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Keep track of different events and write them down to an audit log.

Project Description

Finger Pointing

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Finger Pointing is a basic audit logger that helps you keep record of events like user login/logout and content types objects life cycle. All events are logged into the standard Zope log and, optionally, to a dedicated audit log file.

Other features included:

  • configurable via control panel configlet
  • log entries can be easily visualized by users with permissions to do so
  • support for Cloudflare’s CF-Connecting-IP request header to log real client IP addresses
  • support for automatic log rotation based on audit log file size

Mostly Harmless

Got an idea? Found a bug? Let us know by opening a support ticket.

Known Issues

Running your site behind a CDN may result in inconsistent IP addresses being logged.

Don’t Panic


To enable this package in a buildout-based installation:

Edit your buildout.cfg and add the following to it:

eggs =

By default, Finger Pointing logs audit events to the Zope event log only. To enable logging to a separate file use the following configuration:

zope-conf-additional +=
    <product-config collective.fingerpointing>
        audit-log ${buildout:directory}/var/log/audit.log
        audit-log-max-size 10240
        audit-log-old-files 30
The filename of the audit log. Add file name to create Finger Pointing audit file.
Maximum size of audit log file (in bytes). Adding this max size enables log rotation.
Number of previous log files to retain when log rotation is enabled. Defaults to 1.

After updating the configuration you need to run ‘’bin/buildout’‘, which will take care of updating your system.

Go to the ‘Site Setup’ page in a Plone site and click on the ‘Add-ons’ link.

Check the box next to Finger Pointing and click the ‘Activate’ button.


Go to ‘Site Setup’ and select ‘Finger Pointing’ and enable the events you want to keep an eye on.

The Finger Pointing control panel configlet.

Finger Pointing will start logging the selected events:

# bin/instance fg
2016-09-26 15:23:36 INFO ZServer HTTP server started at Mon Sep 26 15:23:36 2016
    Port: 8080
2016-09-26 15:23:41 INFO collective.fingerpointing Logging audit information to /home/hvelarde/collective/fingerpointing/var/log/audit.log
2016-09-26 15:23:49 INFO Plone OpenID system packages not installed, OpenID support not available
2016-09-26 15:23:56 INFO Zope Ready to handle requests
2016-09-26 15:24:19 INFO collective.fingerpointing user=admin ip= action=logout
2016-09-26 15:24:28 INFO collective.fingerpointing user=admin ip= action=login

These events are also logged in var/log/audit.log:

2016-09-26 15:24:19,717 - INFO - user=admin ip= action=logout
2016-09-26 15:24:28,415 - INFO - user=admin ip= action=login

An audit log view is available in the user menu to users with the collective.fingerpointing: View Audit Log permission:

The Finger Pointing audit log view.

If you didn’t specify a Finger Pointing audit log file name, you’ll see a warning. However, audit events will be normally logged to the Zope event log:

# bin/instance fg
2016-09-26 15:58:32 INFO ZServer HTTP server started at Mon Sep 26 15:58:32 2016
    Port: 8080
2016-09-26 15:58:35 WARNING collective.fingerpointing No audit log file specified; audit log view will be disabled
2016-09-26 15:58:40 INFO Plone OpenID system packages not installed, OpenID support not available
2016-09-26 15:58:45 INFO Zope Ready to handle requests
2016-09-26 15:58:48 INFO collective.fingerpointing user=admin ip= action=logout
2016-09-26 15:58:54 INFO collective.fingerpointing user=admin ip= action=login

Share and Enjoy

This package would not have been possible without the contribution of the following people:

You can find an updated list of package contributors on GitHub.


