VQL PLugins

VQL plugins are the data sources of VQL queries. While SQL queries refer to static tables of data, VQL queries refer to plugins, which generate data rows to be filtered by the query.

Unlike SQL, VQL plugins also receive keyword arguments. When the plugin is evaluated it simply generates a sequence of rows which are further filtered by the query.

This allows VQL statements to be chained naturally since plugin args may also be other queries.

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).


Collect certificate from the system trust store.


Chain the output of several queries into the same table. This plugin takes any args and chains them.


The following returns the rows from the first query then the rows from the second query.

SELECT * FROM chain(
    a={ SELECT ...},
    b={ SELECT ...})


Arg Description Type
vars Extract these variables from the environment and return them one per row list of string

The row returned will have all environment variables as columns. If the var parameter is provided, only those variables will be provided.


Arg Description Type
argv Argv to run the command with. list of string (required)
sep The separator that will be used to split the stdout into rows. string
length Size of buffer to capture output per row. int6

This plugin launches an external command and captures its STDERR, STDOUT and return code. The command’s stdout is split using the sep parameter as required.

This plugin is mostly useful for running arbitrary code on the client. If you do not want to allow arbitrary code to run, you can disable this by setting the prevent_execve flag in the client’s config file. Be aware than many artifacts require running external commands to collect their output though.

We do not actually transfer the external program to the system automatically. If you need to run programs which are not usually installed (e.g. Sysinternal’s autoruns.exe) you will need to map them from a share (requiring direct access to the AD domain) or download them using the http_client() plugin.


Arg Description Type
Name string

Flatten the columns in query. If any column repeats then we repeat the entire row once for each item.


Arg Description Type
row StoredQuery (required)
query StoredQuery (required)

Executes ‘query’ once for each row in the ‘row’ query.


Arg Description Type
globs One or more glob patterns to apply to the filesystem. list of string (required)
accessor An accessor to use. string

The glob() plugin is one of the most used plugins. It applies a glob expression in order to search for files by file name. The glob expression allows for wildcards, alternatives and character classes. Globs support both forward and backslashes as path separators. They also support quoting to delimit components.

A glob expression consists of a sequence of components separated by path separators. If a separator is included within a component it is possible to quote the component to keep it together. For example, the windows registry contains keys with forward slash in their names. Therefore we may use these to prevent the glob from getting confused:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Microsoft\Windows\"Some Key With http://www.microsoft.com/"\Some Value

Glob expressions are case insensitive and may contain the following wild cards:

  • The * matches one or more characters.
  • The ? matches a single character.
  • Alternatives are denoted by braces and comma delimited: {a,b}
  • Recursive search is denoted by a **. By default this searches 3 directories deep. If you need to increase it you can add a depth number (e.g. **10)

By default globs do not expand environment variables. If you need to expand environment variables use the expand() function explicitly:



The following searches the raw NTFS disk for event logs.

SELECT FullPath FROM glob(


Arg Description Type
url The URL to fetch string (required)
params Parameters to encode as POST or GET query strings vfilter.Any
headers A dict of headers to send. vfilter.Any
method HTTP method to use (GET, POST) string
chunk_size Read input with this chunk size and send each chunk as a row int
disable_ssl_security Disable ssl certificate verifications. bool

This plugin makes a HTTP connection using the specified method. The headers and parameters may be specified. The plugin reads the specified number of bytes per returned row.

If disable_ssl_security is specified we do not enforce SSL integrity. This is required to connect to self signed ssl web sites. For example many API handlers are exposed over such connections.

When connecting to the Velociraptor frontend itself, even in self signed mode, we will ensure certs are properly verified. You can therefore safely export files from the Frontend’s public directory over self signed SSL. When connecting to a self signed Velociraptor frontend, we ensure the self signed certificate was issued by the Velociraptor internal CA - i.e. we pin the Frontend’s certificate in the binary.

The http_client() plugin allows use to interact with any web services. If the web service returns a json blob, we can parse it with the parse_json() function (or parse_xml() for SOAP endpoints). Using the parameters with a POST method we may actually invoke actions from within VQL (e.g. send an SMS via an SMS gateway when a VQL event is received).So this is a very powerful plugin.


The following VQL returns the client’s external IP as seen by the externalip service.

SELECT Content as IP from http_client(url='http://www.myexternalip.com/raw')


Arg Description Type
condition vfilter.Any (required)
then vfilter.StoredQuery (required)
else vfilter.StoredQuery

Conditional execution of query


This plugin returns a single row with information about the current system. The information includes the Hostname, Uptime, OS, Platform etc.

This plugin is very useful in preconditions as it restricts a query to certain OS or versions.

SELECT OS from info() where OS = "windows"


Collect network information.


Arg Description Type
file A list of filenames to open as OLE files. list of string (required)
accessor The accessor to use. string
max_size Maximum size of file we load into memory. int64

This plugin parses the provided files as OLE documents in order to recover VB macro code. A single document can have multiple code objects, and each such code object is emitted as a row.


