5.1. Rule Management with Suricata-Update

While it is possible to download and install rules manually, it is recommended to use a management tool for this. Suricata-Update is the official way to update and manage rules for Suricata.

Suricata-update is bundled with Suricata and is normally installed with it. For instructions on installing manually, see http://suricata-update.readthedocs.io/en/latest/quickstart.html#install-suricata-update


suricata-update is bundled with Suricata version 4.1 and later. It can be used with older versions as well. It will have to be installed separately in that case.

To download the Emerging Threats Open ruleset, it is enough to simply run:

sudo suricata-update

This will download the ruleset into /var/lib/suricata/rules/

Suricata’s configuration will have to be updated to have a rules config like this:

default-rule-path: /var/lib/suricata/rules
  - suricata.rules

Now (re)start Suricata.

5.1.1. Updating your rules

To update the rules, simply run

sudo suricata-update

It is recommended to update your rules frequently.

5.1.2. Using other rulesets

Suricata-Update is capable of making other rulesets accessible as well.

To see what is available, fetch the master index from the OISF hosts:

sudo suricata-update update-sources

Then have a look at what is available:

sudo suricata-update list-sources

This will give a result similar to


Each of the rulesets has a name that has a ‘vendor’ prefix, followed by a set name. For example, OISF’s traffic id ruleset is called ‘oisf/trafficid’.

To enable ‘oisf/trafficid’, enter:

sudo suricata-update enable-source oisf/trafficid
sudo suricata-update

Now restart Suricata again and the rules from the OISF TrafficID ruleset are loaded.

To see which rulesets are currently active, use “list-enabled-sources”.

5.1.3. Controlling which rules are used

By default suricata-update will merge all rules into a single file “/var/lib/suricata/rules/suricata.rules”.

To enable rules that are disabled by default, use ‘/etc/suricata/enable.conf’

2019401                   # enable this sid
group:emerging-icmp.rules # enable this rulefile
re:trojan                 # enable all rules with this string

Similarly, to disable rules use /etc/suricata/disable.conf:

2019401                   # enable this sid
group:emerging-info.rules # disable this rulefile
re:heartbleed             # disable all rules with this string

After updating these files, rerun suricata-update again:

sudo suricata-update

Finally restart Suricata.