Quick Start

When first starting out with traptor, it is recommended that you test on your local machine to get a feel for how it works. To get a local traptor running, you will need to at minimum have:

  • Python 2.7.x
  • Redis
  • Kafka (optional for testing)

You have the option of setting Redis and/or Kafka on your local machine or server, or using a pre-built vagrant machine for testing. I recommend using the Vagrant machine if you are testing on your local machine. If you are on a remote server somewhere (such as EC2), you will need to set up Redis and Kafka on that instance or somewhere else.

Traptor Test Environment

To set up a pre-canned Traptor test environment, make sure you have the latest Virtualbox + Vagrant >= 1.7.4 installed. Vagrant will automatically mount the base traptor directory to the /vagrant directory, so any code changes you make will be visible inside the VM.

Steps to launch the Vagrant VM:

  1. git clone git@github.com:istresearch/traptor to pull down the latest code.
  2. cd traptor
  3. vagrant up in base traptor directory.
  4. vagrant ssh to ssh into the VM.
  5. sudo su to change to root user.
  6. supervisorctl status to check that everything is running.
  7. cd /vagrant to get to the traptor directory.

Now you will have all your dependencies installed and will be running Redis and Kafka on the default ports inside the VM.

Configuring Traptor

  1. pip install -r requirements.txt to install Traptor dependencies.
  2. cd traptor to get inside the module folder.
  3. cp settings.py localsettings.py to create your localsettings.py file.
  4. Remove the “Local Overrides” section from the localsettings.py file.
  5. Fill in the APIKEYS and TRAPTOR_TYPE fields.
  6. Optionally update the kafka and redis connection information if you are not running locally.
  7. Optionally add a Redis pubsub channel if you are using pubsub to automatically refresh the rules Traptor uses.
  8. Add your ruleset to Redis. This can be done any number of ways depending on where you are keeping your rules. In the in the scripts/rule-extract.py file there are examples of how to extract rules from a GNIP ruleset file and a MySQL database. You may wish to add a custom function to parse out rules from other sources.


Be sure to insert each rule as a hashmap data type with the key format of traptor-<traptor_type>:<traptor_id>:<rule_id>.

Congratulations. You are all set to run traptor!

Running Traptor

To start, run it without kafka by running python traptor.py --test from the command line. The --test flag tells traptor to skip sending data to kafka and just print to stdout. You can pipe the output into jq (https://stedolan.github.io/jq/) like this python traptor.py --test | jq . to get a nicely colored JSON output.

traptor also accepts a --info or --debug flag if you wish to print out logging information.

Once that is working successfully, try writing your data to kafka by running python traptor.py. You can tail the Kafka output by running the following command in your Kafka installation directory:

bin/kafka-console-consumer.sh --zookeeper localhost:2181 --from-beginning --topic traptor


Check out kafkacat for a handy kafka debugging tool.