Suricata is a free and open source, mature, fast and robust network threat detection engine. Suricata inspects the network traffic using a powerful and extensive rules and signature language, and has powerful Lua scripting support for detection of complex threats.

Suricata NIDS alerts can be found in Alerts, Hunt, and Kibana. Here’s an example of Suricata NIDS alerts in Alerts:

If enabled, Suricata metadata (protocol logs) can be found in Hunt and Kibana.

Community ID

Security Onion enables Suricata’s native support for Community ID.


Suricata uses AF-PACKET to allow you to spin up multiple workers to handle more traffic.

To change the number of Suricata workers:

  • Stop sensor processes:

    sudo so-suricata-stop
  • Edit /opt/so/saltstack/local/pillar/minions/$SENSORNAME_$ROLE.sls and change the suriprocs variable to the desired number of workers.

  • Start sensor processes:

    sudo so-suricata-start

For best performance, Suricata processes should be pinned to specific CPUs. In most cases, you’ll want to pin sniffing processes to the same CPU that your sniffing NIC is bound to. You can use the affinity settings in suricata.yaml as shown in

Also see


You can configure Suricata’s suricata.yaml using Salt. The defaults for this have been defined in Under suricata:config, the pillar structure follows the same YAML structure of the suricata.yaml file.

For example, suppose you want to change Suricata’s EXTERNAL_NET setting from the default of any to !$HOME_NET. You could add the following to the global pillar file (/opt/so/saltstack/local/pillar/global.sls) or minion pillar file (/opt/so/saltstack/local/pillar/minions/$SENSORNAME_$ROLE.sls) on the manager:


From the manager, then run:

sudo salt $SENSORNAME_$ROLE state.highstate

Some of the settings normally found in suricata.yaml can be found in the sensor pillar instead of the Suricata pillar. These options are: HOMENET, default-packet-size, and the CPU affinity settings for pinning the processes to CPU cores or how many processes to run.

If you would like to configure/manage IDS rules, please see the Managing Rules and Managing Alerts sections.


To enable thresholding for SIDS, reference the example pillar at

To view the acceptable syntax, view the file located at

This pillar can be added to Salt in either the global pillar file (/opt/so/saltstack/local/pillar/global.sls) or minion pillar file (/opt/so/saltstack/local/pillar/minions/$SENSORNAME_$ROLE.sls).

Diagnostic Logging

If you need to troubleshoot Suricata, check /opt/so/log/suricata/suricata.log.


For detailed Suricata statistics, check /opt/so/log/suricata/stats.log.

More Information

See also

For more information about Suricata, please see