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The Zeek network monitor translates raw packets into structured logs.

Tenzir supports various Zeek use cases, such as continuous ingestion, ad-hoc log file processing, and even generating Zeek logs.

Zeek Blog Post Series

We wrote several Zeek blog posts in the past that cover various aspects of the Zeek integration in much more detail.

Zeek logs come in three forms in practice, all of which Tenzir can parse natively:

  1. zeek-tsv: Tab-Separated Values (TSV) with a custom header.
  2. zeek-json: One NDJSON file for all log types (aka. JSON Streaming) including an extra _path and _write_ts field.
  3. json: One NDJSON file per log type.

Ingest logs into a node

To ingest Zeek logs into a Tenzir node, you have multiple options.

Easy-button import with the official Zeek package

Our official Zeek package makes it easy to ship your Zeek logs to a Tenzir node. Install the package first:

zkg install zeek-tenzir

Then add this to your $PREFIX/share/zeek/site/local.zeek to send all logs that Zeek produces to a Tenzir node:

@load tenzir/import

# Uncomment to keep the original Zeek logs.
# redef Tenzir::delete_after_postprocesing=F;

For ad-hoc command line processing you can also pass tenzir/import to a Zeek invocation:

# Ship logs to it and delete the original files.
zeek -r trace.pcap tenzir/import

# Ship logs to it and keep the original files.
zeek -r trace.pcap tenzir/import Tenzir::delete_after_postprocesing=F

For further details on how to use our Zeek package read our blog post Native Zeek Log Rotation & Shipping.

Run an import pipeline when rotating logs

If you cannot use our Zeek package, it is still possible to let Zeek trigger an import pipeline upon rotation. Zeek's logging framework can execute a shell script whenever it rotates a log file.

This requires setting Log::default_rotation_interval to a non-zero value. The default of 0 secs means that log rotation is disabled. Add this to $PREFIX/share/zeek/site/local.zeek, which is the place for local configuration changes:

redef Log::default_rotation_interval = 1 day;

Then redefine Log::default_rotation_postprocessor_cmd to point to your shell script, e.g., /usr/local/bin/ingest:

redef Log::default_rotation_postprocessor_cmd=/usr/local/bin/ingest;

Here is an example ingest script that imports all files into a Tenzir node:



if [ "$writer" = "ascii" ]; then
elif [ "$writer" = "json" ]; then
format="json --schema zeek.$base_name"
echo "unsupported Zeek writer: $writer"
exit 1

pipeline="from file \"$file_name\" read $format | import"

tenzir "$pipeline"

Our blog post Native Zeek Log Rotation & Shipping provides further details on this method.

Run Zeek on a packet pipeline

You can run Zeek on a pipeline of PCAP packets and continue processing the logs in the same pipeline. A stock Tenzir installation comes with a user-defined zeek operator that looks as follows:

shell "eval \"$(zkg env)\" &&
zeek -r - LogAscii::output_to_stdout=T
| read zeek-json

This allows you run Zeek on a packet trace as follows:

tenzir 'load /path/to/trace.pcap | zeek'

You can also perform more elaborate packet filtering by going through the pcap parser:

tenzir 'from /path/to/trace.pcap
| decapsulate
| where || community == "1:YXWfTYEyYLKVv5Ge4WqijUnKTrM="
| write pcap
| zeek'

Read the in-depth blog post for more details about the inner workings of the shell operator.

Process logs with a pipeline on the command line

Zeek ships with a helper utility zeek-cut that operators on Zeek's tab-separated logs. For example, to extract the host pairs from a conn log:

zeek-cut id.orig_h id.resp_h < conn.log

The list of arguments to zeek-cut are the column names of the log. The select operator performs the equivalent in Tenzir after we parse the logs as zeek-tsv:

tenzir 'read zeek-tsv | select zeek-cut id.orig_h id.resp_h' < conn.log

Since pipelines are multi-schema and the Zeek TSV parser is aware of log boundaries, you can also concatenate logs of various types:

cat *.log | tenzir 'read zeek-tsv | select zeek-cut id.orig_h id.resp_h'

Generate Zeek TSV from arbitrary data

The zeek-tsv is not only a parser, but also a printer. This means you can render any data as Zeek TSV log.

For example, print the Tenzir version as Zeek TSV log:

tenzir 'show version | write zeek-tsv'

This yields the following output:

#separator \x09
#set_separator ,
#empty_field (empty)
#unset_field -
#path tenzir.version
#open 2023-12-16-08-47-12.372511
#fields version major minor patch tweak
#types string count count count count
v4.6.4-155-g0b75e93026 4 6 4 155
#close 2023-12-16-08-47-12.372736