flow-report (1) - Linux Manuals

flow-report: Generate reports from flow data.


flow-report - Generate reports from flow data.


flow-report [ -h ] [ -d debug_level ] [ -s stat_fname ] [ -S stat_definition ] [ -v variable binding ]


The flow-report utility will generate reports from flow data. The reports are easy to parse ASCII text that can be used by a front end to produce readable reports, graphs, and charts.

Reports are definied in a configuration file by the 'stat-report' keyword followed by a report name. Each report has a type defined below and other commands. Reports are grouped into a definition with the 'stat-definition' keyword followed by a definition name. Each definition can invoke a filter and optionally apply tags.

Words in the configuration file of the form @VAR or @{VAR:default} will be expanded at run-time by setting variable names with the -v option.

Generated reports consist of comment lines and report lines. Comment lines begin with a # and include details such as the options used, report name, records in the report, and the report line format. Some of the more verbose comments can be controlled with the +header and +xheader options. By default this information is not displayed. A column title beginning with the string rec precedes the report lines. Report lines consist of key fields, such as an IP address and calculated totals for that key such as the number of flows. The summary-detail report is a little bit different from other reports in that it has multiple title lines and no key fields. The column titles are described below.

 +time_real   Difference between the real time of the first and last
 +aflowtime   Total time of the flows / Total number of flows.
 +aps         Total Octets / Total Packets (Average Packet Size)
 +afs         Total Octets / Total Flows / (Average Flow Size)
 +apf         Total Packets / Total Flows (Average Packets / Flow)
 +fps         Total Flows / (Last End Time of Flow -
                First Start Time of Flow) (Average Flows / Second)
 +fps_real    (Average Flows / Second in realtime)
 +psizeN      Average Packet Size buckets.
 +fpsizeN     Packets / Flow buckets.
 +fosizeN     Octets / Flow buckets.
 +ftimeN      Time / Flow buckets.

  ignores     Flows with a packet count of 0.

  SSS-count   Count of of an item, example source-ip-address-count

  SSS*        key fields, example source-ip-address
  index       Report line index.
  first       Time of first flow in unix_secs format.
  last        Time of last flow in unix_secs format.

  flows       Summation of flows/key.
  octets      Summation of octets/key.
  packets     Summation of packets/key.
  duration    End time of Flow - Start time of Flow.
  avg-bps     Average Bits/Second.
  min-bps     Minimum Bits/Second.
  max-bps     Maximum Bits/Second.
  avg-pps     Average Packets/Second.
  min-pps     Minimum Packets/Second.
  max-pps     Maximum Packets/Second.
  frecs       Records used in average calculations.

Note fields with a + are only available in the summary-detail report.
The PPS and BPS calculations will not always be correct due to flows which only have one packet, or some other condition where the start time is equal to the end time. In this case these flows are not used in the PPS and BPS calculations. To facilitate aggregating multiple reports and retaining the PPS and BPS fields, the number of flows counted is available in the frecs field.

stat-report command          Description/Example
type                         Define the report type.
                             type destination-tag

filter                       Apply this filter definition.
                             filter permit-only-tcp

scale                        Scale report by n.
                             scale 100

tag-mask                     Apply source and destination mask to tag.
                             tag-mask 0xFF00 0xFF00

ip-source-address-format     Format of source IP address.
                             address    -  address, ie
                             prefix-len -  address/len ie
                             prefix-mask-  prefix/len 128.146.1/24

                             Format of destination IP address.
                             address    -  address, ie
                             prefix-len -  address/len ie
                             prefix-mask-  prefix/len 128.146.1/24

output                       Start an output configuration.  Multiple
                             output configurations can be configured
                             per report.

output option                Description/Example

path                         Pathname of output.  If the path begins
                             with a | the output is a pipe.  The
                             pathname is formatted through strftime().
                             Directories not in the path are
                             automatically created.
                             path /tmp/%Y/%m/%d/foo.out

time                         What time to use when formatting the
                             pathname with strftime.
                             now         - current time
                             start       - first flow
                             end         - last flow
                             mid         - average of first and last.

tally                        Emit a % total line every n records.
                             tally 10

format                       Output format.  Currently only ascii.
                             format ascii

sort                         Sort on a field.  + ascending, - descending.
                             sort +flows    - sort on the flows field

                             Sortable fields are flows,octets,packets,

records                      Truncate report at n records.
                             records 10

fields                       Enable/Disable fields with +/-.  Fields:
                             fields +key,+flows,+octets,+packets,

                             For reports with one key, the key
                             field is referenced with key, else

                             Note that the count field is only available
                             in select reports, those which end in

options                      Enable/Disable options with +/-
                             +header        - include header.
                             +xheader       - include extra header.
                             +totals        - include a totals line.
                             +percent-total - report in % total form.
                             +names         - use symbolic names.
                             options +header,+xheader

stat-definition option       Description/Example
filter                       Apply this filter definition.
                             filter default

tag                          Apply this tag definition.
                             tag default

mask                         Apply this mask definition.
                             mask default

report                       Invoke this report.  Multiple reports can
                             be set.
                             report foo

time-series                  How often to produce a report in seconds.
                             time-series 60

global options               Description/Example
include-tag                  Specify path to include tag definitions.
                             include-tag /flows/tags/test1

include-filter               Specify path to include filter definitions.
                             include-filter /flows/filters/test1

include-mask                 Specify path to include mask definitions.
                             include-filter /flows/masks/test1

Report type                  Summarization Key Elements.
summary-detail               Totals plus quick breakdown.

summary-counters             Totals only.

packet-size                  Average packet size distribution.

octets                       Octets per flow distribution.

packets                      Packets per flow distribution.

ip-source-port               IP Source Port.

ip-destination-port          IP Destination Port.

ip-source/destination-port   IP Source/Destination Port pair.

bps                          Bits/Second distribution.

pps                          Packets/Second distribution.

