10. Audit

The systems provides a sophisticated audit log, that can be viewed in the WebUI.


Audit Log

privacyIDEA comes with an SQL audit module. (see Audit log)

10.1. Cleaning up entries

The sqlaudit module writes audit entries to an SQL database. For performance reasons the audit module does no log rotation during the logging process.

But you can set up a cron job to clean up old audit entries. Since version 2.19 audit entries can be either cleaned up based on the number of entries or based on on the age.

Cleaning based on the age takes precedence:

You can specify a highwatermark and a lowwatermark. To clean up the audit log table, you can call pi-manage at command line:

pi-manage rotate_audit --highwatermark 20000 --lowwatermark 18000

This will, if there are more than 20.000 log entries, clean all old log entries, so that only 18000 log entries remain.

Cleaning based on the age:

You can specify the number of days, how old an audit entry may be at a max.

pi-manage rotate_audit –age 365

will delete all audit entries that are older than one year.

Cleaning based on the config file:

Using a config file you can define different retention times for the audit data. E.g. this way you can define, that audit entries about token listings can be deleted after one month, while the audit information about token creation will only deleted after ten years.

The config file is a YAML format and looks like this:

# DELETE auth requests of nils after 10 days
- rotate: 10
  user: nils
  action: .*/validate/check.*

# DELETE auth requests of friedrich after 7 days
- rotate: 7
  user: friedrich
  action: .*/validate/check.*

# Delete nagios user test auth directly
- rotate: 0
  user: nagiosuser
  action: POST /validate/check.*

# Delete token listing after one month
- rotate: 30
  action: ^GET /token

# Delete audit logs for token creating after 10 years
- rotate: 3650
  action: POST /token/init

# Delete everything else after 6 months
- rotate: 180
  action: .*

This is a list of rules. privacyIDEA iterates over all audit entries. The first matching rule for an entry wins. If the rule matches, the audit entry is deleted if the entry is older than the days specified in “rotate”.

If is a good idea to have a catch-all rule at the end.


The keys “user”, “action”... correspond to the column names of the audit table. You can use any column name here like “date”, “action”, “action_detail”, “success”, “serial”, “administrator”, “user”, “realm”... for a complete list see the model definition. You may use Python regular expressions for matching.

You can the add a call like

pi-manage rotate_audit –config /etc/privacyidea/audit.yaml

in your crontab.

10.1.1. Access rights

You may also want to run the cron job with reduced rights. I.e. a user who has no read access to the original pi.cfg file, since this job does not need read access to the SECRET or PEPPER in the pi.cfg file.

So you can simply specify a config file with only the content:

PI_AUDIT_SQL_URI = <your database uri>

Then you can call pi-manage like this:

PRIVACYIDEA_CONFIGFILE=/home/cornelius/src/privacyidea/audit.cfg \
pi-manage rotate_audit

This will read the configuration (only the database uri) from the config file audit.cfg.

10.1.2. Table size

Sometimes the entires to be written to the database may be longer than the column in the database. You can either enlarge the columns in the database or you can set


in pi.cfg. This will truncate each entry to the defined column length.