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Last Updated: 1 February 2019
This file outlines what it takes to build Autopsy from source.
Note that it currently only works out-of-the-box on Windows. We
are working on getting the process working under non-Windows systems.
It generally works, but needs some custom mangling to find the
correct C libraries.
1) Get Java Setup
1a) Download and install JDK version 1.8. For the current version of JavaFX
that we use, you'll need 1.8.0_66 or greater. You can now use 32-bit or 64-bit,
but special work is needed to get The Sleuth Kit to compile as 64-bit.
Autopsy has been used and tested with Oracle JavaSE and the included JavaFX support
OpenJDK and OpenJFX might work, but they are not fully tested with Autopsy.
1b) Ensure that JDK_HOME is set to the root JDK directory.
1c) (optional) Download and install Netbeans IDE (
Note: Netbeans IDE is not required to build and run Autopsy,
but it is a recommended IDE to use for development of Autopsy modules.
1d) (optional) If you are going to package Autopsy, then you'll also
need to set JRE_HOME_32 to the root 32-bit JRE directory and/or JRE_HOME_64
to the root 64-bit JRE directory.
1e) (optional) For some Autopsy features to be functional, you need to add the
java executable to the system PATH.
2) Get Sleuth Kit Setup
2a) Download and build a Release version of Sleuth Kit (TSK) 4.0. See
win32\BUILDING.txt in the TSK package for more information. You need to
build the tsk_jni project. Select the Release_PostgreSQL Win32 or x64 target,
depending upon your target build. You can use a released version or download
the latest from github:
- git://
2b) Build the TSK JAR file by typing 'ant dist-PostgreSQL' in
bindings/java in the
TSK source code folder from a command line. Note it is case
sensitive. You can also add the code to a NetBeans project and build
it from there, selecting the dist-PostgreSQL target.
2c) Set TSK_HOME environment variable to the root directory of TSK
2d) On Non-Windows systems, you will need to do a 'make install'
from the TSK root directory to install the libraries and such in
the needed places (i.e. '/usr/local').
3) For Windows builds, GStreamer must be setup. GStreamer is used to view video
files. You can either download it and install it, or you can copy it from the
'thirdparty/gstreamer' folder. Both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) versions
are included, so feel free to exclude what you want. You will need to unzip the
'lib/gstreamer-1.0/' file into it's residing
folder. You will also need the 'bin' and 'lib/gstreamer-1.0' paths included in
your Windows PATH environment variable.
NOTE: This has not been fully tested in non-Windows environments
yet, so we don't have instructions for that yet.
4) Get Autopsy source.
4a) If you are not planning to contribute to Autopsy development, clone a read-only repository:
git clone
4b) If you plan to contribute and submit patches, login to Github and create your own Autopsy fork.
Then, clone your fork and work on that source-tree:
git clone
You will be able to submit patches by committing and pushing changes to your fork
and by submitting pull requests to the main Autopsy repository.
5) Compile Autopsy
5a) Using Netbeans IDE:
- Start NetBeans IDE and open the Autopsy project.
- Choose to build the Autopsy project / module. It is the highest level project
that will cause the other modules to be compiled.
5b) Without Netbeans IDE (requires JDK and ant >= 1.7.1):
- From root directory of Autopsy source execute:
(to build Autopsy)
ant run
(to run Autopsy)
Here are some notes to shed some light on what is going on during
the build process.
- The Sleuth Kit Java datamodel JAR file has native JNI libraries
that are copied into it. These JNI libraries have dependencies on
libewf, zlib, libpq, libintl-8, libeay32, and ssleay32 DLL files. On non-Windows
platforms, the JNI library also has a dependency on libtsk (on Windows,
it is compiled into libtsk_jni).
- NetBeans uses ant to build Autopsy. The build target copies the
TSK datamodel JAR file into the project.
- On a Windows system, the compile-time ant target copies the
dependency libraries into the Autopsy code structure so that they can
be found when Autopsy is run and packaged. At run-time, the native
library inside of the JAR file will be extracted and used.
- On a Unix system, the ant target copies only the JNI library and
then relies on the other libraries (libtsk, libewf, zilb, etc.) to
be installed on the system in their standard locations (i.e.
- Every time that you do a source code update of TSK, make sure you
rebuild both the libtsk_dll, the JAR file, and then rebuild Autopsy
so that it copies the latest data model JAR file.
Brian Carrier
carrier <at> sleuthkit <dot> org
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