Fluentd logging driver

The fluentd logging driver sends container logs to the Fluentd collector as structured log data. Then, users can use any of the various output plugins of Fluentd to write these logs to various destinations.

In addition to the log message itself, the fluentd log driver sends the following metadata in the structured log message:

container_idThe full 64-character container ID.
container_nameThe container name at the time it was started. If you use docker rename to rename a container, the new name isn't reflected in the journal entries.
sourcestdout or stderr
logThe container log


Some options are supported by specifying --log-opt as many times as needed:

  • fluentd-address: specify a socket address to connect to the Fluentd daemon, ex fluentdhost:24224 or unix:///path/to/fluentd.sock.
  • tag: specify a tag for Fluentd messages. Supports some Go template markup, ex {{.ID}}, {{.FullID}} or {{.Name}} docker.{{.ID}}.

To use the fluentd driver as the default logging driver, set the log-driver and log-opt keys to appropriate values in the daemon.json file, which is located in /etc/docker/ on Linux hosts or C:\ProgramData\docker\config\daemon.json on Windows Server. For more about configuring Docker using daemon.json, see daemon.json.

The following example sets the log driver to fluentd and sets the fluentd-address option.

  "log-driver": "fluentd",
  "log-opts": {
    "fluentd-address": "fluentdhost:24224"

Restart Docker for the changes to take effect.


log-opts configuration options in the daemon.json configuration file must be provided as strings. Boolean and numeric values (such as the value for fluentd-async or fluentd-max-retries) must therefore be enclosed in quotes (").

To set the logging driver for a specific container, pass the --log-driver option to docker run:

$ docker run --log-driver=fluentd ...

Before using this logging driver, launch a Fluentd daemon. The logging driver connects to this daemon through localhost:24224 by default. Use the fluentd-address option to connect to a different address.

$ docker run --log-driver=fluentd --log-opt fluentd-address=fluentdhost:24224

If container cannot connect to the Fluentd daemon, the container stops immediately unless the fluentd-async option is used.


Users can use the --log-opt NAME=VALUE flag to specify additional Fluentd logging driver options.


By default, the logging driver connects to localhost:24224. Supply the fluentd-address option to connect to a different address. tcp(default) and unix sockets are supported.

$ docker run --log-driver=fluentd --log-opt fluentd-address=fluentdhost:24224
$ docker run --log-driver=fluentd --log-opt fluentd-address=tcp://fluentdhost:24224
$ docker run --log-driver=fluentd --log-opt fluentd-address=unix:///path/to/fluentd.sock

Two of the above specify the same address, because tcp is default.


By default, Docker uses the first 12 characters of the container ID to tag log messages. Refer to the log tag option documentation for customizing the log tag format.

labels, labels-regex, env, and env-regex

The labels and env options each take a comma-separated list of keys. If there is collision between label and env keys, the value of the env takes precedence. Both options add additional fields to the extra attributes of a logging message.

The env-regex and labels-regex options are similar to and compatible with respectively env and labels. Their values are regular expressions to match logging-related environment variables and labels. It is used for advanced log tag options.


Docker connects to Fluentd in the background. Messages are buffered until the connection is established. Defaults to false.


When fluentd-async is enabled, the fluentd-async-reconnect-interval option defines the interval, in milliseconds, at which the connection to fluentd-address is re-established. This option is useful if the address resolves to one or more IP addresses, for example a Consul service address.


Sets the number of events buffered on the memory. Records will be stored in memory up to this number. If the buffer is full, the call to record logs will fail. The default is 1048576. ( https://github.com/fluent/fluent-logger-golang/tree/master#bufferlimit)


How long to wait between retries. Defaults to 1 second.


The maximum number of retries. Defaults to 4294967295 (2**32 - 1).


Generates event logs in nanosecond resolution. Defaults to false.

Fluentd daemon management with Docker

About Fluentd itself, see the project webpage and its documents.

To use this logging driver, start the fluentd daemon on a host. We recommend that you use the Fluentd docker image. This image is especially useful if you want to aggregate multiple container logs on each host then, later, transfer the logs to another Fluentd node to create an aggregate store.

Test container loggers

  1. Write a configuration file (test.conf) to dump input logs:

      @type forward
    <match *>
      @type stdout
  2. Launch Fluentd container with this configuration file:

    $ docker run -it -p 24224:24224 -v /path/to/conf/test.conf:/fluentd/etc/test.conf -e FLUENTD_CONF=test.conf fluent/fluentd:latest
  3. Start one or more containers with the fluentd logging driver:

    $ docker run --log-driver=fluentd your/application