Splunk® Enterprise

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Configuration file structure

Before you edit configuration files, you should familiarize yourself with the structure of the files.


Configuration files consist of one or more stanzas, or sections. Each stanza begins with a stanza header in square brackets. This header identifies the settings held within that stanza. Each setting is an attribute value pair that specifies particular configuration settings.

For example, inputs.conf provides an [SSL] that includes settings for the server certificate and password (among other things):

serverCert = <pathname>
password = <password>

Depending on the stanza type, some of the attributes might be required, while others could be optional.

Setting up a new stanza

When you edit a configuration file, you might be changing the default stanza, like above, or you might need to add a brand-new stanza.

Here's the basic pattern:

<attribute1> = <val1>
# comment 
<attribute2> = <val2>

<attribute1> = <val1>
<attribute2> = <val2>

Important: Attributes are case-sensitive. For example, sourcetype = my_app is not the same as SOURCETYPE = my_app. One will work; the other won't.

Stanza scope

Configuration files frequently have stanzas with varying scopes, with the more specific stanzas taking precedence. For example, consider this example of an outputs.conf configuration file, used to configure forwarders:


server=mysplunk_indexer1:9997, mysplunk_indexer2:9997

server=mysplunk_indexer3:9997, mysplunk_indexer4:9997

Note that this example file has two levels of stanzas:

  • The global [tcpout], with settings that affect all tcp forwarding.
  • Two [tcpout:<target_list>] stanzas, whose settings affect only the indexers defined in each target group.

The setting for compressed in [tcpout:my_indexersA] overrides that attribute's setting in [tcpout], for the indexers in the my_indexersA target group only.

For more information on forwarders and outputs.conf, see "Configure forwarders with outputs.conf".

Configuration file directories
Configuration file precedence

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 6.0, 6.0.1, 6.0.2, 6.0.3, 6.0.4, 6.0.5, 6.0.6, 6.0.7, 6.0.8, 6.0.9, 6.0.10, 6.0.11, 6.0.12, 6.0.13, 6.0.14, 6.1, 6.1.1, 6.1.2, 6.1.3, 6.1.4, 6.1.5, 6.1.6, 6.1.7, 6.1.8, 6.1.9, 6.1.10, 6.1.11, 6.1.12, 6.1.13, 6.2.0, 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.3, 6.2.4, 6.2.5, 6.2.6, 6.2.7, 6.2.8, 6.2.9, 6.2.10, 6.2.11, 6.2.12, 6.2.13, 6.3.0, 6.3.1, 6.3.2, 6.3.3, 6.3.4, 6.3.5, 6.3.6, 6.3.7, 6.3.8, 6.3.9, 6.3.10, 6.3.11, 6.3.12, 6.4.0, 6.4.1, 6.4.2, 6.4.3, 6.4.4, 6.4.5, 6.4.6, 6.4.7, 6.4.8, 6.4.9, 6.5.0, 6.5.1, 6.5.1612 (Splunk Cloud only), 6.5.2, 6.5.3, 6.5.4, 6.5.5, 6.5.6, 6.5.7, 6.6.0, 6.6.1, 6.6.2, 6.6.3, 6.6.4, 6.6.5, 7.0.0, 7.0.1

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