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Django Axes

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django-axes is a very simple way for you to keep track of failed login attempts, both for the Django admin and for the rest of your site. The name is sort of a geeky pun, since axes can be read interpreted as:

  • "access", as in monitoring access attempts
  • "axes", as in tools you can use hack (generally on wood). In this case, however, the "hacking" part of it can be taken a bit further: django-axes is intended to help you stop people from hacking (popular media definition) your website. Hilarious, right? That's what I thought too!


django-axes requires Django 1.5 or later. The application is intended to work around the Django admin and the regular django.contrib.auth login-powered pages.


You can install the latest stable package running this command:

$ pip install django-axes

Also you can install the development version running this command:

$ pip install -e git+


You can contribute to this project forking it from github and sending pull requests.

Running tests

Tests can be run, after you clone the repository and having django installed, like:

$ PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:$PWD test axes --settings=axes.test_settings


First of all, you must add this project to your list of INSTALLED_APPS in


Next, install the FailedLoginMiddleware middleware:


Run python syncdb. This creates the appropriate tables in your database that are necessary for operation.

Customizing Axes

You have a couple options available to you to customize django-axes a bit. These should be defined in your file.

  • AXES_LOGIN_FAILURE_LIMIT: The number of login attempts allowed before a record is created for the failed logins. Default: 3
  • AXES_LOCK_OUT_AT_FAILURE: After the number of allowed login attempts are exceeded, should we lock out this IP (and optional user agent)? Default: True
  • AXES_USE_USER_AGENT: If True, lock out / log based on an IP address AND a user agent. This means requests from different user agents but from the same IP are treated differently. Default: False
  • AXES_COOLOFF_TIME: If set, defines a period of inactivity after which old failed login attempts will be forgotten. Can be set to a python timedelta object or an integer. If an integer, will be interpreted as a number of hours. Default: None
  • AXES_LOGGER: If set, specifies a logging mechanism for axes to use. Default: 'axes.watch_login'
  • AXES_LOCKOUT_TEMPLATE: If set, specifies a template to render when a user is locked out. Template receives cooloff_time and failure_limit as context variables. Default: None
  • AXES_LOCKOUT_URL: If set, specifies a URL to redirect to on lockout. If both AXES_LOCKOUT_TEMPLATE and AXES_LOCKOUT_URL are set, the template will be used. Default: None
  • AXES_VERBOSE: If True, you'll see slightly more logging for Axes. Default: True
  • AXES_USERNAME_FORM_FIELD: the name of the form field that contains your users usernames. Default: username
  • AXES_LOCK_OUT_BY_COMBINATION_USER_AND_IP: If True prevents to login from IP under particular user if attempts limit exceed, otherwise lock out based on IP. Default: False


Using django-axes is extremely simple. Once you install the application and the middleware, all you need to do is periodically check the Access Attempts section of the admin.

By default, django-axes will lock out repeated attempts from the same IP address. You can allow this IP to attempt again by deleting the relevant AccessAttempt records in the admin.

You can also use the axes_reset management command using Django's

  • axes_reset will reset all lockouts and access records.
  • axes_reset ip will clear lockout/records for ip

In your code, you can use from axes.utils import reset.

  • reset() will reset all lockouts and access records.
  • reset(ip=ip) will clear lockout/records for ip
  • reset(username=username) will clear lockout/records for username


Not being locked out after failed attempts

You may find that Axes is not capturing your failed login attempts. It may be that you need to manually add watch_login to your login url. For example, in your

from django.contrib.auth.views import login, logout, password_change
from axes.decorators import watch_login
urlpatterns = patterns('',
    (r'^login/$', watch_login(login), {'template_name': 'auth/login.html'}),

Locked out without reason

It may happen that you have suddenly become locked out without a single failed attempt. One possible reason is that you are using some custom login form and the username field is named something different than "username", e.g. "email". This leads to all users attempts being lumped together. To fix this add the following to your settings:

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