A type of forwarder, which is a Splunk Enterprise instance that sends data to another Splunk Enterprise instance or to a third-party system.
The universal forwarder is a dedicated, streamlined version of Splunk Enterprise that contains only the essential components needed to forward data. The universal forwarder does not support python and does not expose a UI.
In most situations, the universal forwarder is the best way to forward data to indexers. Its main limitation is that it forwards only unparsed data. You must use a heavy forwarder to route event-based data.
In the Universal Forwarder manual: