»File Audit Device

The file audit device writes audit logs to a file. This is a very simple audit device: it appends logs to a file.

The device does not currently assist with any log rotation. There are very stable and feature-filled log rotation tools already, so we recommend using existing tools.

Sending a SIGHUP to the Vault process will cause file audit devices to close and re-open their underlying file, which can assist with log rotation needs.


Enable at the default path:

$ vault audit enable file file_path=/var/log/vault_audit.log

Enable at a different path. It is possible to enable multiple copies of an audit device:

$ vault audit enable -path="vault_audit_1" file file_path=/home/user/vault_audit.log

Enable logs on stdout. This is useful when running in a container:

$ vault audit enable file file_path=stdout


Note the difference between audit enable command options and the file backend configuration options. Use vault audit enable -help to see the command options. Following are the configuration options available for the backend.


  • file_path (string: <required>) - The path to where the audit log will be written. If a file already exists at the given path, the audit backend will append to it. There are some special keywords:

    • stdout writes the audit log to standard output

    • discard writes output (useful in testing scenarios)

  • log_raw (bool: false) - If enabled, logs the security sensitive information without hashing, in the raw format.

  • hmac_accessor (bool: true) - If enabled, enables the hashing of token accessor.

  • mode (string: "0600") - A string containing an octal number representing the bit pattern for the file mode, similar to chmod. Set to "0000" to prevent Vault from modifying the file mode.

  • format (string: "json") - Allows selecting the output format. Valid values are "json" and "jsonx", which formats the normal log entries as XML.

  • prefix (string: "") - A customizable string prefix to write before the actual log line.

»Log File Rotation

To properly rotate Vault File Audit Device log files on BSD, Darwin, or Linux-based Vault servers, it is important that you configure your log rotation software to send the vault process a signal hang up / SIGHUP after each rotation of the log file.