VQL Functions

VQL Functions operate on value to return other values. Functions are useful to transform values obtained from a VQL row.

VQL plugins are not the same as VQL functions. A plugin is the subject of the VQL query - i.e. plugins always follow the FROM keyword, while functions (which return a single value instead of a sequence of rows) are only present in column specification (e.g. after SELECT) or in condition clauses (i.e. after the WHERE keyword).


This function accepts arbitrary arguments and creates an array by flattening the arguments. For example array(a=1, b=2) will return [1, 2].

You can use this to flatten a subquery as well:

SELECT array(a1={ SELECT User FROM Artifact.Windows.System.Users() }) as Users FROM scope()

Will return a single row with Users being an array of names.


Arg Description Type
string A string to convert to int string (required)

Converts a string to an integer.


Arg Description Type
filename The filename to parse. string (required)

Uses the Windows API to extract and verify the file’s authenticode signature. Since we use the windows API this can only work with the “file” accessor.


Arg Description Type
string A string to decode string (required)

Decodes a base64 encoded string.


Arg Description Type
string A string to encode string (required)

Encodes a binary string to base64.


Arg Description Type
path Extract directory name of path string (required)

Splits the path on separator and return the basename.


Arg Description Type
offset Start parsing from this offset. int64
string The string to parse. string (required)
profile The profile to use. string
iterator An iterator to begin with. string
target The target type to fetch. string

Parse a binary string with profile based parser.

This plugin extract binary data from strings. It works by applying a profile to the binary string and generating an object from that. Profiles use the same syntax as Rekall or Volatility. For example a profile might be:

  "StructName": [10, {
     "field1": [2, ["unsigned int"]],
     "field2": [6, ["unsigned long long"]],

The profile is compiled and overlayed on top of the offset specified, then the object is emitted with its required fields.


velociraptor query 'select binary_parse(profile=profile, string="hello world", target="X", offset=2) as Item from scope()' --env profile='{"X":[10,{"field1":[0,["unsigned short"]]}]}'
  "Item": {
    "field1": "27756"


Launch an artifact collection against a client.

Arg Description Type
client_id The client id to schedule a collection on string (required)
artifacts A list of artifacts to collect list of string (required)
env Parameters to apply to the artifacts vfilter.Any


Arg Description Type
path A VFS path to compress list of string (required)

Compress a file in the server’s FileStore. A compressed file is archived so it takes less space. It is still possible to see the file and read it but not to seek within it.


Counts the items.

Arg Description Type
items vfilter.Any (required)


Construct a dict from arbitrary keyword args. The dictionary can be referenced later by VQL expressions.


Arg Description
path The path to use

Splits the path on separator and return the directory name.


Arg Description Type
string vfilter.Any (required)
type string (required)

Encodes a string as as different type. Currently supported types include ‘hex’, ‘base64’.


Arg Description Type
var Extract the var from the environment. string (required)

Returns the value of the environment variable specified.


Arg Description Type
path A path with environment escapes string (required)

This function expands environment variables into the path. It is normally needed after using registry values of type REG_EXPAND_SZ as they typically contain environment strings. Velociraptor does not automatically expand such values since environment variables typically depend on the specific user account which reads the registry value (different user accounts can have different environment variables).


Arg Description Type
path A VFS path to convert list of string (required)

Resolves file store paths into full filesystem paths. This function is only available on the server. It can be used to find the backing file behind a filestore path so it can be passed on to an external program.

Velociraptor uses the concept of a Virtual File System to manage the information about clients etc. The VFS path is a path into the file store. Of course ultimately (at least in the current implementation) the file store is storing files on disk, but the disk filename is not necessarily the same as the VFS path (for example non representable characters are escaped).

You can use the file_store() function to return the real file path on disk. This probably only makes sense for VQL queries running on the server which can independently open the file.

In future the file store may be abstracted (e.g. files may not be locally stored at all) and this function may stop working.


Arg Description Type
list A list of items too filter list of string (required)
regex A regex to test each item list of string (required)

Returns another array filtered by the regular expression.


Arg Description Type
format Format string to use string (required)
args An array of elements to apply into the format string. Any

Format one or more items according to a format string. The format string is interpreted using the standard golang fmt package.

The function returns a string.


Arg Description Type
item vfilter.Any (required)
member string (required)

Gets the member field from item. This is useful to index an item from an array. For example:


select get(item=[dict(foo=3), 2, 3, 4], member='0.foo') AS Foo from scope()

   "Foo": 3


Returns Velociraptor’s own pid.


Arg Description Type
path path to open. string (required)
accessor An accessor to use. string
keywords Keywords to search for. list of string (required)
context Extract this many bytes as context around hits. int

Search a file for keywords.


Arg Description Type
path Path to open and hash. string (required)
accessor The accessor to use string

This function calculates the MD5, SHA1 and SHA256 hashes of the file.


Arg Description Type
bytes Format bytes with units int64

Formats a byte count in human readable way (e.g. Mb, Gb etc).


