How To Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04


Graylog is an open-source log management tool that helps you to collect, index and analyze any machine logs centrally. This guide focuses on installing Graylog on Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04.


MongoDB – Acts as a database, stores the configurations and meta information.

Elasticsearch – It stores the log messages and offers a searching facility. It is recommended to allocate more memory and use SAS or SAN disks for Elasticsearch nodes. Here, where all your searching happens.

Graylog Server – Log Parser. It collects the logs from various inputs and provides output to a built-in web interface for managing the logs.


As you know, Elasticsearch is a java based application. Install either OpenJDK or Oracle JDK on your machine to proceed further.

Here, I will go for OpenJDK 8.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y apt-transport-https openjdk-8-jre-headless uuid-runtime pwgen curl dirmngr

Verify the Java version.

java -version


openjdk version "1.8.0_191"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_191-8u191-b12-2ubuntu0.18.04.1-b12)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.191-b12, mixed mode)

Install Elasticsearch

Elasticsearch is one of the main components which requires Graylog to run, acts as a search server, offers a real-time distributed search and analytics with the RESTful web interface.

Elasticsearch stores all the logs sent by the Graylog server and displays the messages whenever user request over the built-in web interface.

Download and install the GPG signing key.

wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -

Set up Elasticsearch repository by running below command.

echo "deb stable main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elastic-6.x.list

Update the repository cache and install Elasticsearch package.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y elasticsearch

Make Elasticsearch service to start automatically on the system startup.

sudo systemctl enable elasticsearch

The only important thing is to set a cluster name as graylog. Edit the configuration file of Elasticsearch and update it accordingly.

sudo nano /etc/elasticsearch/elasticsearch.yml

Set the cluster name shown like below. graylog

Start the Elasticsearch service to read the new configurations.

sudo systemctl restart elasticsearch

Wait at least a minute to let the Elasticsearch get fully restarted. Elastisearch should be now listening on 9200 for the processing HTTP request. Use a CURL to check the response.

curl -X GET http://localhost:9200


Ensure that cluster name shows as graylog.

  "name" : "bgVbYrc",
  "cluster_name" : "graylog",
  "cluster_uuid" : "-wECQlwnSZWftd_XdWSz-g",
  "version" : {
    "number" : "6.6.1",
    "build_flavor" : "default",
    "build_type" : "deb",
    "build_hash" : "1fd8f69",
    "build_date" : "2019-02-13T17:10:04.160291Z",
    "build_snapshot" : false,
    "lucene_version" : "7.6.0",
    "minimum_wire_compatibility_version" : "5.6.0",
    "minimum_index_compatibility_version" : "5.0.0"
  "tagline" : "You Know, for Search"

Optional: Test the health of Elasticsearch cluster.

curl -XGET 'http://localhost:9200/_cluster/health?pretty=true'


Make sure the output yields the cluster status as green.

  "cluster_name" : "graylog",
  "status" : "green",
  "timed_out" : false,
  "number_of_nodes" : 1,
  "number_of_data_nodes" : 1,
  "active_primary_shards" : 0,
  "active_shards" : 0,
  "relocating_shards" : 0,
  "initializing_shards" : 0,
  "unassigned_shards" : 0,
  "delayed_unassigned_shards" : 0,
  "number_of_pending_tasks" : 0,
  "number_of_in_flight_fetch" : 0,
  "task_max_waiting_in_queue_millis" : 0,
  "active_shards_percent_as_number" : 100.0

Install MongoDB

Download and install the latest version of MongoDB from the official website. Import the public key on the terminal to begin.

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv 9DA31620334BD75D9DCB49F368818C72E52529D4

Add mongodb repository by creating the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org.list file using the following command.

### Ubuntu 18.04 ###

echo "deb [ arch=amd64 ] bionic/mongodb-org/4.0 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-4.0.list

### Ubuntu 16.04 ###

echo "deb [ arch=amd64,arm64 ] xenial/mongodb-org/4.0 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-4.0.list

Install MongoDB using the following command.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y mongodb-org

Start the MongoDB and enable it on the system start-up.

sudo systemctl start mongod
sudo systemctl enable mongod

Install Graylog

Graylog Server accepts and processes the log messages and then displays it for the requests that come from the graylog web interface.

