Installing Splunk

Setting up AWS

I hope you did your homework on the basics of AWS as I will not be walking you through the entire setup or provisioning of your instances. I will provide the requirements needed for the software to run and the recommended security group settings. If you need additional help on using AWS, I recommend visiting free training provided by Amazon.

Create a VPC

Your instances run in a private, isolated section of the AWS cloud with direct access to the Internet. Network access control lists and security groups can be used to provide strict control over inbound and outbound network traffic to your instances. I recommend using the following private address

Create two subnets, one for Splunk and one for application servers(data sent to Splunk)

Splunk Applications: Will allocate 251 IP addresses

Web Applications: Will allocate 251 IP addresses

Provision Instances

The following requirements are not set forth by Splunk. I chose these configurations based on what will work for a minimal non-data-intesive learning environment. For those of you who may be looking to provision a real enterprise environment, I encourage you to visit the official splunk documentation.

Make sure to assign a Elastic IP address to each instance(This is considered bad practice so only do this for training purposes)

Create 4 Security Groups

Name Allow All Allow Allow "My IP"
SH-SG 443 8065, 8089, 8191, 9887 22, 8000
IDX-SG 514, 8065, 8089, 9887, 9997 22, 8000
DS-SG 8089 22, 8000
Hack Me All TCP/UDP

Provision the Following Instances

Name OS Processor Ram Disk Security Group
Splunk Search Head Ubuntu 1vCPU + 1 per user 2GB/4GB 8GB/32GB SH-SG
Splunk Indexer Ubuntu 2vCPU/4vCPU 4GB/8GB 64GB/128GB
800/1200 IOPS
Splunk Deployment Server Ubuntu 1vCPU 1GB/2GB 8GB/16GB DS-SG
Application Servers Windows/Linux 1vCPU 1GB/2GB 30GB Hack Me

You can provision as many or as few application servers as you wish.


New Security Group
I've added additional rules than are required for this tutorial

Download Splunk

This step requires a Splunk account, so please create one if you haven't already done so. Throughout this tutorial, I will be using the wget command to download the correct Splunk package for each instance. After logging into Splunk visit the following page (download splunk) to get started. You will need Splunk Enterprise and the Universal Forwarder packages for each desired operating system. I have provided screenshots on how to get the wget link.

At the download homepage click on Download Free 60-Day Trial
Download Free Trail

In this tutorial, we are using Ubuntu, a Linux based operating system for our Enterprise instances. Click on Linux and download the deb package.
Select Package

The download will start automatically, you should also have a USEFUL TOOLS option. Click the Command Line (wget) option and copy the link to wordpad or another text editor for later use.
WGET Command

Download Splunk Universal Forwarder

The previous steps apply for the Universal Forwarder as well, but you will need to repeat this process for both Linux and Windows versions. Download Link

WGET Command

Installing Splunk

It's highly recommended that you update and upgrade your machines before installing Splunk.

It will be assumed you know how to connect to your instance using either a SSH client or Amazon's Web Console. Make sure you allocate a public IP address for easy connection. Also, make sure that the security group is appropriately configured to allow only your IP address to connect via SSH.

Splunk Enterpirse Installation

Splunk Enterprise will need to be installed on every instance except for systems that require a Light or Universal Forwarder. Install the enterprise package on all other systems, including those needing a Heavy Forwarder.

mkdir downloads && cd downloads
wget -O splunk-7.3.1-bd63e13aa157-linux-2.6-amd64.deb $DownloadLink
# Install splunk using dpkg (debian)
dpkg -i splunk-7.3.1-bd63e13aa157-linux-2.6-amd64.deb
# Remove downloaded package
cd .. && sudo rm -rf downloads

# Splunk lives in /opt/splunk
sudo cd /opt/splunk

sudo bin/splunk enable boot-start
sudo bin/splunk start --accept-license
# When Prompted create admin username and password

Terminal Window

Repeat the above steps for every instance

Splunk Universal Forwarder Installation

Steps are very similar to that of the Enterprise package.

mkdir downloads && cd downloads
wget -O splunkforwarder-7.3.1-bd63e13aa157-linux-2.6-amd64.deb $DownloadLink
# Install splunk using dpkg (debian)
dpkg -i splunkforwarder-7.3.1-bd63e13aa157-linux-2.6-amd64.deb
# Remove downloaded package
cd .. && sudo rm -rf downloads

# Splunk lives in /opt/splunkforwarder
sudo cd /opt/splunkforwarder

sudo bin/splunk enable boot-start
sudo bin/splunk start --accept-license
# When Prompted create admin username and password

Repeat for each (nix) instance needing a Splunk Forwader


Installing a forwarder on Windows is done using the install wizard.

  • Select the advanced option when installing.
  • When asked to provide a deployment server and indexer provide the private IP address and use the default port numbers.
  • When asked which data you would like to monitor, I would select the ones in which you may find interesting.
  • I suggest following the documentation if you need additional help

Windows screenshot


At this point in the series you should have installed the following components; Search Head, Indexer, Deployment Server/ License Manager, and two universal Forwarders.

To verify your work, login into Splunk Web by pasting the public IP address into the browser including the port number. Usage: http://$ip_address:8000. If you see this homepage and are able to login that is as far as you need to go for now.

Finding the plublic IP address
Splunk Web

Next Step is configuring

See: Configuring Splunk