Record Accessor

A full feature set to access content of your records

Fluent Bit works internally with structured records and it can be composed of an unlimited number of keys and values. Values can be anything like a number, string, array, or a map.

Having a way to select a specific part of the record is critical for certain core functionalities or plugins, this feature is called Record Accessor.

consider Record Accessor a simple grammar to specify record content and other miscellaneous values.


A record accessor rule starts with the character $. Using the structured content above as an example the following table describes how to access a record:

  "log": "some message",
  "stream": "stdout",
  "labels": {
     "color": "blue", 
     "unset": null,
     "project": {
         "env": "production"

The following table describe some accessing rules and the expected returned value:

FormatAccessed Value


"some message"








If the accessor key does not exist in the record like the last example $labels['undefined'] , the operation is simply omitted, no exception will occur.

Usage Example

The feature is enabled on a per plugin basis, not all plugins enable this feature. As an example consider a configuration that aims to filter records using grep that only matches where labels have a color blue:

    flush        1
    log_level    info
    parsers_file parsers.conf

    name      tail
    path      test.log
    parser    json

    name      grep
    match     *
    regex     $labels['color'] ^blue$

    name      stdout
    match     *
    format    json_lines

The file content to process in test.log is the following:

{"log": "message 1", "labels": {"color": "blue"}}
{"log": "message 2", "labels": {"color": "red"}}
{"log": "message 3", "labels": {"color": "green"}}
{"log": "message 4", "labels": {"color": "blue"}}

Running Fluent Bit with the configuration above the output will be:

$ bin/fluent-bit -c fluent-bit.conf 
Fluent Bit v1.x.x
* Copyright (C) 2019-2020 The Fluent Bit Authors
* Copyright (C) 2015-2018 Treasure Data
* Fluent Bit is a CNCF sub-project under the umbrella of Fluentd

[2020/09/11 16:11:07] [ info] [engine] started (pid=1094177)
[2020/09/11 16:11:07] [ info] [storage] version=1.0.5, initializing...
[2020/09/11 16:11:07] [ info] [storage] in-memory
[2020/09/11 16:11:07] [ info] [storage] normal synchronization mode, checksum disabled, max_chunks_up=128
[2020/09/11 16:11:07] [ info] [sp] stream processor started
[2020/09/11 16:11:07] [ info] inotify_fs_add(): inode=55716713 watch_fd=1 name=test.log
{"date":1599862267.483684,"log":"message 1","labels":{"color":"blue"}}
{"date":1599862267.483692,"log":"message 4","labels":{"color":"blue"}}

Limitations of record_accessor templating

The Fluent Bit record_accessor library has a limitation in the characters that can separate template variables- only dots and commas (. and ,) can come after a template variable. This is because the templating library must parse the template and determine the end of a variable.

The following would be invalid templates because the two template variables are not separated by commas or dots:

  • $TaskID-$ECSContainerName

  • $TaskID/$ECSContainerName

  • $TaskID_$ECSContainerName

  • $TaskIDfooo$ECSContainerName

However, the following are valid:

  • $TaskID.$ECSContainerName

  • $TaskID.ecs_resource.$ECSContainerName

  • $TaskID.fooo.$ECSContainerName

And the following are valid since they only contain one template variable with nothing after it:

  • fooo$TaskID

  • fooo____$TaskID

  • fooo/bar$TaskID

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