Arg Description
condition A condition (either a value or a subquery)
then a value if the condition is true
else a value if the condition is false

This function evaluates a condition. Note that the values used in the then or else clause are evaluated lazily. They may be expressions that involve stored queries (i.e. queries stored using the LET keyword). These queries will not be evaluated if they are not needed.

This allows a query to cheaply branch. For example, if a parameter is given, then perform hash or upload to the server. See the Windows.Search.FileFinder for an example of how if() is used.


Arg Description Type
int The integer to round vfilter.Any

Truncate a float to an integer.


Arg Description Type
netaddr4_le A network order IPv4 address (as little endian). int64
netaddr4_be A network order IPv4 address (as big endian). int64

Converts an ip address encoded in various ways. If the IP address is encoded as 32 bit integer we can use netaddr4_le or netaddr4_be to print it in a human readable way.

This currently does not support IPv6 addresses. Those are usually encoded as an array of 8 bytes which makes it easy to format using the format() function:

  format(format="%x:%x:%x:%x:%x:%x:%x:%x", value)


Arg Description Type
sep The separator string
array The array to join list of string (required)

Joins the array into a string separated by the sep character.


Arg Description Type
client_id Client ID to label. string (required)
labels A list of labels to apply list of string (required)
op An operation on the labels (add, remove) string

Add the labels to the client. If op is ‘remove’ then remove these labels.

This function only works when run on the server.


Arg Description Type
string A string to lower string (required)

Converts a string to lower case.


Arg Description Type
items vfilter.Any (required)

This finds the smallest number in the aggregate. It is only meaningful in a group by query.


The following query lists all the processes and shows the largest bash pid of all bash processes.

SELECT Name, max(items=Pid) as LargestPid from pslist() Where Name =~ 'bash' group by Name


Arg Description Type
items vfilter.Any (required)

This finds the smallest number in the aggregate. It is only meaningful in a group by query.


The following query lists all the processes and shows the smallest bash pid of all bash processes.

SELECT Name, min(items=Pid) as SmallestPid from pslist() Where Name =~ 'bash' group by Name


Returns the current time as seconds since the unix epoch.


Arg Description Type
string A string to convert to int string (required)

Convert a string to a float.


Arg Description Type
data Json encoded string. string (required)

This function parses a json string into a dict.

Note that when VQL dereferences fields in a dict it returns a Null for those fields that do not exist. Thus there is no error in actually accessing missing fields, the column will just return nil.


Arg Description Type
data Json encoded string. string (required)

This function is similar to parse_json() but works for a JSON list instead of an object.


Arg Description Type
file The PE file to open. string (required)
accessor The accessor to use. string

Parse a PE file.


Arg Description Type
string A string to parse. string (required)
regex The regex to apply. list of string (required)

Parse a string with a set of regex and extract fields. Returns a dict with fields populated from all regex capture variables.


Arg Description Type
file XML file to open. string (required)
accessor The accessor to use string

This function parses the xml file into a dict like object which can then be queried.


Arg Description Type
x The X float float64 (required)
y The Y float float64 (required)

Calculates the rate (derivative) between two quantities. For example if a monitoring plugin returns an absolute value sampled in time (e.g. bytes transferred sampled every second) then the rate() plugin can calculate the average bytes/sec.

This function works by remembering the values of x and y from the previous row and applying the current rows values.


Arg Description Type
source The source string to replace. string (required)
replace The substitute string. string (required)
re A regex to apply string (required)

Search and replace a string with a regexp. Note you can use $1 to replace the capture string.


return the scope as a dict.


Arg Description
string The string to split
sep A regex to serve as a separator.

Splits a string into an array based on a regexp separator.


Arg Description Type
data Data to write in the tempfile. list of string (required)
extension An extension to place in the tempfile. string

Create a temporary file and write some data into it. The file will be removed when the query completes.


Arg Description Type
epoch int64
winfiletime int64

Convert seconds from epoch into a string.


Arg Description Type
string A string to lower string (required)

Converts a string to upper case


Arg Description Type
accessor The accessor to use string
file The file to upload string (required)
name The name of the file that should be stored on the server string

This function uploads the specified file to the server. If Velociraptor is run locally the file will be copied to the --dump_dir path or added to the triage evidence container.


Arg Description Type
scheme The scheme to use string
host The host component string
path The path component string
fragment The fragment string
parse A url to parse string

This function parses or constructs URLs. A URL may be constructed from scratch by providing all the components or it may be parsed from an existing URL.

The returned object is a golang URL and can be serialized again using its String method.

This function is important when constructing parameters for certain accessors which receive a URL. For example the zip accessor requires its file names to consist of URLs. The Zip accessor interprets the URL in the following way:

  • The scheme is the delegate accessor to use.
  • The path is the delegate accessor’s filename
  • The fragment is used by the zip accessor to retrieve the zip member itself.

In this case it is critical to properly escape each level - it is not possible in the general case to simply append strings. You need to use the url() function to build the proper url.


Arg Description Type
string A string to decode string (required)

Converts a UTF16 encoded string to a normal utf8 string.