Installing ElasticStack Beats on vCenter 6.7

I recently deployed a vCenter appliance to 6.7 after a power outage corrupted the 6.5 instance.  A followup task for the virtual appliance was getting the ElasticStack Beats (MetricBeat, Filebeat) installed again.  In this post, I will go through the process of installing the Beats and some of the minor issues I ran into.

vCenter 6.7 Package Management

VMware’s vCenter 6.7 virtual appliance is based upon the Photon OS.  Photon uses a custom package manager called tdnf (Tiny Dandified Yum).  Like Yum, it has repositories.

Default repositories on vCenter 6.7
Default repositories on vCenter 6.7

tdnf appears to use the same format for repositories as yum in terms of location and content.  Based on this, I attempted to install
Filebeat first using the repo-based approach as I found it did a better job of handling file permissions.

Adding the ElasticStack Repository

Adding the repository requires a few deviations from what’s in ElasticStack’s documentation.  Firstly, it appears tdnf doesn’t support a HTTP URL for the gpgkey value.  The default repositories use file URLs.  So the first variation is downloading the gpgkey file.

When creating the .repo file, the gpgkey path needs to reflect where the file was downloaded to.  For the sake of consistency, I put it in the same directory as the other repositories.

name=Elastic repository for 6.x packages

After doing these steps, the tdnf repolist command output shows a new entry.

Updated repository list
Updated repository list

Just to confirm that tdnf would use the new repository correctly, I ran commands that would return information about the FileBeat package.

Information returned about FileBeat via tdnf
Information returned about FileBeat via tdnf

With the correct gpgkey value, the install can proceed.  An issue with this that I ran into was just specifying the beat package name will cause the 32-bit version to be installed.  This version will fail to run.  This can be avoided by explicitly installing the 64-bit version, using the command: tdnf install metricbeat.x86_64 (Thanks to Paul in the comments suggesting this).

Configuring The Beats

Following the installation, the configuration files can be updated for each beat.  In my case, I already had a configuration file for MetricBeat.  As a sanity check, I do a test on the configuration and an initial run via command line, outputting to the console

Performing a test run of MetricBeat
Performing a test run of MetricBeat

Upon viewing data in Kibana, it’s possible to confirm that the MetricBeat information is flowing through correctly.  Since the Beat is working, the last step can be performed, which is to configure it to run automatically.

Adding MetricBeat as a service and confirming
Adding MetricBeat as a service and confirming

The same steps can be repeated for FileBeat.  In my case I was primarily using just MetricBeat to collect statistical data from the vCenter appliance.

2 thoughts on “Installing ElasticStack Beats on vCenter 6.7”

  1. Thanks for your coverage of this topic.

    You might want to add that they command to install the x86_64 version of the package, say metricbeat, is

    # tdnf install metricbeat.x86_64

    Thanks again for sharing your experience.

    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for the suggestion of specifying the 64-bit version of the package in the install command. I’ve updated my post to include this.


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