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The Elasticsearch plugin is used to query Elasticsearch for logs of your workloads.

The plugin can be enabled in the Settings for the mobile and desktop version. To use the plugin in the web version you have to set the --plugin.elasticsearch.enabled flag. A detailed explanation of the each setting and the required command-line flags can be found in the respective documentation:


Query String Syntax

The Elasticsearch plugins uses the query string syntax for filtering log lines.

Field Names

You can specify fields to search in the query syntax:

  • where the status field contains active
  • where the title field contains quick or brown
title:(quick OR brown)
  • where the author field contains the exact phrase "john smith"
author:"John Smith"
  • where the first name field contains Alice (note how we need to escape the space with a backslash)
first\ name:Alice
  • where any of the fields book.title, book.content or contains quick or brown (note how we need to escape the * with a backslash):
book.\*:(quick OR brown)
  • where the field title has any non-null value:


Wildcard searches can be run on individual terms, using ? to replace a single character, and * to replace zero or more characters:

qu?ck bro*

Regular Expressions

Regular expression patterns can be embedded in the query string by wrapping them in forward-slashes ("/"):



We can search for terms that are similar to, but not exactly like our search terms, using the "fuzzy" operator:

quikc~ brwn~ foks~


Ranges can be specified for date, numeric or string fields. Inclusive ranges are specified with square brackets [min TO max] and exclusive ranges with curly brackets {min TO max}.

  • All days in 2012:
date:[2012-01-01 TO 2012-12-31]
  • Numbers 1..5
count:[1 TO 5]
  • Tags between alpha and omega, excluding alpha and omega:
tag:{alpha TO omega}
  • Numbers from 10 upwards
count:[10 TO *]
  • Dates before 2012
date:{* TO 2012-01-01}

Boolean operators

By default, all terms are optional, as long as one term matches. A search for foo bar baz will find any document that contains one or more of foo or bar or baz. We have already discussed the default_operator above which allows you to force all terms to be required, but there are also boolean operators which can be used in the query string itself to provide more control.

The preferred operators are + (this term must be present) and - (this term must not be present). All other terms are optional. For example, this query:

quick brown +fox -news


Multiple terms or clauses can be grouped together with parentheses, to form sub-queries:

(quick OR brown) AND fox

Date Math

The Elasticsearch plugin uses date math to define the start and end time of a query.

The expression starts with an anchor date, which can either be now, or a date string ending with ||. This anchor date can optionally be followed by one or more maths expressions:

  • +1h: Add one hour
  • -1d: Subtract one day
  • /d: Round down to the nearest day

The supported time units differ from those supported by time-units for durations. The supported units are:

  • y:: Years
  • M:: Months
  • w:: Weeks
  • d:: Days
  • h:: Hours
  • H:: Hours
  • m:: Minutes
  • s:: Seconds

Assuming now is 2001-01-01 12:00:00, some examples are:

  • now+1h:: now in milliseconds plus one hour. Resolves to: 2001-01-01 13:00:00
  • now-1h:: now in milliseconds minus one hour. Resolves to: 2001-01-01 11:00:00
  • now-1h/d:: now in milliseconds minus one hour, rounded down to UTC 00:00. Resolves to: 2001-01-01 00:00:00
  • 2001.02.01\|\|+1M/d:: 2001-02-01 in milliseconds plus one month. Resolves to: 2001-03-01 00:00:00


You can add an annotation to your resources, to define Elasticsearch queries within these resources. The queries can be defined via the annotation.

The annotation requires a JSON array, where each item in the array can use the following fields:

Field Description Default Value
title A title for the defined query. Required
query Query to filter the Elasticsearch results in query string syntax. Required
from Start time for the query. now-15m
to End time for the query. now
selectedFields Comma separated list of fields, which should be shown in the results.

An annotation to get all logs for a Pod, can look as follows:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  annotations: '[{"title": "All logs for the current Pod", "query": "kubernetes.namespace: $.metadata.namespace AND $ ", "selectedFields": ","}]'
    app: kubenav
  name: kubenav-58d7f97f9f-462xd
  namespace: kubenav

You can use the $. operator, to select a field from the resource manifest, for example $.metadata.namespace will be replaced with the Namespace of the resource.


When you are using the $. operator, the replacing will only work, when the term is starting and ending with a space.