Getting Started


Vivisect is a python 3.6 and up package, with several optional dependencies that can be installed, depending on your use case.

From the Python Package Index

Packages for vivisect are built and push to the Python Package index at You can use pip to install vivisect/vdb/etc:

pip install vivisect

Which will get you the latest vivisect for use in headless mode. If would also like a cool hacker UI to do your reverse engineering in, you can instead run:

pip install vivisect[gui]

Which will also install the PyQt5 dependecies necessary for running the vivisect UI.

From Github

The code for vivisect lives at, where you can submit PRs, log issues, or clone the repo for your own personal modifications.

Installing Older Versions

The transition to python3 compatibility for vivisect is a relatively recent change, and a backwards incompatible one, so if you still need to run vivisect under python2, you can install a version of vivisect in the 0.2.x line, the most recent of which is 0.2.1.

Running the Vivisect UI

If you’re eager to get started analyzing a binary, first: * Make sure vivisect is up to date. * Make sure you have all the GUI requirements installed * Make sure vivisect is in your PYTHONPATH environment variable.

And then you should just be able to run the vivisect UI using this:

python -m viviect.vivbin

Or for convenience sake, we also register vivbin as a script name, so this should also work:


However, those commands merely open an empty UI, and we want to look at bytes and functions. To do that, we can run the vivbin script like so:

vivbin /path/to/my/interesting/binary.exe

Which will kick off auto-analysis and then open the vivisect UI.

Running Bulk Analysis

If you’d prefer to run vivisect headless, or you want to save and/or share the initial workspace file, you can run vivisect in bulk analysis mode:

vivbin -B /path/to/my/bulk/binary.exe

Which will create a “.viv” file located at /path/to/my/bulk/binary.exe.viv. The viv file is a saved version of the full workspace, so you can open it up like you would any other file:

vivbin /path/to/my/bulk/binary.exe.viv

Running the VDB UI

Simimlarly, for vivbin, these commands also work:

python -v vdbbin.vdbin -Q
vdbbin -Q

Though vdb does not require a frontend, and it fine with operating without a frontend, so the -Q option is purely if you want the fanciness of a Qt UI

Attaching VDB to a Process

Fancy UI or not, Vdb is a debugger, so it requires some process to debug. If you want to attach to an already running process, you can supply it on the command line like so:

vdbbin -p <process>

Where <process> is either the pid of the process you want to attach to, or some identifying substring of the process’ command line

Alternatively, if you’ve already start vdb up:

vdb > attach <process>

where <process> follows the same guidelines as above.

And if you want to start a process and attach to it from the start:

vdbbin -c <command>

Where <command> is some command-line string (preferably quoted to avoid any issues) that vdb will then spawn off a subprocess for, and then attach to that child process.

And if you’re already in the vdb command-line::
vdb > exec <command>

Where <command> follows the same guideline as above.