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


Download django-axes using one of the following methods:


You can download the package from the CheeseShop or use:

easy_install django-axes

to download and install django-axes.

Package Download

Download the latest .tar.gz file from the downloads section and extract it somewhere you'll remember. Use python install to install it.

Checkout from Mercurial

Execute the following command (or use the equivalent function in a GUI such as TortoiseHg), and make sure you're checking django-axes out somewhere on the PYTHONPATH:

hg clone django-axes
hg clone

Checkout from GitHub

Execute the following command, and make sure you're checking django-axes out somewhere on the PYTHONPATH:

git clone git://

Verifying Installation

The easiest way to ensure that you have successfully installed django-axes is to execute a command such as:

python -c "import axes; print axes.get_version()"

If that command completes with some sort of version number, you're probably good to go. If you see error output, you need to check your installation (I'd start with your PYTHONPATH).


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


Next, install the FailedLoginMiddleware middleware:


Finally, if you're using Django's @staff_member_required, you'll want to start importing this from axes rather than from Django:

from axes.decorators import staff_member_required

Run 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


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. A log file is also created for you to keep track of the events surrounding failed login attempts. This log file can be found in your Django project directory, by the name of axes.log. In the future I plan on offering a way to customize options for logging a bit more.

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 (since 1.2.5-rc1). 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) will clear lockout/records for ip

reset will print a message to std out if there is nothing to reset, unless called with silent = True