If I start logstash with -r config, it will reload its configuration.
I know it works well if I change the conf files directly.
But will it also trigger a reload if I make changes to a referenced grok pattern file or a referenced ruby script file?
No, only the file itself. This is a great point however, we should probably make this work. Mind filing an issue to ask for this as an enhancement?
Reloading the Config File | Logstash Reference [8.11] | Elastic does mention this;
Changes to grok pattern files are also reloaded, but only when a change in the config file triggers a reload (or the pipeline is restarted).
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