Search query language


The search syntax is very close to the Lucene syntax. By default all message fields are included in the search if you don’t specify a message field to search in.

Messages that include the term ssh:


Messages that include the term ssh or login:

ssh login

Messages that include the exact phrase ssh login:

"ssh login"

Messages where the field type includes ssh:


Messages where the field type includes ssh or login:

type:(ssh login)

Messages where the field type includes the exact phrase ssh login:

type:"ssh login"

Messages that do not have the field type:


Messages that have the field type:


By default all terms or phrases are OR connected so all messages that have at least one hit are returned. You can use Boolean operators and groups for control over this:

"ssh login" AND
("ssh login" AND ( OR OR _exists_:always_find_me

You can also use the NOT operator:

"ssh login" AND NOT

Note that AND, OR, and NOT are case sensitive and must be typed in all upper-case.

Wildcards: Use ? to replace a single character or * to replace zero or more characters:


Note that leading wildcards are disabled to avoid excessive memory consumption! You can enable them in your Graylog configuration file:

allow_leading_wildcard_searches = true

Also note that message, full_message, and source are the only fields that are being analyzed by default. While wildcard searches (using * and ?) work on all indexed fields, analyzed fields will behave a little bit different. See wildcard and regexp queries for details.

Fuzziness: You can search for similar terms:

ssh logni~

This example is using the Damerau–Levenshtein distance with a default distance of 2 and will match “ssh login” and “” (intentionally misspelled in the query).

You can change the distance like this:

You can also use the fuzzyness operator to do a proximity search where the terms in a phrase can have different/fuzzy distances from each other and don’t have to be in the defined order:

"foo bar"~5

Numeric fields support range queries. Ranges in square brackets are inclusive, curly brackets are exclusive and can even be combined:

http_response_code:[500 TO 504]
http_response_code:{400 TO 404}
bytes:{0 TO 64]
http_response_code:[0 TO 64}

You can also do searches with one side unbounded:


It is also possible to combine unbounded range operators:

http_response_code:(>=400 AND <500)


The following characters must be escaped with a backslash:

&& || : \ / + - ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ?



Time frame selector

The time frame selector defines in what time range to search in. It offers three different ways of selecting a time range and is vital for search speed: If you know you are only interested in messages of the last hour, only search in that time frame. This will make Graylog search in relevant indices only and greatly reduce system load and required resources. You can read more about this here: The Graylog index model explained


Relative time frame selector

The relative time frame selector lets you look for messages from the selected option to the time you hit the search button. The selector offers a wide set of relative time frames that fit most of your search needs.

Absolute time frame selector

When you know exactly the boundaries of your search, you want to use the absolute time frame selector. Simply introduce the dates and times for the search manually or click in the input field to open up a calendar where you can choose the day with your mouse.

Keyword time frame selector

Graylog offers a keyword time frame selector that allows you to specify the time frame for the search in natural language like last hour or last 90 days. The web interface shows a preview of the two actual timestamps that will be used for the search.


Here are a few examples for possible values.

  • “last month” searches between one month ago and now
  • “4 hours ago” searches between four hours ago and now
  • “1st of april to 2 days ago” searches between 1st of April and 2 days ago
  • “yesterday midnight +0200 to today midnight +0200” searches between yesterday midnight and today midnight in timezone +0200 - will be 22:00 in UTC

The time frame is parsed using the natty natural language parser. Please consult its documentation for details.

Saved searches

Sometimes you may want to search a specific search configuration to be used later. Graylog provides a saved search functionality to accomplish exactly that.

Once you submitted your search, selected the fields you want to show from the search sidebar, and chosen a resolution for the histogram, click on the Save search criteria button on the sidebar.


Give a name to the current search and click on save. When you want to use the saved search later on, you only need to select it from the saved search selector.


Of course, you can always update the selected fields or name of your saved search. To do so, select the saved search from the saved search selector, update the field selection or histogram resolution, and click on Saved search -> Update search criteria. It is also possible to delete the saved search by selecting Saved search -> Delete saved search.



Graylog provides several tools to analyze your search results. It is possible to save these analysis into dashboards, so you can check them over time in a more convenient way. To analyze a field from your search results, expand the field in the search sidebar and click on the button of the analysis you want to perform.


Field statistics

Compute different statistics on your fields, to help you better summarize and understand the data in them.

The statistical information consist of: total, mean, minimum, maximum, standard deviation, variance, sum, and cardinality. On non-numeric fields, you can only see the total amount of messages containing that field, and the cardinality of the field, i.e. the number of unique values it has.


Quick values

Quick values helps you to find out the distribution of values for a field. Alongside a graphic representation of the common values contained in a field, Graylog will display a table with all different values, allowing you to see the number of times they appear. You can include any value in your search query by clicking on the magnifying glass icon located in the value row.


Field graphs

You can create field graphs for any numeric field, by clicking on the Generate chart button in the search sidebar. Using the options in the Customize menu on top of the field graph, you can change the statistical function used in the graph, the kind of graph to use to represent the values, the graph interpolation, as well as the time resolution.


Once you have customized some field graphs, you can also combine them by dragging them from the hamburger icon on the top corner of the graph, and dropping them into another field graph. You can see the location of the hamburger icon and the end result in the the following screenshots:

../_images/stacked_graph_1.png ../_images/stacked_graph_2.png

Field graphs appear every time you perform a search, allowing you to compare data, or combine graphs coming from different streams.

Export results as CSV

It is also possible to export the results of your search as a CSV document. To do so, select all fields you want to export in the search sidebar, click on the More actions button, and select Export as CSV.


Hint: Some Graylog inputs keep the original message in the the full_message field. If you need to export the original message, you can do so by clicking on the List all fields link at the bottom of the sidebar, and then selecting the full_message field.

Search result highlighting

Graylog supports search result highlighting since v0.20.2:


Enabling/Disabling search result highlighting

Using search result highlighting will result in slightly higher resource consumption of searches. You can enable and disable it using a configuration parameter in the graylog.conf of your Graylog nodes:

allow_highlighting = true

Search configuration

Graylog allows customizing the options allowed to search queries, like limiting the time range users can select or configuring the list of displayed relative time ranges.


All search configuration settings can be customized using the web interface on the System -> Configurations page in the Search configuration section.

Query time range limit

Sometimes the amount of data stored in Graylog is quite big and spans a wide time range (e. g. multiple years). In order to prevent normal users from accidentally running search queries which could use up lots of resources, it is possible to limit the time range that users are allowed to search in.

Using this feature, the time range of a search query exceeding the configured query time range limit will automatically be adapted to the given limit.


The query time range limit is a duration formatted according to ISO 8601 following the basic format P<date>T<time> with the following rules:

Designator Description
P Duration designator (for period) placed at the start of the duration representation
Y Year designator that follows the value for the number of years
M Month designator that follows the value for the number of months
W Week designator that follows the value for the number of weeks
D Day designator that follows the value for the number of days
T Time designator that precedes the time components of the representation
H Hour designator that follows the value for the number of hours
M Minute designator that follows the value for the number of minutes
S Second designator that follows the value for the number of seconds


ISO 8601 duration Description
P30D 30 days
PT1H 1 hour
P1DT12H 1 day and 12 hours

More details about the format of ISO 8601 durations can be found on Wikipedia.

Relative time ranges

The list of time ranges displayed in the Relative time frame selector can be configured, too. It consists of a list of ISO 8601 durations which the users can select on the search page.

The format of the ISO 8601 durations can be looked up here.