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Agent configuration

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Agent configuration

Learn how to update the settings of the agent installed on all your hosts at once. In Fleet, we refer to these settings as agent options.

Overview

The agent_options key in the config YAML file controls the settings applied to the agent on all your hosts. These settings are applied when each host checks in and may be configured using the fleetctl command line tool or Fleet UI.

See the osquery documentation for the available options. This document shows all examples in command line flag format. Remove the dashed lines (--) for Fleet to successfully update the setting. For example, use distributed_interval instead of --distributed_interval.

Agent options are validated using the latest version of osquery.

When updating agent options, you may see an error similar to this:

[...] unsupported key provided: "logger_plugin"
If you’re not using the latest osquery, use the fleetctl apply --force command to override validation.

This error indicates that you're providing a config option that isn't valid in the current version of osquery, typically because you're setting a command line flag through the configuration key. This has always been unsupported through the config plugin, but osquery has recently become more opinionated and Fleet now validates the configuration to make sure there aren't errors in the osquery agent.

If you are not using the latest version of osquery, you can create a config YAML file and apply it with fleetctl using the --force flag to override the validation:

fleetctl apply --force -f config.yaml

You can verify that your agent options are valid by using the fleetctl apply command with the --dry-run flag. This will report any error and do nothing if the configuration was valid. If you don't use the latest version of osquery, you can override validation using the --force flag. This will update agent options even if they are invalid.

Existing options will be overwritten by the application of this file.

Example Agent options YAML

apiVersion: v1
kind: config
spec:
  agent_options:
    config:
      options:
        distributed_interval: 3
        distributed_tls_max_attempts: 3
        logger_tls_endpoint: /api/osquery/log
        logger_tls_period: 10
      decorators:
        load:
          - "SELECT version FROM osquery_info"
          - "SELECT uuid AS host_uuid FROM system_info"
        always:
          - "SELECT user AS username FROM logged_in_users WHERE user <> '' ORDER BY time LIMIT 1"
        interval:
          3600: "SELECT total_seconds AS uptime FROM uptime"
    overrides:
      # Note configs in overrides take precedence over the default config defined
      # under the config key above. Be aware that these overrides are NOT merged
      # with the top-level configuration!! This means that settings values defined
      # on the top-level config.options section will not be propagated to the platform
      # override sections. So for example, the config.options.distributed_interval value
      # will be discarded on a platform override section, and only the section value
      # for distributed_interval will be used. If the given setting is not specified
      # in the override section, its default value will be enforced.
      # Going back to the example, if the override section is windows,
      # overrides.platforms.windows.distributed_interval will have to be set again to 5
      # for this setting to be enforced as expected, otherwise the setting will get
      # its default value (60 in the case of distributed_interval).
      # Hosts receive overrides based on the platform returned by `SELECT platform FROM os_version`.
      # In this example, the base config would be used for Windows and CentOS hosts,
      # while Mac and Ubuntu hosts would receive their respective overrides.
      platforms:
        darwin:
          options:
            distributed_interval: 10
            distributed_tls_max_attempts: 10
            logger_tls_endpoint: /api/osquery/log
            logger_tls_period: 300
            disable_tables: chrome_extensions
            docker_socket: /var/run/docker.sock
          file_paths:
            users:
              - /Users/%/Library/%%
              - /Users/%/Documents/%%
            etc:
              - /etc/%%

        ubuntu:
          options:
            distributed_interval: 10
            distributed_tls_max_attempts: 3
            logger_tls_endpoint: /api/osquery/log
            logger_tls_period: 60
            schedule_timeout: 60
            docker_socket: /etc/run/docker.sock
          file_paths:
            homes:
              - /root/.ssh/%%
              - /home/%/.ssh/%%
            etc:
              - /etc/%%
            tmp:
              - /tmp/%%
          exclude_paths:
            homes:
              - /home/not_to_monitor/.ssh/%%
            tmp:
              - /tmp/too_many_events/
          decorators:
            load:
              - "SELECT * FROM cpuid"
              - "SELECT * FROM docker_info"
            interval:
              3600: "SELECT total_seconds AS uptime FROM uptime"
  host_expiry_settings:
    # ...

Command line flags

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This feature requires Fleetd, the Fleet agent manager.

The command_line_flags key inside of agent_options allows you to remotely manage the osquery command line flags. These command line flags are options that typically require osquery to restart for them to take effect. But with Fleetd, you can use the command_line_flags key to take care of that. Fleetd will write these to the flagfile on the host and pass it to osquery.