Download and Install graylog 3.x repository.

sudo dpkg -i graylog-3.0-repository_latest.deb

Update the repository cache.

sudo apt update

Install the Graylog server using the following command.

sudo apt install -y graylog-server

Configure Graylog

You must set a secret to secure the user passwords. Use the pwgen command to the same.

pwgen -N 1 -s 96



Edit the server.conf file to begin the graylog configuration.

sudo nano /etc/graylog/server/server.conf

Place the secret like below.

password_secret = fGoTI07CooB6xNy5sdPVSKSuq6QSu2QyWf6G9z3haolgwbERTQ9ZbfbF6hxRYbJMMAlEZX7CXHxJLBkNyfM0420u8aFuZy9M

Next is to set a hash (sha256) password for the root user (not to be confused with the system user, the root user of graylog is admin).

You will need this password to login into the Graylog web interface. Admin’s password can’t be changed using the web interface. So, you must edit this variable to set.

Replace yourpassword with the choice of yours.

echo -n yourpassword | sha256sum



Edit the server.conf file again.

sudo nano /etc/graylog/server/server.conf

Place the hash password.

root_password_sha2 = e3c652f0ba0b4801205814f8b6bc49672c4c74e25b497770bb89b22cdeb4e951

You can set up email address admin user.

root_email = "[email protected]"

Set timezone of root (admin) user.

root_timezone = UTC

Set only one master node by defining the below variable. If you add a second Graylog node, set this to false to make the second node as a slave as the Master node does some periodic tasks that slave nodes won’t perform.

is_master = true

Set the number of log messages to keep per index; it is recommended to have several smaller indices instead of larger ones.

elasticsearch_max_docs_per_index = 20000000

The following parameter defines to have a total number of indices if this number is reached old index will be deleted.

elasticsearch_max_number_of_indices = 20

Shards setting rely on the number of nodes in the particular Elasticsearch cluster. If you have only one node, set it as 1.

elasticsearch_shards = 1

This setting defines the number of replicas for your indices. If you have only one node in the Elasticsearch cluster, then set it as 0.

elasticsearch_replicas = 0

Setup Graylog web interface

From the version 2.x, the web interface is being served directly by the Graylog server. Configure the Graylog web interface by editing the server.conf file.

sudo nano /etc/graylog/server/server.conf

Update the below entry with your system ip address from which you will access the Graylog web interface.

http_bind_address = your-server-ip:9000

Restart Graylog service.

sudo systemctl restart graylog-server

Make Graylog server to start automatically on system startup.

sudo systemctl enable graylog-server

You can check out the server startup logs, and it will be useful for you to troubleshoot Graylog in case of an issue.

sudo tail -f /var/log/graylog-server/server.log

On the successful start of graylog-server, you should get the following message in the log file.

2019-02-22T10:07:49.398+05:30 INFO  [ServerBootstrap] Graylog server up and running.

Access Graylog

The web interface will now be listening on port 9000, point your browser to

Login with username admin and the password you configured at root_password_sha2 on server.conf.

Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 - Graylog Login Screen
Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 – Graylog Login Screen

Once you logged in, you would see the getting started page.

Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 - Graylog's Getting Started Page
Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 – Graylog’s Getting Started Page

Click on System >> Overview to know the status of the Graylog server.

Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 - System Overview
Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 – System Overview

Create Graylog Inputs

Graylog input needs to be configured to receive the logs from external sources, i.e., syslog or any logging system.

For this example, we will set up an input for receiving logs from syslog on port number UDP 1514. Because if you start to try an input on one of the privileged ports, any TCP/UDP port number below 1024, you would see permission denied error in Graylog logs.

So, we will create an input to start on port 1514.

Click System >> Inputs >> select Syslog UDP and then click Launch new input.

Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 - Inputs
Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 – Inputs

Fill with the values and then click Save.

Node: Select your Graylog Node

Title: Name your input

Bind address: (Leave the default one)

Port: 1514

Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 - Create Graylog Input
Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 – Create Graylog Input

Configure Rsyslog

Once you have created the inputs, configure Rsyslog or forward any system logs to your Graylog server.

Edit the Rsyslog configuration file.

sudo nano /etc/rsyslog.conf

Typical Rsyslog configuration will look like below to send logs on UDP 1514.

*.info;mail.none;authpriv.none;cron.none @

Restart the Rsyslog service to send logs.

systemctl restart rsyslog

View Logs using Graylog

Wait for a few minutes. You should start receiving log messages from the client machine when the event is generated.

Following screenshot shows the logs received by Graylog (Graylog console >> Search).

Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 - View Syslog Messages using Graylog
Install Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 – View Syslog Messages using Graylog


You have successfully installed Graylog 3.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 and configured Graylog to receive Rsyslog logs from external sources. As a further read, you can try configuring Nginx or Apache as a reverse proxy and set up HTTPS for the Graylog web interface.

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