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How to Install Graylog on Ubuntu 22.04 | Step-by-Step

February 29th, 2024
How to Install Graylog on Ubuntu 22.04 | Step-by-Step

Graylog's open-source nature, extensive features, flexibility, and scalability make it a popular log management platform. In this tutorial, I’ll show how to install Graylog on Ubuntu 22.04, including configuring the Graylog server package and accessing the Graylog web UI.

What is Graylog?

Graylog is one of the world's leading centralized open-source log management solutions used to centralize, store, visualize, and monitor terabytes of machine data in real-time, used by DevOps engineers, security analysts, and application developers.

What is Graylog used for?

Graylog is a widely used tool across industries like technology, media, retail, and more for monitoring a vast range of network activity and pinpointing any issues impacting performance. It helps to gain insights from logs at a large scale to support faster problem resolution and business continuity with little downtime.

The Graylog server comprises the following salient components:

  • Elasticsearch - A search and analytics engine that stores and indexes data.
  • MongoDB - An open-source NoSQL document database that stores metadata such as user information.
  • Graylog Server - Main component used in capturing, storing, and analyzing real-time machine data. It visualizes data to spot trends and anomalies and triggers alerts in case of any incidences. Also, you can build reports to comply with set standards and management needs.

Now, let’s continue with the Graylog Ubuntu installation instructions, first defining prerequisites.

Prerequisites

Ensure you have the following requirements in place:

  • An instance of Ubuntu 22.04 server with SSH connection;
  • At least 4 GB RAM and 2 CPUs;
  • A sudo user configured on the server.

Install Graylog on Ubuntu 22.04: Step-by-step process

To install Graylog on Ubuntu 22.04, you have to follow a relatively straightforward process. It includes installing prerequisite packages like OpenJDK, Elasticsearch, and MongoDB. After that, download and configure the Graylog server package, then set up Nginx as a reverse proxy to access the Graylog web UI.

Let's dive right in. Follow the steps below to get Graylog installed and running on your Ubuntu 22.04 server.

Step 1: Update the local package index

To start, log into your server and update the local package index.

sudo apt update

Next, install the following set of dependencies needed during the installation of the Graylog server.

sudo apt install curl wget apt-transport-https

Once installed, head over to the next step.

Step 2: Install OpenJDK

Before installing Graylog, we need to install Java. We will install OpenJDK, a free and open-source implementation of Java currently maintained by Oracle. The latest version of Graylog - Graylog 5.2 - requires at least OpenJDK 17.

To install OpenJDK 17, run the command:

sudo apt install openjdk-17-jre-headless -y

Once installed, you can confirm the version of Java installed as shown.

java -version

check-java-version-ubuntu-22.04

Step 3: Install ElasticSearch

Elasticsearch is another critical component in the Graylog installation. It’s a distributed search and analytics engine widely used for full-text search, log analysis, business analytics, and analyzing security events.

In Graylog, Elasticsearch stores, searches, and analyzes logs and messages from external sources.

Elasticsearch is not hosted on official Ubuntu repositories. Hence, we are going to install it from the Elasticsearch repository. To do so, first, download and add the Elasticsearch GPG Key.

curl -fsSL https://artifacts.elastic.co/GPG-KEY-elasticsearch | sudo apt-key add -

Next, switch to the root user.

sudo su -

And add the Elasticsearch repository to the system.

echo "deb https://artifacts.elastic.co/packages/7.x/apt stable main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elastic-7.x.list

Next, update the local cache to notify the system of the newly added repository.

apt update

Once the local cache is updated, install Elasticsearch from the repository using the APT package manager.

apt install elasticsearch -y

install-elasticsearch-ubuntu-22.04

Once the installation is complete, you need to make a few tweaks to the main Elasticsearch configuration file. Use your preferred text editor to access the file. Here, we are using the nano command-line editor.

nano /etc/elasticsearch/elasticsearch.yml

Set your preferred cluster name and add the action.auto_create_index: false line below it.

cluster.name: graylog
action.auto_create_index: false

Once done, save the changes and exit. Reload systemd for the change to apply and start Elasticsearch.

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl start elasticsearch

You can verify the status of Elasticsearch as shown.

sudo systemctl status elasticsearch

check-elasticsearch-status-ubuntu-22.04

From the output, you can see that the Elasticsearch service is up and running.

In addition, consider enabling the Elasticsearch service to start on boot.

systemctl enable elasticsearch 

You can send a GET request to your node using the curl command-line tool to view detailed information about Elasticsearch.

curl -X GET http://localhost:9200

test-elasticsearch-ubuntu-22.04

Step 4: Install MongoDB server

In the Graylog server, the MongoDB database stores configuration information and user data. The latest version of Graylog requires MongoDB 5.x and 6.x releases. For this guide, we will install MongoDB 6.0 from the MongoDB repository.

So, add the MongoDB GPG signing key.

curl -fsSL https://pgp.mongodb.com/server-6.0.asc | \
sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/mongodb-server-6.0.gpg

Next, add the MongoDB repository to the sources.list.d directory on your system.

echo "deb [ arch=amd64,arm64 signed=/etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/keyrings/mongodb-server-6.0.gpg ] https://repo.mongodb.org/apt/ubuntu jammy/mongodb-org/6.0 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-6.0.list

With the repository added to your system, update the local APT cache.

sudo apt update

Then install the MongoDB database server.

sudo apt install mongodb-org -y

install-mongodb-server-ubuntu-22.04

To verify the version installed, run the command:

mongod --version

check-mongodb-server-version

MongoDB does not start automatically upon installation, so start it as shown.

sudo systemctl start mongod

Confirm that the MongoDB database service is running:

sudo systemctl status mongod

check-mongodb-status-ubuntu

In addition, consider enabling the service to auto-start on boot.

sudo systemctl enable mongod

With the MongoDB database server installed, the next step is to install the Graylog server.

