Prepare your data for previewing
The "Set Sourcetype" page works on single files only, and can only access files that reside on the Splunk deployment or have been uploaded there. Although it does not directly process network data or directories of files, you can work around those limitations.
Preview network data
You can direct some sample network data into a file, which you can then either upload or add as a file monitoring input. Several external tools can do this. On *nix, the most popular tool is
For example, if you listen for network traffic on UDP port 514, you can use
netcat to direct some of that network data into a file.
nc -lu 514 > sample_network_data
For best results, run the command inside a shell script that has logic to kill
netcat after the file reaches a size of 2MB. By default, Splunk software reads only the first 2MB of data from a file when you preview it.
After you have created the "sample_network_data" file, you can add it as an input, preview the data, and assign any new source types to the file.
Preview directories of files
If all the files in a directory are similar in content, then you can preview a single file and be confident that the results will be valid for all files in the directory. However, if you have directories with files of heterogeneous data, preview a set of files that represents the full range of data in the directory. Preview each type of file separately, because specifying any wildcard causes Splunk Web to disable the "Set Sourcetype" page.)
File size limit
Splunk Web displays the first 2MB of data from a file in the "Set Sourcetypes" page. In most cases, this amount provides a sufficient sampling of your data. If you have Splunk Enterprise, you can sample a larger quantity of data by changing the
max_preview_bytes attribute in limits.conf. Alternatively, you can edit the file to reduce large amounts of similar data, so that the remaining 2MB of data contains a representation of all the types of data in the original file.
The Set Sourcetype page
Modify event processing
This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk Cloud™: 7.0.11, 7.0.13, 7.2.10, 8.0.2003, 8.0.2004, 8.0.2006, 8.0.2007, 8.1.2008