Access NwConsole and Help

NetWitness Console, also known as NwConsole, is a multi-platform terminal application that provides powerful tools and command line access to Core services, such as Decoder, Log Decoder, Concentrator, Broker, and Archiver. While most users complete their tasks and investigations through the NetWitness user interface, some advanced users, such as administrators and developers, require direct access to the services without going through the user interface. NwConsole enables you to enter commands from the command line or run multiple commands from a file.

This topic describes how to access NwConsole and view the internal help within NwConsole.

Extensive help information is available within the NetWitness console, also known as NwConsole. You can access this help from the NetWitness command line.


All NetWitness appliances have the NwConsole application installed. You can also install it on Windows, Mac, and CentOS to connect and interact with a Core service.

NwConsole is available from the command line on a NetWitness appliance. If you are accessing a Core appliance remotely, you need to have the NetWitness Console application installed on a Windows, Mac, or CentOS machine. To obtain the NetWitness Console application installer, contact NetWitness Customer Care.

Access NwConsole

To run NwConsole from the command line on a NetWitness appliance or on a terminal emulator, at the <$> prompt, type NwConsole (Linux) or nwconsole (Windows). The actual command is NwConsole, but Windows is not case sensitive. NetWitness Console is displayed as shown in the following example.

Last login: Thu Sep 24 14:00:42 on console
usxx<username>m1:~ <username>$ NwConsole
RSA NetWitness Platform Console
Copyright 2001-2020, RSA Security Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Type "help" for a list of commands or "man" for a list of manual pages.

View Help

NwConsole provides help on individual commands as well as help on specific topics.

Caution: To get the latest information, view the command and help topics within NwConsole.

View a List of Commands

To view a list of available commands and their descriptions, at the (>) prompt, type help. The following example shows a list of available commands.

> help
Local commands:
avro2nwd - Convert AVRO files to NWD files
avrodump - Display schema and contents of AVRO file (for debugging)
blockspeed - Tests various write block sizes to determine best setting
compileflex - Compile all flex parsers in a directory
createflex - Create a flex parser that matches tokens read from a file
dbcheck - Perform a database integrity check over one or more
session, meta, packet, log or stat db files
diskspeed - Measures the speed of the disk(s) mounted at a specified
echo - Echos the passed in text to the terminal
encryptparser - Encrypt all parsers in a directory
feed - Create and work with feed files
fmanip - Manipulate a file with XOR and check for embedded PEs
hash - Creates or verifies hashes of database files
help - Provides help information for recognized console commands
history - Displays, erases or executes a command in the command
httpAggStats - Tests HTTP aggregation and reports statistics as it
log - Perform operations on a log database
logParse - Parse line delimited logs on stdin and post results to
logfake - Create a fake log pcap file
lua - Execute a lua script
makec3 - Generate C3 Test Data
makepcap - Convert packet database files to pcap or log files
man - Displays a list of topics or opens a specific manual page
on a topic
metaspeed - Tests read performance over an existing meta db
netbytes - Display statistics on network interface utilization
nwdstrip - Convert full NWD file into just session and meta file
pause - Wait for user input when running a script file
reindex - reindex a collection
sdk - Execute SDK commands based on the C SDK library, type "sdk
help" for more information
sleep - Sleeps for the specified milliseconds
timeout - Globally change the timeout for waiting for a response from
a service
tlogin - Open a trusted SSL connection to an existing service
topQuery - Returns the top N longest running queries from the audit
log (either a file or from the log API)
vslice - Validate index slices

Remote commands (executed on the connected service, see "login"):
login - Connect to a remote service. Once connected, type help to
see commands available for remote execution.

For detailed help, type "help <command>"

View Detailed Help on a Command

To view detailed information about a command, type help <command>. The following example shows help for the logParse command after typing help logParse.

For detailed help, type "help <command>"
> help logParse
Usage: logParse {in=<pathname>} {indir=<pathname>} [out=<pathname>]
[content=<c2|c3>] [device=<device,[device...]>]
[path=<log-parsers-config-path>] [metaonly] [srcaddr=<src
address>] [srcaddrfile=<filename,IP Address>]
Parse line delimited logs on stdin and post results to stdout

in - The input source file. "in=stdin" means interactive typing of
indir - The input source files parent directory
out - The output file or output file parent directory if input is
set by indir. If not specified, use stdout as output.
content - Content version, either c2 or c3. Default is c2.
device - Comma delimited device list specifying devices that is
enabled. Default enable all devices.
path - The logparsers configuration path. Default will find
configuration file like logdecoder.
metaonly - The output will only contains parsed meta, otherwise will
print log message after metas.
srcaddr - The source address of the all the logs
srcaddrfile - The source address for logs in one input file, in the format

View a List of Help Topics

To view a list of help topics, type man. The following example shows a list of help topics.

> man
List of topics:

Connecting to a Service
Monitoring Stats
Converting Packet DB Files to PCAP
Verifying Database Hashes
SDK Content
SDK Content Examples

Type "man <topic>" for help on a specific topic, partial matches are acceptable

View a Specific Help Topic

To view help about a specific topic, type man <topic>. The following example shows the Packets help topic after typing man Packets.

Type "man <topic>" for help on a specific topic, partial matches are acceptable
> man Packets

The *packets* command can be used to generate a pcap or log file based on a
list of Session IDs, a time period or a where clause. The command is quite
flexible and can be used on any running service that has access to the raw
data from a downstream component. Before running the command, you must first
*login* to a service and then change directory to the appropriate sdk node,
(e.g., "cd /sdk"). Unlike the *makepcap* command, which only works on the
local file system, this command is meant to be used on a remote service.

login ...
cd /sdk
packets where="service=80 && time='2018-03-01 15:00:00'-'2018-03-01
15:10:00'" pathname="/tmp/march-1.pcap"
Write 10 minutes of HTTP only packets from March 1st, to the file
/tmp/march-1.pcap. All times are in UTC.

packets time1="2018-04-01 12:30:00" time2="2018-04-01 12:35:00"
Write all packets between the two times to a gzip compressed file at

packets time1="2018-04-01 12:30:00" time2="2018-04-01 12:35:00"
Write all logs between the two times to a plaintext file at
/media/sdd1/mylogs.log. Any pathname ending with .log indicates that the
format of the output file should be plaintext line-delimited logs.

Caution: To get the latest information, view the command and help topics within NwConsole.

Quit NwConsole

To exit the NwConsole application, type quit at the command line.