1.5rc1 (2017-11-24)

  • Update i18n, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Spanish translations. [hvelarde, jensens]
  • Lock-file is now container save and it’s close more robust. [jensens]
  • Refactor logger module in order to improve testability. [jensens]
  • Add search on audit logs and pagination (implements #17). [jensens]

1.4b3 (2017-11-21)

  • Fix object location for lifecycle logger by subscribing to IObjectAddedEvent (fixes #66). [jensens]
  • Do not fail on startup if is not installed (fixes #64). [jensens]
  • Reviewed and updated German translations. [jensens]

1.4b2 (2017-09-20)

  • Add French translations. [gbastien]

1.4b1 (2017-06-26)

  • Fix AttributeError when logging activity from anonymous users (fixes #57). [keul]
  • Add support for HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR request header to log real client IP addresses. [keul]

1.3b2 (2017-05-25)

  • Avoid possible ConfigurationConflictError on upgrade step registration. [hvelarde]

1.3b1 (2017-05-25)

  • Add support for Cloudflare’s CF-Connecting-IP request header to log real client IP addresses. [hvelarde]
  • We now use plone.api to get the id of the user instead of the AUTHENTICATED_USER key on the request. Also, we now use the getClientAddr() function to get remote IP address. These changes simplify testing.
  • Add support for logging workflow transitions. [hvelarde]
  • Avoid ComponentLookupError when plonectl adduser. [jianaijun]

1.2b1 (2016-09-28)


Starting with this version you need to explicitly configure the package to use a separate audit.log file. Check the documentation to find out how to do so.

  • Make log rotating configurable using the zope-conf-additional option. Note that now, by default, rotating is disabled. [rene, hvelarde]

1.1b1 (2016-07-07)

  • Drop support for Plone 4.2. [hvelarde]
  • Log deletion of groups too. If you are using Plone < 4.3.8 you may need to update versions of Products.PlonePAS and Products.PluggableAuthService. [fRiSi]

1.0b4 (2016-07-07)

  • Avoid UnicodeEncodeError with log messages. [jianaijun, rodfersou]
  • Support automatic rotation of audit log files at timed intervals; a new file is created every day and up to 30 backup files are maintained (closes #9). [hvelarde]
  • Use object representation to log life cycle events; this fixes an issue with Archetypes-based objects being dumped to the log (refs. #8 and fixes #38). [hvelarde]
  • Package is now compatible with Plone 5.0 and Plone 5.1. [hvelarde]

1.0b3 (2016-04-19)

  • Added Chinese Simplified translation. [jianaijun]
  • Package no longer rises AttributeError when running interactive console (bin/instance debug) (fixes #30). [hvelarde]
  • Clean up audit log messages. [hvelarde]
  • Disable rendering of left and right columns in audit log view. [hvelarde]
  • Audit log entries are now shown in reverse order (newer entries first). [hvelarde]

1.0b2 (2016-03-18)

  • Log to audit.log even if Zope’s event-log-level is above INFO (fixes #25). [fRiSi]
  • Add German translations. [fRiSi]
  • Fix output of the audit log view. [pcdummy, hvelarde]
  • Add Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish translations. [hvelarde]
  • The “View Audit log” action appears now before the “Log out” one (fixes #18). [pcdummy, hvelarde]
  • Use main_template for the audit log view. [pcdummy]
  • Avoid TypeError while running third party tests (fixes #2). [hvelarde]

1.0b1 (2016-03-09)

  • Add a view for the audit.log file @@fingerpointing-audit-log and link it to portal_actions. [pcdummy, hvelarde]
  • Make control panel configlet accesible to Site Administrator role (closes #15). [hvelarde]
  • Avoid ComponentLookupError when removing a Plone site (fixes #4). [hvelarde]
  • Remove unused plone.directives.form dependency which pulled in Grok packages. [vangheem]
  • Audit information is now logged into a file named audit.log instead of inside the standard event.log. [pcdummy]
  • Package is now compatible with Plone 5. [hvelarde]
  • Ignore errors caused by subscribers trying to access nonexistent registry records when package is still not installed (fixes #1). [hvelarde]

1.0a1 (2015-06-08)

  • Initial release.

Release History

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