Splunk® Enterprise

Search Reference

Acrobat logo Download manual as PDF

Splunk Enterprise version 8.0 is no longer supported as of October 22, 2021. See the Splunk Software Support Policy for details. For information about upgrading to a supported version, see How to upgrade Splunk Enterprise.
This documentation does not apply to the most recent version of Splunk® Enterprise. For documentation on the most recent version, go to the latest release.
Acrobat logo Download topic as PDF



Adds the results of a search to a summary index that you specify. You must create the summary index before you invoke the collect command.

You do not need to know how to use collect to create and use a summary index, but it can help. For an overview of summary indexing, see Use summary indexing for increased reporting efficiency in the Knowledge Manager Manual.


The required syntax is in bold.


Required arguments

Syntax: index=<string>
Description: Name of the summary index where the events are added. The index must exist before the events are added. The index is not created automatically.

Optional arguments

Syntax: addtime=<bool> | file=<string> | spool=<bool> | marker=<string> | testmode=<bool> | run_in_preview=<bool> | host=<string> | source=<string> | sourcetype=<string>
Description: Optional arguments for the collect command. See the arg-options section for the descriptions for each option.


Syntax: addtime=<bool>
Description: Use this option to specify whether to prefix a time field on to each event. Some commands return results that do not have a _raw field, such as the stats, chart, timechart commands. If you specify addtime=false, the Splunk software uses its generic date detection against fields in whatever order they happen to be in the summary rows. If you specify addtime=true, the Splunk software uses the search time range info_min_time. This time range is added by the sistats command or _time. Splunk software adds the time field based on the first field that it finds: info_min_time, _time, or now().
Default: true
Syntax: file=<string>
Description: The file name where you want the events to be written. You can use a timestamp or a random number for the file name by specifying either file=$timestamp$ or file=$random$.
Usage: ".stash" needs to be added at the end of the file name when used with "index=". Otherwise, the data is added to the main index.
Default: <random-number>_events.stash
Syntax: host=<string>
Description: The name of the host that you want to specify for the events.
Syntax: marker=<string>
Description: A string, usually of key-value pairs, to append to each event written out. Each key-value pair must be separated by a comma and a space.
If the value contains spaces or commas, it must be escape quoted. For example if the key-value pair is search_name=vpn starts and stops, you must change it to search_name=\"vpn starts and stops\".
Syntax: run_in_preview=<bool>
Description: Controls whether the collect command is enabled during preview generation. Generally, you do not want to insert preview results into the summary index, run-in-preview=false. In some cases, such as when a custom search command is used as part of the search, you might want to turn this on to ensure correct summary indexable previews are generated.
Default: false
Syntax: spool=<bool>
Description: If set to true, the summary indexing file is written to the Splunk spool directory, where it is indexed automatically. If set to false, the file is written to the $SPLUNK_HOME/var/run/splunk directory. The file remains in this directory unless some form of further automation or administration is done. If you have Splunk Enterprise, you can use this command to troubleshoot summary indexing by dumping the output file to a location on disk where it will not be ingested as data.
Default: true
Syntax: source=<string>
Description: The name of the source that you want to specify for the events.
Syntax: sourcetype=<string>
Description: The name of the source type that you want to specify for the events. By specifying a sourcetype outside of stash, you will incur license usage.
Default: stash
Syntax: testmode=<bool>
Description: Toggle between testing and real mode. In testing mode the results are not written into the new index but the search results are modified to appear as they would if sent to the index.
Default: false
Syntax: uselb=<bool>
Description: Specifies the line break to use to split data into events. By default, the events are split using a string identical to the LINE_BREAKER setting defined in the props.conf file. When set to false, a simple line break is used to split events. Do not use this setting unless you are intentionally generating events with the collect command in a line-oriented format.

While the default behavior of the collect command is to use a LINE_BREAKER setting identical to what is specified in the props.conf file, the default LINE_BREAKER for the collect command is hardcoded. Changes to the props.conf file do not affect the behavior of the collect command.

Default: true


The events are written to a file whose name format is: random-num_events.stash, unless overwritten, in a directory that your Splunk deployment is monitoring. If the events contain a _raw field, then this field is saved. If the events do not have a _raw field, one is created by concatenating all the fields into a comma-separated list of key=value pairs.

The collect command also works with real-time searches that have a time range of All time.


The alias for the collect command is summaryindex.

Events without timestamps

If you apply the collect command to events that do not have timestamps, the command designates a time for all of the events using the earliest (or minimum) time of the search range. For example, if you use the collect command over the past four hours (range: -4h to +0h), the command assigns a timestamp that is four hours prior to the time that the search was launched. The timestamp is applied to all of the events without a timestamp.

If you use the collect command with a time range of All time and the events do not have timestamps, the current system time is used for the timestamps.

For more information on summary indexing of data without timestamps, see Use summary indexing for increased reporting efficiency in the Knowledge Manager Manual.

Copying events to a different index

You can use the collect command to copy search results to another index. Construct a search that returns the data you want to copy, and pipe the results to the collect command. For example:

index=foo | ... | collect index=bar

This search writes the results into the bar index. The sourcetype is changed to stash.

You can specify a sourcetype with the collect command. However, specifying a sourcetype counts against your license, as if you indexed the data again.


1. Put "download" events into an index named "download count"

eventtypetag="download" | collect index=downloadcount

2. Collect statistics on VPN connects and disconnects

You want to collect hourly statistics on VPN connects and disconnects by country.

index=mysummary | geoip REMOTE_IP | eval country_source=if(REMOTE_IP_country_code="US","domestic","foreign") | bin _time span=1h | stats count by _time,vpn_action,country_source | addinfo | collect index=mysummary marker="summary_type=vpn, summary_span=3600, summary_method=bin, search_name=\"vpn starts and stops\""

The addinfo command ensures that the search results contain fields that specify when the search was run to populate these particular index values.

See also

Last modified on 12 October, 2020

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 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, 7.1.10, 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, 7.2.10, 7.3.0, 7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.3.3, 7.3.4, 7.3.5, 7.3.6, 7.3.7, 7.3.8, 7.3.9, 8.0.0, 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.0.3, 8.0.4, 8.0.5, 8.0.6, 8.0.7, 8.0.8, 8.0.9, 8.0.10

Was this documentation topic helpful?

You must be logged into splunk.com in order to post comments. Log in now.

Please try to keep this discussion focused on the content covered in this documentation topic. If you have a more general question about Splunk functionality or are experiencing a difficulty with Splunk, consider posting a question to Splunkbase Answers.

0 out of 1000 Characters