcheck:
      test: ["CMD-SHELL", "curl --fail -k -s -u elastic:${ELASTIC_PASSWORD} --cacert config/certs/ca/ca.crt https://${NODE2_NAME}:9200"]
      interval: 30s
      timeout: 10s
      retries: 5
    restart: unless-stopped

  kibana:
    image: docker.elastic.co/kibana/kibana:${STACK_VERSION}
    container_name: kibana02
    environment:
      - SERVER_NAME=${KIBANA_SERVER_HOST}
      - ELASTICSEARCH_HOSTS=https://${NODE2_NAME}:9200
      - ELASTICSEARCH_SSL_CERTIFICATEAUTHORITIES=config/certs/ca/ca.crt
      - ELASTICSEARCH_USERNAME=${KIBANA_USERNAME}
      - ELASTICSEARCH_PASSWORD=${KIBANA_PASSWORD}
      - XPACK_REPORTING_ROLES_ENABLED=false
      - XPACK_REPORTING_KIBANASERVER_HOSTNAME=localhost
      - XPACK_ENCRYPTEDSAVEDOBJECTS_ENCRYPTIONKEY=${SAVEDOBJECTS_ENCRYPTIONKEY}
      - XPACK_SECURITY_ENCRYPTIONKEY=${REPORTING_ENCRYPTIONKEY}
      - XPACK_REPORTING_ENCRYPTIONKEY=${SECURITY_ENCRYPTIONKEY}
    volumes:
      - kibana_data:/usr/share/kibana/data
      - certs:/usr/share/kibana/config/certs
      - /etc/hosts:/etc/hosts
    ports:
      - ${KIBANA_PORT}:5601
    networks:
      - elastic
    depends_on:
      elasticsearch:
        condition: service_healthy
    restart: unless-stopped
  
  logstash:
    image: docker.elastic.co/logstash/logstash:${STACK_VERSION}
    container_name: logstash02
    environment:
      - XPACK_MONITORING_ENABLED=false
      - ELASTICSEARCH_USERNAME=${ES_USER}
      - ELASTICSEARCH_PASSWORD=${ELASTIC_PASSWORD}
      - NODE_NAME=${NODE2_NAME}
    ports:
      - 5044:5044
    volumes:
      - certs:/usr/share/logstash/config/certs
      - logstash_filters:/usr/share/logstash/pipeline/:ro
      - logstash_data:/usr/share/logstash/data      
      - /etc/hosts:/etc/hosts
    networks:
      - elastic
    depends_on:
      elasticsearch:
        condition: service_healthy
    restart: unless-stopped

volumes:
  certs:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,ro"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/certs"
  elasticsearch_data:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/data/elasticsearch/02"
  kibana_data:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/data/kibana/02"
  logstash_filters:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,ro"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/configs/logstash"
  logstash_data:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/data/logstash/02"

networks:
  elastic:
cat .env
# Version of Elastic products
STACK_VERSION=8.12.0

# Set the cluster name
CLUSTER_NAME=elk-docker-cluster

# Set Elasticsearch Node Name
NODE1_NAME=es01
NODE2_NAME=es02
NODE3_NAME=es03

# Docker Host IP to advertise to cluster nodes
NODE1=192.168.122.60
NODE2=192.168.122.123
NODE3=192.168.122.152

# Elasticsearch super user
ES_USER=elastic

# Password for the 'elastic' user (at least 6 characters). No special characters, ! or @ or $.
ELASTIC_PASSWORD=ChangeME

# Elasticsearch container name
ES_NAME=elasticsearch

# Port to expose Elasticsearch HTTP API to the host
ES_PORT=9200
#ES_PORT=127.0.0.1:9200

# Port to expose Kibana to the host
KIBANA_PORT=5601
KIBANA_SERVER_HOST=localhost

# Kibana Encryption. Requires atleast 32 characters. Can be generated using `openssl rand -hex 16
SAVEDOBJECTS_ENCRYPTIONKEY=ca11560aec8410ff002d011c2a172608
REPORTING_ENCRYPTIONKEY=288f06b3a14a7f36dd21563d50ec76d4
SECURITY_ENCRYPTIONKEY=62c781d3a2b2eaee1d4cebcc6bf42b48

# Kibana - Elasticsearch Authentication Credentials for user kibana_system
# Password for the 'kibana_system' user (at least 6 characters). No special characters, ! or @ or $.
KIBANA_USERNAME=kibana_system
KIBANA_PASSWORD=ChangeME

