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clicktail is Altinity's agent for ingesting log file data into ClickHouse and making it available for exploration. Its favorite format is JSON, but understands how to parse a range of other well-known log formats.

clicktail is based on honeytail tool see here and its documentation

Supported Parsers

clicktail supports reading files from STDIN as well as from a file on disk.

Our complete list of parsers can be found in the parsers/ directory, but as of this writing, clicktail will support parsing logs generated by:


There are three installation options for clicktail:

  • From package repository
  • From downloaded package
  • From source

Install from Apt package repository:

curl -s | bash

if you want to force os and dist of your system, use the following command:

curl -s | os=ubuntu dist=xenial bash

Then install clicktail itself:

apt-get install clicktail

Install from individual dep package

Download and install the package from here:

Install from source:

go get

to install to a specific path:

GOPATH=/usr/local go get

...and make it

GOPATH=/usr/local go build
GOPATH=/usr/local go install

the binary will install to /usr/local/bin/clicktail


Clicktail supports command line options as well as configuration file. In fact the file is not picked up by default when you are running clicktail from CLI so one should explicitly specify it with -c option.

Use clicktail.conf file to manage options. There are section of the file called Required Options which should be set in the first place.

Config Example


[Application Options]
APIHost = http://localhost:8123/
[Required Options]
ParserName = mysql
LogFiles = /var/log/mysql/mariadb-slow.log
Dataset = clicktail.mysql_slow_log

Extra options for MySQL parser

There are useful options that could be passed along with mysql slow log entries but its not logged within the file itself, i.e. hostname of actual server. To get this data one can specify MySQL server connection details in config file.

[MySQL Parser Options]
Host = localhost:3306   ; or @unix(/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock)
User = username
Pass = userpass


Make sure ClickHouse server has proper schema created. See schema folder for CREATE DATABASE and CREATE TABLE statements.

Or do the following:

Create DB:

cat schema/db.sql | clickhouse-client --multiline

Create Table for MySQL slow logs:

cat schema/mysql.sql | clickhouse-client --multiline

Once schema is prepared you can run binary from CLI with MySQL parser:

clicktail --dataset='clicktail.mysql_slow_log' --parser=mysql --file=/var/log/mysql/mysql-slow.log

Or with Nginx parser:

clicktail -p nginx -f /var/log/nginx/access.log -d clicktail.nginx_log --nginx.conf=/etc/nginx/nginx.conf --nginx.format=combined

After you done with checking out your configuration options, you will need to store them in clicktail.conf in order to run clicktail as a service just like that:

service clicktail start

Retroactive logs loading

If you want to load files you already have into clicktail. You can use the same call as mentioned above but with extra parameter --backfill

clicktail --dataset='clicktail.mysql_slow_log' --parser=mysql --file=/var/log/mysql/mysql-slow.log --backfill

...this will load mysql-slow.log file into ClickTail and end the process.

ClickHouse Setup

Clicktail is required ClickHouse to be accessible as a target server. So you should have ClickHouse server installed.

Follow these steps in order to install ClickHouse server and make it work with Clicktail.

Once you installed Clickhouse you whould probably need it to be open to outside connections. In order to do so update /etc/clickhouse-server/config.xml to add the following line:


just after: <listen_host></listen_host>

Also make sure ClickHouse port (which is 8123 by default) is open with your firewall.

For more advanced usage, options, and the ability to scrub or drop specific fields, see documentation.


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