Elasticsearch Importer

The EveBox “elastic-import” tool can be used to import eve log files directly into Elasticsearch. For most basic use cases it can be used as an alternative to Filebeat and/or Logstash.

EveBox “elastic-import” features:

  • Continuous (tail -f style) reading of eve log files.
  • Bookmarking of reads so reading can continue where it stopped during a restart.
  • GeoIP lookups using the MaxMind GeoLite2 database if provided by the user.
  • HTTP user agent parsing (currently broken: see https://github.com/jasonish/evebox/issues/167)
  • One shot imports to send an eve log file to Elastic Search once.

Logstash Compatibility

EveBox elastic-import is compatible with Logstash and can be used in a mixed environment where some eve logs are being handled by Logstash and others by elastic-import. In this case you will want to use the –index option to set the index to the same name that Logstash is importing to.

Filebeat Compatibility

The elastic-import tool is not compatible with Elasticsearch indexes created by Filebeat with or without the Filebeat Suricata module. If using Filebeat it is not recommended to use elastic-import to import Suricata events into the same indexes being used by Filebeat.


While EveBox elastic-import can do geoip lookups it does not include a geoip database. The only supported database is the MaxMind GeoLite2 database, see http://dev.maxmind.com/geoip/geoip2/geolite2/ for more information.


Many Linux distributions that have a geoip database package use the old format of the database, not the current version supported by MaxMind.

While the –geoip-database option can be used to point elastic-import at the database, the following paths will be checked automatically, in order:

  • /etc/evebox/GeoLite2-City.mmdb
  • /usr/local/share/GeoIP/GeoLite2-City.mmdb
  • /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoLite2-City.mmdb


MaxMind provides their own program to update the databases. See http://dev.maxmind.com/geoip/geoipupdate/

Updates to the geoip database on disk will be automatically picked up by elastic-import every 60 seconds.

To disable geoip lookups the --no-geoip command line option can be used.

Command Line Options

--config <FILENAME>

Path to configuration file.

--elasticsearch <URL>

URL to the Elasticsearch server.

Default: http://localhost:9200


Enable bookmarking of the input files. With bookmarking, the last read location will be remember over restarts of elastic-import.

--bookmark-dir <DIRECTORY>

Use the provided directory for bookmarks. Bookmark files will take the filename of the md5 of the input filename suffixed with .bookmark.

This option is required if –bookmark is used with multiple inputs but may also be used with a single input.

--bookmark-filename <FILENAME>

Use the provided filename as the bookmark file. This option is only valid if a single input file is used.

--index <INDEX>

The Elasticsearch index prefix to add events to. The default is logstash to be compatible with Logstash.

Events will be added to an index that includes the YYYY.MM.DD of the event, for example, 2021.04.13. To use the index verbatim, see the --no-index-suffix command line option.


Previous version of elastic-import used a default index of evebox.


Do not add the date onto the end of the index name.

--username <USERNAME>

Elasticsearch username if authentication is enabled.

--password <PASSWORD>

Elasticsearch password if authentication is enabled.


Disable GeoIP lookups. By default GeoIP lookups are enabled of a GeoIP database is found.

--geoip-database <FILENAME>

Location of GeoIP database to use.

Configuration File

The elastic-import command can use a YAML configuration file covering most of the command line arguments.

# A list of Suricata Eve log files to read.
  - /var/log/suricata/eve.json

# Elastic Search URL
elasticsearch: http://elasticsearch:9200

# Elastic Search username and password.
#username: admin
#password: password

# Elastic Search index. -%{YYYY.MM.DD) will be appended, so this is just the
# prefix.
index: logstash

# Disable TLS certificate check.
#disable-certificate-check: true

# When no bookmark is present start reading at the end of the file.
end: true

# Enable bookmarking so elastic-import can continue reading from where
# it left off after a restart.
bookmark: true

# Set a filename to keep the bookmark in case elastic-import cannot
# write to the log directory.
#bookmark-filename: /var/tmp/eve.json.bookmark

# If reading from multiple eve files, a bookmark directory is
# required.
#bookmark-dir: /var/tmp/bookmarks

# Change the amount of events to batch per bulk request.
#batch-size: 1000

  # GeoIP is enabled by default if a database can be found.
  # Nested values can also be set with an environment variable. For example:
  disabled: true

  # Path to the database, if not set some standard locations are
  # checked.
  #database-filename: /etc/evebox/GeoLite2-City.mmdb

  - /var/lib/suricata/rules/suricata.rules

Example Usage

Oneshot Import of an Eve Log File

The following example will send a complete eve.json to Elasticsearch and exit when done:

evebox elastic-import --elasticsearch http://elasticsearch:9200 \
   --index logstash --oneshot -v /var/log/suricata/eve.json

Continuous Import

This example will run elastic-import in continuous mode sending events to Elastic Search as they appear in the log file. The last read location will also be bookmarked so elastic-import can continue where it left off after a restart. For many use cases this can be used instead of Filebeat and/or Logstash.

evebox elastic-import -v \
    --elasticsearch http://elasticsearch:9200 \
    --index logstash \
    --bookmark \
    --bookmark-filename /var/tmp/eve.json.bookmark \

If using elastic-import in this way you may want to create a configuration named elastic-import.yaml like:

input: /var/log/suricata/eve.json
elasticsearch: http://elasticsearch:9200
index: logstash
bookmark: true
bookmark-filename: /var/tmp/eve.json.bookmark

Then run elastic-import like:

evebox elastic-import -c elastic-import.yaml -v