Note on the AFF4 datastore deprecation

Starting from the version GRR uses a new datastore format by default - REL_DB. REL_DB is backwards-incompatible with the now-deprecated AFF4 datastore format (even though they both use MySQL as a backend).

Use of AFF4-based deployments is now discouraged. REL_DB is expected to be much more stable and performant. Please see these docs if you’re upgrading an older GRR version and would like to try out the new datastore.

Installing via GRR Docker image

The GRR Docker image is is currently intended for evaluation/testing use, but the plan is to support simple cloud deployment of a stable production image in the future.

The instructions below get you a recent stable docker image. We also build an image automatically from the latest commit in the github repository which is more up-to-date but isn’t guaranteed to work. If you want bleeding edge you can use grrdocker/grr:latest in the commands below.

How to use the image

docker run \
  --name grr-server \
  -e EXTERNAL_HOSTNAME="localhost" \
  -e ADMIN_PASSWORD="demo" \
  -v /var/lib/mysql \
  -p -p \

Once initialization finishes point your web browser to localhost:8000 and login with admin:demo. Follow the final part of the quickstart instructions to download and install the clients.

EXTERNAL_HOSTNAME is the hostname you want GRR agents (clients) to poll back to, “localhost” is only useful for testing.

ADMIN_PASSWORD is the password for the “admin” user in the webui.

The container will listen on port 8000 for the admin web UI and port 8080 for client polls.

By default, GRR will be configured to connect to a MySQL instance that is already installed in the container. If you would like to connect to a MySQL instance running on the host instead (and have GRR’s config’s and data persist beyond the life of the container) here’s how you would go about it:

  1. Copy over the initial configs for the server installation from GRR’s image to the host’s filesystem:

    mkdir ~/grr-docker
    docker create --name grr-server grrdocker/grr:v3.3.0.8
    docker cp grr-server:/usr/share/grr-server/install_data/etc ~/grr-docker
    docker rm grr-server
  2. When started with host networking, the container should be able to communicate with the host’s MySQL instance:

    docker run \
      --name grr-server \
      --network host \
      -e EXTERNAL_HOSTNAME="localhost" \
      -e ADMIN_PASSWORD="demo" \
      -v ~/grr-docker/etc:/usr/share/grr-server/install_data/etc \

    If host networking is not an option (e.g for non-Linux hosts), you need to configure the MySQL installation on the host to allow connections from Docker before starting the container.

    Besides the environment variables given above, other MySQL-related variables that can be specified include GRR_MYSQL_PORT (default 0), GRR_MYSQL_DB (default grr), and GRR_MYSQL_USERNAME (default root).

Note that if you’re running boot2docker on OS X there are a few bugs with docker itself that you will probably need to workaround. You’ll likely have to set up port forwards for 8000 and 8080 as described here.

Interactive mode

GRR containers can be started interactively with:

docker run -it grrdocker/grr:v3.3.0.8 /bin/bash

GRR gets installed into a virtualenv in /usr/share/grr-server. Thus, the easiest way to run any of the GRR binaries inside the Docker container is to activate the virtualenv:

source /usr/share/grr-server/bin/activate

After that, commands such as grr_server, grr_config_updater, grr_console, etc become available in the PATH.