v0.11.0: Faster startup and composable mods

Discover the great new features in Steampipe's open source v0.11.0 release!

Steampipe Team
7 min. read - Dec 16, 2021
Discover the great new features in Steampipe's open source v0.11.0 release!

What is Steampipe?

Steampipe is open source software for interrogating your cloud. Run SQL queries, compliance controls and full governance benchmarks from the comfort of your CLI.

Steampipe’s codified operations framework gives you the power to test your cloud resources against security, compliance and cost benchmarks, and to build your own custom control frameworks.

Our multi-threaded Golang CLI makes your custom SQL controls blazing fast with unlimited integration options via our embedded PostgreSQL database.

steampipe cli
instance_state as state,
instance_type as type

| region    | state   | type      |
| eu-west-1 | running | t3.medium |
| eu-west-2 | running | m5a.large |
| us-east-1 | running | t3.large  |


Faster startup.
Composable mods.
4 new plugins.
Major mod updates.
Even more goodies in the full release notes.

Faster startup

This release includes a number of startup optimizations, including:

  • The plugin manager instantiates plugins in parallel.

  • The connection manager uses file modified time instead of filehash to detect connection changes.

  • When multiple connections share a schema, we only fetch it once.

The first time you run steampipe query you'll see an immediate difference.

In v0.10 we achieved major gains by spawning database connections to run controls in parallel, and by enabling those parallel controls to share a common plugin-managed cache.

v0.11 brings two additional optimizations that benefit control runs. First, we now only create prepared statements for controls that interpolate parameters into SQL statements. When controls use non-parameterized SQL statements, we avoid that overhead. Second, we avoid fetching the database schema for non-interactive query execution.

Here's the difference for a single control run.


time steampipe check control.cis_v140_1_1


time steampipe check control.cis_v140_1_1

Composable mods

In v0.11 you can build mods that use queries, controls, and benchmarks defined in other mods. The new mod install command enables that scenario.

For example, let's build a custom mod that derives benchmarks from AWS Compliance and Github Sherlock, and also extends GitHub Sherlock with a new control.

We'll use the the directory mod_acme for this example. First, install two mods like so.

steampipe mod install
steampipe mod install

This creates mod.sp.

mod "local" {
title = "mod_acme"
require {
mod "" {
version = "latest"
mod "" {
version = "latest"
steampipe mod list

Now we'll do three things in a separate new file, acme.sp.

  1. Create a version of aws_compliance that cherrypicks just sections 1, 2, and 3 from cis_v140.

  2. Create a version of github_sherlock that cherrypicks two of its four benchmarks.

  3. Add a semantic versioning check to our own version of github_sherlock.

benchmark "acme_cis_v140" {
title = "ACME CIS v1.4.0"
description = "Only sections 1, 2, and 3."
children = [
benchmark "acme_github_sherlock" {
title = "Only issue_best_practices and private_repo, plus a new semver control."
children = [
control "repo_uses_semantic_versioning" {
title = "Repo uses semantic versioning"
sql = <<EOT
r.html_url || '@' || as resource,
when ~ '^v[0-9]+\.[0-9]+\.[0-9]+$' then 'ok'
when ~ '^v[0-9]+\.[0-9]+\.[0-9]+' then 'info'
else 'alarm'
end as status,
r.full_name || '@' || as reason,
github_my_repository as r,
github_tag as t
r.full_name = t.repository_full_name
and r.full_name ~ 'turbotio/steampipe'
order by

With this code in place, here are some checks you can run.

steampipe check all # run only these benchmarks/controls
steampipe check benchmark.acme_cis_v140 # just cis_v140 sections 1, 2, 3
steampipe check benchmark.acme_github_sherlock # 2 of 4 from github_sherlock plus semver
steampipe check control.repo_uses_semantic_versioning # just the semver check

To recap: the new mod install command serves the special case where you want to create your own mod to define benchmarks that remix, and perhaps extend, benchmarks and controls provided by existing mods.

New plugins

Since our last release, we've added 4 new plugins:

  • Keycloak - query clients, identity providers, users, groups
  • Splunk - query apps, indexes, users, searches
  • Steampipe Cloud - query logs, users, workspaces, etc.
  • Terraform - query resources in your Terraform files

We are always improving the suite of plugins. Highlights during this cycle: 8 new tables added to GitHub, 7 new tables added to Cloudflare, OIDC authentication support for Kubernetes.

Major mod updates

During this cycle we added 15 new benchmarks, comprising 192 controls, to the NIST CSF benchmarks.

Let’s get building!

Steampipe delivers tools to build, execute and share cloud configuration, compliance, and security frameworks using SQL, HCL and a little elbow grease. To support those tools, it maps a growing suite of APIs to tables that you can query, and join across, in Postgres.

Do you want to help us expand the open source documentation and control coverage for CIS, PCI, HIPAA, and NIST? Add tables to existing plugins? Create plugins to bring new APIs into the mix? The best way to get started is to join our Slack workspace and raise your hand. We would love to talk to you!

For even more good stuff in v0.11.0, check out the full release notes on GitHub.