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flowd is a small, fast and secure NetFlow™ collector. It offers the following features:

flowd works with any standard NetFlow exporter, including hardware devices (e.g. routers) or software flow tracking agents, such as my own softflowd and pfflowd. Please refer to the README for more information.

The flowd sensor follows the Unix philosophy of "doing one thing well" - it doesn't try to do anything beyond accepting NetFlow packets and storing them in a standard format on disk. In particular, it does not include support for storing flows in multiple formats or performing data analysis. That sort of thing is left to external tools. The source distribution includes several example tools including a basic reporting script and one to store flows in a SQL database.

Mailing list

The netflow-tools mailing list is available for flowd discussion, support, development and release announcements.


Tue, 02 Nov 2010: Project moved to Google Code

flowd has moved to Google Code. Release tarballs are available from there and should download quite a bit faster. Revision control now uses Mercurial, which supports local branches and modifications much better than CVS. Bug tracking remains at bugzilla for now, but it might too move in the future.

Moving to Google Code makes it much easier to add additional developers to the project. If you have contributed in the past to flowd and are interested in becoming a developer, then please let me know.

[permanent link]

Fri, 25 Jul 2008: flowd-0.9.1 released

flowd-0.9.1 has just been released, containing a number of bug fixes that have accrued in the time since the last one. Please see the ChangeLog for details of what has changed.

[permanent link]

Sat, 04 Mar 2006: flowd-0.9 released

flowd-0.9 has (finally) been released. This major release offers major improvements to performance, functionality and upgrades the Python API significantly. Please see the release notes for all the details.

[permanent link]

Sun, 26 Feb 2006: Analysis tools in Python

Using the new Python API in flowd-0.9, it is very easy to write custom processing applications. Here are the results of a couple of hours of figuring out RRDtool's subleties: a small pair of scripts to chart NetFlow data (example results). Details on how to use these scripts are contained in this mailing list post.

The scripts currently summarise traffic by IP protocol, but this approach can be extended to plotting any pretty much any classification of traffic - reports by IP address, or by [IP address + TCP port] are easy to realise too.

[permanent link]

Sun, 04 Sep 2005: Release (0.9) approaching

A new release of flowd is coming soon. If you want to help, please download and test a snapshot release of flowd and report back to the mailing list.

[permanent link]


flowd is available at Google Code. There you will find tarball releases and a Mercurial source repository.