# Domain Suffix for ES Wildcard SSL certs
DOMAIN_SUFFIX=kifarunix-demo.com

# Generated Certs Validity Period
DAYS=3650

# Logstash Input Port
LS_PORT=5044

On the third node;

cat docker-compose.yml
services:
  elasticsearch:
    container_name: ${NODE3_NAME}
    image: docker.elastic.co/elasticsearch/elasticsearch:${STACK_VERSION}
    command: >
      bash -c '
      until [ -f "config/certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.crt" ]; do
          sleep 10;
        done;
        exec /usr/local/bin/docker-entrypoint.sh
      '
    environment:
      - node.name=${NODE3_NAME}
      - network.publish_host=${NODE3}
      - cluster.name=${CLUSTER_NAME}
      - bootstrap.memory_lock=true
      - cluster.initial_master_nodes=${NODE1_NAME},${NODE2_NAME},${NODE3_NAME}
      - discovery.seed_hosts=${NODE1},${NODE2},${NODE3}
      - "ES_JAVA_OPTS=-Xms1g -Xmx1g"
      - ELASTIC_PASSWORD=${ELASTIC_PASSWORD}
      - xpack.security.enabled=true
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.enabled=true
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.enabled=true
      - xpack.security.enrollment.enabled=false
      - xpack.security.autoconfiguration.enabled=false        
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.key=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.key
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.certificate=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.crt
      - xpack.security.http.ssl.certificate_authorities=certs/ca/ca.crt
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.key=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.key
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.certificate=certs/elkstack-certs/elkstack-certs.crt
      - xpack.security.transport.ssl.certificate_authorities=certs/ca/ca.crt
      - KIBANA_USERNAME=${KIBANA_USERNAME}
      - KIBANA_PASSWORD=${KIBANA_PASSWORD}
    ulimits:
      memlock:
        soft: -1
        hard: -1
    volumes:
      - elasticsearch_data:/usr/share/elasticsearch/data
      - certs:/usr/share/elasticsearch/config/certs
      - /etc/hosts:/etc/hosts
    ports:
      - 9200:9200
      - 9300:9300
    networks:
      - elastic
    healthcheck:
      test: ["CMD-SHELL", "curl --fail -k -s -u elastic:${ELASTIC_PASSWORD} --cacert config/certs/ca/ca.crt https://${NODE3_NAME}:9200"]
      interval: 30s
      timeout: 10s
      retries: 5
    restart: unless-stopped

  kibana:
    image: docker.elastic.co/kibana/kibana:${STACK_VERSION}
    container_name: kibana
    environment:
      - SERVER_NAME=${KIBANA_SERVER_HOST}
      - ELASTICSEARCH_HOSTS=https://${NODE3_NAME}:9200
      - ELASTICSEARCH_SSL_CERTIFICATEAUTHORITIES=config/certs/ca/ca.crt
      - ELASTICSEARCH_USERNAME=${KIBANA_USERNAME}
      - ELASTICSEARCH_PASSWORD=${KIBANA_PASSWORD}
      - XPACK_REPORTING_ROLES_ENABLED=false
      - XPACK_REPORTING_KIBANASERVER_HOSTNAME=localhost
      - XPACK_ENCRYPTEDSAVEDOBJECTS_ENCRYPTIONKEY=${SAVEDOBJECTS_ENCRYPTIONKEY}
      - XPACK_SECURITY_ENCRYPTIONKEY=${REPORTING_ENCRYPTIONKEY}
      - XPACK_REPORTING_ENCRYPTIONKEY=${SECURITY_ENCRYPTIONKEY}
    volumes:
      - kibana_data:/usr/share/kibana/data
      - certs:/usr/share/kibana/config/certs
      - /etc/hosts:/etc/hosts
    ports:
      - ${KIBANA_PORT}:5601
    networks:
      - elastic
    depends_on:
      elasticsearch:
        condition: service_healthy
    restart: unless-stopped
  
  logstash:
    image: docker.elastic.co/logstash/logstash:${STACK_VERSION}
    container_name: logstash
    environment:
      - XPACK_MONITORING_ENABLED=false
      - ELASTICSEARCH_USERNAME=${ES_USER}
      - ELASTICSEARCH_PASSWORD=${ELASTIC_PASSWORD}
      - NODE_NAME=${NODE3_NAME}
    ports:
      - 5044:5044
    volumes:
      - certs:/usr/share/logstash/config/certs
      - logstash_filters:/usr/share/logstash/pipeline/:ro
      - logstash_data:/usr/share/logstash/data      
      - /etc/hosts:/etc/hosts
    networks:
      - elastic
    depends_on:
      elasticsearch:
        condition: service_healthy
    restart: unless-stopped

volumes:
  certs:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,ro"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/certs"
  elasticsearch_data:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/data/elasticsearch/03"
  kibana_data:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/data/kibana/03"
  logstash_filters:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,ro"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/configs/logstash"
  logstash_data:
    driver: local
    driver_opts:
      type: nfs
      o: "addr=192.168.122.60,nfsvers=4,rw"
      device: ":/mnt/elkstack/data/logstash/03"

