View Full Version : HOWTO: Central Splunk Server Setup and Config

August 25th, 2008, 11:08 PM
NOTE:My previous howto involved a much more complicated way of installing Splunk to run as a non-root user. The method was flawed in that it didn't leave a way to upgrade without all sorts of permissions problems... yuck.

For ease of use, I've split all the info up into two posts. This first one contains all the information you need to install and/or upgrade Splunk. The second post will contain all sorts of configuration stuff.

INSTALLING SPLUNK is a pretty painless 4-step processs.
1) Navigate to the /opt directory (the default for most Splunk installs... don't ask me why)
2) Grab Splunk from the offical repositories with the wget command
3) Unpack the downloaded .tgz file using tar
4) Run the script to install/start Splunk

cd /opt
sudo wget 'http://www.splunk.com/index.php/download_track?file=3.4.8/linux/splunk-3.4.8-54309-Linux-i686.tgz&ac=&wget=true&name=wget&typed=releases'
sudo tar xvfz splunk-3.4.6-51113-Linux-i686.tgz
sudo splunk/bin/splunk start

Accept the E.U.L.A. and your install is complete. The pretty web UI is now waiting for you at http://your.server.ip.address:8000 Simple, no?

UPGRADING SPLUNK is just about as simple as the install, but requires one more step. Stop the old version, download the new version and extract it in the same folder. Start Splunk back up and it will recognize the upgrade.

You can check back here for several months and I should have the newest wget link. Otherwise, you'll have to register for a free splunk account at https://www.splunk.com/index.php/sign_up to get access to the newest links.

cd /opt
sudo splunk/bin/splunk stop
sudo wget 'new-splunk-version-link-goes-here'
sudo tar xvfz new-splunk-downloaded-version.tgz
sudo splunk/bin/splunk start

I've never had an upgrade go haywire on me. But if you want to be extra safe, backup /opt/splunk/etc to save your personal settings and /opt/splunk/var/lib/splunk to save your indexed files.

See post below for configuration and upgrade info.

November 19th, 2008, 09:25 PM
This step will vary, depending on your needs. I still recommend a few settings for everyone:

Listen for logs on port 514:
Most devices and many apps (including syslog) use port 514 for sending log info. You'll want Splunk to be listening.

navigate to your Splunk web UI (http://your.server.ip.address:8000)
click "Admin"
click "Data Inputs"
click "Network Ports"
"New Input" button.
choose "UDP" and the port number will automagically change to 514.
click the "Submit" button to save the configuration change

Start upon bootup:
Pretty self-explanatory. When the machine boots up, so does Splunk.

sudo /opt/splunk/bin/splunk enable boot-start

Only allow certain IP addresses to access the Web UI:
Since the free version of Splunk doesn't secure the web UI, I lock down access to all that sensitive information through iptables. Obviously, you'll want to replace "ip.address1.to.allow" with your address or a range you want to allow access from (i.e. or

sudo iptables -A INPUT -s ip.address1.to.allow -p tcp --dport 8000 -j ACCEPT
sudo iptables -A INPUT -s ip.address2.to.allow -p tcp --dport 8000 -j ACCEPT
sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 8000 -j DROP

This is a two step process where you add your Slunk server to the list of known hosts on the client machine and then tell the syslog process to forward logs to Splunk.

Add the following line to /etc/hosts (NOTE: Use tabs, spaces won't work.)

ip.address.of.splunkserver splunkserver

Where splunkserver is the name of your Splunk server. Now, add the following lines to /etc/syslog.conf:

# additional config for sending logs to splunk
*.info @splunksever

Where *.info is the level of detail (http://userpages.umbc.edu/~jack/ifsm498d/syslog.html#levels) you desire to be sent.

As far as I know, there is no simple equivalent of syslog for Windows installed by default. So you'll need to install some type of utility or app to send logs. I recommend Snare (http://www.intersectalliance.com/projects/SnareWindows/).