Arg Description Type
filename CSV files to open list of string (required)
accessor The accessor to use string

Parses records from a CSV file. We expect the first row of the CSV file to contain column names. This parser specifically supports Velociraptor’s own CSV dialect and so it is perfect for post processing already existing CSV files.

The types of each value in each column is deduced based on Velociraptor’s standard encoding scheme. Therefore types are properly preserved when read from the CSV file.

For example, downloading the results of a hunt in the GUI will produce a CSV file containing artifact rows collected from all clients. We can then use the parse_csv() plugin to further filter the CSV file, or to stack using group by.


The following stacks the result from a Windows.Applications.Chrome.Extensions artifact:

SELECT count(items=User) As TotalUsers, Name
FROM parse_csv(filename="All Windows.Applications.Chrome.Extensions.csv")
Order By TotalUsers
Group By Name


Arg Description Type
filename A list of event log files to parse. list of string (required)
accessor The accessor to use. string

This plugin parses windows events from the Windows Event log files (EVTX).

A windows event typically contains two columns. The EventData contains event specific structured data while the System column contains common data for all events - including the Event ID.

You should probably almost always filter by one or more event ids (using the System.EventID.Value field).


SELECT System.TimeCreated.SystemTime as Timestamp,
       System.EventID.Value as EventID,
       EventData.ImagePath as ImagePath,
       EventData.ServiceName as ServiceName,
       EventData.ServiceType as Type,
       System.Security.UserID as UserSID,
       EventData as _EventData,
       System as _System
FROM watch_evtx(filename=systemLogFile) WHERE EventID = 7045


Arg Description Type
accessor The accessor to use. string
file A list of files to parse. list of string (required)
regex A list of regex to apply to the file data. list of string (required)

Parses a file with a set of regexp and yields matches as records. The file is read into a large buffer. Then each regular expression is applied to the buffer, and all matches are emitted as rows.

The regular expressions are specified in the Go syntax. They are expected to contain capture variables to name the matches extracted.

For example, consider a HTML file with simple links. The regular expression might be:


To produce rows with a column Link.

The aim of this plugin is to split the file into records which can be further parsed. For example, if the file consists of multiple records, this plugin can be used to extract each record, while parse_string_with_regex() can be used to further split each record into elements. This works better than trying to write a more complex regex which tries to capture a lot of details in one pass.


Here is an example of parsing the /var/lib/dpkg/status files. These files consist of records separated by empty lines:

Package: ubuntu-advantage-tools
Status: install ok installed
Priority: important
Section: misc
Installed-Size: 74
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com>
Architecture: all
Version: 17
 /etc/cron.daily/ubuntu-advantage-tools 36de53e7c2d968f951b11c64be101b91
 /etc/update-motd.d/80-esm 6ffbbf00021b4ea4255cff378c99c898
 /etc/update-motd.d/80-livepatch 1a3172ffaa815d12b58648f117ffb67e
Description: management tools for Ubuntu Advantage
 Ubuntu Advantage is the professional package of tooling, technology
 and expertise from Canonical, helping organisations around the world
 manage their Ubuntu deployments.
 Subscribers to Ubuntu Advantage will find helpful tools for accessing
 services in this package.
Homepage: https://buy.ubuntu.com

The following query extracts the fields in two passes. The first pass uses parse_records_with_regex() to extract records in blocks, while using parse_string_with_regex() to further break the block into fields.

SELECT parse_string_with_regex(
     'Architecture:\\s(?P<Architecture>.+)']) as Record
   FROM parse_records_with_regex(


List all partitions


Arg Description Type
pid The PID to dump out. int64 (required)

Dumps a process into a crashdump. The crashdump file can be opened with the windows debugger as normal. The plugin returns the filename of the crash dump which is a temporary file - the file will be removed when the query completes, so if you want to hold on to it, you should use the upload() plugin to upload it to the server or otherwise copy it.


Arg Description Type
context How many bytes to include around each hit int
start The start offset to scan int64
end End scanning at this offset (100mb) uint64
number Stop after this many hits (1). int64
blocksize Blocksize for scanning (1mb). int64
rules Yara rules in the yara DSL. string (required)
files The list of files to scan. list of string (required)
accessor Accessor (e.g. NTFS) string
key A unique key used to cache the yara rule so it does not need to be recompiled string

This plugin uses yara’s own engine to scan process memory for the signatures.

Process memory access depends on having the SeDebugPrivilege which depends on how Velociraptor was started. Even when running as System, some processes are not accessible.


Arg Description
pid A pid to list. If this is provided we are able to operate much faster by only opening a single process.

Lists running processes.

When specifying the pid this operation is much faster so if you are interested in specific processes, the pid should be specified. Otherwise, the plugin returns all processes one on each row.


