Snort 2.9.8.x on Ubuntu – Quick Install Guide

UPDATE: Snort 2.9.9.x has been released. Please see the updated version my quick install guide here.

I am leaving this older guide online for anyone who wants to install this older version of Snort on Ubuntu, but you really should be using the updated guide for the 2.9.9.x version of Snort, since support for older versions of Snort are set to expire.


The instructions below show how to install Snort 2.9.8.x on both the x86 and x64 architectures for Ubuntu 12, 13, 14, and 15. If you want a more in-depth explanation of the install steps, as well as instructions on how to configure and enhance Snort’s functionality, see my in-depth series for installing Snort on Ubuntu.

If you want to test the new alpha version of Snort (Version 3.0 Alpha 2), please see my articles: Installing Snort 3 Alpha in Ubuntu 14, or Ubuntu 12.

If you want to work with OpenAppID, please see my guide for OpenAppID for Snort 2.9.8.x on Ubuntu.

Let Us Begin:

So let’s get started. First we need to install all the pre-requisites from the Ubuntu repositories:

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential libpcap-dev libpcre3-dev libdumbnet-dev bison flex zlib1g-dev liblzma-dev openssl libssl-dev ethtool

Disable LRO and GRO for all interfaces Snort will listen on under /etc/network/interfaces. using ethtool. An explanation of LRO and GRO are in the The Snort Manual). Use an editor to edit the network interfaces file:

sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces

and for every interface that Snort will listen on (one interface for simple setups, multiple interfaces for more complex setups), add the following two lines, changing eth0 to match the interface:

post-up ethtool -K eth0 gro off
post-up ethtool -K eth0 lro off

for example, my /etc/network/interfaces file looks like this:

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).
source /etc/network/interfaces.d/*

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp
post-up ethtool -K eth0 gro off
post-up ethtool -K eth0 lro off

Reboot the system and verify that LRO and GRO are off:

user@snortserver:~$ ethtool -k eth0 | grep receive-offload
generic-receive-offload: off
large-receive-offload: off

Next we will create a directory to save the downloaded tarball files:

mkdir ~/snort_src
cd ~/snort_src

Download and install Data Acquisition library (DAQ) from the Snort website:

cd ~/snort_src
tar -xvzf daq-2.0.6.tar.gz
cd daq-2.0.6
sudo make install

Now we are ready to install Snort from source:

cd ~/snort_src
tar -xvzf snort-
cd snort-
./configure --enable-sourcefire
sudo make install

Run the following command to update shared libraries:

sudo ldconfig

Since the Snort installation places the Snort binary at /usr/local/bin/snort, it is common to create a symlink to /usr/sbin/snort:

sudo ln -s /usr/local/bin/snort /usr/sbin/snort

The last step of our Snort installation is to test that the Snort Binary runs. Execute Snort with the -V flag, which causes Snort to print the current version. You should see output similar to the following:

user@snortserver:~$ snort -V

   ,,_     -*> Snort! <*-
  o"  )~   Version GRE (Build 229) 
   ''''    By Martin Roesch & The Snort Team:
           Copyright (C) 2014-2015 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
           Copyright (C) 1998-2013 Sourcefire, Inc., et al.
           Using libpcap version 1.7.4
           Using PCRE version: 8.35 2014-04-04
           Using ZLIB version: 1.2.8


If you have output similar to the above, then Snort is installed and works. If you want to learn more about how to run Snort, and how to install additional software to enhance a Snort system, see my in-depth series for installing Snort on Ubuntu.

If you have any questions or recommendations, please contact me. I can’t always answer questions right away, but I will do my best to get back to you. I welcome all recommendations and corrections.

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