Grafana Alloy is the new name for our distribution of the OTel collector. Grafana Agent has been deprecated and is in Long-Term Support (LTS) through October 31, 2025. Grafana Agent will reach an End-of-Life (EOL) on November 1, 2025. Read more about why we recommend migrating to Grafana Alloy.

Important: This documentation is about an older version. It's relevant only to the release noted, many of the features and functions have been updated or replaced. Please view the current version.

Open source


loki.source.kubernetes tails logs from Kubernetes containers using the Kubernetes API. It has the following benefits over loki.source.file:

  • It works without a privileged container.
  • It works without a root user.
  • It works without needing access to the filesystem of the Kubernetes node.
  • It doesn’t require a DaemonSet to collect logs, so one agent could collect logs for the whole cluster.

NOTE: Because loki.source.kubernetes uses the Kubernetes API to tail logs, it uses more network traffic and CPU consumption of Kubelets than loki.source.file.

Multiple loki.source.kubernetes components can be specified by giving them different labels.


loki.source.kubernetes "LABEL" {
  targets    = TARGET_LIST
  forward_to = RECEIVER_LIST


The component starts a new reader for each of the given targets and fans out log entries to the list of receivers passed in forward_to.

loki.source.kubernetes supports the following arguments:

targetslist(map(string))List of files to read from.yes
forward_tolist(LogsReceiver)List of receivers to send log entries to.yes

Each target in targets must have the following labels:

  • __meta_kubernetes_namespace or __pod_namespace__ to specify the namespace of the pod to tail.
  • __meta_kubernetes_pod_name or __pod_name__ to specify the name of the pod to tail.
  • __meta_kubernetes_pod_container_name or __pod_container_name__ to specify the container within the pod to tail.
  • __meta_kubernetes_pod_uid or __pod_uid__ to specify the UID of the pod to tail.

By default, all of these labels are present when the output discovery.kubernetes is used.

A log tailer is started for each unique target in targets. Log tailers will reconnect with exponential backoff to Kubernetes if the log stream returns before the container has permanently terminated.


The following blocks are supported inside the definition of loki.source.kubernetes:

clientclientConfigures Kubernetes client used to tail
client > http_client_confighttp_client_configHTTP client configuration for Kubernetes

The > symbol indicates deeper levels of nesting. For example, client > http_client_config refers to an http_client_config block defined inside a client block.

client block

The client block configures the Kubernetes client used to tail logs from containers. If the client block isn’t provided, the default in-cluster configuration with the service account of the running Grafana Agent pod is used.

The following arguments are supported:

api_serverstringURL of the Kubernetes API
kubeconfig_filestringPath of the kubeconfig file to use for connecting to

http_client_config block

The http_client_config block configures settings used to connect to the Kubernetes API server.

bearer_tokensecretBearer token to authenticate
bearer_token_filestringFile containing a bearer token to authenticate
proxy_urlstringHTTP proxy to proxy requests
follow_redirectsboolWhether redirects returned by the server should be followed.trueno
enable_http_2boolWhether HTTP2 is supported for requests.trueno

bearer_token, bearer_token_file, basic_auth, authorization, and oauth2 are mutually exclusive and only one can be provided inside of a http_client_config block.

Exported fields

loki.source.kubernetes does not export any fields.

Component health

loki.source.kubernetes is only reported as unhealthy if given an invalid configuration.

Debug information

loki.source.kubernetes exposes some target-level debug information per target:

  • The labels associated with the target.
  • The full set of labels which were found during service discovery.
  • The most recent time a log line was read and forwarded to the next components in the pipeline.
  • The most recent error from tailing, if any.

Debug metrics

loki.source.kubernetes does not expose any component-specific debug metrics.


This example collects logs from all Kubernetes pods and forwards them to a loki.write component so they are can be written to Loki.

discovery.kubernetes "pods" {
  role = "pod"

loki.source.kubernetes "pods" {
  targets    = discovery.kubernetes.pods.targets
  forward_to = [loki.write.local.receiver]

loki.write "local" {
  endpoint {
    url = env("LOKI_URL")