How to view container logs real time with Azure Monitor for containers (preview)

This feature, which is currently in preview, provides a real-time view into your Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) container logs (stdout/stderr) without having to run kubectl commands. When you select this option, new pane appears below the containers performance data table on the Containers view. It shows live logging generated by the container engine to further assist in troubleshooting issues in real time.

Live logs supports three different methods to control access to the logs:

  1. AKS without Kubernetes RBAC authorization enabled
  2. AKS enabled with Kubernetes RBAC authorization
  3. AKS enabled with Azure Active Directory (AD) SAML based single-sign on

Kubernetes cluster without RBAC enabled

If you have a Kubernetes cluster that is not configured with Kubernetes RBAC authorization or integrated with Azure AD single-sign on, you do not need to follow these steps. Because Kubernetes authorization uses the kube-api, read-only permissions are required.

Kubernetes RBAC authorization

If you have enabled Kubernetes RBAC authorization, you will need to apply cluster role binding. The following example steps demonstrate how to configure cluster role binding from this yaml configuration template.

  1. Copy and paste the yaml file and save it as LogReaderRBAC.yaml.

    kind: ClusterRole 
       name: containerHealth-log-reader 
       - apiGroups: [""] 
         resources: ["pods/log"] 
         verbs: ["get"] 
    kind: ClusterRoleBinding 
       name: containerHealth-read-logs-global 
        kind: ClusterRole 
        name: containerHealth-log-reader 
       - kind: User 
         name: clusterUser 
  2. Create the cluster rule binding by running the following command: kubectl create -f LogReaderRBAC.yaml.

Configure AKS with Azure Active Directory

AKS can be configured to use Azure Active Directory (AD) for user authentication. If you are configuring this for the first time, see Integrate Azure Active Directory with Azure Kubernetes Service. During the steps to create the client application and specify the redirect URI, you need to add another URI to the list*.


Configuring authentication with Azure Active Directory for single-sign on can only be accomplished during intial deployment of a new AKS cluster. You cannot configure single-sign on for an AKS cluster already deployed.

View live logs

When you are viewing Containers, you can View Container logs or View container live logs. When you select View Container live logs, a new pane appears below the containers performance data table and showing live logging generated by the container engine to further assist in troubleshooting issues in real time.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. From the Microsoft Azure menu, select Monitor and then select Containers.
  3. Select a container from the list under the Monitored containers view.
  4. Select the Containers view and on the properties panel for a selected container, the link View container live logs is listed.
  5. If the AKS cluster is configured with SSO using AAD, you are prompted to authenticate on first use during that browser session. Select your account and complete authentication with Azure.

After successfully authenticating, the live log pane will appear in the bottom section of the middle pane. If the fetch status indicator shows a green check mark, which is on the far right of the pane, it means it can retrieve data.

Live logs pane retrieved data

In the search bar, you can filter by key word to highlight that text in the log.

Live logs pane filter example

To suspend auto-scroll and control the behavior of the pane and allow you to manually scroll through the new log data read, click on the Scroll option. To re-enable auto-scroll, simply click the Scroll option again. You can also pause retrieval of log data by clicking on the Pause option and when you are ready to resume, simply click Play.

Live logs pane pause live view

Next steps

To continue learning how to use Azure Monitor and monitor other aspects of your AKS cluster, see View Azure Kubernetes Service health.