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Using Promtail, Loki and Grafana to access Tracee Logs

This tutorial will showcase how to install and configure promtail, loki, grafana and prometheus to then access Tracee logs from the cluster in Grafana.


Please make sure to have - Kubectl installed and connected to a Kubernetes cluster (any cluster will work for this purpose) - The Helm CLI installed

To ensure everything is installed properly, please run the following command:

kubectl get nodes


helm version


We need to install an observability stack to access the logs of the pods inside our cluster. This will consist of: - Grafana (for Dashboards and querying logs) - Promtail for collecting logs from the pods on each node - Loki, which is feeding the logs inot Grafana

And since it is easier to install Grafana together with Prometheus, we are also going to install Prometheus.

If you are completely new to Loki, have a look at the following presentation: Learning the tricks of Grafana Loki for distributed logging at scale in a Kubernetes environment

Grafana and Prometheus

First, we are going to install the kube-prometheus-stack chart with Prometheus and Grafana.

For this, we will need to specify some custom values that we will pass into the Helm Chart.

Create a new file called grafana-config.yaml with the following content:

    serviceMonitorSelectorNilUsesHelmValues: false
    serviceMonitorSelector: {}
    serviceMonitorNamespaceSelector: {}

      defaultDatasourceEnabled: true
    - name: Loki
      type: loki
      url: http://loki-loki-distributed-query-frontend.monitoring:3100

Next, we can install the kube-prometheus-stack chart into our cluster with the following commands:

Create a namespace for all the monitoring tools

kubectl create ns monitoring

Add the kube-prometheus-stack Helm Chart to your Helm repository list:

helm repo add prometheus-community

Ensure you have the latest version of all your repositories:

helm repo update

Install the kube-prometheus-stack Helm Chart:

helm upgrade --install prom prometheus-community/kube-prometheus-stack -n monitoring --values grafana-config.yaml

Lastly, confirm that all the pods have been created properly by querying the namespace:

kubectl get all -n monitoring

Promtail and Loki

Next, we need to install Promtail and Loki inside the cluster to actually access logs.

For this, first add the Grafana Helm Chart repository to you repository list:

helm repo add grafana

Update your Helm repository list:

helm repo update

Next, create a file with the Helm Chart configuration for Prometail in a promtail-config.yaml:

  serverPort: 8080
    - url: http://loki-loki-distributed-gateway/loki/api/v1/push

Now we can install the Promtail Helm Chart inside our cluster:

helm upgrade --install promtail grafana/promtail --values promtail-config.yaml -n monitoring

Make sure that Promtail is running the same number of pods as there are nodes on the cluster since Promtail has to run one pod per node:

k get pods -n monitoring

For instance, if the cluster consists of three nodes, then there should be three Promtails pods inside of the monitoring namespace.

Now, we can install Loki. Loki's job is to collect the logs from Promtail and forward them to Grafana.

helm upgrade --install loki grafana/loki-distributed -n monitoring

Loki will install a variety of components inside your cluster, so don't be alarmed by the number of pods it is starting, namely:


At this point, the following pods should be running inside the Kubernetes cluster:

NAME                                                     READY   STATUS    RESTARTS      AGE
prom-prometheus-node-exporter-l4cm4                      1/1     Running   0             22m
prom-kube-prometheus-stack-operator-84cf966ff5-96xdp     1/1     Running   0             22m
prom-kube-state-metrics-dc769cd87-fmrsk                  1/1     Running   0             22m
prom-grafana-6fdb45b4d5-2zxw7                            3/3     Running   0             22m
alertmanager-prom-kube-prometheus-stack-alertmanager-0   2/2     Running   1 (22m ago)   22m
prometheus-prom-kube-prometheus-stack-prometheus-0       2/2     Running   0             22m
promtail-sxfl5                                           1/1     Running   0             4m7s
loki-loki-distributed-gateway-79d4d4ff5d-sxx58           1/1     Running   0             72s
loki-loki-distributed-distributor-5db986bb4f-x444n       1/1     Running   0             72s
loki-loki-distributed-query-frontend-bd6845f89-z6nx6     1/1     Running   0             72s
loki-loki-distributed-querier-0                          1/1     Running   0             72s
loki-loki-distributed-ingester-0                         1/1     Running   0             72s

Since everything is running properly, we need to ensure that we can access Loki as a data source inside of Grafana.

For this, port-forward to Grafana:

kubectl port-forward service/prom-grafana -n monitoring 3000:80

and open the Grafana UI on localhost:3000.

Here, you will need the username and the password: username: admin password: prom-operator

The password name is dependent on how you called the Helm Chart installation of the kube-prometheus-stack chart e.g. in our case, it was "prom".

Now navigate on Grafana to: Explore Here select Loki as a data source.


Right now, we cannot access any logs from our cluster since we do not have any application that actively produces logs. Thus, we will install Tracee inside our cluster through the Tracee Helm Chart.

Add the Tracee Helm Chart:

helm repo add aqua

Update the repository list on Helm:

helm repo update

Install the Tracee Helm Chart inside your Kubernetes cluster:

helm install tracee aqua/tracee \
        --namespace tracee-system --create-namespace \
        --set hostPID=true

Now, ensure that Tracee is running inside the tracee-system namespace:

kubectl get all -n tracee-system

Similar to Promtail, also for Tracee one pod should run on each node of the Kubernetes cluster.

Accessing Tracee Logs

Generally, it is possible to access logs from the Tracee pods directly through kubectl:

kubectl logs -f daemonset/tracee -n tracee-system

However, once you have all the above components installed, you can open the Grafana Dashboard, on the left, go to "Explore". There, you should be able to select Loki as a Datasource.

Now, you can write log queries in LogQL to access the logs that are stored in the Tracee pods:

Screenshot from Grafana, accessing Tracee logs through Loki