Using Kibana with Bonsai

How to launch Kibana from your cluster dashboard, Heroku app, or local/private server.
Last updated
July 7, 2023

Kibana is an open-source data visualization and dashboard tool built for rich analytics. It takes advantage of Elasticsearch’s full-text querying and aggregation capabilities to built highly flexible and interactive dashboards.

All Bonsai clusters support Kibana out of the box. It is possible to use Kibana through one of several ways: via your Bonsai cluster dashboard, as a free Heroku app, or locally/as a private server.

Cluster Dashboard

Bonsai provides Kibana instances to clusters running on Elasticsearch versions 5.x and up. You can launch your Kibana instance right from your dashboard:

Clicking on the Kibana link will open up your Kibana instance:

Please be patient, as it may take a few seconds for Kibana to load.

As a Free Heroku App

If you have a Heroku account, there is a GitHub project that offers a click to deploy button. Clicking on the button will walk you through the process of deploying a free Heroku app running Kibana, which can be configured with a URL to an Elasticsearch cluster.

If you don’t have a cluster yet, a free Bonsai cluster will be created and attached to the Kibana app. If you already have a Bonsai cluster, you can link to it during the build process.

Locally / Private Server

You may also download Kibana and run it locally or on a private server. Not all versions of Kibana are compatible with all versions of Elasticsearch, so make sure to check the compatibility matrix and download a version that will work with your Bonsai cluster.

( Note: You can also install Kibana using a repository and package manager, but this will likely involve downloading the latest version and may not be compatible with your cluster)

Once you have Kibana downloaded, you’ll need to configure it to point at your Bonsai cluster. Open up the <span class="inline-code"><pre><code>config/kibana.yml</code></pre></span> file and to set the value for <span class="inline-code"><pre><code>elasticsearch_url</code></pre></span>. For example:

<div class="code-snippet w-richtext"><pre><code fs-codehighlight-element="code" class="hljs language-javascript">elasticsearch_url: ""</code></pre></div>

In some later versions of Kibana, you may need to separately specify your Bonsai cluster’s username/password as configuration options:

<div class="code-snippet w-richtext"><pre><code fs-codehighlight-element="code" class="hljs language-javascript">elasticsearch_url: ""
elasticsearch.username: ""
elasticsearch.password: ""</code></pre></div>

Once Kibana has been configured, you can run it with bin/kibana (or bin\kibana.bat on Windows). This will start up the Kibana server with the settings pointing to your Bonsai cluster.

Last, open up a browser to http://localhost:5601 to finish setting up Kibana and get started. Note that if you’re running Kibana on a remote server, you’ll need to replace localhost with the IP address or domain of the remote server.

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