To see the full list of these osquery command line flags, please run osquery with the --help switch.

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YAML command_line_flags are not additive and will replace any osquery command line flags in the CLI.

Just like the other agent_options above, remove the dashed lines (--) for Fleet to successfully update them.

Here is an example of using the command_line_flags key:

apiVersion: v1
kind: config
spec:
  agent_options:
    command_line_flags: # requires Fleet's osquery installer
      verbose: true
      disable_watchdog: false
      logger_path: /path/to/logger

Note that the command_line_flags key does not support the overrides key, which is documented below.

You can verify that these flags have taken effect on the hosts by running a query against the osquery_flags table.

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If you revoked an old enroll secret, this feature won't update for hosts that were added to Fleet using this old enroll secret. This is because Fleetd uses the enroll secret to receive new flags from Fleet. For these hosts, all existing features will work as expected.

For further documentation on how to rotate enroll secrets, please see this guide.

If you prefer to deploy a new package with the updated enroll secret:

  1. Check which hosts need a new enroll secret by running the following query: SELECT * FROM orbit_info WHERE enrolled = false.
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The hosts that don't have Fleetd installed will return an error because the orbit_info table doesn't exist. You can safely ignore these errors.

  1. In Fleet, head to the Hosts page and select Add hosts to find the fleetctl package command with an active enroll secret.

  2. Copy and run the fleetctl package command to create a new package. Distribute this package to the hosts that returned results in step 1.

  3. Done!

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In order for these options to be applied to your hosts, the osquery agent must be configured to use the tls config plugin and pointed to the correct endpoint. If you are using Fleetd to enroll your hosts, this is done automatically.

"--config_plugin=tls",
"--config_tls_endpoint=" + path.Join(prefix, "/api/v1/osquery/config")
apiVersion: v1
kind: config
spec:
  agent_options:

Extensions

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This feature requires Fleetd, the Fleet agent manager, along with a custom TUF auto-update server (a Fleet Premium feature).

The extensions key inside of agent_options allows you to remotely manage and deploy osquery extensions. Just like other agent_options the extensions key can be applied either to a team specific one or the global one.

This is best illustrated with an example. Here is an example of using the extensions key:

apiVersion: v1
kind: config
spec:
  agent_options:
    extensions: # requires Fleet's osquery installer
      hello_world_macos:
        channel: 'stable'
        platform: 'macos'
      hello_world_linux:
        channel: 'stable'
        platform: 'linux'
      hello_world_windows:
        channel: 'stable'
        platform: 'windows'

In the above example, we are configuring our hello_world extensions for all the supported operating systems. We do this by creating hello_world_{macos|linux|windows} subkeys under extensions, and then specifying the channel and platform keys for each extension entry.

Next, you will need to make sure to push the binary files of our hello_world_* extension as a target on your TUF server. This step needs to follow these conventions:

  • The binary file of the extension must have the same name as the extension, followed by .ext for macOS and Linux extensions and by .ext.exe for Windows extensions. In the above case, the filename for macOS should be hello_world_macos.ext, for Linux it should be hello_world_linux.ext and for Windows it should be hello_world_windows.ext.exe.
  • The target name for the TUF server must be named as extensions/<extension_name>. For the above example, this would be extensions/hello_world_{macos|linux|windows}
  • The platform field is one of macos, linux, or windows.

If you are using fleetctl to manage your TUF server, these same conventions apply. You can run the following command to add a new target:

fleetctl updates add \
  --path /path/to/local/TUF/repo \
  --target /path/to/extensions/binary/hello_world_macos.ext \
  --name extensions/hello_world_macos \
  --platform macos \
  --version 0.1

fleetctl updates add \
  --path /path/to/local/TUF/repo
  --target /path/to/extensions/binary/hello_world_linux.ext \
  --name extensions/hello_world_linux \
  --platform linux \
  --version 0.1

fleetctl updates add \
  --path /path/to/local/TUF/repo \
  --target /path/to/extensions/binary/hello_world_windows.ext.exe \
  --name extensions/hello_world_windows \
  --platform windows \
  --version 0.1

After successfully configuring the agent options, and pushing the extension as a target on your TUF server, Fleetd will periodically check with the TUF server for updates to these extensions.

If you are using a self-hosted TUF server, you must also manage all of Fleetd's versions, including osquery, Fleet Desktop and osquery extensions.

Fleet recommends deploying extensions created with osquery-go or natively with C++, instead of Python. Extensions written in Python require the user to compile it into a single packaged binary along with all the dependencies.