                             IP class with ASM/SSM Multicast breakout.

ip-protocol                  IP Protocol.

ip-tos                       IP Type of Service.

ip-next-hop-address          IP Next Hop Address.

ip-source-address            IP Source Address.

ip-destination-address       IP Destination Address.

                             IP Source/Destination Address pair.

ip-exporter-address          IP Exporter Address.

input-interface              Input Interface.

output-interface             Output Interface.

input/output-interface       Input/Output Interface pair.

source-as                    Source AS.

destination-as               Destination AS.

source/destination-as        Source/Destination AS.

ip-source-address/source-as  IP Source Addrss and Source AS.

                             IP Destination Address and Source AS.

                             IP Source Address and Destination AS.

                             IP Destination Address and Destination AS.

                             IP Source/Destination Address and Source AS.

                             IP Source/Destination Address and
                             Destination AS.

                             IP Source/Destination Address and
                             Source/Destination AS.

                             IP Source Address and Input Interface.

                             IP Destination Address and Input Interface.

                             IP Source Address and Output Interface.

                             IP Destination Address and Output Interface.

                             IP Source/Destination Address and
                             Input Interface.

                             IP Source/Destination Address and
                             Output Interface.

                             IP Source/Destination Address and
                             Input/Output Interface.

input-interface/source-as    Input Interface and Source AS.

                             Input Interface and Destination AS.

                             Output Interface and Source AS.

                             Output Interface and Destination AS.

                             Input Interface and Source/Destination AS.

                             Output Interface and Source/Destination AS.

                             Input/Output Interface and
                             Source/Destination AS.

engine-id                    Engine ID.

engine-type                  Engine Type.

source-tag                   Source Tag.

destination-tag              Destination Tag.

source/destination-tag       Source/Destination Tag.

                             IP Source Address and IP Source Port.

                             IP Source Address and IP Destination Port.

                             IP Destination Address and IP Source Port.

                             IP Destination Address and
                             IP Destination Port.

                             IP Source Address and
                             IP Source/Destination Port.

                             IP Destination Address and
                             IP Source/Destination Port.

                             IP Source/Destination Address and
                             IP Source Port.

                             IP Source/Destination Address and
                             IP Destination Port.

                             IP Source/Destination Address and
                             IP Source/Destination Port.

                             IP Source Address and
                             Input/Output Interface.

                             IP Destination Address and
                             Input/Output Interface.

                             IP Source Address and
                             Source/Destination AS.

                             IP Destination Address and
                             Source/Destination AS.

ip-address                   IP Address (both source and destination).

ip-port                      IP Port (both source and destination).

                             Count of destination IP addresses associated
                             with a source IP address.

                             Count of source IP addresses associated
                             with a destination IP address.

                             Linear interpolated distribution of flows,
                             octets and packets.  The distribution is
                             done across the start and end time of the

first                        First packet of flow distribution.

last                         Last packet of flow distribution.

duration                     Duration of flow distribution.

                             IP Source Address and
                             Source tag.

                             IP Source Address and
                             Destination tag.

                             IP Destination Address and
                             Source tag.

                             IP Destination Address and
                             Destination tag.

                             IP Source/Destination Address and
                             Source/Destination tag.

                             IP Source/Destination Address, IP Protocol,
                             and ToS.

                             IP Source/Destination Addess, IP Protocol,
                             IP Tos, IP Source/Destination Port.


-d debug_level
Enable debugging.
-s stat_fname
Report configuration filename. Defaults to /etc/flow-tools/cfg/stat.
-S stat_definition
Select the active definition.
-v variable binding
Set a variable FOO=bar.
Display help. -hh will list the available reports.


An example of report configuration file

# stat config file

include-filter /tmp/filter

stat-report t1
  type summary-detail
  filter default
  scale 100 
    format ascii
    options +header,+xheader,+totals
    fields +other
    path /tmp/output1

stat-report t6
  type ip-source-port  
    format ascii
    options +header,+xheader,+totals,+names,+percent-total
    sort +pps
    tally 5
    path /tmp/output6

stat-definition test
  filter tcp
  report t1
  report t6

# filter config file

filter-primitive TCP
  type ip-protocol
  permit TCP

filter-definition tcp
  match ip-protocol TCP
flow-cat flows | flow-report -stest -Stest


Packet size calculations are dOctets / dPkts, ie an average packet size. It is not possible to get a true packet size from flow exports. pps and bps calculations are an average of the averages. Flows that do not have a duration (start == end) are not counted in the pps and bps calculations. Flows without a packet or octet count are ignored.


Configuration files: Symbols - /etc/flow-tools/sym/*. Tag - /etc/flow-tools/cfg/tag.cfg. Filter - /etc/flow-tools/cfg/filter.cfg. Mask - /etc/flow-tools/cfg/mask.cfg. Report - /etc/flow-tools/cfg/stat.cfg. Xlate - /etc/flow-tools/cfg/xlate.cfg.


None known.


Mark Fullmer <maf [at] splintered.net>