How To Install Elastic Stack 8 on Debian 11

In this tutorial, we’ll install Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Logstash which is usually called Elastic Stack. Elasticsearch is usually used for centralized logging, its competitor like Datadog, Sumologic etc.

When installing Elastic Stack, we must use the same version across all applications. In this tutorial, we’ll install Kibana 8.0.1, Elasticsearch 8.0.1 and Logstash 8.0.1, which is the latest version at the time of this writing.

System Requirement

The minimum requirement for Elastic Stack installation
2 GB Memory
10 GB Storage (SSD Prefered)

For this tutorial, I’m using
8 GB Memory
256 GB SSD
4 CPU AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

1. Initial Setup

After the Debian 11 installation is complete, no matter if you use the template from your cloud provider or install the minimalist/desktop version, this tutorial should work for you as well.

Install Dependency

sudo apt install curl socat wget gnupg apt-transport-https -y

Set Server Timezone

Set the server time your local time, to make it easier to check on the logs later when we need it.

sudo timedatectl set-ntp true
sudo timedatectl set-timezone "Europe/Berlin"
# verify it's working

local timezone

Setup DNS for SSL

We’ll use SSL/HTTPS to connect to Kibana or Elasticsearch, to make it happen. First setup the DNS for both
setup dns setting for elasticsearch and kibana

Setup Let’s Encrypt SSL

bash install
source ~/.bashrc --set-default-ca --server letsencrypt

setup letsencrypt ssl
Get SSL Certificate --issue --domain --domain --standalone

wait until it finish and show the path of the SSL files

Your cert is in: /root/
Your cert key is in: /root/
The intermediate CA cert is in: /root/

Install Java JRE

Elastic search, kibana and logstash build using Java programming language, so we’ll need a java interpreter to run the application.

sudo apt install default-jre -y

Debian 11 comes with Java 11 by default, which can be verified by running

java --version
# output
openjdk 11.0.14 2022-01-18
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 11.0.14+9-post-Debian-1deb11u1)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 11.0.14+9-post-Debian-1deb11u1, mixed mode, sharing)

Import PGP Key

This pgp key will verify we’re using the official version from Elasticsearch, otherwise it’ll complain about the signing key later when installing using apt.

wget -qO - | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/elasticsearch.gpg

Config location for Elasticsearch, Kibana and Logstash

#Config File/Folder
Elasticsearch/etc/elasticsearch and /etc/default/elasticsearch
Kibana/etc/kibana and /etc/default/kibana
Logstash/etc/logstash and /etc/default/logstash

Add Elasticsearch Repository

Add the official Debian repository from Elastic, this repository keep updated when the new version coming, so we’re good for using this repository for production environment.

echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/elasticsearch.gpg] stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elastic-8.x.list

update the apt metadata after add new repository

sudo apt update

2. Install Elasticsearch

Install the elasticsearch using apt

sudo apt install elasticsearch -y

Wait until the installation is completed and password generated

Authentication and authorization are enabled.
TLS for the transport and HTTP layers is enabled and configured.
The generated password for the elastic built-in superuser is : 9mmWuutjuPIJ+eA8odGV

Start elasticsearch service

# enable on boot
sudo systemctl enable elasticsearch
# start the service
sudo systemctl start elasticsearch

Test Query to Elasticsearch

curl -u "elastic:9mmWuutjuPIJ+eA8odGV" https://localhost:9200 -k

output from command above

  "name" : "debian11",
  "cluster_name" : "elasticsearch",
  "cluster_uuid" : "zVIG9HmcRXStjNE8OXVZtg",
  "version" : {
    "number" : "8.0.1",
    "build_flavor" : "default",
    "build_type" : "deb",
    "build_hash" : "801d9ccc7c2ee0f2cb121bbe22ab5af77a902372",
    "build_date" : "2022-02-24T13:55:40.601285296Z",
    "build_snapshot" : false,
    "lucene_version" : "9.0.0",
    "minimum_wire_compatibility_version" : "7.17.0",
    "minimum_index_compatibility_version" : "7.0.0"
  "tagline" : "You Know, for Search"

elastic search version

Generate token for Kibana installation

sudo /usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-create-enrollment-token -s kibana
# example

we’ll use this code to initial install Kibana, so it can connect to Elasticsearch.

