Java log shipper
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What is this ?

Logstash-forwarder-java is a log shipper program written in java. This is in fact a java version of logstash-forwarder by jordansissel. Here are a few features of this program :

  • compatible with Java 5 runtime
  • lightweight : package size is ~2MB and memory footprint ~8MB
  • configuration compatible with logstash-forwarder
  • lumberjack output (including zlib compression)

Why ?

Logstash-forwarder is written in go. This programming language is not available on all platforms (for example AIX), that's why a java version is more portable.

Logstash runs on java and provides a lumberjack output, but the file input doesn't run on all plaforms (for example AIX) and logstash requires a recent JVM. Moreover Logstash is heavier : it is a big package and uses more system resources.

So logstash-forwarder-java is a solution for those who want a portable, lightweight log shipper for their ELK stack.

How to install it ?

Download one of the following archives :

Or download the maven project and run maven package. Then you can install one of the archives located in the target directory.

How to run it ?

Just run this command :

java -jar logstash-forwarder-java-X.Y.Z.jar -config /path/to/config/file.json

For help run :

java -jar logstash-forwarder-java-X.Y.Z.jar -help

Differences with logstash-forwarder


The configuration file is the same (json format), but there are a few differences :

  • the ssl ca parameter points to a java keystore containing the root certificate of the server, not a PEM file
  • comments are C-style comments
  • multiline support with attributes "pattern", "negate" (true/false) and "what" (previous/next) (version 0.2.5)
  • filtering support with attributes "pattern" and "negate" (true/false) (version 0.2.5)

Command-line options

Some options are the same :

  • config (but only for a file, not a directory)
  • quiet
  • idle-timeout (renamed idletimeout)
  • spool-size (renamed spoolsize)
  • tail
  • help

There are a few more options :

  • debug : turn on debug logging level
  • trace : turn on trace logging level
  • signaturelength : size of the block used to compute the checksum
  • logfile : send logs to this file instead of stdout
  • logfilesize : maximum size of each log file (default 10M)
  • logfilenumber : number of rotated log files (default 5)