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Free Splunk License—Here’s How To Do It

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Written by: Kinney Group | Last Updated:

May 22, 2024
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Originally Published:

December 2, 2022

Times are tough and budgets are slim, but you need to keep your business secure with the top software—Splunk. If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for a way to get a free Splunk license (it’s OK, we won’t tell.) Worry not! Obtaining access to a Splunk Free license is a painless process and this guide will assist you in getting started.  

With Splunk Free you can ingest your own data, practice searches, and not have to worry about your license expiring. Regardless, Splunk Free is a good place to get started.

Is There a Free Splunk License?

Yes! There is a free Splunk license. I will explain in further detail what the Free license entails and a step-by-step installation of Splunk Free license. 

Before we jump into the installation steps, there are limits and reduced Splunk features in the Free license that I will cover. 

What is Splunk Free?

Splunk Free is a version of Splunk Enterprise with limited features. When you first install Splunk it will automatically install an Enterprise Trial license enabled by default. The Splunk Enterprise Trial license is good for 60 days, and at any time during the trial period (before it expires), you can switch to the free license.

With Splunk Free, you’ll be able to practice Splunk Processing Language (SPL) searches, ingesting small volumes of data and the Free license serves as a good entry way into Splunk.

The Pros and Cons of Splunk Free

Splunk Free is a great entry way to get started, below are a few pros and cons of Splunk Free license.  

  • Splunk Free license grants you limited access to Splunk Enterprise, the Free license does not expire
  •  With a Splunk free license you can index 500 MB a day. If you go over the 500 MB limit you will receive a license violation, 3 license violations during a 30-day period will prevent you from searching in Splunk. Searching will begin after you have less than 3 license violations during a 30-day period.  
  • Splunk Free license is a standalone, individual use installation. Features such as clustering, forwarding and deployment management are not available due to the standalone installation.

Not all Splunk Enterprise features are available in the Free license. Splunk Free license is for standalone usage, a one-time installation.  

A list of some features not available in the Free license are: 

  • Alert monitoring: You will not be able to set up alerts for certain events you want to be made aware.
  • Search head and indexer clustering: Since the free license is a standalone installation, it is not included. 
  • Lack of users and roles: You cannot create or add user accounts. Only the administrator role exists, and you cannot configure it and there is no login.  

Now that we have covered some of the pros and cons of Splunk Free license, let’s cover how to obtain a free license. 

How to Get a Splunk Free License

  • STEP #1: Navigate to
  • STEP #2: Login to your user account (If you do not have a user account, select “Sign Up” to create one.) 
  • STEP #3: Navigate to download, under “Products” select “Free Trials & Downloads”
  • STEP #4: Scroll down until you see “Splunk Enterprise” and click on “Get My Free Trial”
  • STEP #5:  Download the latest version by clicking “Download Now” for the operating system of your choice.
  • STEP #6: Agree to “Splunk General Terms” and click on “Access program”

Your download will begin automatically.

  • Follow installation instructions based on your preferred operating system 
  • When you install Splunk an Enterprise Trial license is enabled by default. The Enterprise Trial license is good for 60 days, you can change at any time before that period to the Free license. 

How to Switch to Splunk Free From Splunk Enterprise

At any time during your Splunk Enterprise Trial license you can switch to the Free license. To switch licenses: 

  • STEP #1: Login to your administrator account in Splunk Web
  • STEP #2: In the top right, navigate to “Settings” 
  • STEP #3: Under “System” select “Licensing”
  • STEP #4: Select “Change License Group”
  • STEP #5: Select “Free license” and click “Save”
  • STEP #6: The next screen select “Restart Now” for the changes to take effect


In conclusion, Splunk Free license is an individual-use, stand-alone instance. Although it starts installation as an Enterprise Trial license, once you switch to the Free license certain Enterprise features become unavailable.  

If you plan to ingest more than 500 MB a day, consider using the 60-day Enterprise Trial license. Splunk Free is useful if you want to practice, learn, index small data sources, and not worry about your Trial license expiring.

If You Found This Helpful...

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