Targeting extensions with labels

Available in Fleet Premium v4.38.0

Fleet allows you to target extensions to hosts that belong to specific labels. To set these labels, you'll need to define a labels list under the extension name. The label names in the list:

  • must already exist (otherwise the /api/latest/fleet/config request will fail).
  • are case insensitive.
  • must all apply to a host in order to deploy the extension to that host.

Example:

apiVersion: v1
kind: config
spec:
  agent_options:
    extensions: # requires Fleet's osquery installer
      hello_world_macos:
        channel: 'stable'
        platform: 'macos'
        labels:
          - Zoom installed
      hello_world_linux:
        channel: 'stable'
        platform: 'linux'
        labels:
          - Ubuntu Linux
          - Zoom installed
      hello_world_windows:
        channel: 'stable'
        platform: 'windows'

In the above example:

  • the hello_world_macos extension is deployed to macOS hosts that are members of the 'Zoom installed' label.
  • the hello_world_linux extension is deployed to Linux hosts that are members of the 'Ubuntu Linux' and 'Zoom installed' labels.

Configure fleetd update channels

Available in Fleet Premium v4.43.0 and fleetd v1.20.0

Users can configure fleetd component TUF auto-update channels from Fleet's agent options. The components that can be configured are orbit, osqueryd and desktop (Fleet Desktop). When one of these components is omitted in update_channels then stable is assumed as the value for such component.

Examples:

apiVersion: v1
kind: config
spec:
  agent_options:
    update_channels: # requires Fleet's osquery installer
      orbit: stable
      osqueryd: '5.10.2'
      desktop: edge
apiVersion: v1
kind: config
spec:
  agent_options:
    update_channels: # requires Fleet's osquery installer
      orbit: edge
      osqueryd: '5.10.2'
      # in this configuration `desktop` is assumed to be "stable"
  • If a configured channel doesn't exist in the TUF repository, then fleetd will log errors on the hosts and will not auto-update the component/s until the channel is changed to a valid value in Fleet's update_channels configuration or until the user pushes the component to the channel (which effectively creates the channel).
  • If the update_channels setting is removed from the agent settings, the devices will continue to use the last configured channels.
  • If Fleet Desktop is disabled in fleetd, then the desktop channel setting is ignored by the host.

Auto update startup loop

Following we document an edge case scenario that could happen when using this feature.

After upgrading orbit on your devices to 1.20.0 using this feature, beware of downgrading orbit by changing it to a channel that's older than 1.20.0. The auto-update system in orbit could end up in an update startup loop (where orbit starts, changes its channel and restarts over and over).

Following are the conditions (to avoid) that lead to the auto-update loop:

  1. fleetd with orbit < 1.20.0 was packaged/configured to run with orbit channel A.
  2. orbit's channel A is updated to >= 1.20.0.
  3. orbit's channel in the Fleet agent settings is configured to B, where channel B has orbit version < 1.20.0.

This update startup loop can be fixed by any one of these actions: A. Downgrading channel A to < 1.20.0. B. Upgrading channel B to >= 1.20.0.

Config

The config key sets the osqueryd configuration options for your agents. In a plain osquery deployment, these would typically be set in osquery.conf. Each key below represents a corresponding key in the osquery documentation.

For detailed information on osquery configuration options, check out the osquery configuration docs.

agent_options:
    config:
      options: ~
      decorators: ~
      yara: ~
    overrides: ~

Options

In the options key, you can set your osqueryd options and feature flags.

Any command line only flags must be set using the command_line_flags key for Orbit agents, or by modifying the osquery flags on your hosts if you're using plain osquery.

To see a full list of flags, broken down by the method you can use to set them (configuration options vs command line flags), you can run osqueryd --help on a plain osquery agent. For Orbit agents, run sudo orbit osqueryd --help. The options will be shown there in command line format as --key value. In yaml format, that would become key: value.

agent_options:
    config:
      options:
        distributed_interval: 3
        distributed_tls_max_attempts: 3
        logger_tls_endpoint: /api/osquery/log
        logger_tls_period: 10
      decorators: ~

Decorators

In the decorators key, you can specify queries to include additional information in your osquery results logs.

Use load for details you want to update values when the configuration loads, always to update every time a scheduled query is run, and interval if you want to update on a schedule.

agent_options:
    config:
      options: ~
      decorators:
        load:
          - "SELECT version FROM osquery_info"
          - "SELECT uuid AS host_uuid FROM system_info"
        always:
          - "SELECT user AS username FROM logged_in_users WHERE user <> '' ORDER BY time LIMIT 1"
        interval:
          3600: "SELECT total_seconds AS uptime FROM uptime"

Yara

You can use Fleet to configure the yara and yara_events osquery tables. Fore more information on YARA configuration and continuous monitoring using the yara_events table, check out the YARA-based scanning with osquery section of the osquery documentation.

