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Operator Modifiers

Operator modifiers are keywords that may occur before an operator.

Scheduled Executions


The special keyword every enables scheduled execution of an operator at a fixed interval.

Use the operator modifier like this:

every <interval> <operator> [<args...>]


For example, version prints the version number exactly once, but every 1s version prints the version number once every second.


The special keyword cron enables scheduled execution of an operator according to a cron expression.

Use the operator modifier like this:

cron "<cron expression>" <operator> [<args...>]

Note that the <cron expression> must be enclosed in quotes.

A <cron expression> has the form

<seconds> <minutes> <hours> <days of month> <months> <days of week>

where the 6 fields are separated by a space.

The field values can be as follows:

FieldValue range*Special charactersAlternative Literals
seconds0-59* , -
minutes0-59* , -
hours0-23* , -
days of1-31* , - ? L W
months1-12* , -JAN ... DEC
days of week0-6* , - ? L #SUN ... SAT

The special characters have the following meaning:

* - As described on Wikipedia Cron

The special characters have the following meaning:

Special characterMeaningDescription
*all valuesselects all values within a field
?no specific valuespecify one field and leave the other unspecified
-rangespecify ranges
,commaspecify additional values
/slashspecify increments
Llastlast day of the month or last day of the week
Wweekdaythe weekday nearest to the given day
#nthspecify the Nth day of the month


cron "* */10 * * * MON-FRI" from

would pull an endpoint on every 10th minute, monday through friday.

Unordered Execution

The unordered modifier tells an operator that it may return results out of order. For example, unordered read json may be faster than read json, as it allows the JSON parser to read events out of order.

By default, operators infer ordering requirements from the next operator. For example, in read json | sort, the sort operator already lets read json know that it may return results out of order.

Location Overrides

Pipelines run across multiple processes:

  • The local tenzir process, and
  • the remote tenzir-node processes (commonly referred to as nodes).

Some pipeline operators prefer running either local or remote. For example, the from and to operators run locally, and the serve operator runs remotely by default. Operators that do not have a preferred location use the location of the previous operator.

The special keywords local and remote allow for specifying the location of an operator explicitly. They may occur before any operator. For example, the pipeline read json | remote pass | write json reads JSON from stdin locally, transfers it to a remote node to do nothing with the data, and then transfers it back to write JSON to stdout locally.

Use the operator modifier like this:

local  <operator> [<args...>]
remote <operator> [<args...>]

There are generally two scenarios in which you may want to use location overrides:

  1. Move compute-heavy operators to a separate machine: Operators like summarize may require a lot of resources. When collecting events from an edge node, you may want to instead use remote summarize to run the computation on the compute-heavy machine.

  2. Change local operators to run remotely, to allow for reading a file from a remote host, e,g., remote from file /tmp/suricata.sock read suricata. Because such an operation allows for remotely reading files or executing potentially unwanted operators, you can disable such overrides by setting the following configuration option:

    no-location-overrides: true

    If you want more fine-grained control about which operators, operator modifiers, formats, and connectors are available, you can selectively disable them in the configuration:

    - shell
    - remote