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Can I use configuration files to extend the power of Splunk Enterprise?

Splunk Employee
Splunk Employee

Does anyone know where I can find guidance about editing configuration files?

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1 Solution

Splunk Employee
Splunk Employee

The Splunk Product Best Practices team provided this response. Read more about How Crowdsourcing is Shaping the Future of Splunk Best Practices.

Unlock the power of the platform!

The variability of your data is unlimited, so your tools should be too. Splunk's out-of-the-box features provide everything you need to get started searching and gaining insights to your data. But when those insights lead to deeper questions, Splunk gives you the flexibility to extend its base capabilities using configuration (.conf) files.

How configuration files help you extend the power of Splunk

The Splunk .conf files enable you to manage, customize, and layer various settings at a finer level of detail than what's available through the Splunk Web user interface. Splunk determines configuration priorities based on factors such as the current user and current app (scope) and alpha-numeric name sorting (lexicographical naming). This enables you to blend configurations from different files of the same configuration type, tune your data's source type, and increase the performance of indexing and searching.

Things to know

Splunk has about 50 configuration files that define and manage everything from alerts to workflow actions, including tags, custom time ranges, REST endpoints, indexing properties, data inputs, and so on. The list of configuration files includes parameters and examples that define all the attributes and values used in each configuration file. These are the guidelines to use for modifying a stanza or adding one to a .conf file.

Before working with configuration files, get familiar with the nuances of configuration file structure, configuration file directories, configuration file precedence, and when to restart Splunk Enterprise after a configuration file change for a direct .conf edit to apply. To help keep it all straight, Splunk provides btool, a command-line utility, to troubleshoot issues with .conf file interactions and precedence.

You can create source types using configuration files and Splunk Web. When you ingest data, Splunk will create the basic initial source type settings, which you can copy directly into a configuration file and edit/customize from there. This is a handy shortcut, and a great way to use a local sandbox where you can define and tune source types without affecting production.

  • Configuration file: A file that contains Splunk configuration information for Splunk and Splunk apps.
  • Stanza: A section of a .conf file that specifies one or more configuration parameters using key/value pairs.
  • Precedence: The order in which Splunk prioritizes configuration settings based on which directory it's in (local, app, or system default).
  • Inputs.conf: A .conf file that controls data ingress.
  • Props.conf: A .conf file that define how Splunk processes data on its way in as well as when you search it. Details such as line breaking between events, character encoding, and timestamps are all defined in props.conf.
  • btool: A command line tool that can help you troubleshoot configuration file issues or see what values are being used by your Splunk Enterprise installation.

Things to do

  • Troubleshoot an existing source type. Find an especially important source type and resolve data quality issues to make sure it's set up for success. Use btool to troubleshoot configurations.
  • Create a new source type. Create a source type using .conf files. Extra points if you limit your use of Splunk Web for reference only.
  • Define and tune timestamps. Take a look at the timestamps in your data. Configure timestamp recognition to make sure Splunk doesn't waste time trying to figure out the right date-time stamp to use.
  • Define and tune event breaks. Multi-line events? Bet you have some! Figuring out what's mutli-line can be taxing on the indexers. Set the segmentation for event data to optimize your source types with what you've learned about .conf files.

View solution in original post

0 Karma

Splunk Employee
Splunk Employee

The Splunk Product Best Practices team provided this response. Read more about How Crowdsourcing is Shaping the Future of Splunk Best Practices.

Unlock the power of the platform!

The variability of your data is unlimited, so your tools should be too. Splunk's out-of-the-box features provide everything you need to get started searching and gaining insights to your data. But when those insights lead to deeper questions, Splunk gives you the flexibility to extend its base capabilities using configuration (.conf) files.

How configuration files help you extend the power of Splunk

The Splunk .conf files enable you to manage, customize, and layer various settings at a finer level of detail than what's available through the Splunk Web user interface. Splunk determines configuration priorities based on factors such as the current user and current app (scope) and alpha-numeric name sorting (lexicographical naming). This enables you to blend configurations from different files of the same configuration type, tune your data's source type, and increase the performance of indexing and searching.

Things to know

Splunk has about 50 configuration files that define and manage everything from alerts to workflow actions, including tags, custom time ranges, REST endpoints, indexing properties, data inputs, and so on. The list of configuration files includes parameters and examples that define all the attributes and values used in each configuration file. These are the guidelines to use for modifying a stanza or adding one to a .conf file.

Before working with configuration files, get familiar with the nuances of configuration file structure, configuration file directories, configuration file precedence, and when to restart Splunk Enterprise after a configuration file change for a direct .conf edit to apply. To help keep it all straight, Splunk provides btool, a command-line utility, to troubleshoot issues with .conf file interactions and precedence.

You can create source types using configuration files and Splunk Web. When you ingest data, Splunk will create the basic initial source type settings, which you can copy directly into a configuration file and edit/customize from there. This is a handy shortcut, and a great way to use a local sandbox where you can define and tune source types without affecting production.

  • Configuration file: A file that contains Splunk configuration information for Splunk and Splunk apps.
  • Stanza: A section of a .conf file that specifies one or more configuration parameters using key/value pairs.
  • Precedence: The order in which Splunk prioritizes configuration settings based on which directory it's in (local, app, or system default).
  • Inputs.conf: A .conf file that controls data ingress.
  • Props.conf: A .conf file that define how Splunk processes data on its way in as well as when you search it. Details such as line breaking between events, character encoding, and timestamps are all defined in props.conf.
  • btool: A command line tool that can help you troubleshoot configuration file issues or see what values are being used by your Splunk Enterprise installation.

Things to do

  • Troubleshoot an existing source type. Find an especially important source type and resolve data quality issues to make sure it's set up for success. Use btool to troubleshoot configurations.
  • Create a new source type. Create a source type using .conf files. Extra points if you limit your use of Splunk Web for reference only.
  • Define and tune timestamps. Take a look at the timestamps in your data. Configure timestamp recognition to make sure Splunk doesn't waste time trying to figure out the right date-time stamp to use.
  • Define and tune event breaks. Multi-line events? Bet you have some! Figuring out what's mutli-line can be taxing on the indexers. Set the segmentation for event data to optimize your source types with what you've learned about .conf files.

View solution in original post

0 Karma

SplunkTrust
SplunkTrust

If you are looking for an easy way to edit conf files inside Splunk you can use the config Explorer app: https://splunkbase.splunk.com/app/4353/ . Understanding config file precedence can be quite confusing and Config Explorer can help with as it has in-built btool support.

(shameless self plug - please delete if not appropriate)

Also check out Config Quest by Discovered Intelligence which can help you review configuration on remote servers - https://splunkbase.splunk.com/app/3696/

0 Karma

Ultra Champion

Thanks for the contribution @chrisyoungerjds! We are sticking to Splunk supported and built apps for now but it's great to know you have community contributions out there. I'll convert your answer to a comment so it can saddle up with the official answer.

0 Karma