The following is an example Fleet configuration file with YARA configuration. The values are taken from an example config supplied in the above link to the osquery documentation.

---
apiVersion: v1
kind: config
spec:
  agent_options:
    config:
      # ...
      yara:
        file_paths:
          system_binaries:
          - sig_group_1
          tmp:
          - sig_group_1
          - sig_group_2
        signatures:
          sig_group_1:
          - /Users/wxs/sigs/foo.sig
          - /Users/wxs/sigs/bar.sig
          sig_group_2:
          - /Users/wxs/sigs/baz.sig
    overrides: {}

Overrides

The overrides key allows you to segment hosts, by their platform, and supply these groups with unique osquery configuration options. When you choose to use the overrides option for a specific platform, all options specified in the default configuration will be ignored for that platform.

In the example file below, all Darwin and Ubuntu hosts will only receive the options specified in their respective overrides sections.

An icon indicating that this section has important information

IMPORTANT: If a given option is not specified in a platform override section, its default value will be enforced.

agent_options:
  config:
    options:
      distributed_interval: 3
      distributed_tls_max_attempts: 3
      logger_tls_period: 10
  overrides:
    # Note configs in overrides take precedence over the default config defined
    # under the config key above. Hosts receive overrides based on the platform
    # returned by `SELECT platform FROM os_version`. In this example, the base
    # config would be used for Windows and CentOS hosts, while Mac and Ubuntu
    # hosts would receive their respective overrides. Note, these overrides are
    # NOT merged with the top level configuration.
    platforms:
      darwin:
        options:
          distributed_interval: 10
          distributed_tls_max_attempts: 10
          logger_tls_endpoint: /api/osquery/log
          logger_tls_period: 300
          disable_tables: chrome_extensions
          docker_socket: /var/run/docker.sock
        file_paths:
          users:
            - /Users/%/Library/%%
            - /Users/%/Documents/%%
          etc:
            - /etc/%%

Auto table construction

You can use Fleet to query local SQLite databases as tables. For more information on creating ATC configuration from a SQLite database, check out the Automatic Table Construction section of the osquery documentation.

If you already know what your ATC configuration needs to look like, you can add it to an options config file:

apiVersion: v1
kind: config
spec:
  agent_options:
    config:
      options:
        # ...
    overrides:
      platforms:
        darwin:
          auto_table_construction:
            tcc_system_entries:
              # This query and columns are restricted for compatability.  Open TCC.db with sqlite on
              # your endpoints to expand this out.
              query: "SELECT service, client, last_modified FROM access"
              # Note that TCC.db requires fleetd to have full-disk access, ensure that endpoints have 
              # this enabled.
              path: "/Library/Application Support/com.apple.TCC/TCC.db"
              columns:
                - "service"
                - "client"
                - "last_modified"

If you're editing this directly from the UI consider copying and pasting the following at the end of your agent configuration block:

overrides:
  platforms:
    darwin:
      auto_table_construction:
        tcc_system_entries:
          # This query and columns are restricted for compatability.  Open TCC.db with sqlite on
          # your endpoints to expand this out.
          query: "SELECT service, client, last_modified FROM access"
          # Note that TCC.db requires Orbit to have full-disk access, ensure that endpoints have
          # this enabled.
          path: "/Library/Application Support/com.apple.TCC/TCC.db"
          columns:
            - "service"
            - "client"
            - "last_modified"

Update agent options in Fleet UI

Fleet allows you to update the settings of the agent installed on all your hosts at once. In Fleet, these settings are called "agent options."

The default agent options are good to start.

How to update agent options:

  1. In the top navigation, select your avatar and select Settings. Only users with the admin role can access the pages in Settings.

  2. On the Organization settings page, select Agent options on the left side of the page.

  3. Use Fleet's YAML editor to configure your osquery options, decorators, or set command line flags.

  4. Place your new setting one level below the options key. The new setting's key should be below and one tab to the right of options.

  5. Select Save.

The agents may take several seconds to update because Fleet has to wait for the hosts to check in. Additionally, hosts enrolled with removed enroll secrets must properly rotate their secret to have the new changes take effect.

Did we miss anything?

If you notice something we've missed or could be improved on, please follow this link and submit a pull request to the Fleet repo.

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