3. Install Kibana

Kibana is the UI for Elasticsearch, we can make a dashboard, alert, and monitoring from Kibana. It’s so powerful and easy to use. From my experience, you can create a dashboard from scratch in less than a week, even for beginners.

Install Kibana using apt

sudo apt install kibana -y

Update the Kibana config, to enable access from outside the server. Update the following values

server.port: 5601 ""

the start Kibana service since by default Elasticsearch repository didn’t start the service after installation.

Enable kibana on boot

# enable on boot
sudo systemctl enable kibana
# start the service
sudo systemctl start kibana
# check service status
sudo systemctl status kibana

kibana status linux

check the log to get the initial installation link and code

sudo journalctl -u kibana -f

initial setup kibana
open the link, but replace the with your Kibana IP address.
kibana initial install token
put the Kibana token that we generate earlier, the click Configure Elastic

Wait till the login page appear, usually takes less than 2 minutes. Then use the username elastic and the password generated after Elastisearch installation
kibana login using elastic password

kibana page after first login

4. Install Nginx as Reverse Proxy

Install Nginx

sudo apt install nginx -y

Reverse Proxy for Elasticsearch
Create a new file /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/, and put the following config

server {
    listen 443 ssl http2;
    client_max_body_size 30M;
    location / {
        proxy_set_header HOST $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_redirect off;
        proxy_pass https://localhost:9200;
    ssl_certificate /root/;
    ssl_certificate_key /root/;

Reverse Proxy for Kibana
Create a new file /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/, and put the following config

server {
    listen 443 ssl http2;
    client_max_body_size 30M;
    location / {
        proxy_set_header HOST $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_redirect off;
        proxy_pass http://localhost:5601;
    ssl_certificate /root/;
    ssl_certificate_key /root/;

Update Kibana config (/etc/kibana/kibana.yml), to listen to localhost only

server.port: 5601 "localhost"

Restart Kibana

sudo systemctl restart kibana

Verify and Restart Nginx
Restart Kibana

sudo nginx -t && sudo systemctl restart nginx

Now open your kibana from
kibana https login

elasticsearch from browser https
If you prefer using command line, replace localhost:9200 with domain name

curl -u "elastic:9mmWuutjuPIJ+eA8odGV"

5. Install Logstash

After we have elasticsearch and kibana, now time to send some logs there. For this purpose, logstash is the app that can ship logs from any Linux distro to Elasticsearch
If you have multiple servers, you just need to add the Elasticsearch repository and install the logstash using the command line.

sudo apt install logstash -y

Logstash run as user logstash, to able send the logs logstash user will need permission to read the file/directory. For example we want logstash to send SSH logs to Elasticsearch, the log for SSH is at /var/log/auth.log, check the file permission

sudo ls -l /var/log/auth.log
-rw-r----- 1 root adm 25618 Mar  5 09:45 /var/log/auth.log

the group owner is adm, just add that group to logstash user

sudo usermod -a -G adm logstash
# verify 
sudo id logstash
# output
uid=998(logstash) gid=998(logstash) groups=998(logstash),4(adm)

Add new config file for logstash in /etc/logstash/conf.d/ssh.conf

input {
    file {
        path => [
        start_position => "beginning"
output {
    stdout { codec => rubydebug }
    elasticsearch {
        hosts => ""
        user => "elastic"
        password => "9mmWuutjuPIJ+eA8odGV"
        index => "server"

Restart logstash

sudo systemctl restart logstash

wait a minute until logstash running, the run journalctl

sudo journalctl -u logstash -f

logstash output

Check the data from server index:
1. Using curl

curl -u "elastic:9mmWuutjuPIJ+eA8odGV"

2. Using Kibana
For the first add the index to Kibana data view from menu Kibana -> Stack Management -> Kibana -> Data Views
kibana server index
click Create data view
Then open menu Discover, change the index to server
kibana interface server index

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