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SPL // Splunk

Using the history Command

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Written by: Eric Holsinger | Last Updated:

April 11, 2024
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Originally Published:

April 11, 2024
Splunk Processing Language (SPL) is a powerful query language designed for searching, analyzing, and manipulating data within Splunk, a leading platform for real-time operational intelligence. One helpful command everyone should know in SPL is the history command. This command allows users to access and manage their search history. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of the history command and how it can be used to streamline your Splunk workflow.

Understanding the History Command

The history command in Splunk enables users to view and recall their past searches. It provides a convenient way to access previously executed queries without the need to retype them. Moreover, the command offers various options to filter and manipulate the search history, making it a versatile tool for Splunk users.

Benefits of Using the History Command

1. Time-saving: The history command eliminates the need to manually retype previously executed searches, saving valuable time and effort.
2. Reproducibility: The ability to access and reuse past searches ensures that analyses can be easily reproduced and verified, enhancing the reliability of the results.

Proper Command Syntax

The basic syntax of the history command is as follows:
					| history [events=bool]
events: Specifies if you want the results returned in a tabular format (false) or similar to regular event format (true).

Sample Use Cases

Example 1: Listing Recent Searches

To view a list of your recent searches, use the following command:

					| history
The basic command shown above will display a numbered list of your past searches, along with their respective execution times, status, result count, and more.
Example 2: Searching for Specific Previously Used Searches

Suppose you want to search for previously used searches that query your Palo Alto data and find their cumulative total runtime. You can use the following SPL query:
					| history
| search search="*index=palo_alto*"
| stats sum(total_run_time)
This query retrieves the relevant search history, filters it to only searches that used the palo_alto index, then calculates the sum of the run time of those searches.


In conclusion, the history command in Splunk is a powerful tool that simplifies the management and reuse of search queries. By leveraging its capabilities, Splunk users are able to:

  • Quickly view and recall previously executed searches, saving time and effort when iterating on a search.
  • Easily share or document their search process by capturing search history for collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  • Retrieve quick references to understand the sequence and logic of their searches more effectively.

By mastering the history command, you can significantly enhance your productivity and efficiency when working with Splunk.

To get access to more Splunk searches like the ones in this article, check out the Atlas Search Library which is one of the elements in the Atlas Platform. Atlas Search Library is a curated list of optimized searches that you can use to empower your Splunk users to search without having to learn SPL. You can also create, customize and maintain your own library of searches to ensure that your users are getting the most from using Splunk in your environment.

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