Auditing in Jira

The auditing feature tracks key activities in Jira products. These activities are recorded in an audit log that can be viewed in the Jira administration console. This can be a handy tool in helping you diagnose problems in Jira products or used for security and compliance purposes.

The feature is available in both Server and Data Center, however its scope is more extensive in Data Center. To view the full audit log you need to be a Jira System admin or to have a Jira Administrator global permission

Data Center admins can also allow project admins to have access the audit log for a specific project. Any project admin needs to have the Adminster project and the Browse projects permissions.

This article is valid for Jira 8.8 onwards. For previous versions, please refer to this article.

On this page:

Main differences between auditing in Server and Data Center


Jira Server

Jira Data Center

Coverage areas

(fewer than in Data Center)

Selecting coverage levels

(Only Base and Off are available.)

Setting DB log retention

Storing log file in two locations

3rd party integrations

Exporting latest 100k results

Exporting filtered results

Audit log for project admins

View the audit log

To view the events in the audit log:

  1. Choose Jira administration cog icon > System

  2. Choose Audit Log (Jira Server) or Advanced audit log (Jira Data Center). 

  3. Click on each event to expand it and see details.

    Information for each event may include:

    • Source - IP address of the user who performed the action (though not recorded for system-generated events). Can also show the node IP address.
    • Node ID - unique ID of the node where the action was performed.
    • Method - depending on how the action was performed, will be either Browser (end user) or System (system process).
Admins, system admins and project admins can also access audit logs for specific projects. A project-specific log can be found in Project settings and contains events relating to a this particular project. 

Search and filter the audit log

You can search the event on keyword and filter by:

  • User,

  • Project,

  • Date

To speed things up, we initially search 1 million events. After this search is performed, you have an option to run a full database search. Note that the full search might take a while.

Edit log settings

In the audit log settings you can decide how long you want to retain the logged events in the database and the areas from which you want to collect the logs. 

Update database retention

The database retention is limited by the retention period and the cap of 10 million records. 

To update your database retention period, do the following: 

  1. Select Actions >  Settings.

  2. Update the retention period.

  3. Click Save.

If you choose a long retention period, it might affect the size and performance of your database. If you decide to lower the period, all the events that exceed the newly set period will be deleted and disappear from the page. You might consider creating a backup before you lower the retention period.

If you migrated from a previous Jira version, your default retention period is 20 years. If you have a new Jira installation, it’s 3 years.

For more on selecting an optimal retention period, see How do know what retention period is good for my audit log?

Select events to log

The events that are logged are organized in categories that belong to specific coverage areas. For example, login-related events are in the Login category that belongs to the Security coverage area. 

For all coverage areas and events logged in each area, see Audit log events in Jira

To adjust the coverage:

  1. Go to …> Settings.

  2. In the Coverage level drop-down, choose the level to log the events you need or Off to stop collecting events from a particular area.

Coverage levels reflect the number and frequency of events that are logged.

  • Off: Turns off logging events from this coverage area.

  • Base: Logs low-frequency and some of the high-frequency core events from selected coverage areas.

Available only in Data Center:

  • Advanced: Logs the core events as well as the low and medium frequency events from the coverage areas that are available only for Data Center.

  • Full: Logs all the events available in Base and Advanced, plus additional events for a comprehensive audit.

Changing coverage level changes the set of the events that are logged. If you can't find a specific event, it might be because coverage level was changed and these events were not logged for a period of time. Check all audit log configuration events to see if that might have been the case.

Export the audit log

You can export up to 100,000 events as a CSV file. If you have more than 100,000 events, only the 100,000 newest events are included in the export. If you run Jira Data Center, you can also export filtered results up t o 100,000 events.

  1. Navigate to the Audit log/ Advanced audit log and choose Export.

  2. DATA CENTER Select to export the latest 100,000 or filtered results.

  3. Confirm by clicking Export again.

Access the audit log file DATA CENTER

For Jira Data Center, each node has its own log and can be found in the <Jira local home directory>/log/audit directory. The log is stored as a JSON file.

A new file is created 24 hrs or when a file reached 100 MB. The directory has a file limit of 100 files. If this limit has been reached, Jira will delete the oldest file.

Integrate with external software DATA CENTER

You can use the log file to integrate with ELK, Splunk, Sumologic, and Amazon CloudWatch. For more information on integrations, see Audit log integrations in Jira.

Audit log and migration

Migrate database

If you have more that 10 million events stored in your database, and you move to a new database, only the latest 10 million will be migrated and the remaining data will be removed. To have access to your older events you can either create a backup before you migrate and access the data in the backup.  

Migrate from a previous Jira version

Migrating audit log records might take up to several hours depending on the size of the audit log and the type of your database. If you migrate using ZDU, you can still use your Jira during migration.

You can use the jira.advanced.audit.log.migration.limit flag in the Jira properties file to limit the number of events you want to migrate or to turn off the migration altogether. If you decide to turn off migration, your new audit log will only show the events that happen after upgrade. 

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To make sure the limit works, provide the property directly as a command line argument or via the }}\ {{setenv.bat file. For example:


We migrate the existing events to the database not to files. We migrate only 10 million entries from the old audit table to the new one.

Auditing and the REST API

The audit log can also be accessed via the REST API

Last modified on Oct 12, 2020

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