WIP: Running Autopsy 3 on Linux

This post is a work in progress that describes how you can build and run the Autopsy Forensic Framework, version 3, under Linux.

General Warning and User Agreement

This post describes a technique that is thoroughly untested and under construction. Success may depend on your lightning quick reflexes to notice omissions and errors.

The Autopsy build instructions specific mention the following points that we will not be following:

At this point, I’ve only spent a night on the build process, so I don’t know why these constraints are mentioned in the README. It probably means you’ll encounter nasty bugs when using Autopsy built as described here.


These instructions only work for Ubuntu 13.04 x86_64. Here’s the info for a system that seems to work:

Linux ubuntu 3.8.0-27-generic #40-Ubuntu SMP Tue Jul 9 00:17:05 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

You’ll also need make, access to sudo, and an internet connection.

Output and Results

By following these instructions, you’ll build a standalone development version of Autopsy in a local directory. Since the build directories are local, and not global, you can can easily have multiple versions sitting side-by-side.


  1. Create a directory for building Autopsy, which I’ll refer to as $WORKING.
  2. Download the Makefile to $WORKING. I used a Makefile because they’re a convenient way to organize a collection of small shell commands and relations among them.
  3. Execute make build_autopsy to fetch all external dependencies and build Autopsy. - I realize it apt-get updates many times repeatedly, but I haven’t reached the optimization phase yet. - You’ll probably encounter an issue during build here that you’ll have to debug. Sorry. Check the source of the Makefile and execute the commented steps one-by-one. - The final Autopsy directory will be $WORKING/autopsy/build.
  4. Execute make run_autopsy to launch Autopsy.

Screenshot of Autopsy on Linux