Failed to parse /etc/system-release

Hi all,

I am having an issue with the Metricbeat system module on red hat 6. I am getting the following error:

"Error fetching data for metricset system.memory: VMStat: failed to read self process information: 1 error: failed to parse /etc/system-release"

Anyone encountered this one before?

Hello Martijn,

Which version of metricbeat are you running on your Linux host? Also which revision of RHEL 6.x are you using?


Hi Michael,

I am using Red Hat version 6.8. The metricbeat version is 7.6.1

Hello Martijn,

Could you please include your metricbeat.yml file? Please be sure to redact any hosts, usernames, or passwords before you post the file.


Hi Michael,

The metricbeat.yml is completely default, aside from the elasticsearch output I configured (hostname, username, password).

#==========================  Modules configuration ============================

      # Glob pattern for configuration loading
      path: ${path.config}/modules.d/*.yml

      # Set to true to enable config reloading
      reload.enabled: false

      # Period on which files under path should be checked for changes
      #reload.period: 10s

    #==================== Elasticsearch template setting ==========================

      index.number_of_shards: 1
      index.codec: best_compression
      #_source.enabled: false

    #-------------------------- Elasticsearch output ------------------------------
      # Array of hosts to connect to.
      hosts: ["working host"]

      # Protocol - either `http` (default) or `https`.
      #protocol: "https"

      # Authentication credentials - either API key or username/password.
      #api_key: "id:api_key"
      username: "working username"
      password: "working password"

    #================================ Processors =====================================

    # Configure processors to enhance or manipulate events generated by the beat.

      - add_host_metadata: ~
      - add_cloud_metadata: ~
      - add_docker_metadata: ~
      - add_kubernetes_metadata: ~



Thanks Martijn, how are you starting metricbeat? Are you using sudo service metricbeat start?


Hi Martijn,

Could you please show the permissions and content for /etc/system-release?

cat /etc/system-release
ls -l /etc/system-release
ls -lL /etc/system-release

On a test CentOS 6.10 container, I'm seeing the following. It should be similar for your system.

[root@249fcd6ead4a /]# cat /etc/system-release
CentOS release 6.10 (Final)
[root@249fcd6ead4a /]# ls -l /etc/system-release
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 14 Oct  6  2018 /etc/system-release -> centos-release
[root@249fcd6ead4a /]# ls -lL /etc/system-release
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 28 Jun 26  2018 /etc/system-release


Hi Michael,

I am using /etc/init.d/metricbeat start to start Metricbeat.

The /etc/system-release does not seem to contain anything.

[root@host ~]# cat /etc/system-release
[root@host  ~]#

[root@host  ~]# ls -l /etc/system-release
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 14 May 19  2016 /etc/system-release -> redhat-release

[root@host  ~]# ls -l /etc/redhat-release
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Jun 25  2019 /etc/redhat-release

Could this be an issue with the OS then?


Hi Martijn, yes I believe the blank /etc/system-release is the issue. Can you look at the contents on other similar RHEL systems? Could you possibly try installing metricbeat on a similar system?

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