How to Setup Splunk and Splunk forwarder on Linux

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How to Setup Splunk and Splunk forwarder on Linux

Splunk is the heavyweight open source software which enables you to index, visualise and explore virtually any machine generated data. Splunk is often used to consume Apache and Nginx web server logs as well as website clicks and any other data which maintains a constant format.

Installing Splunk on any Debian based Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu, couldn’t be easier with the .deb package that available for download.

Visit the Splunk download page to download the Splunk .deb package:

linuxUpload the file to your Ubuntu server and place it a temporary directory.

Run the dpkg command to install the Splunk server.  The file name of the .deb file may change as new versions are made available so make sure that you have downloaded.

# dpkg -i splunk-7.1.1-8f0ead9ec3db-linux-2.6-amd64.deb
Selecting previously unselected package splunk.
(Reading database ... 51260 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack splunk-7.1.1-8f0ead9ec3db-linux-2.6-amd64.deb ...
Unpacking splunk (7.1.1) ...
Setting up splunk (7.1.1) ...
Complete

Now lets create the init.d script so that we can easily start and stop Splunk. Change the the Splunk directory and run the splunk executable with the below arguments.

# cd /opt/splunk/bin/
# ./splunk enable boot-start

Press SPACE to view all of the license agreement and then Y to accept it. And it will ask for password to setup admin dashboard. Once it done, you can see confirmation like below

Moving '/opt/splunk/share/splunk/search_mrsparkle/modules.new' to '/opt/splunk/share/splunk/search_mrsparkle/modules'.
Init script installed at /etc/init.d/splunk.
Init script is configured to run at boot.

Start Splunk with the service command.

# /etc/init.d/splunk start

You will now be able to access Splunk’s web GUI which is running on port 8000.

http://YOUR-HOST-IP:8000

Open the URL in the browser and login with the below details:

  • User Name: admin
  • Password: YOURPASSWORD

Once you login, you can see follow screen.

splunk dashboard

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Install the Splunk Forwarder

The Splunk Universal Forwarder is a small, lightweight daemon which forwards data to your main Splunk server from a variety of sources.

Download the Splunk Universal Forwarder .deb file from the Splunk website:

Splunk forwarder downloadOnce you agree the agreement, then it will download to your local machine. Once it downloaded, Upload the file to your Ubuntu server and place it a temporary directory.

Run the dpkg command to install the Splunk server.  The file name of the .deb file may change as new versions are made available so make sure that you have downloaded.

# dpkg -i splunkforwarder-7.1.1-8f0ead9ec3db-linux-2.6-amd64.deb
Selecting previously unselected package splunkforwarder.
(Reading database ... 65803 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack splunkforwarder-7.1.1-8f0ead9ec3db-linux-2.6-amd64.deb ...
Unpacking splunkforwarder (7.1.1) ...
Setting up splunkforwarder (7.1.1) ...
complete

Let’s create the init.d script to start the log forwarder.

# cd /opt/splunkforwarder/bin/
# ./splunk enable boot-start

Press SPACE to view all of the license agreement and then Y to accept it.

You can now start the forwarder daemon using the init.d script.

# /etc/init.d/splunk start

For now, we have setup the splunk and splunk forwarder. In next post will see how to parse the logs to splunk.

Enable Receiving input on the Index Server

CLI:

# /opt/splunk/bin/splunk enable listen 9997

Where 9997 (default) is the receiving port for Splunk Forwarder connections

GUI:

Configure the Splunk Index Server to receive data, either in the manager: Settings -> Forwarding and receiving -> configure receiving -> new or via the CLI:

Configure Forwarder connection to Index Server:

CLI:

# /opt/splunkforwarder/bin/splunk add forward-server hostname_or_IP:9997 –auth admin:PASSWORD

(where hostname.domain is the fully qualified address or IP of the index server

GUI:

Settings -> Forwarding and receiving -> configure receiving -> new. Add 9997

Add Data:

CLI:

# /opt/splunkforwarder/bin/splunk add monitor /path/to/app/logs/ -index main -sourcetype %app%

Where /path/to/app/logs/ is the path to application logs on the host that you want to bring into Splunk, and %app% is the name you want to associate with that type of data This will create a file: inputs.conf in /opt/splunkforwarder/etc/apps/search/local/ — here is some documentation on inputs.conf: http://docs.splunk.com/Documentation/Splunk/latest/admin/Inputsconf Note: System logs in /var/log/ are covered in the configuration part of Step 7. If you have application logs in /var/log/*/

Once you added the monitor successfully, you can login to your dashboard and start search the log and index you mentioned on the last command kube..

splunk search indexsplunk events

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