A simple Dashing plugin for monitoring Docker containers
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#A Dashing extension for ELK-based microservices monitoring

This is a simple Dashing extension which allows you to visualize LogStash'ed logs of your application in a simple and very effective way:

It assumes that you use the default LogStash appender for LogBack with the default LogStash mapping. Also, it wants you to add an additional field, which allows to distinguish one service from another - app.id (see elk-client.rb for ES query example).

You can use two different backends to persist and manage the list of known errors: a plain text file and Consul key/value storage. Why Consul? Just because we already have it in our infrastructure, it supports k/v and has a pretty UI (what is very important if you want your QA to manage the issues instead of you).

More thoughts about the idea can be found in my blog.

Inspired by https://github.com/Shopify/dashing


The application can be assembled as a Docker container. But if you want to install it on your OS directly, do the following:

  1. Install Ruby: apt-get install ruby-1.9.1
  2. Add some gems: gem install dashing
  3. This project is a result of "dashing new" and "bundle" commands (so, you don't need to run them)
  4. Go to "dashing" directory and run "dashing start" command
  5. ...
  6. PROFIT!!!


The list of monitored services is combined with the layout file - dashboards/dashboard.erb. In case of Docker container, this file can be mounted from an external source.

All other settings must be set up through ENV variables:

  • ELK_HOST - ElasticSearch host ('elk-host.com')
  • ELK_PORT - ElasticSearch port ('9200')
  • ELK_TYPE - Type of your indices in ES ('default')
  • ELK_LOG_ACTUAL_TIME - Time period for analyzing ('60m')
  • DEM_ERRORS_SOURCE - Source of known errors, could be either 'file' or 'consul' (default is 'file')
  • CONSUL_KV_API - Consul key/value API url ('http://consul-host/v1/kv')
  • CONSUL_DC - Consul datacenter ('dc1')
  • CONSUL_ERRORS_PATH - Path to errors in Consul storage ('path/to/errors')


  • Build the image: docker build -t krestjaninoff/dashing-elk-monitor:latest .
  • Push the image: docker push krestjaninoff/dashing-elk-monitor:latest .

To start the container use the following command:

docker run -d \
    -v /path/to/dashboard.erb:/dashing-elk-monitor/dashboards/dashboard.erb \
    -v /path/to/known.errors:/known.errors \
    -e ELK_HOST=elk-host.com \
    -e ELK_PORT=9200 \
    -e ELK_TYPE=your-type \
    -e ELK_LOG_ACTUAL_TIME=60m \
    -e DEM_ERRORS_SOURCE=file \
    -e CONSUL_KV_API=http://consul-host/v1/kv \
    -e CONSUL_DC=dc1 \
    -e CONSUL_ERRORS_PATH=path/to/errors \
    --memory=256m \
    -p 3030:3030 \
    --name dashing-elk-monitor \

Of course, you don't have to set up CONSUL* settings if you choose DEM_ERRORS_SOURCE=file, as far as you don't have to mount /known.errors file in case of using Consul :)