Arg Description Type
filenames One or more files to open. list of string (required)
accessor An accessor to use. string
chunk length of each chunk to read from the file. int
max_length Max length of the file to read. int

This plugin reads a file in chunks and returns each chunks as a separate row.

It is useful when we want to report file contents for small files like configuration files etc.

The returned row contains the following columns: data, offset, filename


Arg Description Type
globs Glob expressions to apply. list of string (required)
accessor The accessor to use (default raw_reg). string

This is a convenience plugin which applies the globs to the registry accessor to find keys. For each key the plugin then lists all the values within it, and returns a row which has the value names as columns, while the cells contain the value’s stat info (and data content available in the Data field).

This makes it easier to access a bunch of related values at once.


The scope plugin returns the current scope as a single row.

The main use for this plugin is as a NOOP plugin in those cases we dont want to actually run anything.


SELECT 1+1 As Two FROM scop()


Arg Description Type
n Pick every n row from query. int64 (required)
query Source query. vfilter.StoredQuery (required)

Executes ‘query’ and samples every n’th row. This is most useful on the server in order to downsample event artifact results.


Parses files by splitting lines into records.

Arg Description Type
count Only split into this many columns if possible. int
filenames Files to parse. list of string (required)
accessor The accessor to use string
regex The split regular expression (e.g. a comma) string (required)
columns If the first row is not the headers, this arg must provide a list of column names for each value. list of string
first_row_is_headers A bool indicating if we should get column names from the first row. bool


Arg Description
filenames One or more files to parse
accessor The accessor to use for opening the file.
regex The split regular expression (e.g. a comma)
columns If the first row is not the headers, this arg must provide a list of column names for each value.
first_row_is_headers A bool indicating if we should get column names from the first row.
count Only split into this many columns if possible.

This plugin is a more generalized parser for delimited files. It is not as smart as the parse_csv() plugin but can use multiple delimiters.


Arg Description Type
mode HUNT or CLIENT mode can be empty string
day_name Only extract this day’s Monitoring logs (deprecated) string
start_time Start return events from this date (for event sources) int64
flow_id A flow ID (client or server artifacts) string
artifact The name of the artifact collection to fetch string
source An optional named source within the artifact string
client_id The client id to extract string
end_time Stop end events reach this time (event sources). int64
hunt_id Retrieve sources from this hunt (combines all results from all clients) string

Retrieve rows from an artifact’s source.

This plugin is mostly useful in reports. It attempts to do the right thing automatically by inferring most parameters from its execution environment.

For example when called within a CLIENT report context, it will automatically fill its flow id, client id etc. Typically this means that you only need to specify the source name (for multi-source artifacts).


Arg Description
filename One or more files to open.
accessor An accessor to use.

Get file information. Unlike glob() this does not support wildcards.


Arg Description Type
accessor The accessor to use string
files A list of files to upload list of string (required)

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

This functionality is also available using the upload() function which might be somewhat easier to use.


Display information about workstation local users. This is obtained through the NetUserEnum() API.


Arg Description Type
query The WMI query to issue. string (required)
namespace The WMI namespace to use (ROOT/CIMV2) string

This plugin issues a WMI query and returns its rows directly. The exact format of the returned row depends on the WMI query issued.

This plugin creates a bridge between WMI and VQL and it is a very commonly used plugin for inspecting the state of windows systems.


Arg Description Type
number Stop after this many hits (1). int64
blocksize Blocksize for scanning (1mb). int64
rules Yara rules in the yara DSL. string (required)
files The list of files to scan. list of string (required)
accessor Accessor (e.g. NTFS) string
context How many bytes to include around each hit int
start The start offset to scan int64
end End scanning at this offset (100mb) uint64
key If set use this key to cache the yara rules. string

The yara() plugin applies a signature consisting of multiple rules across files. You can read more about yara rules. The accessor is used to open the various files which allows this plugin to work across raw ntfs, zip members etc.

Scanning proceeds by reading a block from the file, then applying the yara rule on the block. This will fail if the signature is split across block boundary. You can choose the block size to be appropriate.

Note that because we are just scanning the file data, yara plugins like the pe plugin will not work. You can emulate all the yara plugins with VQL anyway (e.g. to test for pe headers)

Typically the yara rule does not change for the life of the query, so we cache it to avoid having to recompile it each time. The key variable can be used to uniquely identify the cache key for the rule. If the key variable is not specified, we use the rule text itself to generate the cache key. It is recommended that the key parameter be specified because it makes it more efficient.

Shorthand rules

This plugin accepts yara rules in the rules parameter. But typically we only search for keywords so writing a full yara syntax rule is tedious. Therefore we provide a shorthand way to specify the keywords. For example:

wide nocase:foo,bar,baz

When the rule is provided in the above form, the plugin will automatically generate a yara rule which matches any of the specified keywords. The specification before the : means the same thing as the yara DSL and the following combinations are supported wide, wide ascii, wide nocase, wide nocase ascii.

By default only the first 100mb of the file are scanned and scanning stops after one hit is found.