5.1. Rule Management with Suricata-Update


suricata-update is in active development and is not yet considered ‘production quality’. Proceed with care.

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.

To install suricata-update

sudo apt install python-pip python-yaml
sudo pip install --pre --upgrade suricata-update

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


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.