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Last pushed: a year ago
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Network Visibility (an anagram)

          'b      *
           '$    #.
            $:   #:
            *#  @):
            :@,@):   ,.**:'
  ,         :@@*: ..**'
   '#o.    .:(@'.@*"'
      'bq,..:,@@*'   ,*
      ,p$q8,:@)'  .p*'
     '    '@@Pp@@*'
  __   _____ _ __ | |_ 
  \ \ / / _ \ '_ \| __|
   \ V /  __/ | | | |_ 
    \_/ \___|_| |_|\__|


vent is a lightweight, self-contained virtual appliance designed to serve as a general platform for analyzing network traffic. built with some basic functionality, vent serves as a user-friendly slate to build custom plugins on to perform user-defined processing on incoming network data. vent supports any filetype, but only processes one based on the types of plugins installed for that instance of vent.

simply create your plugins, point vent to them & install them, and drop a file in vent to begin processing!

download pre-compiled ISO


build the ISO

build dependencies

  • docker
  • make
  • zip

getting the bits

git clone --recursive
cd vent



easy ways to build a VM out of the ISO

with docker-machine cli:

# in a terminal from the path where the ISO file is (usually inside of the vent directory)
python -m SimpleHTTPServer

# from another terminal while the previous command is still running, execute the
# following, with optional additional arguments prior to the last vent in the command
docker-machine create -d virtualbox --virtualbox-boot2docker-url http://localhost:8000/vent.iso vent
# other options to customize the size of the vm are available as well:
# --virtualbox-cpu-count "1"
# --virtualbox-disk-size "20000"
# --virtualbox-memory "1024"

# finally once the previous command is finished, execute this for the vent user interface
docker-machine ssh vent

of course traditional ways of deploying an ISO work as well, including VMWare, OpenStack, and booting from it to install on bare metal. a couple of things to note: it will automatically install and provision the disk and then restart when done. vent runs in RAM, so changes need to be made under /var/lib/docker or /var/lib/boot2docker as those are persistent (see boot2docker documentation for more information). it's possible that vent-management won't automatically get added and run, if you run docker ps and it's not running, execute sudo /vent/custom.

getting started

from within the vent interface (once SSH'd in) first build the core. it might take a little while to download and compile everything. note - you must build core before building any plugins, collectors, or visualization. core provides essential services needed to build/start other services.

once it's built you're ready to start the core from the mode menu option.

if you're using Virtualbox, before starting the core you'll want to first uncomment the public_nic option in the core.template by removing the # so that it uses eth1 instead of the default eth0. you can change this through the menu by going to Mode -> Configure.

after starting, you should be able to go into system info and see that everything is running as expected. once that looks good, you're ready to install plugins (again in the vent interface, under the plugins menu). here's an example of one that can handle PCAP or CSV files:

once you're finished installing plugins, you're ready to copy up files to be processed, in the case of the above example plugin, you'd want to copy up PCAP or CSV files. see below for how to do that, but once the files are copied up, they are automatically processed, sent as messages on a queue and indexed for quick and easy analysis.

copy up new files

install the vent script locally first:

sudo make install

if using docker-machine cli to provision:

# from the directory that contains your files
# optionally add an argument of the name for vent in
#     docker-machine if you called it something other than vent
cd /path/where/files/are/

if deploying as a self-configured machine (VMWare, OpenStack, bare metal, etc.):

# from the directory that contains your files
# optionally add an argument of the name/ip for vent on your network
cd vent
cp vent-generic /usr/local/bin/vent
cd /path/where/files/are/

otherwise edit the ssh and scp lines in vent specific to docker-machine and change to suit your needs

copy up new templates and plugins

if using docker-machine cli to provision:

docker-machine scp modes.template vent:/var/lib/docker/data/templates/modes.template

if using boot2docker cli to provision (DEPRECATED):

scp -r -i ~/.ssh/id_boot2docker -P 2022 modes.template docker@localhost:/var/lib/docker/data/templates/modes.template

if deploying as a self-configured machine (VMWare, OpenStack, bare metal, etc.):

scp modes.template docker@vent:/var/lib/docker/data/templates/modes.template

package installation for development (experimental)

  • clone the repository

$ git clone --recursive

  • running

$ python install


contributing to vent

Want to contribute? Awesome! Issue a pull request or see more details here.


Q: What are the credentials to login if I don't use certificates/keys?

A: docker/tcuser

Q: I went into the shell and did a docker ps but no containers are running, how do I get it working again?

A: Execute docker rm vent-management; sudo /vent/custom, if that doesn't work, restart the machine.

Q: I'm not running DHCP, how do I statically set the IP Address?

A: For a quick and dirty solution (doesn't survive reboot):

ifconfig eth0 netmask broadcast up
ip route add default via

Additionally if you need to set DNS, add the following to /etc/resolv.conf:


For a more permanent solution look at the docs for boot2docker

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