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The BitCurator Environment is a forensic Linux distribution geared towards the needs of archivists and librarians. It includes a suite of open source digital forensics and data analysis tools to help collecting institutions process born-digital materials. BitCurator supports positive digital preservation outcomes using software (see our Software page) and practices adopted from the digital forensics community.

  • Create forensic disk images: Disk images packaged with metadata about devices, file systems, and the creation process.
  • Analyze files and file systems: View details on file system contents from a wide variety of file systems.
  • Extract file system metadata: File system metadata is a critical link in the chain of custody and in records of provenance.
  • Identify and redact sensitive information: Locate private and sensitive information on digital media and prepare materials for public access.
  • Locate and remove duplicate files: Know what files to keep and what can be discarded.

Get BitCurator

BitCurator Virtual Machine (v1.6.0)

[Download Mirror] [MD5 checksum]

BitCurator Installation ISO (v1.6.0)

[Download Mirror] [MD5 checksum]

Quickstart Guide Walk through installation and BitCurator use.
BitCurator User Group Get support and discuss issues with the community.

Virtual Machine Login

BitCurator ships with a default user. We suggest you change the password when working in production environments!

username: bcadmin

password: bcadmin

Support BitCurator

Ongoing development of the BitCurator environment depends on the support of BitCurator Consortium members. Find out more about becoming a member.


BitCurator is hosted at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported BitCurator through September 2014. Project development was conducted in partnership with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) from September 2010 to September 2014. BitCurator is currently managed by the BitCurator Consortium in association with the Educopia Institute.




Visit our main site to see more information on current and former BitCurator team members and contributors.


Software in our Github repository is GNU GPLv3 licensed. This wiki and associated documentation are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). All other software included in the BitCurator environment is distributed in accordance with original licenses.


  1. BitCurator in Preservation and Archiving Workflows
  2. Preparing Media
  3. Data Triage
  4. Using Digital Forensics Tools

Note: You can also visit our video gallery to watch related screencasts.

  1. BitCurator in Preservation and Archiving Workflows
  2. Preparing Media. Connect physical media and analyze file system(s) and other contents.
  3. Data Triage. Clean, organize, and explore your data.
  4. Using Digital Forensics Tools. Generate detailed forensic reports to help you understand your files and prepare them for public access.
  5. Or, explore using these features on their own:

    1. Understanding types of information you might wish to scan for
    1. Descriptions and examples of Digital Forensics XML tags

Additional Useful Information

  1. Internationalization / Language Support
  2. Using regular expressions in forensics tools including bulk_extractor
  1. Working with materials in a range of languages
  2. Using regular expressions. Many forensics tools include support for search using regular expressions, a powerful mechanism that can help you match a range of patters with a single search string.

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