How to Install Zeek Network Security Monitoring Tool on Ubuntu 22.04

Zeek is a free, open-source, and worlds leading security monitoring tool used as a network intrusion detection system and network traffic analyzer. Security professionals use it to detect suspicious signatures and track DNS, HTTP, and FTP activity. Zeek works by logging network activity in a separate file. This file contains all important information like, MIME types, server responses, DNS requests, HTTP sessions, requested URIs, SSL certificates, and more.

This tutorial will show you how to install the Zeek network security tool on Ubuntu 22.04.


  • A server running Ubuntu 22.04 with a minimum 2 GB RAM.
  • A root password is configured on the server.

Getting Started

First, you must update all your system packages to the updated version. You can update all of them by running the following command.

apt update -y
apt upgrade -y

After updating all the system packages, install some required packages using the following command.

apt install curl gnupg2 wget -y

Add Zeek Repository

By default, the Zeek package is not included in the Ubuntu default repository. So you will need to add the Zeek repository to APT.

First, download and add the Zeek GPG key with the following command.

curl -fsSL | gpg --dearmor | tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/security_zeek.gpg

Next, add the Zeek repository with the following command.

echo 'deb /' | tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/security:zeek.list

Next, update the repository cache using the following command.

apt update -y

Install Zeek

You can now install the Zeek tool by just running the following command.

apt install zeek -y

During the installation, you will be asked to select your mail server as shown below:

Postfix configuration for Zeek

Select local only and press the Enter key. You will be asked to provide your mail server hostname.

Set system host name for Zeek

Type your hostname and press the Enter key to finish the installation.

Next, you will need to add the Zeek installation path to your system variable. You can add it with the following command.

echo "export PATH=$PATH:/opt/zeek/bin" >> ~/.bashrc

Next, activate the system variable with the following command.

source ~/.bashrc

You can now verify the Zeek version using the following command:

zeek --version

You will get the following output.

zeek version 5.1.1

Configure Zeek Server

First, edit the Zeek network configuration file and define your network.

nano /opt/zeek/etc/networks.cfg

Here is the default networks. You can add more networks at the end of the file.          Private IP space       Private IP space      Private IP space

Save and close the file then edit the Zeek main configuration file.

nano /opt/zeek/etc/node.cfg

Comment on the following lines:


Then, add the following configurations at the end of the file.


Save the file then verify the Zeek configuration using the following command.

zeekctl check

You will get the following output.

Hint: Run the zeekctl "deploy" command to get started.
zeek-logger scripts are ok.
zeek-manager scripts are ok.
zeek-proxy scripts are ok.
zeek-worker scripts are ok.
zeek-worker-lo scripts are ok.

You can now deploy the Zeek using the following command.

zeekctl deploy

You will get the following output.

checking configurations ...
installing ...
creating policy directories ...
installing site policies ...
generating cluster-layout.zeek ...
generating local-networks.zeek ...
generating zeekctl-config.zeek ...
generating ...
stopping ...
stopping workers ...
stopping proxy ...
stopping manager ...
stopping logger ...
starting ...
starting logger ...
starting manager ...
starting proxy ...
starting workers ...

Test Zeek Status

At this point, Zeek is installed and configured. You can now check the Zeek status with the following command.

zeekctl status

You will get the following output.

Name         Type    Host             Status    Pid    Started
zeek-logger  logger    running   58935  19 Jan 05:37:02
zeek-manager manager    running   58985  19 Jan 05:37:03
zeek-proxy   proxy    running   59035  19 Jan 05:37:05
zeek-worker  worker    running   59107  19 Jan 05:37:06
zeek-worker-lo worker  localhost        running   59104  19 Jan 05:37:06

Zeek stores their logs at /opt/zeek/logs/current/ directory. You can check all log files using the following command.

ls -l /opt/zeek/logs/current/

You will see the following output.

total 72
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek  1735 Jan 19 05:37 broker.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek  2166 Jan 19 05:37 cluster.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek   187 Jan 19 05:37 packet_filter.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek  6158 Jan 19 05:37 conn.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek 31212 Jan 19 05:37 loaded_scripts.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek   666 Jan 19 05:37 reporter.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek   601 Jan 19 05:37 stats.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek     0 Jan 19 05:37 stderr.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek   204 Jan 19 05:37 stdout.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek   266 Jan 19 05:37 telemetry.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root zeek   960 Jan 19 05:37 weird.log

To check the Zeek cluster log, run the following command.

tail /opt/zeek/logs/current/cluster.log

You will get the following output.

1674106627.672399	zeek-proxy	got hello from zeek-worker-lo (62498247-62ce-5763-b201-a0f0e52b71f9)
1674106627.744144	zeek-proxy	got hello from zeek-worker (0c8c7207-f1a1-540d-aee0-2b55cf76e69f)
1674106627.674594	zeek-manager	got hello from zeek-worker-lo (62498247-62ce-5763-b201-a0f0e52b71f9)
1674106627.752439	zeek-manager	got hello from zeek-worker (0c8c7207-f1a1-540d-aee0-2b55cf76e69f)
1674106627.672635	zeek-worker-lo	got hello from zeek-proxy (b0734910-55c0-5aa5-b5fb-abdf7c083d3e)
1674106627.674358	zeek-worker-lo	got hello from zeek-manager (b4a3890a-a470-5a1d-b2c7-fc48fd683ff9)
1674106627.666564	zeek-worker-lo	got hello from zeek-logger (405e0618-3699-5b85-ac39-0af2743c0aab)
1674106627.708986	zeek-worker	got hello from zeek-manager (b4a3890a-a470-5a1d-b2c7-fc48fd683ff9)
1674106627.699878	zeek-worker	got hello from zeek-proxy (b0734910-55c0-5aa5-b5fb-abdf7c083d3e)
1674106627.706099	zeek-worker	got hello from zeek-logger (405e0618-3699-5b85-ac39-0af2743c0aab)

To check the Zeek connection log, run the following command.

tail /opt/zeek/logs/current/conn.log

You will get the following output.

1674106667.717311	Camkki2oVKl4J9dgpd	47762	56180	tcp	-	-	-	-	OTH	FF	0	CccC	0	0	0	0	-
1674106667.742276	CZ7aKU3nUfkjSSN5x6	56182	47762	tcp	-	-	-	-	OTH	FF	0	CcCc	0	0	0	0	-
1674106667.742332	Cd58V813jeHygHXQS2	56176	47762	tcp	-	-	-	-	OTH	FF	0	CcCc	0	0	0	0	-
1674106668.621860	CZlcm316EidXbp4aMj	41430	47761	tcp	-	-	-	-	OTH	FF	0	Cc	0	0	0	0	-


Congratulations! you have successfully installed the Zeek security monitoring tool on Ubuntu 22.04 server. I hope this post will help to understand the network's architecture and investigate any malicious activity. Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.

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