How to install X-Pack in Kibana

How to install X-Pack in Kibana

Introduction

X-Pack is an easy-to-install extension for the Elastic Stack that enhances the platform with monitoring, alerting, security, graphing, and reporting functionality. These components are designed to work together with ease; however, each feature can also be enabled or disabled depending on your needs. With versions of ES that were earlier than 5.0.0, a number of different plugins needed to be installed to get the full range of capabilities available in X-Pack. X-Pack makes the install process simple and smooth, with no worries about having the correct version of each plugin. Users simply install the appropriate X-Pack for their version of ES, and they’re ready to start harnessing the power of this extension.

Important Version Notice

  • Please note that the following instructions are only applicable for users installing X-Pack on ES version 6.2 or older. Beginning with version 6.3 of ES, X-Pack is included as part of the default distribution, described as “features” of the package. These features will be enabled by default when the package is installed.
  • The code for all X-Pack features is now open: this code was moved from a private X-Pack repository on GitHub to the appropriate public directories for ES, Logstash, Kibana, and Beats.

Prerequisites

  • Before attempting to install X-Pack in Kibana, it’s important to understand the system requirements and set up your system accordingly. JDK, Kibana, and ES must all be installed first. In addition, X-Pack must be installed on each ES node in a cluster before the extension can be installed for Kibana. Users who are planning to utilize X-Pack features in Logstash must install Logstash before beginning the X-Pack install process. Please note that the version of X-Pack being installed must match the version of each product in the Elastic Stack. To learn more about product compatibility, visit the Elastic Support Matrix.

Install X-Pack for ES on Each Node in a Cluster

  • Users who are planning to install X-Pack on a DEB or RPM package installation should run the following commands to navigate to the correct directory and install the plugin:
cd /usr/share/elasticsearch
sudo bin/elasticsearch-plugin install x-pack
  • If ES was installed via the APT repository and not on a DEB or RPM package installation, the first step is to determine the ES_HOME directory for the target node in the cluster and navigate to that directory using cd. To find out where the ES_HOME directory is and to get more information about the node, run the following command:
curl "localhost:9200/_nodes?pretty=true&settings=true"
  • Once the correct path has been determined, confirm that you’re in the home directory and run the following command to install X-Pack:
bin/elasticsearch-plugin install x-pack

Install X-Pack Plugin For Kibana

Next, navigate to the Kibana installation directory and use bin/kibana-plugin to install X-Pack:

bin/kibana-plugin install x-pack

To use the Kibana plugin installer with sudo privileges, run the following command:

sudo -u kibana bin/kibana-plugin install x-pack

Configure And Start Kibana

  • Once the install commands have been run, users can configure X-Pack. This can be done by modifying the settings in ES’s YAML files. If you’re running a newer version of ES, look for the elasticsearch.yml config in the /etc/elasticsearch/ directory.
  • If you’re running Kibana version 4.x or older, the YAML file can be found in the `/opt/kibana/config/directory or in/etc/kibana/` The Kibana directory was previously located under /opt/, but has been moved under /usr/share/ to remain consistent with ES.
  • To see a comprehensive listing of X-Pack’s configuration settings for Kibana, please consult Elastic’s documentation

Conclusion

It’s clear that X-Pack can add a whole new level of functionality to the Elastic platform. With the features included in X-Pack, users can:

  • protect their stored data with robust security
  • keep their finger on the pulse of their Elastic Stack through monitoring
  • create reports based on Kibana dashboards
  • use graphs to depict data relationships
  • detect data anomalies automatically
  • receive notifications whenever data changes

While installing X-Pack is a quick and simple process, it’s important to determine whether installation is needed in the first place. For version 6.3 and newer, X-Pack has become part of the Elastic Stack’s included “features”. With this knowledge at hand, it’s easy to decide if X-Pack needs to be installed or if the power of X-Pack is already included in Kibana.

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