networks:
  elastic:
cat .env
# Version of Elastic products
STACK_VERSION=8.12.0

# Set the cluster name
CLUSTER_NAME=elk-docker-cluster

# Set Elasticsearch Node Name
NODE1_NAME=es01
NODE2_NAME=es02
NODE3_NAME=es03

# Docker Host IP to advertise to cluster nodes
NODE1=192.168.122.60
NODE2=192.168.122.123
NODE3=192.168.122.152

# Elasticsearch super user
ES_USER=elastic

# Password for the 'elastic' user (at least 6 characters). No special characters, ! or @ or $.
ELASTIC_PASSWORD=ChangeME

# Elasticsearch container name
ES_NAME=elasticsearch

# Port to expose Elasticsearch HTTP API to the host
ES_PORT=9200
#ES_PORT=127.0.0.1:9200

# Port to expose Kibana to the host
KIBANA_PORT=5601
KIBANA_SERVER_HOST=localhost

# Kibana Encryption. Requires atleast 32 characters. Can be generated using `openssl rand -hex 16
SAVEDOBJECTS_ENCRYPTIONKEY=ca11560aec8410ff002d011c2a172608
REPORTING_ENCRYPTIONKEY=288f06b3a14a7f36dd21563d50ec76d4
SECURITY_ENCRYPTIONKEY=62c781d3a2b2eaee1d4cebcc6bf42b48

# Kibana - Elasticsearch Authentication Credentials for user kibana_system
# Password for the 'kibana_system' user (at least 6 characters). No special characters, ! or @ or $.
KIBANA_USERNAME=kibana_system
KIBANA_PASSWORD=ChangeME

# Domain Suffix for ES Wildcard SSL certs
DOMAIN_SUFFIX=kifarunix-demo.com

# Generated Certs Validity Period
DAYS=3650

# Logstash Input Port
LS_PORT=5044

Validate Docker Compose Files

It is important to check the syntax, environment variables, and other settings in your Docker compose file. This can be done using the command;

docker-compose config

Or;

docker compose config

The command will:

  1. Validate the syntax of the Docker compose file.
  2. Parse the file and merge the configuration from all relevant sources (e.g., environment variables, variable interpolation).
  3. Output the final, resolved configuration.

Start ELK Stack 8 Docker Containers

Once you have everything in place, then it is time to start the containers.

Note, in our setup, we have to start the containers on the first on the first node. This is because, it is from this node that we are generating the shared SSL/TLS certs required for the cluster.

Thus, having confirmed all is set to go, fire up!

docker-compose up -d
[+] Running 37/26
 ✔ kibana 12 layers [⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿]      0B/0B      Pulled                                                                                                                                      31.9s 
 ✔ es_setup Pulled                                                                                                                                                                             25.4s 
 ✔ elasticsearch 10 layers [⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿]      0B/0B      Pulled                                                                                                                                 25.4s 
 ✔ logstash 11 layers [⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿]      0B/0B      Pulled                                                                                                                                     24.8s                                                                                                                                                                                                   
...                                                                                                                                                                                                
[+] Running 10/10
 ✔ Network elkstack-docker_elastic              Created                                                                                                                                         0.1s 
 ✔ Volume "elkstack-docker_elasticsearch_data"  Created                                                                                                                                         0.0s 
 ✔ Volume "elkstack-docker_kibana_data"         Created                                                                                                                                         0.0s 
 ✔ Volume "elkstack-docker_certs"               Created                                                                                                                                         0.0s 
 ✔ Volume "elkstack-docker_logstash_filters"    Created                                                                                                                                         0.0s 
 ✔ Volume "elkstack-docker_logstash_data"       Created                                                                                                                                         0.0s 
 ✔ Container elkstack-docker-es_setup-1         Healthy                                                                                                                                         0.6s 
 ✔ Container es01                               Healthy                                                                                                                                         0.2s 
 ✔ Container kibana                             Started                                                                                                                                         0.2s 
 ✔ Container logstash                           Started 

Immediately the containers on the first node run, login to the two other nodes and laucnh the containers;

Node2/Node3;

docker-compose up -d
[+] Running 9/9
 ✔ Network elkstack-docker_elastic              Created                                                                                                                                         0.1s 
 ✔ Volume "elkstack-docker_certs"               Created                                                                                                                                         0.0s 
 ✔ Volume "elkstack-docker_kibana_data"         Created                                                                                                                                         0.0s 
 ✔ Volume "elkstack-docker_logstash_filters"    Created                                                                                                                                         0.0s 
 ✔ Volume "elkstack-docker_logstash_data"       Created                                                                                                                                         0.0s 
 ✔ Volume "elkstack-docker_elasticsearch_data"  Created                                                                                                                                         0.0s 
 ✔ Container es02                               Healthy                                                                                                                                         0.3s 
 ✔ Container kibana02                           Started                                                                                                                                         0.1s 
 ✔ Container logstash02                         Started

If everything goes well, then your three node ELK Stack 8 cluster on Docker containers should be up now!