Step 5: Install Graylog server

We are now ready to install Graylog server on Ubuntu. By default, the Graylog server package is not available on Ubuntu repositories. Therefore, we are going to install Graylog from the official Graylog repository.

So, download the Graylog Debian package.

wget https://packages.graylog2.org/repo/packages/graylog-5.2-repository_latest.deb

Next, run the dpkg command to run the package.

sudo dpkg -i graylog-5.0-repository_latest.deb

Next, update the local APT cache.

sudo apt-get update

Finally, install the Graylog server as follows.

sudo apt install graylog-server -y

install-graylog-server-ubuntu-22.04

Once you have installed the Graylog server, you need to generate a secret to secure the user passwords and an encrypted password for the admin user.

To generate a secret password for securing user passwords, run the following command:

< /dev/urandom tr -dc A-Z-a-z-0-9 | head -c${1:-96};echo;

The encrypted password, composed of alphanumeric characters, will be displayed on the terminal.

Next, generate an encrypted password for the Graylog admin login user.

echo -n "Enter Password: " && head -1 </dev/stdin | tr -d '\n' | sha256sum | cut -d" " -f1

When prompted, type in the password and hit ENTER. The encrypted password will be displayed on the screen.

generate-encrypted-passwords-graylog-server

Copy and paste the two encrypted passwords somewhere and open the Graylog configuration file.

nano /etc/graylog/server/server.conf

Update the password_secret and root_password_sha2 with the encrypted passwords generated.

password_secret = hTRdp0JxNLeuxKXFeTjNYzOMpM-6zdBPalK4eKbsEhxSlxkIFgTcUBzPmhj21Hc89OmyW1NqitmROHXtgqJqwGte4t7PBwi0

root_password_sha2 = bfe4814665ab5c23359f7114d289110e7c725a1528fa2cd68c601a0a5d6c05108

Next, specify the IP address on which the Graylog HTTP interface will listen using the http_bind_address. By default, this is set to localhost or the loopback address. nsure you set it to the IP assigned to your network interface and specify the port Graylog listens on ( port 9000 ).

http_bind_address = 208.117.84.72:9000

Save the changes and exit the configuration file. Next, reload systemd to notify the system of the changes made.

systemctl daemon-reload

Next, start the Graylog service.

systemctl start graylog-server

The Graylog daemon or service should now be running. You can confirm this as shown.

systemctl status graylog-server

check-graylog-server-status-ubuntu-22.04

Consider enabling the service to start on system startup.

systemctl enable graylog-server

Step 5: Configure Nginx as a reverse proxy

On its own, Graylog can act as a frontend and does not require a web server. However, you can configure a web server as a reverse proxy for port 80 to port 9000, on which Graylog listens. This also simplifies configuring an SSL certificate for Graylog.

In our case, we will use Nginx as our preferred option for a web server. To install Nginx, run the command:

 apt install nginx

Once installed, create a virtual host file for Graylog.

nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/graylog.conf

Add these lines of code, and make sure to specify your server's IP for the proxy_pass attribute.

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name graylog.example.org;

location /
    {
      proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $host;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Server $host;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
      proxy_set_header X-Graylog-Server-URL http://$server_name/;
      proxy_pass       http://208.117.84.72:9000;
    }

}

Save the changes and exit the configuration file. Then, run the following command to verify that your webserver’s configuration syntax is okay.

nginx -t

verify-nginx-configuration-syntax

If all looks good, enable the Nginx virtual host file.

ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/graylog.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Remember to delete the default virtual host file, as this will override the newly enabled virtual host configuration.

rm -rf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

To apply the changes made, restart the Nginx web service

systemctl restart nginx

And ensure that it is running as expected.

systemctl status nginx

check-nginx-status-ubuntu

Step 6: Access Graylog web interface

To access the Graylog web interface, visit the following URL on your web browser.

http://server-ip

You will see the web page shown. Log in using the username admin and the root user password you specified in plain text in step 5. Then click the Sign In button.

graylog-server-webui-login

Once logged in, you should see the Graylog web UI. From here, you can add data sources for real-time data analysis.

graylog-server-dashboard

Conclusion

That’s it; in this tutorial, I’ve demonstrated how to install Graylog on Ubuntu 22.04 server, including the configuration. Check out the official documentation for more information about Graylog.

Shanika is a technical consultant and writer with over eight years of experience as a software engineer in the IT sector. Her professional journey started as a software engineer with WSO2. At the same time, she started working as a freelancer on Upwork. She has collaborated with numerous companies throughout her freelance career, including Digication, Splunk, BMC.com, Filestack, APILayer, Flosum, Blazemeter, Sencha, and over twenty others. Having opportunities to work with various companies in different roles has allowed her to amass a wealth of experience. Shanika is an expert in web development, programming, Java, Python, React, Cypress, CI/CD, Docker, and Kubernetes,m. She has significantly contributed to developing products such as IAM solutions, APIs, OCR technologies, test management systems, and front-end frameworks throughout her career. She has also produced blog articles, tutorials, user guides, product documentation, and many other documents, as well as consulting companies to enhance their productivity. Overall, Shanika brings together the experience of a web developer, automation engineer, DevOps developer, software consultant, and technical writer, which is the main reason behind her success as a freelancer. Shanika received her B.Sc. (Hons) in Computer Science from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and resides in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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