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Version: 0.4.0

Deploy Quickwit with Helm and search your k8s logs

This guide will help you to unlock log search on your k8s cluster. We will first deploy Quickwit and OTEL collectors with Helm and then see how to index and search them.


This tutorial uses Quickwit Ingest API which is not yet production ready and the OTEL gRPC endpoint which is currently experimental.


You will need the following to complete this tutorial:

  • A k8s cluster.
  • The command line tool kubectl.
  • The command line tool Helm.
  • An access to a shared storage like AWS S3, GCS, Azure blob storage, Scaleway, to store index data.

Install with Helm

Let's first create a namespace to isolate our experiment and set it as the default namespace.

kubectl create namespace qw-tutorial
kubectl config set-context --current --namespace=qw-tutorial

Then let's add Quickwit and Otel helm repositories:

helm repo add quickwit
helm repo add open-telemetry

You should now see the two repos in helm:

helm repo list

Deploy Quickwit

Let's create a basic chart configuration:

export AWS_REGION=us-east-1
export DEFAULT_INDEX_ROOT_URI=s3://your-bucket/indexes
# Create Quickwit config file.
echo "
replicaCount: 1
replicaCount: 1
replicaCount: 1
enabled: true

# Remove ANSI colors.

# Quickwit configuration
# No metastore configuration.
# By default, metadata is stored on the local disk of the metastore instance.
# Everything will be lost after a metastore restart.
region: ${AWS_REGION}
access_key: ${AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID}
secret_key: ${AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY}
default_index_root_uri: ${DEFAULT_INDEX_ROOT_URI}

# Indexer settings
# By activating the OTEL service, Quickwit will be able
# to receive gRPC requests from OTEL collectors.
enable_opentelemetry_otlp_service: true
" > qw-tutorial-values.yaml

Before installing Quickwit chart, make sure you have access to S3 and that you did not make a typo in the default_index_root_uri. This can be easily done with aws CLI with a simple ls:


If the CLI did not return an error, you are ready to install the chart:

helm install quickwit quickwit/quickwit -f qw-tutorial-values.yaml

After a few instant, you will see the pods running Quickwit services:

kubectl get pods
quickwit-indexer-0 1/1 Running 2 (25s ago) 37s
quickwit-janitor-79758cb7c7-5kvpr 0/1 Running 2 (36s ago) 37s
quickwit-metastore-6dc6f747f-fr4d6 1/1 Running 1 (36s ago) 37s
quickwit-searcher-0 0/1 Running 2 (36s ago) 37s

Let's check Quickwit is working:

kubectl port-forward svc/quickwit-searcher 7280

Then open your browser http://localhost:7280/ui/cluster. You should see the cluster state in JSON :). If everything is fine, keep the kubectl command running and open a new terminal.

Deploy OTEL collectors

We need to configure a bit the collectors in order to:

  • collect logs from k8s
  • enrich the logs with k8s attributes
  • export the logs to Quickwit indexer.
echo "
mode: daemonset
enabled: true
enabled: true
endpoint: quickwit-indexer.qw-tutorial.svc.cluster.local:7281
# Quickwit OTEL gRPC endpoint does not support compression yet.
compression: none
insecure: true
- otlp
" > otel-values.yaml
helm install otel-collector open-telemetry/opentelemetry-collector -f otel-values.yaml

Create an OTEL index.

Quickwit is configured to receive OTEL logs on a specific index called otel-log-v0. However it is not yet created in Quickwit metastore, let's do it. Here the OTEL schema in JSON, useful format for REST API.

"version": "0.4",
"index_id": "otel-log-v0",
"doc_mapping": {
"field_mappings": [
"name": "timestamp",
"type": "datetime",
"input_formats": [
"output_format": "unix_timestamp_secs",
"fast": true
"name": "severity",
"type": "text",
"tokenizer": "raw",
"fast": true
"name": "body",
"type": "text",
"tokenizer": "default",
"record": "position"
"name": "attributes",
"type": "json"
"name": "resource",
"type": "json"
"timestamp_field": "timestamp"
"search_settings": {
"default_search_fields": [
"indexing_settings": {
"commit_timeout_secs": 10

We need to make a POST request that will hit a searcher instance which itself will call the metastore with a gRPC requests.

curl -o otel-index-config.json
curl -XPOST --data @otel-index-config.json -H "Content-Type: application/json"

The server will respond a 200 and returns the created index metadata (pretty much the same data you sent with some additional info). You can also view your fresh new index in the Quickwit UI.

