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APM Server

The APM Server receives data from Elastic APM agents and transforms it into Elasticsearch documents. Read more about Elastic APM at

For questions and feature requests, visit the discussion forum.

Getting Started

To get started with APM, see our Quick start guide.

APM Server Development



  • Fork the repo with the GitHub interface and clone it:
cd ${GOPATH}/src/
git clone [email protected]:[USER]/apm-server.git

Note that it should be cloned from the fork (replace [USER] with your GitHub user), not from origin.

  • Add the upstream remote:
git remote add elastic [email protected]:elastic/apm-server.git


To build the binary for APM Server run the command below. This will generate a binary in the same directory with the name apm-server.


You also need to create all files needed by the APM Server by running the additional command below.

make update

Note that this requires to have python >= 3.7 and venv installed.


To run APM Server with debugging output enabled, run:

./apm-server -c apm-server.yml -e -d "*"


For Testing check out the testing guide


Each beat has a template for the mapping in elasticsearch and a documentation for the fields which is automatically generated based on fields.yml. To generate required configuration files and templates run:

make update

Generate package

APM-Server includes a script to generate an integration package to run with Fleet. To Generate a package run:

make fields gen-package

That command takes the existing fields.yml files and split them into ecs.yml and fields.yml files for each data stream type. It also generates a with a field reference that will be shown in the integration package.

After generating a package, apmpackage/apm should be manually copied to elastic/integrations. Then follow instructions in


To clean APM Server source code, run the following commands:

make fmt

To clean up the build directory and generated artifacts, run:

make clean

For further development, check out the beat developer guide.


See contributing for details about reporting bugs, requesting features, or contributing to APM Server.


See releases for an APM Server release checklist.

Updating dependencies

APM Server uses Go Modules for dependency management, without any vendoring.

In general, you should use standard go get commands to add and update modules. The one exception to this is the dependency on libbeat, for which there exists a special Make target: make update-beats, described below.

Updating libbeat

By running make update-beats the module will be updated to the most recent commit from the master branch, and a minimal set of files will be copied into the apm-server tree.

You can specify an alternative branch or commit by specifying the BEATS_VERSION variable, such as:

make update-beats BEATS_VERSION=7.x
make update-beats BEATS_VERSION=f240148065af94d55c5149e444482b9635801f27

Updating go-elasticsearch

It is important to keep the go-elasticsearch client in sync with the according major version. We also recommend to use the latest available client for minor versions.

You can use go get -u -m[email protected] to update to the latest commit on the 7.x branch.


The beats framework provides tools to cross-compile and package apm-server for different platforms. This requires docker, mage, and vendoring as described above. To build all apm-server packages from source, run:

mage package

This will fetch and create all images required for the build process. The whole process can take several minutes. When complete, packages can be found in build/distributions/.

Building docker packages

To customize image configuration, see the docs.

To build docker images from source, run:

PLATFORMS=linux/amd64 mage -v package

When complete, docker images can be found through the local docker daemon and at build/distributions/apm-server-*-linux-amd64.docker.tar.gz.

When building images for testing pre-release versions, we recommend setting SNAPSHOT=true in the build environment, to clearly indicate the packages are not for a specific release.


Documentation for the APM Server can be found in the docs folder.

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