9.3. Rule Reloads

Suricata can reload the rules without restarting. This way, there is minimal service disruption.

This works by sending Suricata a signal or by using the unix socket. When Suricata is told to reload the rules these are the basic steps it takes:

  • Load new config to update rule variables and values.

  • Load new rules

  • Construct new detection engine

  • Swap old and new detection engines

  • Make sure all threads are updated

  • Free old detection engine

Suricata will continue to process packets normally during this process. Keep in mind though, that the system should have enough memory for both detection engines.


kill -USR2 $(pidof suricata)

There are two methods available when using the Unix socket.

Blocking reload

suricatasc -c reload-rules

Non blocking reload

suricatasc -c ruleset-reload-nonblocking

It is also possible to get information about the last reload via dedicated commands. See Commands in standard running mode for more information.