Splunk® Enterprise

Getting Data In

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Get data from APIs and other remote data interfaces through scripted inputs

Splunk Enterprise can accept events from scripts that you provide. Scripted input is useful in conjunction with some Windows and *nix command-line tools, such as vmstat, iostat, netstat, top, and so on. You can use scripted input to get data from application program interfaces (APIs) and other remote data interfaces and message queues. You can then use commands like vmstat and iostat on that data to generate metrics and status data.

Note: This topic describes how to add scripted inputs that you've already written to your set of inputs. To learn how to develop scripted inputs, see Build scripted inputs in the Developing Views and Apps for Splunk Web manual.

Many apps on Splunkbase provide scripted inputs for specific applications. You can find them on the Browse more apps option in the Apps menu.

You can configure scripted inputs from the Settings menu or by editing inputs.conf.

Note: On Windows platforms, you can enable text-based scripts, such those in perl and python, with an intermediary Windows batch (.bat) or PowerShell (.ps1) file.

Caution: Scripts launched through scripted input inherit the Splunk Enterprise environment. Be sure to clear environment variables that can affect your script's operation. The only environment variable that's likely to cause problems is the library path (most commonly known as LD_LIBRARY_PATH on Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD).

Splunk Enterprise logs any messages sent to the stderr I/O channel by scripted inputs to splunkd.log.

Add a scripted input in Splunk Web

To add a scripted input in Splunk Web, follow the "Scripts" recipe in this manual.

Add a scripted input via inputs.conf

You add a scripted input in inputs.conf by adding a [script] stanza.


Here is the syntax for the [script] stanza:

<attrbute1> = <val1>
<attrbute2> = <val2>

Note the following:

  • $SCRIPT is the fully-qualified path to the location of the script.
  • As a best practice, put your script in the bin/ directory nearest the inputs.conf where your script is specified. For example, if you are configuring $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/local/inputs.conf, place your script in $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/bin/. If you're working on an application in $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/$APPLICATION/, put your script in $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/$APPLICATION/bin/.


All attributes are optional. Here is the list of available attributes:

Attribute Description Default
interval = <number>|<cron schedule> * Indicates how often to execute the specified command. Specify either an integer value representing seconds or a valid cron schedule.
  • When a cron schedule is specified, the script does not execute on start up, but rather at the times defined by the cron schedule.
  • Splunk Enterprise keeps one invocation of a script per instance. Intervals are based on when the script completes. So if you have a script configured to run every 10 minutes and the script takes 20 minutes to complete, the next run will occur 30 minutes after the first run.
  • For constant data streams, enter 1 (or a value smaller than the script's interval).
  • For one-shot data streams, enter -1. Setting interval to -1 will cause the script to run each time the splunk daemon restarts.
60 seconds
index = <string> * Sets the index where events from this input will be stored.
  • Splunk Enterprise prepends the <string> with index::.
  • For more information about the index field, see "How indexing works" in the Managing Indexers and Clusters manual.
main, or whatever you have set as your default index.
sourcetype = <string> * Sets the sourcetype key/field for events from this input.
  • Explicitly declares the source type for this data, as opposed to allowing it to be determined automatically. This is important both for searchability and for applying the relevant formatting for this type of data during parsing and indexing.
  • Sets the sourcetype key's initial value. The key is used during parsing/indexing, in particular to set the source type field during indexing. It is also the source type field used at search time.
  • The <string> is prepended with 'sourcetype::'.
  • For more information about source types, see "Why source types matter", in this manual.
Splunk Enterprise picks a source type based on various aspects of the data. There is no hard-coded default.
source = <string> * Sets the source key/field for events from this input.
  • Note: Splunk Enterprise does not recommend that you override the source key. Typically, the input layer will provide a more accurate string to aid in problem analysis and investigation, accurately recording the file from which the data was retreived. Consider use of source types, tagging, and search wildcards before overriding this value.
  • Splunk Enterprise prepends <string> with source::.
The input file path
disabled = <true | false> * disabled is a boolean value that can be set to true if you want to disable the input. false

If you want the script to run continuously, write the script to never exit and set it on a short interval. This helps to ensure that if there is a problem the script gets restarted. Splunk Enterprise keeps track of scripts it has spawned and will shut them down upon exit.

Using a wrapper script

It is good practice to write a wrapper script for scripted inputs that use commands with arguments. In some cases, the command can contain special characters that Splunk Enterprise escapes when validating text entered in Splunk Web. This causes updates to a previously configured input to fail to save.

Note: Characters that Splunk Enterprise escapes when validating text are those that should not be in paths, such as equals (=) and semi-colon (;).

For example, the following scripted input is not correctly saved when edited in Splunk Web because Splunk Enterprise escapes the equals (=) sign in the parameter to the myUtil.py utility:

[script://$SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/myApp/bin/myUtil.py file=my_datacsv]
disabled = false

To avoid this problem, write a wrapper script that contains the scripted input. (Inputs updated by editing the conf file directly are not subject to this input validation.) For information on writing wrapper scripts, see Scripted inputs overview in the Developing Views and Apps for Splunk Web manual.

Example using inputs.conf

This example shows the use of the UNIX top command as a data input source:

1. Create a new application directory. This example uses scripts/:

$ mkdir $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/scripts

2. All scripts should be run out of a bin/ directory inside your application directory:

$ mkdir $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/scripts/bin

3. This example uses a small shell script top.sh:

$ #!/bin/sh
top -bn 1  # linux only - different OSes have different parameters

4. Make sure the script is executable:

chmod +x $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/scripts/bin/top.sh

5. Test that the script works by running it via the shell:


The script should send one top output.

6. Add the script entry to inputs.conf in $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/scripts/local/:

interval = 5                     # run every 5 seconds
sourcetype = top                 # set sourcetype to top
source = script://./bin/top.sh   # set source to name of script

Note: You might need to modify props.conf:

  • By default Splunk Enterprise breaks the single top entry into multiple events.
  • The easiest way to fix this problem is to tell the server to break only before something that does not exist in the output.

For example, adding the following to $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/scripts/default/props.conf forces all lines into a single event:


Since there is no timestamp in the top output we need to tell Splunk Enterprise to use the current time. This is done in props.conf by setting:


Set interval attribute to cron schedule

In the above example, you can also set the interval attribute to a "cron" schedule by specifying strings like the following:

0 * * * *: Means run once an hour, at the top of the hour.

*/15 9-17 * * 1-5: Means run every 15 minutes from 9 am until 5 pm, on Monday to Friday.

15,35,55 0-6,20-23 1 */2 *: Means run at 15, 35, and 55 minutes after the hour, between midnight and 7 am and again between 8pm and midnight, on the first of every even month (February, April, June and so on).

For more information about setting cron schedules, read "CRONTAB(5) on the Crontab website.

Monitor changes to your file system
Find more things to monitor with crawl

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 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, 6.2.14, 6.2.15


Hi Cmontonen,

As long as your script has the proper permissions set (on a Unix instance), you should not have to restart Splunk Enterprise. If the script fails to run, you might need to restart Splunk after correcting the error.

Malmoore, Splunker
May 26, 2015

Should the Splunk instance be restarted for Splunk to pick up the script input?

May 26, 2015

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