rex command usage
SPL2 supports perl-compatible regular expressions (PCRE) for regular expressions.
The Edge Processor solution, which uses the
rex command, supports Regular Expression 2 (RE2) syntax instead of PCRE syntax. See rex command syntax details.
A pipe character ( | ) is used in regular expressions to specify an OR condition. For example, A or B is expressed as A | B.
Because pipe characters are used to separate commands in SPL2, you must enclose a regular expression that uses the pipe character in double quotation marks. For example:
...| rex "expression | with pipe"
This is interpreted by SPL2 as a search for the text "expression" OR "with pipe".
Escaping characters with backslashes
The backslash ( \ ) character is used to ignore, or escape, most special characters in regular expressions.
Character classes and string expressions
Regular expressions that include a character class, such as
can be specified using one of two methods. The following table describes the methods and shows an example:
|Enclose the string expression in quotation marks and escape the backslash character in the character class.|
|Enclose the string expression in forward ( / ) slashes. You don't need to escape the backslash character in the character class.|
The period ( . ) character is used in a regular expression to match any character, except a line break character. If you want to match a period character, you must escape the period character by specifying
\. in your regular expression.
The asterisk ( * ) character is a reserved character in SPL2 and can't be escaped. SPL2 uses the asterisk as a wildcard character.
Double backslash characters
When a search includes a regular expression that contains a double backslash, for example to represent a file path like
c:\\temp, the search interprets the first backslash as an escape character. The file path is interpreted as
c:\temp. One of the backslashes is removed.
You must escape both backslash characters in a file path by specifying 4 consecutive backslashes for the root portion of the file path. For example:
c:\\\\temp. For a longer file path, such as
c:\\temp\example, you would specify
c:\\\\temp\\example in your regular expression.
When using the
rex command in sed mode, you have two options: replace (s) or character substitution (y).
The syntax for using sed to replace (s) text in your data is:
- <regex> is a PCRE regular expression, which can include capturing groups.
- <replacement> is a string to replace the regex match. Use
nfor backreferences, where "n" is a single digit.
- <flags> can be either:
gto replace all matches, or a number to replace a specified match.
The syntax for using sed to substitute characters is:
- This substitutes the characters that match <string1> with the characters in <string2>.
Differences between SPL and SPL2
Support for raw string literals
New in SPL2 is support for raw string literals.
Options must be specified before the expressions
field option must be specified before the <regex-expression> or <sed-expression> argument.
|SPL||...rex "From: (?<from>.*) To: (?<to>.*)" field=myfield||...rex "From: (?<from>.*) To: (?<to>.*)" max_match=10 offset_field=newofield|
|SPL2||...rex field=myfield "From: (?<from>.*) To: (?<to>.*)"||...rex max_match=10 offset_field=newofield "From: (?<from>.*) To: (?<to>.*)"|
offset_field options must be specified before the <regex-expression> argument.
|SPL||...rex "From: (?<from>.*) To: (?<to>.*)" max_match=10 offset_field=newofield|
|SPL2||...rex max_match=10 offset_field=newofield "From: (?<from>.*) To: (?<to>.*)"|
rex command syntax details
rex command examples
This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Cloud Services: current
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