What is the easiest way to have Velociraptor start with a custom server artifact automatically loaded?

Velociraptor frontend process has a component called the Artifact Repository. This component knows about all the artifacts that are defined. When the server starts up, it loads artifacts into the repository from the following sources.

  1. Built in artifacts are embedded into the binary itself.
  2. It is possible to provide custom artifacts inside the configuration file itself.
  3. Providing a directory with the --definitions flag will cause Velociraptor to scan the directory for artifact YAML files.
  4. Finally, the server will load artifacts from the configured filestore path under <filestore>/artifact_definitions. These are usually the custom artifacts defined through the GUI.

The location of where an artifact came from does not matter, Velociraptor organizes artifacts internally using the artifact name. It is customary to denote custom artifacts with the Custom. prefix but this is not mandatory.

Velociraptor does not allow a custom artifact to override a built in artifact (i.e. have the same name). Built in artifacts are protected because overriding built in artifacts may break the proper functionality of Velociraptor. If you want to customize a built in artifact, simply change the name when you save it.

Velociraptor considers artifacts defined in the config file, or given in the --definitions directory as “built in”.

Specifying a startup artifact.

When the Velociraptor server is run for the very first time, it creates an install record in the filestore <filestore>/config/install_time.json.db. It can then setup initial artifacts to collect as specified by the config file:

  - Generic.Client.Stats
  - MyServerArtifact
  - MyCustomServerMonitor

In the above snippet, we see the following parameters:

  • default_client_monitoring_artifacts specifies the initial client monitoring table that will be created. By default, Velociraptor collects endpoint CPU and Memory telemetry from all endpoints. You can remove this, or specify a different client artifact to collect.

  • default_server_monitoring_artifacts specifies an initial set of server event artifacts to collect.

  • initial_server_artifacts is a list of server artifacts that will be automatically launched on the server on initial startup. You can specify the names of any artifacts here (including custom artifacts) which can be bootstrapped to perform any kinds of server configuration needed. The artifacts are simply scheduled and will appear in the usual Server Artifacts screen.

Currently it is not possible to specify parameters for initial artifacts so if you need to tweak the parameters it is best to create a custom artifact that in turn launches the needed artifacts with the correct parameters.