Broccoli is the “Bro client communications library”. It allows you to create client sensors for the Bro intrusion detection system. Broccoli can speak a good subset of the Bro communication protocol, in particular, it can receive Bro IDs, send and receive Bro events, and send and receive event requests to/from peering Bros. You can currently create and receive values of pure types like integers, counters, timestamps, IP addresses, port numbers, booleans, and strings.
You can find the latest Broccoli release for download at http://www.bro.org/download.
This document describes Broccoli 1.99. See the
file for version history.
The Broccoli library has been tested on Linux, the BSDs, and Solaris. A Windows build has not currently been tried but is part of our future plans. If you succeed in building Broccoli on other platforms, let us know!
Broccoli relies on the following libraries and tools, which need to be installed before you begin:
- Flex (Fast Lexical Analyzer)
- Flex is already installed on most systems, so with luck you can skip having to install it yourself.
- Bison (GNU Parser Generator)
- This comes with many systems, but if you get errors compiling parse.y, you will need to install it.
- OpenSSL headers and libraries
- For encrypted communication. These are likely installed, though some platforms may require installation of a ‘devel’ package for the headers.
- CMake 2.6.3 or greater
- CMake is a cross-platform, open-source build system, typically not installed by default. See http://www.cmake.org for more information regarding CMake and the installation steps below for how to use it to build this distribution. CMake generates native Makefiles that depend on GNU Make by default.
Broccoli can also make use of some optional libraries if they are found at installation time:
To build and install into
./configure make make install
This will perform an out-of-source build into the build directory using the
default build options and then install libraries into
You can specify a different installation directory with:
Or control the python bindings install destination more precisely with:
./configure --help for more options.
Further notable configure options:
- This one enables lots of debugging output. Be sure to disable this when using the library in a production environment! The output could easily end up in undersired places when the stdout of the program you’ve instrumented is used in other ways.
- Broccoli can read key/value pairs from a config file. By default it is located in the etc directory of the installation root (exception: when using
/etcis used instead of /usr/etc). The default config file name is broccoli.conf. Using
--with-configfile, you can override the location and name of the config file.
To use the library in other programs & configure scripts, use the
broccoli-config script. It gives you the necessary configuration flags
and linker flags for your system, see
The API is contained in broccoli.h and pretty well documented. A few
usage examples can be found in the test directory, in particular, the
broping tool can be used to test event transmission and reception. Have
a look at the policy file
broping.bro for the events that need to be
defined at the peering Bro. Try
broping -h for a look at the available
Broccoli knows two kinds of version numbers: the release version number (as in “broccoli-x.y.tar.gz”, or as shipped with Bro) and the shared library API version number (as in libbroccoli.so.3.0.0). The former relates to changes in the tree, the latter to compatibility changes in the API.
Comments, feedback and patches are appreciated; please check the Bro website.