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Barnyard2 - version 2-1.14

This README contains some quick information about how to set up and
configure barnyard2 to ensure it works as it should.

Distribution Site:


Copyright (C)2008-2013 Ian Firns     <>
Copyright (C)2008-2010 SecurixLive   <>

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License Version 2 as
published by the Free Software Foundation.  You may not use, modify or
distribute this program under any other version of the GNU General
Public License.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

Some of this code has been taken from Snort, which was developed by
Martin Roesch and The Snort Team (

Some of this code has been taken from barnyard, which was developed by
Martin Roesch and Andrew R. Baker.

Some of this code has been taken from tcpdump, which was developed
by the Network Research Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab,
and is copyrighted by the University of California Regents.


Barnyard2 is an open source interpreter for Snort unified2 binary output files.
Its primary use is allowing Snort to write to disk in an efficient manner and
leaving the task of parsing binary data into various formats to a separate
process that will not cause Snort to miss network traffic.

Barnyard2 has 3 modes of operation:
  1. batch (or one-shot),
  2. continual, and
  3. continual w/ bookmark.

In batch (or one-shot) mode, barnyard2 will process the explicitly specified
file(s) and exit.

In continual mode, barnyard2 will start with a location to look and a specified
file pattern and continue to process new data (and new spool files) as they

Continual mode w/ bookmarking will also use a checkpoint file (or waldo file in
the snort world) to track where it is. In the event the barnyard2 process ends
while a waldo file is in use, barnyard2 will resume processing at the last
entry as listed in the waldo file.

The "-f", "-w", and "-o" options are used to determine which mode barnyard2
will run in.  It is legal for both the "-f" and "-w" options to be used on the
command line at the same time, however any data that exists in the waldo file
will override the command line data from the "-f" and "-d" options. See the
command directives section below for more detail.

Barnyard2 processing is controlled by two main types of directives: input
processors and output plugins. The input processors read information in from a
specific format ( currently the spo_unified2 output module of Snort ) and
output them in one of several ways.


Command line:

    barnyard2 [-options]

    Gernal Options:

        -c <file>  Use configuration file <file>
        -C <file>  Read the classification map from <file>
        -D         Run barnyard2 in background (daemon) mode
        -e         Display the second layer header info
        -E         Log alert messages to NT Eventlog. (Win32 only)
        -F         Turn off fflush() calls after binary log writes
        -g <gname> Run barnyard2 gid as <gname> group (or gid) after initialization
        -G <file>  Read the gen-msg map from <file>
        -h <name>  Define the hostname <name>. For logging purposes only
        -i <if>    Define the interface <if>. For logging purposes only
        -I         Add Interface name to alert output
        -l <ld>    Log to directory <ld>
        -m <umask> Set umask = <umask>
        -O         Obfuscate the logged IP addresses
        -q         Quiet. Don't show banner and status report
        -r <id>    Include 'id' in barnyard2_intf<id>.pid file name
        -R <file>  Read the reference map from <file>
        -S <file>  Read the sid-msg map from <file>
        -t <dir>   Chroots process to <dir> after initialization
        -T         Test and report on the current barnyard2 configuration
        -u <uname> Run barnyard2 uid as <uname> user (or uid) after initialization
        -U         Use UTC for timestamps
        -v         Be verbose
        -V         Show version number
        -?         Show this information

    Continual Processing Options:
        -a <dir>   Archive processed files to <dir>
        -f <base>  Use <base> as the base filename pattern
        -d <dir>   Spool files from <dir>
        -n         Only process new events
        -w <file>  Enable bookmarking using <file>

    Batch Processing Mode Options:
        -o         Enable batch processing mode

    Longname options and their corresponding single char version
        --reference <file>                Same as -R
        --classification <file>           Same as -C
        --gen-msg <file>                  Same as -G
        --sid-msg <file>                  Same as -S
        --alert-on-each-packet-in-stream  Call output plugins on each packet in an alert stream
        --process-new-records-only        Same as -n
        --pid-path <dir>                  Specify the directory for the barnyard2 PID file
        --help                            Same as -?
        --version                         Same as -V
        --create-pidfile                  Create PID file, even when not in Daemon mode
        --nolock-pidfile                  Do not try to lock barnyard2 PID file
        --max-mpls-labelchain-len         Specify the max MPLS label chain
        --mpls-payload-type               Specify the protocol (ipv4, ipv6, ethernet) that is encapsulated by MPLS


  1. Using barnyard2 in continuous mode with a waldo file

    # ./barnyard2 -c /etc/barnyard2.conf -d /var/snort -f snort.u2 -w /var/snort/snort.waldo

  2. Using barnyard2 in batch mode

    # ./barnyard2 -c /etc/barnyard2.conf -o file1.u2 file2.u2 file3.u2


You can contact the barnyard2 team and user base for question/help debugging issue concerning barnyard2 by using our mailing lists.


Barnyard2 is a dedicated spooler for Snort's unified2 binary output format.




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