Troubleshooting installation issues


Installing the plaso on Ubuntu should be a breeze if you follow the instructions here, however sometimes there can be conflicting packages installed that cause plaso not to run properly. Most often this is caused by either some unsupported versions of packages being installed or if for some reason some of the dependencies was installed from source at some point and those dependencies are out of date.

If you are having trouble getting plaso to run on your computer after following the installation instructions one of the best first steps is to check if all dependencies are met. One way of doing that is to download the check dependency script and run it.

$ wget
$ python

The output should be something on these lines:

Checking availability and versions of plaso dependencies.
[OK]		Crypto version: 2.6.1
[OK]		artifacts version: 20180827
[OK]		bencode

An [ERROR] status indicates that the version of the dependency is not supported.

First make sure all currently installed packages are up-to-date by running:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

Then re-run the check dependencies script. If that still hasn’t fixed the issue then you need check each of the dependencies with an error status.

One way of doing so is to use IPython to determine the location of the Python module on your system.

$ ipython
Python ...
Type "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

In [1]: import pyewf

In [2]: pyewf.get_version()
Out[2]: u'20140608'

In [3]: pyewf.__file__
Out[3]: '/usr/lib/python3.7/dist-packages/'

Import the Python module of the dependency that was showing an error status. Check its version, if it is part of the libyal collection use the LIBRARY.get_version() to get the version information, other Python modules can store their version information differently, a commonly used convention is LIBRARY.__version__.

If the version is an out-of-date version you can use the LIBRARY.__file__ to determine out where the Python module is located on your system.

The Python module can originate from another Debian package or from a source installation. If this is originating from a source installation one way of removing it is to simply delete that particular file (or .egg directory), however the preferred method is to uninstall source installation properly if possible.

To find out which package a Python module belongs to run:

$ dpkg -S /usr/lib/python3.7/dist-packages/
libewf-python: /usr/lib/python3.7/dist-packages/

Another example here is pyparsing:

In [1]: import pyparsing

In [2]: pyparsing.__version__
Out[2]: '2.0.3'

In [3]: pyparsing.__file__
Out[3]: '/usr/lib/python3.7/dist-packages/pyparsing.pyc'

In this case the Python module is the “.pyc” file, which is not included in the dpkg package:

$ dpkg -S /usr/lib/python3.7/dist-packages/pyparsing.pyc
dpkg-query: no path found matching pattern /usr/lib/python3.7/dist-packages/pyparsing.pyc

“.pyc” is a “compiled” version of the Python code “.py”, these are typically not distributed by packages but generated on your system at installation or first execution time. Therefore in order to find out which package this Python module belongs to remove the final “c” so it becomes “.py” instead of “.pyc”, e.g.:

$ dpkg -S /usr/lib/python3.7/dist-packages/
python-pyparsing: /usr/lib/python3.7/dist-packages/

Once the package has been identified that contains the out-of-date dependency the next step is to see if it is truly at the latest version.

$ apt-cache policy python-pyparsing
  Installed: 2.0.2-1
  Candidate: 2.0.2-1
  Version table:
     2.0.3-1 0
        500 REPO
 *** 2.0.2-1 0
        600 REPO
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Here you can see an example of python-pyparsing that has version 2.0.2-1 installed instead of version 2.0.3-1, which is required by Plaso. To correct this you may have to specifically indicate the version you want to install.

$ sudo apt-get install python-pyparsing=2.0.3-1

Common package conflicts


The following traceback:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/bin/", line 28, in <module>
from plaso.frontend import frontend
File "/usr/lib/python3.7/dist-packages/plaso/frontend/", line 36, in <module>
TypeError: __call__() takes exactly 2 arguments (1 given)

This is indicative that you are running an old version of pyparsing. Please make sure you are using the latest version, see what is available using:

$ apt-cache policy python-pyparsing

And install the latest version.


There are some packages that declare libewf2 as one of their dependencies. This is an out dated version of the libewf library provided by your distribution.

See for instance this issue.

The solution here is to remove the libewf2 package from the system and replace it with the libewf package from the GIFT PPA.

$ sudo apt-get remove libewf2

Note that this may remove other packages as well that depend on libewf2, which are likely to be out dated as well.

$ sudo apt-get install libewf libewf2=20140608-1

Installing libewf2 from the GIFT PPA prevents your package manager installing its own version of the libewf2 package when it does not need to, since the necessary files are already provided by the libewf package.