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Amass system information and expose it as JSON


Amass system information and expose it as JSON

npm install -g amass

(hosted on

By default, amass exposes 3 keys

amass | json -k

You can extend this by writing plugins

There are other well-known programs that do a similar function. amass is written completely in node, and as such, doesn't rely on user-land tools that often behave differently on different operating systems, nor does it use and abuse sed, awk, cut, etc. all information comes from node's builtin modules.

Also, speed.

dave @ [ manilla :: (Darwin) ] ~/dev/node-amass $ time ./bin/amass.js > /dev/null

real    0m0.064s
user    0m0.053s
sys     0m0.010s

Extend the functionality of amass by writing/using plugins

You may need to sudo some of these commands.

Adding a plugin (amass-etc-passwd)

$ amass --add amass-etc-passwd
amass-etc-passwd@0.0.0 node_modules/amass-etc-passwd
└── etc-passwd@0.1.1 (lazylines@1.0.0)

Now, when you run amass, you'll see a new root key of etc-passwd

View the installed plugins

$ amass --list
amass@0.0.4 /private/var/amass
└── amass-etc-passwd@0.0.0

That shows you the installed plugins and their dependencies. If the output looks familiar to you, it's because it is straight from npm.

Now, remove the plugin

$ amass --remove amass-etc-passwd
$ echo $?

Notice no output is generated (just like npm remove), but that the exit code is properly set.

List the plugins once more and see that it is empty

$ amass --list
amass@0.0.4 /private/var/amass
└── (empty)

As of right now, a module must be published to npm before it can be used, or symlinked to /var/amass/node_modules. Let's create a simple hello world plugin.


module.exports = function(cb) {
    var data = {
        "name": "dave",
        "hello": "world"
    cb(null, data);

There you go, that's it. Now, when you run amass, you will see your data.

$ amass | json my_plugin
  "name": "dave",
  "hello": "world"

To write a module, have your exports be a function that takes a single argument (the callback), and call it with your data (or any error. The key that the data will have in the amass output is the name of your module.

You can test a module you are writing using amass -t

amass -t <jsfile or module dir>
  1. Plugins are stored in /var/amass, this directory is created lazily when invoked with an option that pertains to plugins.
  2. Plugins should be standalone node modules that expose useful system information, and as such, be installed in node_modules in /var/amass.

MIT License