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Install Timesketch

The preferred way to install Timesketch is to use the provided Docker images. These docker images are automatically built whenever the main branch is updated or a new release is tagged.

It is possible to install Timesketch without docker but we strongly encourage using docker. This is the only tested and actively maintained installation method.

You will need

  • Machine with Ubuntu 20.04 installed.
  • At least 8GB RAM, but more the better.
  • Optional: Domain name registered and configure for the machine if you want to setup SSL for the webserver.

This guide setup the following services

  • Timesketch web/api server
  • Timesketch importer/analysis worker
  • PostgreSQL database
  • Elasticsearch single-node cluster
  • Redis key-value database (for worker processes)
  • Nginx webserver

NOTE: This guide sets up single node Elasticsearch cluster. This is OK for smaller installations but in order to scale and have better performance you need to setup a multi node Elasticsearch cluster. This is out of scope for this guide but the official documentation on installing Elasticsearch with Docker will get you started.

1. Install Docker

Follow the official installation instructions to install Docker Engine on Ubuntu.

Make sure you install docker-compose as well

sudo apt install docker-compose

2. Start the installation

Download helper script

We have created a helper script to get you started with all necessary configuration. Download the script here:

curl -s -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/google/timesketch/master/contrib/deploy_timesketch.sh
chmod 755 deploy_timesketch.sh

Choose location for the installation

You can choose to host the Timeksetch data directory anywhere but note that by default it will host Elasticsearch and PostgreSQL data in this directory so make sure you have enough disk space available.

Example:

cd /opt

Run deployment script

sudo ~/deploy_timesketch.sh

3. Start the system

cd timesketch
sudo docker-compose up -d

Create the first user

sudo docker-compose exec timesketch-web tsctl add_user --username <USERNAME>

4. Enable TLS (optional)

It is out of scope for the deployment script to setup certificates but here are pointers on how to use Let's Encrypt.

  1. You need to configure a DNS name for the server. Use your DNS provider instructions.
  2. Make sure your webserver is reachable on port 80.
  3. Follow the official guide to install and run Let's Encrypt on Ubuntu: https://certbot.eff.org/lets-encrypt/ubuntufocal-other

When Let's Encrypt has been installed and you have generated certificates (located in /etc/letsencrypt) it is time to reconfigure Nginx.

Edit timesketch/etc/nginx.conf (HOSTNAME is the DNS name of your server):

events {
    worker_connections 768;
}

http {
    server {
      listen 80;
      listen [::]:80;
      listen 443 ssl;
      ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/<HOSTNAME>>/fullchain.pem;
      ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/<HOSTNAME>>/privkey.pem;
      client_max_body_size 0m;

      location / {
        proxy_buffer_size       128k;
        proxy_buffers           4 256k;
        proxy_busy_buffers_size 256k;
        proxy_pass http://timesketch-web:5000;
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
      }
      if ($scheme != "https") {
        return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
      }
    }
}

Make the certificate and key available to the Nginx Docker container. Edit timesketch/docker-compose.yml and mount /etc/letsencrypt:

...

nginx:
  image: nginx:${NGINX_VERSION}
  restart: always
  ports:
    - "80:80"
    - "443:443"
  volumes:
    - ./etc/nginx.conf:/etc/nginx/nginx.conf
    - /etc/letsencrypt:/etc/letsencrypt/

Restart the system:

docker-compose down
docker-compose up -d

Congratulations, your Timesketch system is operational and ready to use.

Set up users

After system is set up, look at here to add users.