Download and Install Snare here: http://www.intersectalliance.com/download.html?link=http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/snare/SnareSetup-3.1.2-MultiArch.exe

Open the Snare interface to configure its log management:

Click on "Network Configuration"
Set the "Destination Snare Server Address" to Splunk's IP
Change "Destination Port" to 514
Click the checkbox to "Enable SYSLOG header"
Select your desired "Syslog Priority" level from the drop down menu.
Click the "Change Configuration" button

You might need to add an exception for Snare in the Windows Firewall. (tested in XP)

Navigate to the Windows Firwall settings (Start > Control Panel > Windows Firewall)
Click on the Exceptions Tab
Click the "Add Program" button
Browse to C:\Program Files\Snare\SnareCore (or wherever you installed Snare)

That's all... for now.

December 11th, 2008, 02:27 AM
Hmmmm... it's been three months and nearly a thousand pageviews, but no comments? Is there anyone who has been helped by this? Does it need to be re-written?

Please, help me make this a useful resource! :)

Looks good. I will be trying this whole thing out tonight! I'll give ya feedback.

January 20th, 2009, 08:34 PM
The old version was long and confusing, so I apologise to everyone. I was trying to cram too much information into one post. :(

So, the guide has been completely rewritten and restructured. Splunk now runs as root, but it makes installing and upgrading incredibly easier.

Check it out!

February 27th, 2009, 12:40 AM
Thanks for the tutorial. Works beautifully on Gentoo as written.:KS


February 27th, 2009, 08:41 PM
Works on fedora 10 also :)

April 6th, 2009, 07:46 PM
Thanks @ryanisablond this guide was very easy to follow and got my splunk test environment up and running within a matter of seconds.


April 20th, 2009, 04:47 PM
Nice simple guide. Just a quick question. Why do you set the port on the SNARE configuration to 5140? Isn't the Splunk server listening on port 514?

April 21st, 2009, 06:22 PM
Why do you set the port on the SNARE configuration to 5140?

Aha! I left that in there just to make sure everyone was paying attention! ;)

Well, maybe it's because I forgot to change that from the earlier tutorial. Nice eyes, LaneOlson. Thanks for noticing the mistake.

May 20th, 2009, 03:19 PM
Thanks for the information on installing Splunk.

Do you know if you can install/configure the "Splunk for Windows Management" on the Linux version of Splunk? I can't find any information that would confirm or deny if that is possible. I was able to install the application but I do not see any method for specifying windows network credentials for WMI.

May 21st, 2009, 04:48 PM
NOTE: This feature is only available on the Windows versions of Splunk and is NOT enabled by default.

May 17th, 2010, 01:25 PM
I'm getting the following error message when installing when trying to run splunk start using the instructions in the first post here.

Error: -su: splunk/bin/splunkd: No such file or directory

Im using the following package: splunk-4.1.2-79191-freebsd-6.2-amd64.tgz
Uname -a: Linux domU-12-31-39-10-69-71 2.6.31-302-ec2 #7-Ubuntu SMP Tue Oct 13 19:55:22 UTC 2009 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Any ideas?

May 18th, 2010, 08:20 PM
@rizonable: Try "/opt/splunk/bin/splunk start" - like an init script.

July 5th, 2010, 03:43 PM
Here is a link to current: http://www.splunk.com/index.php/download_track?file=4.1.3/linux/splunk-4.1.3-80534-Linux-i686.tgz&ac=&wget=true&name=wget&typed=releases

for future versions, it looks like you can just replace everything after the filename in the URL with '&ac=&wget=true&name=wget&typed=releases' I did this and it worked perfect, no registration required. Thank you for the HOWTO ryan

September 3rd, 2010, 10:27 PM
@rizonable: Try "/opt/splunk/bin/splunk start" - like an init script.

I get the same error whether I use:

./splunk start

or the fully qualified path.

Any thoughts? Googling didn't provide much info.

Ubuntu Server 9.04

December 2nd, 2010, 04:47 PM
I'm running a webserver Apache MySQL PHP Pear on Intrepid server. Will installing Splunk on that same server cause any issues that anyone's aware of? I'm mainly going to use splunk to capture router logs and server logs, etc.

December 14th, 2012, 03:26 PM
Thanks thanks thanks thanks!!!!
Excellent guide...man, you saved me!