Unfortunately, Quickwit indexers needs to be restarted to start indexing, this will be fixed the next release. In the meantime, you need to restart indexer, you can do it by executing the following command:

kubectl scale statefulset quickwit-indexer --replicas=0
# And then
kubectl scale statefulset quickwit-indexer --replicas=1

After 10 or 30 seconds, the indexer is up and running, let's have a look the logs to see that everything goes well.

kubectl logs quickwit-indexer-0 -f

You should see logs that look like these:

2022-11-30T18:27:37.628Z  INFO spawn_merge_pipeline{index=otel-log-v0 gen=0}: quickwit_indexing::actors::merge_pipeline: Spawning merge pipeline. index_id=otel-log-v0 source_id=_ingest-api-source pipeline_ord=0 root_dir=/quickwit/qwdata/indexing/otel-log-v0/_ingest-api-source merge_policy=StableLogMergePolicy { config: StableLogMergePolicyConfig { min_level_num_docs: 100000, merge_factor: 10, max_merge_factor: 12, maturation_period: 172800s }, split_num_docs_target: 10000000 }
2022-11-30T18:27:37.628Z INFO quickwit_serve::grpc: Starting gRPC server. enabled_grpc_services={"otlp-log", "otlp-trace"} grpc_listen_addr=
2022-11-30T18:27:37.628Z INFO quickwit_serve::rest: Starting REST server. rest_listen_addr=
2022-11-30T18:27:37.628Z INFO quickwit_serve::rest: Searcher ready to accept requests at
2022-11-30T18:27:42.654Z INFO quickwit_indexing::actors::indexer: new-split split_id="01GK4WPTXK8GH3AGTRNBN9A8YG" partition_id=0
2022-11-30T18:27:52.643Z INFO quickwit_indexing::actors::indexer: send-to-index-serializer commit_trigger=Timeout split_ids=01GK4WPTXK8GH3AGTRNBN9A8YG num_docs=22
2022-11-30T18:27:52.652Z INFO index_batch{index_id=otel-log-v0 source_id=_ingest-api-source pipeline_ord=0}:packager: quickwit_indexing::actors::packager: start-packaging-splits split_ids=["01GK4WPTXK8GH3AGTRNBN9A8YG"]
2022-11-30T18:27:52.652Z INFO index_batch{index_id=otel-log-v0 source_id=_ingest-api-source pipeline_ord=0}:packager: quickwit_indexing::actors::packager: create-packaged-split split_id="01GK4WPTXK8GH3AGTRNBN9A8YG"
2022-11-30T18:27:52.653Z INFO index_batch{index_id=otel-log-v0 source_id=_ingest-api-source pipeline_ord=0}:uploader: quickwit_indexing::actors::uploader: start-stage-and-store-splits split_ids=["01GK4WPTXK8GH3AGTRNBN9A8YG"]
2022-11-30T18:27:52.733Z INFO index_batch{index_id=otel-log-v0 source_id=_ingest-api-source pipeline_ord=0}:uploader:stage_and_upload{split=01GK4WPTXK8GH3AGTRNBN9A8YG}:store_split: quickwit_indexing::split_store::indexing_split_store: store-split-remote-success split_size_in_megabytes=0.018351 num_docs=22 elapsed_secs=0.07654519 throughput_mb_s=0.23974074 is_mature=false

If you see some errors there, it's probably coming from a misconfiguration of your object storage. If you need some help, please open an issue on GitHub or come on our discord server.

Ready to search logs

You are now ready to search: just open the UI and play with it. Funny thing you will see quickwit logs in it :).

Example of queries:

UI screenshot

And that's all folks!

Clean up

Let's first delete the index and then uninstall the charts.

# Delete the index. The command will return the list of delete split files.

# Uninstall charts
helm uninstall otel-collector
helm uninstall quickwit

# Delete namespace
kubectl delete namespace qw-tutorial