ksconf xml-format

Normalize and apply consistent XML indentation and CDATA usage for XML dashboards and navigation files.

Technically this could be used on any XML file, but certain element names specific to Splunk’s simple XML dashboards are handled specially, and therefore could result in unusable results.

The expected indentation level is guessed based on the first element indentation, but can be explicitly set if not detectable.

usage: ksconf xml-format [-h] [--indent INDENT] [--quiet] FILE [FILE ...]

Positional Arguments


One or more XML files to check. If ‘-’ is given, then a list of files is read from standard input

Named Arguments


Number of spaces. This is only used if indentation cannot be guessed from the existing file.

--quiet, -q

Reduce the volume of output.

See also

Pre-commit hooks

See Pre-commit hooks for more information about how the xml-format command can be integrated in your git workflow.

NOTE: While it may work on other XML files, it hasn’t been tested for other files, and therefore is not recommended as a general-purpose XML formatter. Specific awareness of various Simple XML tags is baked into this product.


This command requires the external lxml Python module.

This package was specifically selected (over the built-in ‘xml.etree’ interface) because it (1) supports round-trip preservation of CDATA blocks, and (2) already ships with Splunk’s embedded Python.

This is an optional requirement, unless you want to use the xml-format command.

As of v0.12.0, this is not longer installed by the ksconf package. However, if you are using pre-commit hooks from the ksconf-pre-commit repo for the ksconf-xml-format hook.

Why is this important?

TODO: Note the value of using <!CDATA[[ ]]> blocks.

Value of consistent indentation.

To recursively format xml files

find . -path '*/data/ui/views/*.xml' -o -path '*/data/ui/nav/*.xml' | ksconf xml-format -