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This project implements Kafka inputs and outputs for logstash 1.4.X only. For 1.5 support read below.

For more info about logstash, see

logstash-kafka has been intergrated into logstash-input-kafka and logstash-output-kafka.
It will be released with the 1.5 version of logstash. Thank you for your support. My goal is to close out tickets here but for the most part, issues and problems should be resolved via:

  •!forum/logstash-users The logstash-users mailing list is extremely active and I participate especially in Kafka troubleshooting/discussion there.

  • IRC: #logstash on

  • If you really have an issue that you can't resolve via the mailing list or IRC channel, try posting an issue to github. Please make sure that issues are actually software issues, not configuration issues as those should be left to the mailing lists and IRC.

I will keep this library up to date at least until logstash 1.5 is released.

I will continue helping with the plugin and readying for the next version of Kafka with the jruby-kafka library.


Building Logstash Tarball

Because this is a plugin to Logstash, it must be built. Luckily for you, there is a make file that handles all of this.

Most of the logic originated from logstash's make file so thank you everyone who had contributed to it to enable me to make this easy for you.

To simply build the logstash jar as is with Kafka enabled run:

# make tarball

Building Logstash-Kafka RPM

Note that this doesn't build a logstash RPM but an RPM that will install the logstash-kafka libraries on top of an existing logstash installation

To build an rpm

# make package

Installing the resulting rpm after installing logstash from the elasticsearch repo will copy the kafka plugin and dependencies into /opt/logstash.

Building Logstash-Kafka Gem

You can build the gem file and then install it to logstash.

# gem build logstash-kafka.gemspec

Installing Gem to Logstash

You can install your own build logstash-kafka gem or use the one published to Rubygems. This is the easiest way to manually install the plugin regardless of if you are using Windows, Linux, BSD, etc.

Rubygems Logstash-Kafka install for Logstash 1.5+

Please see [logstash-input-kafka] and [logstash-output-kafka] for Logstash 1.5+

Rubygems Logstash-Kafka install on Logstash 1.4.2

cd /path/to/logstash
GEM_HOME=vendor/bundle/jruby/1.9 GEM_PATH= java -jar vendor/jar/jruby-complete-1.7.11.jar -S gem install logstash-kafka
cp -R vendor/bundle/jruby/1.9/gems/logstash-kafka-*-java/{lib/logstash/*,spec/*} {lib/logstash/,spec/}
# test install
USE_JRUBY=1 bin/logstash rspec spec/**/kafka*.rb

Manual Logstash-Kafka Gem Install on Logstash 1.4.2

As root or using sudo:

cd /path/to/logstash
GEM_HOME=vendor/bundle/jruby/1.9 GEM_PATH= java -jar vendor/jar/jruby-complete-1.7.11.jar -S gem install logstash-kafka-0.7.0-java.gem
cp -R vendor/bundle/jruby/1.9/gems/logstash-kafka-*-java/{lib/logstash/*,spec/*} {lib/logstash/,spec/}

Configuration for runtime

jruby-kafka supports nearly all the configuration options of a Kafka high level consumer but some have been left out of this plugin simply because either it was a priority or I hadn't tested it yet. If one isn't currently, it should be trivial to add it via jruby-kafka and then in the logstash input or output.


You should run this version of logstash the same as you would the normal logstash with:

# bin/logstash -f logstash.conf

Contributed plugins can also still be installed for Logstash 1.4+ using:

# bin/plugin install contrib


See for details about the Kafka consumer options.

# input {
    kafka {
        zk_connect => ... # string (optional), default: "localhost:2181"
        group_id => ... # string (optional), default: "logstash"
        topic_id => ... # string (optional), default: "test"
        reset_beginning => ... # boolean (optional), default: false
        consumer_threads => ... # number (optional), default: 1
        queue_size => ... # number (optional), default: 20
        rebalance_max_retries => ... # number (optional), default: 4
        rebalance_backoff_ms => ... # number (optional), default:  2000
        consumer_timeout_ms => ... # number (optional), default: -1
        consumer_restart_on_error => ... # boolean (optional), default: true
        consumer_restart_sleep_ms => ... # number (optional), default: 0
        decorate_events => ... # boolean (optional), default: false
        consumer_id => ... # string (optional) default: nil
        fetch_message_max_bytes => ... # number (optional) default: 1048576


See for details about the Kafka producer options.

# output {
    kafka {
        broker_list => ... # string (optional), default: "localhost:9092"
        topic_id => ... # string (optional), default: "test"
        compression_codec => ... # string (optional), one of ["none", "gzip", "snappy"], default: "none"
        compressed_topics => ... # string (optional), default: ""
        request_required_acks => ... # number (optional), one of [-1, 0, 1], default: 0
        serializer_class => ... # string, (optional) default: "kafka.serializer.StringEncoder"
        partitioner_class => ... # string (optional) default: "kafka.producer.DefaultPartitioner"
        request_timeout_ms => ... # number (optional) default: 10000
        producer_type => ... # string (optional), one of ["sync", "async"] default => 'sync'
        key_serializer_class => ... # string (optional) default: "kafka.serializer.StringEncoder"
        message_send_max_retries => ... # number (optional) default: 3
        retry_backoff_ms => ... # number (optional) default: 100
        topic_metadata_refresh_interval_ms => ... # number (optional) default: 600 * 1000
        queue_buffering_max_ms => ... # number (optional) default: 5000
        queue_buffering_max_messages => ... # number (optional) default: 10000
        queue_enqueue_timeout_ms => ... # number (optional) default: -1
        batch_num_messages => ... # number (optional) default: 200
        send_buffer_bytes => ... # number (optional) default: 100 * 1024
        client_id => ... # string (optional) default: ""

The default codec is json for input and outputs. If you select a codec of plain, logstash will encode your messages with not only the message but also with a timestamp and hostname. If you do not want anything but your message passing through, you should make the output configuration something like:

# output {
    kafka {
        codec => plain {
            format => "%{message}"


# make tarball
# make tarball-test


The make file is updated to work with Logstash 1.4.0+. DEB package building isn't supported at this time.