I wrote geoloc to help me query my access logs, fast.

geoloc is a command line tool for bulk geolocation queries written in C++. Once its binary database has been built, geoloc performs geolocation queries offline.


Bulk lookup from apache access.log:

$ cat access.log | awk '{print $1}' | geoloc -f - | column -t  AU  02  Sydney         -33.8001  151.3123   AS1610581   BIGCableCo    AU  07  Melbourne      -37.8266  144.7834   AS1370775   Micronode+PTY+LTD   US  CA  San+Francisco  37.6777   -122.2221  AS49335653  Big+Flare,+Inc

Query some IPs:

$ geoloc -q --headers | column -t

ip              country  region  city           latitude  longitude  as_num   as_text         US       CA      Mountain+View  37.3860   -122.0838  AS15169  Google+Inc.  US       CA      San+Francisco  37.7697   -122.3933  AS36459  GitHub,+Inc.

geoloc is designed to run fast and load fast:

$ wc -l /tmp/ip_list

 1000000 /tmp/ip_list

$ time geoloc -f /tmp/ip_list > /tmp/res1

real    0m6.131s
user    0m5.662s
sys     0m0.369s

$ time geoloc -q > /tmp/res2

real    0m0.010s
user    0m0.002s
sys     0m0.005s


The program is designed as a portable application, to run out of ~/bin, with the database stored in ~/var/db/geoloc/geodata.bin.

To install:

$ git clone https://github.com/loadzero/geoloc.git && cd geoloc
$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install

The configure script will check for these dependencies:

  • iconv
  • unzip
  • wget
  • make
  • c++

During installation, data will be downloaded from MaxMind to create the database.

An update script will be installed into ~/bin/_geoloc_update.sh. Run this script when you would like to update your geolocation database. MaxMind updates their source data once a month.

I have tested on OSX 10.9.5 and Ubuntu 14.04. Other unices are likely to work with minimal or no changes. It is unlikely to work on windows, due to the use of mmap.

Design and Implementation

I plan to do a longer write-up on the design and implementation of the tool, to share some C++ tips and tricks.

The short version is that the code operates in two phases, packing and query. The packing phase is all about converting the data into a machine optimal format, namely relocatable sorted vectors. The query phase simply mmaps that data, and performs a std::upper_bound binary search on it to find the IPs.

There is an outline of the code, roughly in topological order here, that contains a summary of each module.


This software includes GeoLite data created by MaxMind available from http://www.maxmind.com