User’s Guide

How to get started

First determine which version of Plaso is must suitable to your needs, for more information see Releases and roadmap

Installing the packaged release

To get Plaso up and running quickly:

  • Docker for Linux, Mac OS and Windows.

Alternative options:

If you run into problems installing, check out the installation troubleshooting guide

Before we start

Please report all discovered bugs on the issue tracker.

To follow announcements from the Plaso team or send in generic inquiries or discuss the tool:

I know the good old Perl version

If you are one of those people that liked the old Perl version of log2timeline but really would like to switch use all the nifty features of the Python version. Fear not, here is a guide to help you migrate.

The tools

Though Plaso initially was created in mind to replace the Perl version of log2timeline, its focus has shifted from a stand-alone tool to a set of modules that can be used in various use cases. Fear not Plaso is not a developers only project it also includes several command line tools, each with its specific purpose. Currently these are:

Note that each tool can be invoked with the -h or --help command line flag to display basic usage and command line option information.


image_export is a command line tool to export file content from a storage media image or device based on various filter criteria, such as extension names, filter paths, file format signature identifiers, file creation date and time ranges, etc.


log2timeline is a command line tool to extract events from individual files, recursing a directory (e.g. mount point) or storage media image or device. log2timeline creates a Plaso storage file which can be analyzed with the pinfo and psort tools.

The Plaso storage file contains the extracted events and various metadata about the collection process alongside information collected from the source data. It may also contain information about tags applied to events and reports from analysis plugins.


pinfo is a command line tool to provide information about the contents of a Plaso storage file.


psort is a command line tool to post-process Plaso storage files. It allows you to filter, sort and run automatic analysis on the contents of Plaso storage files.


psteal is a command line tool that combines the functionality of log2timeline and psort.