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Arkime is an open source, large scale, full packet capturing, indexing, and database system.


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Arkime is a large scale, open-source network analysis and packet capture system.


Arkime augments your current security infrastructure to store and index network traffic in standard PCAP format, providing fast, indexed access. An intuitive and simple web interface is provided for PCAP browsing, searching, and exporting. Arkime exposes APIs which allow for PCAP data and JSON formatted session data to be downloaded and consumed directly. Arkime stores and exports all packets in standard PCAP format, allowing you to also use your favorite PCAP ingesting tools, such as wireshark, during your analysis workflow.

Arkime is built to be deployed across many systems and can scale to handle tens of gigabits/sec of traffic. PCAP retention is based on available sensor disk space. Metadata retention is based on the Elasticsearch cluster scale. Both can be increased at anytime and are under your complete control.

Learn more on our website

Table of Contents


Arkime, previously named Moloch, was created to replace commercial full packet systems at AOL in 2012. By having complete control of hardware and costs, we found we could deploy full packet capture across all our networks for the same cost as just one network using a commercial tool.

The Arkime system is comprised of 3 main components:

  • capture - A threaded C application that monitors network traffic, writes PCAP formatted files to disk, parses the captured packets, and sends metadata (SPI data) to elasticsearch.
  • viewer - A node.js application that runs per capture machine. It handles the web interface and transfer of PCAP files.
  • OpenSearch/Elasticsearch - The search database technology powering Arkime.

We also provide several optional applications:

  • cont3xt - An application that provides a structured approach to gathering contextual intelligence in support of technical investigations.
  • esProxy - A proxy that provides extra security between capture and OpenSearch/Elasticsearch.
  • Parliament - An application that monitors and is a front door to multiple Arkime clusters.
  • wiseService - An application that integrates threat intelligence into the session metadata.

Once installed, a user can look at the data Arkime has captured using a simple web interface. Arkime provides multiple views of the data. The primary view is the Sessions page that contains a list of sessions. Each session can be opened to view the metadata and PCAP data.

Another way to view the data is the SPI View page, which allows the user to see all the unique values for each field that Arkime understands.


Most users should use the prebuilt binaries available at our Downloads page and follow the simple install instructions on that page.

For advanced users, you can build Arkime yourself:

  • Make sure node is in your path, currently main supports Node version 18.x (18.15 or higher) or 20.x
  • git clone - latest version on github
  • ./ --install - downloads all the prerequisites, build, and install
  • make config - performs an initial Arkime configuration
  • Refer to the file for information about how to get involved


Most of the system configuration will be performed in the /opt/arkime/etc/config.ini file. The variables are documented in our Settings Wiki page.


Once Arkime is running, point your browser to http://localhost:8005 to access the web interface. Click on the Owl to reach the Arkime help page.


Access to Arkime is protected by using HTTPS with digest passwords or by using an authentication providing web server proxy. All PCAPs are stored on the sensors and are only accessed using the Arkime interface or API. Arkime is not meant to replace an IDS but instead work alongside them to store and index all the network traffic in standard PCAP format, providing fast access.

  • Arkime can be configured to use OpenSearch/Elasticsearch user auth or API keys.

  • Arkime machines should be locked down, however they need to talk to each other (port 8005), to the elasticsearch machines (ports 9200-920x), and the web interface needs to be open (port 8005).

  • Arkime viewer should be configured to use SSL.

    • It's easiest to use a single certificate with multiple DNs or a wildcard.
    • Make sure you protect the cert on the filesystem with proper file permissions.
  • It is possible to set up a Arkime viewer on a machine that doesn't capture any data that gateways all requests.

    • Using a reverse proxy (Caddy, Apache, ...) can handle the authentication and pass the username on to Arkime, this is how we deploy it.
  • A shared password stored in the Arkime configuration file is used to encrypt password hashes AND for inter-Arkime communication.

    • Make sure you protect the config file on the filesystem with proper file permissions.
    • Encrypted password hashes are used so a new password hash can not be inserted into elasticsearch directly in case it hasn't been secured.


You can learn more about the Arkime API on our API Wiki page.


Please refer to the file for information about how to get involved. We welcome issues, feature requests, pull requests, and documentation updates in GitHub. For questions about using and troubleshooting Arkime please use the Slack channels.


The best way to reach us is on Slack. Please request an invitation to join the Arkime Slack workspace here.


This project is licensed under the terms of the Apache 2.0 open source license. Please refer to LICENSE for the full terms.