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Kafka Messaging Modular Input

This is a Splunk Modular Input Add-On for indexing messages from an Apache Kafka broker or cluster of brokers that are managed by Zookeeper.
Kafka version is used for the consumer and the testing of this Modular Input.

Splunk Kafka Messaging Modular Input v1.3.4


This is a Splunk Modular Input Add-On for indexing messages from a Kafka broker or cluster of brokers that are managed by Zookeeper.
Kafka version is used for the consumer and the testing of this Modular Input.

What is Kafka ?



  • Splunk 5.0+
  • Java Runtime 1.7+
  • Supported on Windows, Linux, MacOS, Solaris, FreeBSD, HP-UX, AIX
  • Kafka 0.8+


  • Optionally set your JAVA_HOME environment variable to the root directory of your JRE installation.If you don't set this , the input will look for a default installed java executable on the path.
  • Untar the release to your $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps directory
  • Restart Splunk
  • If you are using a Splunk UI Browse to Settings -- Data Inputs -- Kafka Messaging to add a new Input stanza via the UI
  • If you are not using a Splunk UI (ie: you are running on a Universal Forwarder) , you need to add a stanza to inputs.conf directly as per the specification in README/inputs.conf.spec. The inputs.conf file should be placed in a local directory under an App or User context.

Activation Key

You require an activation key to use this App. Visit http://www.baboonbones.com/#activation to obtain a non-expiring key


Any log entries/errors will get written to $SPLUNK_HOME/var/log/splunk/splunkd.log

These are also searchable in Splunk : index=_internal error kafka.py

JVM Heap Size

The default heap maximum is 64MB.
If you require a larger heap, then you can alter this in $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/kafka_ta/bin/kafka.py on line 95

JVM System Properties

You can declare custom JVM System Properties when setting up new input stanzas.
Note : these JVM System Properties will apply to the entire JVM context and all stanzas you have setup

Customized Message Handling

The way in which the Modular Input processes the received Kafka messages is enitrely pluggable with custom implementations should you wish.

To do this you code an implementation of the com.splunk.modinput.kafka.AbstractMessageHandler class and jar it up.

Ensure that the necessary jars are in the $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/kafka_ta/bin/lib directory.

If you don't need a custom handler then the default handler com.splunk.modinput.kafka.DefaultMessageHandler will be used.

This handler simply trys to convert the received byte array into a textual string for indexing in Splunk.

Code examples are on GitHub : https://github.com/damiendallimore/SplunkModularInputsJavaFramework/tree/master/kafka/src/com/splunk/modinput/kafka


  • JAVA_HOME environment variable is set or "java" is on the PATH for the user's environment you are running Splunk as
  • You are using Splunk 5+
  • You are using a 1.7+ Java Runtime
  • You are targetting Kafka version 0.8+
  • You are running on a supported operating system
  • Look for any errors in $SPLUNK_HOME/var/log/splunk/splunkd.log
  • Run this command as the same user that you are running Splunk as and observe console output : "$SPLUNK_HOME/bin/splunk cmd python ../etc/apps/kafka_ta/bin/kafka.py --scheme"


This project was initiated by Damien Dallimore , damien@baboonbones.com

Release Notes

Version 1.3.4
June 25, 2019

cosmetic fixes

Version 1.3.3
May 10, 2019

cosmetic fixes

Version 1.3.2
April 23, 2019

updated docs

Version 1.3.1
April 19, 2019

added trial key functionality

Version 1.3
March 28, 2019

docs updated

Version 1.2
June 3, 2018

minor manager xml ui tweak for 7.1

Version 1.1
May 27, 2018

Added an activation key requirement , visit http://www.baboonbones.com/#activation to obtain a free,non-expiring key
Docs updated
Splunk 7.1 compatible

Version 1.0
April 21, 2016

Added a new custom handler : com.splunk.modinput.kafka.CSVWithHeaderDecoderHandler
This allows you to roll out CSV files (with or without header) into KV or JSON before indexing.

Example config you could pass to the custom message handler when you declare it


Version 0.9.2
Nov. 3, 2015

Better JSON handling for HEC output (hat tip to Tivo)

Version 0.9.1
Oct. 22, 2015

Better logging around HEC success/failure
Can now add custom timestamp into HEC payload
New custom handler (JSONBodyWithTimeExtraction) for pulling out timestamp from JSON messages from Kafka and adding this into HEC payload

Version 0.9
Sept. 22, 2015

Added support to optional output to Splunk via a HEC (HTTP Event Collector) endpoint

Version 0.8.1
June 20, 2015

Added support for raw connection string format so that multiple zookeeper hosts
can be provided in a comma delimited manner
ie: hostname1:port1,hostname2:port2,hostname3:port3/chroot/path

Version 0.8
June 17, 2015

Added chroot support for zookeeper connection strings

Version 0.7
Feb. 11, 2015

Enabled TLS1.2 support by default.
Made the core Modular Input Framework compatible with latest Splunk Java SDK
Please use a Java Runtime version 7+
If you need to use SSLv3 , you can turn this on in bin/kafka.py

Version 0.6
Feb. 5, 2015

You can now pass a charset name to the DefaultHandler

Version 0.5
June 30, 2014

Initial beta release


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