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
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
iostat on that data to generate metrics and status data. On Windows platforms, you can enable text-based scripts, such those in Perl and Python, with an intermediary Windows batch (
.bat) or PowerShell (
This topic describes how to add scripted inputs that you have already written. To learn how to write scripted inputs, see Build scripted inputs in the Developing Views and Apps for Splunk Web manual.
You can configure scripted inputs from the Settings menu or by editing inputs.conf.
When a scripted input launches a script, that script inherits the Splunk Enterprise environment. Clear any environment variables that can affect the operation of a script. The only environment variable that could cause problems is the library path (most commonly known as
LD_LIBRARY_PATH on Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD).
Splunk Enterprise logs any messages that scripted inputs send to the
stderr I/O channel to
Add a scripted input in Splunk Web
Go to the Add New page
You can get there by two routes.
- Splunk Home
- Splunk Settings
By Splunk Settings:
- Click Settings in the upper right corner of Splunk Web.
- Click Data Inputs.
- Click Scripts.
- Click New to add an input.
By Splunk Home:
- Click the Add Data link in Splunk Home.
- Click Monitor to monitor a script on the local machine, or Forward to forward data from a script on a remote machine. Splunk Web displays the "Add Data - Select Source" page.
- In the left pane, locate and select Scripts.
Note: Forwarding data from scripted inputs requires additional setup.
Select the input source
- In the Script Path drop down, select the path where the script resides. Splunk Web updates the page to include a new drop down list, "Script Name."
- In the Script Name drop-down, select the script that you want to run. Splunk Web updates the page to populate the "Command" field with the script name.
- In the Command field, add any arguments needed to invoke the script.
- In the Interval field, enter the amount of time (in seconds) that Splunk Enterprise should wait before invoking the script.
- Optionally, In the Source Name Override field, enter a new source name to override the default source value, if necessary.
- Click Next.
Specify input settings
The Input Settings page lets you specify application context, default host value, and index. All of these parameters are optional. Learn more about setting the host value in "About hosts".
When you set the Host on this page, this only sets the host field in the resulting events. It does not direct Splunk Enterprise to look on a specific host on your network.
- Select the source type for the script. You can choose Select to pick from the list of available source types on the local machine, or "Manual" to enter the name of a source type.
- Select the appropriate Application context for this input.
- Set the Host name value. You have several choices for this setting.
- Set the Index that Splunk Enterprise should send data to. Leave the value as "default", unless you have defined multiple indexes to handle different types of events. In addition to indexes for user data, Splunk Enterprise has a number of utility indexes, which also appear in this drop down box.
- Click Review.
Review your choices
After specifying all your input settings, review your selections. Splunk Web lists all options you selected, including the type of monitor, the source, the source type, the application context, and the index.
- Review the settings.
- If they do not match what you want, click < to go back to the previous step in the wizard. Otherwise, click Submit.
Splunk Web displays the "Success" page.
Add a scripted input with inputs.conf
You add a scripted input in
inputs.conf by adding a
The syntax for the
[script] stanza follows:
[script://$SCRIPT] <attrbute1> = <val1> <attrbute2> = <val2> ...
$SCRIPTis the full path to the location of the script.
$SCRIPTcan also be a file path that ends in the
.pathsuffix. This special suffix lets you use the stanza to point to another command or script that exists anywhere on the host filesystem. See Use the .path suffix to reference external scripts. The file that you reference in the stanza must heed the location restrictions that are described in "Where to place the scripts for scripted inputs" in this topic.
Where to place the scripts for scripted inputs
The script that you reference in
$SCRIPT can only reside in one of the following places on the host file system:
As a best practice, put your script in the
bin/ directory that is nearest the
inputs.conf that calls your script on the host filesystem. For example, if you configure
$SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/local/inputs.conf, place your script in
$SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/bin/. If you work on an application in
$SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/$APPLICATION/, put your script in
All attributes are optional. Here is the list of available attributes:
||How often to execute the specified command. Specify either an integer value representing seconds or a valid cron schedule.
