Autopsy 4.20.0 is Finally Out With New Pipelines and Fixes


After over 1-year, a new Autopsy release is out and this blog post will cover some of the new features, outline why we’ve been unusually silent for a year, and map out what to expect in the future. 

If you want to skip right to the download, you can find that here

What’s In the 4.20.0 Release

Let’s first start off with what’s in the release. There have been over 700 commits to the GitHub repo since the last release, so we haven’t exactly been sitting idle. The 4.20.0 release has a lot of smaller bug fixes and features that you can skim through in the NEWS file. Examples include Chromium browser support, Solr and Tesseract upgrades, and numerous bug fixes. 

I wanted to call out a few more notable infrastructure things though:

  • Module writers can now create Jython-based Data Source Processor modules. These allow you to add different kinds of data sources into a case. You can see a sample module here. This came from a community contribution from Ruben Nogueira, which was used for an OSDFCon module submission. 
  • There is a new kind of module and pipeline for data artifacts. This allows Autopsy to do more analytics on artifacts that are extracted from files. The Keyword Search module is now using this as a way to index artifacts.
  • There are new scripts to make installation on Linux and Mac easier. See the new instructions here.

Where Have the Releases Been

It’s been over a year since our last release because of changes with contracts that BasisTech held. Much of the Autopsy development was from generous contracts that let us release much of our work as open source. The scope of those contracts changed and we have not had as much engineering resources on open source releases. 

But, we are NOT abandoning the project. We will continue to support it while we also build out a new business model to support its development. There are several open source-based business models out there and our goal is to continue to provide an entry-level, no-cost digital forensics platform. 

The 2023 Plan

As we start 2023, our goal is to return to quarterly releases and fix bugs. You can submit bug reports to the Github Issue tracker and we will try to recreate and fix them. Any community help with organizing the issues and debugging will be greatly appreciated.