Cartography Developer Guide


*If you’d like to test using Docker and Docker Compose, see here*

Running from source

  1. Install

    Follow steps 1 and 2 in Installation. Ensure that you have JVM 11 installed and Neo4j Community Edition 4.4 is running on your local machine.

  2. Clone the source code

    Run cd {path-where-you-want-your-source-code}. Get the source code with git clone git://

  3. Install from source

    Run cd cartography and then pip install -e . (yes, actually type the period into the command line) to install Cartography from source.

    ℹ️You may find it beneficial to use Python virtualenvs (or the virutalenvwrapper) so that packages installed via pip are easier to manage.

  4. Run from source

    After this finishes you should be able to run Cartography from source with cartography --neo4j-uri <uri for your neo4j instance; usually bolt://localhost:7687>. Any changes to the source code in {path-where-you-want-your-source-code}/cartography are now locally testable by running cartography from the command line.

Manually testing individual intel modules

After completing the section above, you are now able to manually test intel modules.

  1. If needed, comment out unnecessary lines

    See This function syncs different AWS objects with your Neo4j instance. Comment out the lines that you don’t want to test for.

    For example, IAM can take a long time to ingest so if you’re testing an intel module that doesn’t require IAM nodes to already exist in the graph, then you can comment out all of the iam.sync_* lines.

  2. Save your changes and run cartography from a terminal as you normally would.

Automated testing

  1. Install test requirements

    pip install -r test-requirements.txt

  2. (OPTIONAL) Setup environment variables for integration tests

    The integration tests expect Neo4j to be running locally, listening on default ports, with auth disabled:

    To disable auth, edit your neo4j.conf file with Additional details on

    To run the integration tests on a specific Neo4j instance, add the following environment variable:

    export "NEO4J_URL=<your_neo4j_instance_bolt_url:your_neo4j_instance_port>"

  3. **Run tests using make**

    • make test_lint can be used to run pre-commit linting against the codebase. We use pre-commit to standardize our linting across our code-base at Lyft.

    • make test_unit can be used to run the unit test suite.

      ⚠️ Important! The below commands will DELETE ALL NODES on your local Neo4j instance as part of our testing procedure. Only run any of the below commands if you are ok with this. ⚠️

    • make test_integration can be used to run the integration test suite. For more granular testing, you can invoke pytest directly:

      • pytest ./tests/integration/cartography/intel/aws/

      • pytest ./tests/integration/cartography/intel/aws/

    • make test can be used to run all of the above.

Implementing custom sync commands

By default, cartography will try to sync every intel module included as part of the default sync. If you’re not using certain intel modules you can create a custom sync script and invoke it using the cartography CLI. For example, if you’re only interested in the AWS intel module you can create a sync script,, that looks like this:

from cartography import cli
from cartography import sync
from import aws
from import create_indexes

def build_custom_sync():
    s = sync.Sync()
        ('aws', aws.start_aws_ingestion),
    return s

def main(argv):
    return cli.CLI(build_custom_sync(), prog='cartography').main(argv)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    import sys

Which can then be invoked using python and will have all the features of the cartography CLI while only including the intel modules you are specifically interested in using. For example:

cartography$ python
INFO:cartography.sync:Starting sync with update tag '1569022981'
INFO:cartography.sync:Starting sync stage 'create-indexes' indexes for cartography node types.
INFO:cartography.sync:Finishing sync stage 'create-indexes'
INFO:cartography.sync:Starting sync stage 'aws'
INFO:botocore.credentials:Found credentials in shared credentials file: ~/.aws/credentials

How to write a new intel module

See here.