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How To Upgrade Kibana using Ansible

Mar 2019

You can view the sample code associated with this post on GitHub.

In a previous post on Provisioning a Server with Kibana, we saw that it's very straightforward to get kibana on a box.

Upgrading Kibana is also very straightforward (and nowhere near as complicated as upgrading elasticsearch). That will be the subject of this post.

First, initialize the ansible role using molecule, with vagrant as the VM provider:

$ molecule init role -r upgrade-kibana -d vagrant

Then modify your molecule/default/molecule.yml file to look like:

  - name: kibana
    box: ubuntu/xenial64
    memory: 4096
    - "customize ['modifyvm', :id, '--uartmode1', 'disconnected']"
    - auto_config: true
      network_name: private_network
      type: static

We can bring in work from the previous post and include a dependency on our previous role to ensure Kibana is already there. Modify your meta/main.yml file to look like:

  - role: install-kibana

You should now be able to enter:

$ molecule create && molecule converge

And see kibana come up at


We can now begin the upgrade process. We will follow a similar pattern to upgrading logstash and upgrading elasticsearch by adding another collection of tasks to perform the upgrade when we see fit. Change your tasks/main.yml file to look like:

# tasks file for upgrade-kibana
- include: upgrade_kibana.yml
  when: upgrade_kibana

Then add your tasks/upgrade_kibana.yml file:

- name: ensure kibana already up and running
    name: kibana
    state: started
  become: yes

- name: get kibana deb to dl
    dest: "/etc/{{ kibana_deb_to_upgrade_to }}"
    url: "https://artifacts.elastic.co/downloads/kibana/{{ kibana_deb_to_upgrade_to }}"
    checksum: "sha512:https://artifacts.elastic.co/downloads/kibana/{{ kibana_deb_to_upgrade_to }}.sha512"
  become: yes

- name: stop kibana
    name: kibana
    state: stopped
  become: yes

- name: upgrade
    deb: "/etc/{{ kibana_deb_to_upgrade_to }}"
  become: yes

- name: start upgraded kibana
    name: kibana
    state: started
  become: yes

We will need a couple of parameters, which I've elected to keep in the defaults/main.yml file:

# defaults file for upgrade-kibana
upgrade_kibana: true
kibana_deb_to_upgrade_to: kibana-6.5.3-amd64.deb

With this, you should be able to run:

$ molecule converge

Note that there are some breaking changes to the upgrade to 6.5. Given that this is an Elastic product, I'm not surprised one bit. You will have to address those if, like this example, you upgrade to 6.5 or greater from a < 6.5 version.

Nick Fisher is a software engineer in the Pacific Northwest. He focuses on building highly scalable and maintainable backend systems.