What is Osquery?

Osquery is a universal system security monitoring and an intrusion tool which specially focuses on your operating system.

Imagine a completely open-source tool which empowers you with monitoring the high-end file integrity by turning your operating system as a vast database. Osquery is one such boon for all the security researchers, legitimizing them with the most powerful option to check the status and configuration of firewalls which perform security audits and implement the threat intelligence.

To put it straight, Osquery is a cross-platform operating system instrumentation framework that supports all the recent versions of macOS, Windows, Debian, rpm, Linux. It is officially described as “SQL-powered operating system instrumentation, monitoring and analytics” framework and originated from Facebook.

Upon successful installation, Osquery gives you access to the following components:

  • Osqueryi: The interactive Osquery shell, for performing ad-hoc queries.
  • Osqueryd: A daemon for scheduling and running queries in the background.
  • Osqueryctl: A helper script for testing a deployment or configuration of Osquery. It can also be used as an alternative to operating system’s service manager to start/stop/restart Osqueryd.

Osquery can collect the data elements easily from the following:

Running ProcessesOpen Network Connections
File HashesPorts
User LoginsBrowser Plugins
SocketsStorage Volumes
Loaded Kernel ModulesHardware Events

Features of Osquery

Osquery is a framework with documented public APIs, which in turn can be used in creating new tools and products as required. The flexible and highly modular codebase is the core advantage of Osquery which helps its users to dive deep in researching more ways of implementing the new query concepts, thus developing new applications and tools further.

  • Interactive Query Console: Osqueryi equips a SQL interface that helps to explore the operating system with various queries. It also helps in understanding various processes, kernel modules, active user accounts and active network connections.
  • Powerful Performance Diagnosis: With the help of SQL power and highly useful built-in tables, Osqueryi is an invaluable and very aggressive tool for diagnosing systems operations problems, troubleshooting a performance issue, etc.
  • Large-scale host monitoring: Osqueryd, which is regarded as the high-performance host monitoring daemon, allows you to schedule queries for execution across your infrastructure.
  • Real-Time Monitoring: All the query results are monitored in a real-time scenario which further helps in understanding the security, performance, configuration and state of the entire infrastructure. Osqueryd has a logging mechanism which is powerful enough to integrate the existing internal log aggregation pipeline via a robust plug-in architecture.
  • Cross –Platform and Open source: Osquery is a cross-platform framework and a complete open-source tool, which has major user credibility across the globe, especially in security streams.
  • Native packages and extensive documentation: To make deployment simple and possible, Osquery comes with native packages for all supported operating systems. The tooling and documentation help to understand Osquery functionalities easily.
  • Osquery for Security: Osquery-Powered Security Analytics is the most happening thing now. Osquery is extremely capable and can be used as a universal agent for many use cases including:
    • Intrusion/Malicious activity detection (EDR)
    • File Integrity Monitoring
    • Incident Investigation
    • Vulnerability Detection
    • Audit and Compliance
    • SIEM (SOC) by capturing precise input for SIEM solutions like Splunk/ELK
    • Malware Analysis
    • Digital Forensics
    • System Administration

Pros and Cons:


  • Very simple and flexible to install and implement
  • Modular Code Base is a highly added advantage
  • Simple Query processing
  • More customizable  and real-time recording of events
  • Provides a new endpoint data to which we never had access.


Osquery does not support centralized deployment. It requires extended infrastructure lift by security teams

  • Cost of data storage is high
  • Complexity in translating the incremental data
  • Optimizing queries and query packs is critical
  • Third-party assistance and data are still required for threat detection.


When seen completely from a security perspective, The Osquery stands as the best tool, which can be used to query the data of various endpoints to detect, investigate and proactively hunt for different types of threats.

Osquery, An outstanding tool with more power to go…