When you specify a
Splunk Enterprise keeps one invocation of a script per instance. Intervals are based on when the script completes. If you configure a script 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 interval). For one-shot data streams, enter -1. Setting
||The index where events from this input should be stored. Splunk Enterprise prepends the
For more information about the index field, see "How indexing works" in the Managing Indexers and Clusters manual.
||Sets the sourcetype key/field for events from this input. * The
Explicitly declares the source type for this data, as opposed to letting it 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 initial value. Splunk Enterprise uses this key is during parsing/indexing, in particular to set the source type field during indexing. It also uses the source type field at search time.
|Splunk Enterprise picks a source type based on various aspects of the data. There is no hard-coded default.|
||* Sets the source key/field for events from this input.
||The input file path|
||Whether or not the input should run. Set to true if you want to disable the input.|
Run scripts continuously
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 shuts them down on exit.
Use a wrapper script
It is best practice to write a wrapper script for scripted inputs that use commands with arguments. In some cases, the command can contain special characters that the scripted input escapes when it validates text that you have entered in Splunk Web. This causes updates to a previously configured input to fail to save.
Splunk Enterprise escapes characters that should not be in paths, such as the equals sign (
=) and semicolon (
;) when it validates text. For example, the following scripted input is not correctly saved when you edit it in Splunk Web because the scripted input escapes the equals (=) sign in the parameter to the
[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, or use the special
.path argument for the scripted input stanza name. For information on writing wrapper scripts, see Scripted inputs overview in the Developing Views and Apps for Splunk Web manual.
When you update scripted Inputs by editing
inputs.conf directly, this validation does not occur.
Use the .path suffix to reference external scripts
As an alternative to writing a wrapper script, you can configure the scripted input to reference a script or executable that is anywhere on the host file system.
The script that you reference can have a single line that calls the script or executable that you want. You can use this file to call a runtime environment that is outside of the Splunk Enterprise environment. For example, if you have both Splunk Enterprise, which comes with Python, and a second installation of Python on the same host, you can use the
.path method to reference the second Python installation.
- Use Splunk Web or edit
inputs.confand specify a scripted input stanza with a script name that ends in
[script://myfile.path] disabled = 0
- Place the file that you reference in the stanza in the appropriate directory, as described in Where to place the scripts for scripted inputs.
- Edit the file to specify the script or executable you want.
/path/to/myscript -arg1 arg -arg2 arg
Examples of scripted inputs with inputs.conf
Unix top command
This example shows the use of the UNIX
top command as a data input source:
- Create a new application directory. This example uses
$ mkdir $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/scripts
- All scripts should be run out of a
bin/directory inside your application directory.
$ mkdir $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/scripts/bin
- This example uses a small shell script
$ #!/bin/sh top -bn 1 # linux only - different OSes have different parameters
- Make the script executable.
chmod +x $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/scripts/bin/top.sh
- Test that the script works by running it via the shell.
The script should send one
- Add the script entry to
[script:///opt/splunk/etc/apps/scripts/bin/top.sh] 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
topentry 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.confforces all lines into a single event:
[top] BREAK_ONLY_BEFORE = <stuff>
Since there is no timestamp in the
topoutput, you must tell Splunk Enterprise to use the current time. Use
props.confand set the following:
DATETIME_CONFIG = CURRENT
- By default Splunk Enterprise breaks the single
Reference an external script with the .path stanza
The following example uses the special .path stanza setting to reference an external build of Python to run a script on your host.
[script://loglogs.path] disabled = 0
- Place or create
loglogs.pathto reference the external version of Python.
/usr/bin/python logit.py --source /opt/files/my_files --target /opt/files/my_files/processed --logfile /opt/src/my_sources/logfiles
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
Overview of event processing
This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 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, 6.3.13, 6.3.14, 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, 6.4.10, 6.4.11, 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, 6.5.8, 6.5.9, 6.5.10, 6.6.0, 6.6.1, 6.6.2, 6.6.3, 6.6.4, 6.6.5, 6.6.6, 6.6.7, 6.6.8, 6.6.9, 6.6.10, 6.6.11, 6.6.12, 7.0.0, 7.0.1, 7.0.2, 7.0.3, 7.0.4, 7.0.5, 7.0.6, 7.0.7, 7.0.8, 7.0.9, 7.0.10, 7.0.11, 7.0.13, 7.1.0, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 7.1.3, 7.1.4, 7.1.5, 7.1.6, 7.1.7, 7.1.8, 7.1.9, 7.2.0, 7.2.1, 7.2.2, 7.2.3, 7.2.4, 7.2.5, 7.2.6, 7.2.7, 7.2.8, 7.2.9, 7.3.0, 7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.3.3, 8.0.0