Manually logging changes

Auditlog log entries are simple LogEntry model instances. This makes creating a new log entry very easy. For even more convenience, LogEntryManager provides a number of methods which take some work out of your hands.

See Internals for all details.

Automatically logging changes

Auditlog can automatically log changes to objects for you. This functionality is based on Django’s signals, but linking your models to Auditlog is even easier than using signals.

Registering your model for logging can be done with a single line of code, as the following example illustrates:

from auditlog.registry import auditlog
from django.db import models

class MyModel(models.Model):
    # Model definition goes here


It is recommended to place the register code (auditlog.register(MyModel)) at the bottom of your file. This ensures that every time your model is imported it will also be registered to log changes. Auditlog makes sure that each model is only registered once, otherwise duplicate log entries would occur.

Excluding fields

Fields that are excluded will not trigger saving a new log entry and will not show up in the recorded changes.

To exclude specific fields from the log you can pass include_fields resp. exclude_fields to the register method. If exclude_fields is specified the fields with the given names will not be included in the generated log entries. If include_fields is specified only the fields with the given names will be included in the generated log entries. Explicitly excluding fields through exclude_fields takes precedence over specifying which fields to include.

For example, to exclude the field last_updated, use:

auditlog.register(MyModel, exclude_fields=['last_updated'])

New in version 0.3.0: Excluding fields

Mapping fields

If you have field names on your models that aren’t intuitive or user friendly you can include a dictionary of field mappings during the register() call.

class MyModel(modelsModel):
    sku = models.CharField(max_length=20)
    version = models.CharField(max_length=5)
    product = models.CharField(max_length=50, verbose_name='Product Name')
    history = AuditLogHistoryField()

auditlog.register(MyModel, mapping_fields={'sku': 'Product No.', 'version': 'Product Revision'})
log = MyModel.objects.first().history.latest()
// retrieves changes with keys Product No. Product Revision, and Product Name
// If you don't map a field it will fall back on the verbose_name

New in version 0.5.0.

You do not need to map all the fields of the model, any fields not mapped will fall back on their verbose_name. Django provides a default verbose_name which is a “munged camel case version” so product_name would become Product Name by default.


When using automatic logging, the actor is empty by default. However, auditlog can set the actor from the current request automatically. This does not need any custom code, adding a middleware class is enough. When an actor is logged the remote address of that actor will be logged as well.

To enable the automatic logging of the actors, simply add the following to your MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES setting in your project’s configuration file:

    # Request altering middleware, e.g., Django's default middleware classes
    # Other middleware

It is recommended to keep all middleware that alters the request loaded before Auditlog’s middleware.


Please keep in mind that every object change in a request that gets logged automatically will have the current request’s user as actor. To only have some object changes to be logged with the current request’s user as actor manual logging is required.

Object history

Auditlog ships with a custom field that enables you to easily get the log entries that are relevant to your object. This functionality is built on Django’s content types framework (django.contrib.contenttypes). Using this field in your models is equally easy as any other field:

from auditlog.models import AuditlogHistoryField
from auditlog.registry import auditlog
from django.db import models

class MyModel(models.Model):
    history = AuditlogHistoryField()
    # Model definition goes here


AuditlogHistoryField accepts an optional pk_indexable parameter, which is either True or False, this defaults to True. If your model has a custom primary key that is not an integer value, pk_indexable needs to be set to False. Keep in mind that this might slow down queries.

The AuditlogHistoryField provides easy access to LogEntry instances related to the model instance. Here is an example of how to use it:

<div class="table-responsive">
  <table class="table table-striped table-bordered">
    {% for key, value in mymodel.history.latest.changes_dict.iteritems %}
        <td>{{ key }}</td>
        <td>{{ value.0|default:"None" }}</td>
        <td>{{ value.1|default:"None" }}</td>
    {% empty %}
      <p>No history for this item has been logged yet.</p>
    {% endfor %}

If you want to display the changes in a more human readable format use the LogEntry’s changes_display_dict instead. The changes_display_dict will make a few cosmetic changes to the data.

  • Mapping Fields property will be used to display field names, falling back on verbose_name if no mapping field is present
  • Fields with a value whose length is greater than 140 will be truncated with an ellipsis appended
  • Date, Time, and DateTime fields will follow L10N formatting. If USE_L10N=False in your settings it will fall back on the settings defaults defined for DATE_FORMAT, TIME_FORMAT, and DATETIME_FORMAT
  • Fields with choices will be translated into their human readable form, this feature also supports choices defined on django-multiselectfield and Postgres’s native ArrayField

Check out the internals for the full list of attributes you can use to get associated LogEntry instances.

Many-to-many relationships

New in version 0.3.0.


To-many relations are not officially supported. However, this section shows a workaround which can be used for now. In the future, this workaround may be used in an official API or a completly different strategy might be chosen. Do not rely on the workaround here to be stable across releases.

By default, many-to-many relationships are not tracked by Auditlog.

The history for a many-to-many relationship without an explicit ‘through’ model can be recorded by registering this model as follows:


The log entries for all instances of the ‘through’ model that are related to a MyModel instance can be retrieved with the LogEntryManager.get_for_objects() method. The resulting QuerySet can be combined with any other queryset of LogEntry instances. This way it is possible to get a list of all changes on an object and its related objects:

obj = MyModel.objects.first()
rel_history = LogEntry.objects.get_for_objects(obj.related.all())
full_history = (obj.history.all() | rel_history.all()).order_by('-timestamp')

Management commands

New in version 0.4.0.

Auditlog provides the auditlogflush management command to clear all log entries from the database.

The command asks for confirmation, it is not possible to execute the command without giving any form of (simulated) user input.


Using the auditlogflush command deletes all log entries permanently and irreversibly from the database.

Django Admin integration

New in version 0.4.1.

When auditlog is added to your INSTALLED_APPS setting a customized admin class is active providing an enhanced Django Admin interface for log entries.