Check containers running on first node;

docker ps
CONTAINER ID   IMAGE                                                  COMMAND                  CREATED         STATUS                   PORTS                                                                                  NAMES
22fc737061c6   docker.elastic.co/logstash/logstash:8.12.0             "/usr/local/bin/dock…"   4 minutes ago   Up 3 minutes             0.0.0.0:5044->5044/tcp, :::5044->5044/tcp, 9600/tcp                                    logstash
e71f04eefbb4   docker.elastic.co/kibana/kibana:8.12.0                 "/bin/tini -- /usr/l…"   4 minutes ago   Up 3 minutes             0.0.0.0:5601->5601/tcp, :::5601->5601/tcp                                              kibana
8e623c5e277e   docker.elastic.co/elasticsearch/elasticsearch:8.12.0   "/bin/tini -- /usr/l…"   4 minutes ago   Up 4 minutes (healthy)   0.0.0.0:9200->9200/tcp, :::9200->9200/tcp, 0.0.0.0:9300->9300/tcp, :::9300->9300/tcp   es01

You do the same on other nodes.

Verify the ELK Stack Cluster

Now, check if the cluster is up and running.

docker exec -it es01 bash -c 'curl -sk -XGET https://es01:9200/_cat/nodes?pretty -u elastic'
192.168.122.152 15 98  6 0.13 0.54 0.34 dm - es03
192.168.122.123 51 98  8 0.58 0.74 0.43 dm * es02
192.168.122.60  28 98 16 1.72 1.88 1.10 dm - es01

Hurray! We have the cluster up and running! Check, container on node 2 is the master now!

You can also check individual container logs under /var/lib/docker/containers/.

sudo tail -f /var/lib/docker/containers/*/*.log

You can replace asterisk with individual containers id to check each’s container logs.

You can also grep keywords like added|master node|elected-as in the logs;

grep -irE --color 'added|master node|elected-as' /var/lib/docker/containers/*/*.log

Check the ports exposed by the services on the host;

ss -atlnp
State  Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address:Port  Peer Address:PortProcess                                                     
LISTEN 0      4096         0.0.0.0:5601       0.0.0.0:*    users:(("docker-proxy",pid=2945394,fd=4))                  
LISTEN 0      4096         0.0.0.0:9300       0.0.0.0:*    users:(("docker-proxy",pid=2944085,fd=4))                  
LISTEN 0      128          0.0.0.0:22         0.0.0.0:*    users:(("sshd",pid=710,fd=3))                              
LISTEN 0      4096         0.0.0.0:5044       0.0.0.0:*    users:(("docker-proxy",pid=2945415,fd=4))                  
LISTEN 0      4096         0.0.0.0:9200       0.0.0.0:*    users:(("docker-proxy",pid=2944108,fd=4))                  
LISTEN 0      4096            [::]:5601          [::]:*    users:(("docker-proxy",pid=2945401,fd=4))                  
LISTEN 0      4096            [::]:9300          [::]:*    users:(("docker-proxy",pid=2944092,fd=4))                  
LISTEN 0      128             [::]:22            [::]:*    users:(("sshd",pid=710,fd=4))                              
LISTEN 0      4096            [::]:5044          [::]:*    users:(("docker-proxy",pid=2945421,fd=4))                  
LISTEN 0      4096            [::]:9200          [::]:*    users:(("docker-proxy",pid=2944115,fd=4)) 

Accessing Kibana

Note that in our setup, we are running complete ELK on the three nodes. However, the Elasticsearch is what configured to be in cluster. Hence, you can access the Kibana on any node IP address and still access the same data.

Let’s check Kibana on the first node, http://192.168.122.60:5601.

We are using the superuser credentials to login!

Explore ELK stack 8 cluster dashboards!

Sending Data Logs to Elastic Stack

Since we configured our Logstash receive event data from the Beats on port 5044/tcp, we will configure Filebeat to forward events to any of the three

We already covered how to install and configure Filebeat to forward event data in our previous guides;

Once you forward data to your Logstash container, the next thing you need to do is create Kibana index.

Open the menu, then go to Stack Management > Kibana > Index Patterns.

Once done, heading to Discover menu to view your data. You should now be able to see your Logstash custom fields populated.

logstash 8 event data

That marks the end of our tutorial on how to deploy a single node Elastic Stack cluster on Docker Containers.

More tutorials;

Deploy ELK Stack 8 on Docker Containers

Configure Kibana Dashboards/Visualizations to use Custom Index

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Kifarunix
Linux Certified Engineer, with a passion for open-source technology and a strong understanding of Linux systems. With experience in system administration, troubleshooting, and automation, I am skilled in maintaining and optimizing Linux infrastructure.

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