Configuring Wildfly for logging in Logstash format

July 28, 2015

If you want to use your Wildfly log outputs with Logstash (and perhaps the ELK stack Elasticsearch-Logstash-Kibana), it’s as easy as 1-2-3 to log them directly in the Logstash log_event format.

BTW: I will not explain how to install, configure and/or use the ELK stack, as there are many resources out on the net. Please use Google to find proper examples/tutorials.

The standard Wildfly logging subsystem is using Java Util Logging (IMHO not the best, but.. standard, eh!?). So we need a Java Util Formatter for Logstash format. This can be done pretty easy and good by using the SYNAXON/logstash-util-formatter. Because there are no public binaries in public Maven repositories, you have to built it on your own, before you can use it. However, this should not be difficult for you.

I edited the formatter class for the needs in my project, but this is optional, you can just use it out-of-the-box.

Copy the just built library (logstash-util-formatter-1.1-SNAPSHOT.jar) into the modules folder of your Wildfly server:

Create a module.xml file in the same folder with this content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<module xmlns="urn:jboss:module:1.1" name="net.logstash">
      <resource-root path="logstash-util-formatter-1.1-SNAPSHOT.jar" />
      <module name="javax.json.api"/>

(Of course this can also be done automatically using the cli interface of Wildfly, see documentation for help.)

Now your Wildfly knows this Logstash formatter and is able to use it. How, this we are configuring now in the standalone.xml file (assuming you are using Wildfly in standalone mode).

In the logging subsystem node, add this file handler:

<periodic-rotating-file-handler name="LOGSTASH_FILE" autoflush="true">
  <level name="INFO"/>
    <named-formatter name="LOGSTASH_PATTERN"/>
  <file relative-to="jboss.server.log.dir" path="logstash.log"/>
  <suffix value=".yyyy-MM-dd"/>
  <append value="true"/>

Of course you can also use another file-handler, this is just an example.

Add our created file-handler to the root-logger:

  <level name="INFO"/>
    <handler name="CONSOLE"/>
    <handler name="FILE"/>
    <!-- this is the line to add, the others already exist -->
    <handler name="LOGSTASH_FILE"/>

Finally, specify the formatter class as a custom-formatter in the subsystem:

<formatter name="LOGSTASH_PATTERN">

That’s it, you’re done. (Re-)Start your Wildfly and look into the log output folder, there should be a logstash.log file now containing all the log entries in Logstash format.

You can now import/forward this logfile to Logstash for processing.

Input configuration:

input {
  file {
    type => "wildfly-server"
    path => "/opt/wildfly/standalone/log/logstash.log"
    format => "json_event"

or, if you use a logstash-forwarder, you have to configure something like this on the client side:

  "paths": [ "/opt/wildfly/standalone/log/logstash.log" ],
  "fields": { "type": "wildfly", "format": "json_event" }

and on the server config, you can e.g. filter the input e.g. on its type:

if [type] == "wildfly" {
  json {
    source => "message"

Of course, this is only one method to log for Logstash. It’s also possible to log directly into Logstash, using socket connections. But for this, you have to make sure, that your Logstash system is always available throuout the network (high-availability, resilience, etc.). For my approach, the solution with the separate logfile fits perfectly.

Tags: jboss wildfly logstash logging