Enable MKE audit logging

Enable MKE audit logging

Audit logs are a chronological record of security-relevant activities by individual users, administrators or software components that have affected the system. They are focused on external user/agent actions and security rather than understanding state or events of the system itself.

Audit logs capture all HTTP actions (GET, PUT, POST, PATCH, DELETE) to all MKE API, Swarm API and Kubernetes API endpoints that are invoked (except for the ignored list) and sent to Mirantis Container Runtime via stdout. Creating audit logs is a MKE component that integrates with Swarm, Kubernetes, and MKE APIs.

Logging levels

To allow more control to administrators over the audit logging, three audit logging levels are provided:

  • None: audit logging is disabled

  • Metadata: includes the following:

    • Method and API endpoint for the request

    • MKE user who made the request

    • Response Status (success or failure)

    • Timestamp of the call

    • Object ID of any created or updated resource (for create or update API calls). We do not include names of created or updated resources

    • License Key

    • Remote Address

  • Request: includes all fields from the Metadata level as well as the request payload.


Once MKE audit logging has been enabled, audit logs can be found within the container logs of the ucp-controller container on each MKE manager node. Please ensure you have a logging driver configured appropriately with log rotation set as audit logging can start to generate a lot of data.


You can use audit logs to help with the following use cases:

  • Historical troubleshooting - Audit logs are helpful in determining a sequence of past events that explain why an issue occurred.

  • Security analysis and auditing - Security is one of the primary uses for audit logs. A full record of all user interactions with the container infrastructure gives your security team full visibility to questionable or attempted unauthorized accesses.

  • Chargeback - You can use audit logs and information about the resources to generate chargeback information.

  • Alerting - If there is a watch on an event stream or a notification created by the event, alerting features can be built on top of event tools that generate alerts for ops teams (PagerDuty, OpsGenie, Slack, or custom solutions).

Enabling MKE audit logging

MKE audit logging can be enabled via the MKE web user interface, the MKE API or via the MKE configuration file.

Enabling MKE audit logging using the web UI

  1. Log in to the MKE Web User Interface

  2. Navigate to Admin Settings

  3. Select Audit Logs

  4. In the Configure Audit Log Level section, select the relevant logging level.

  5. Click Save

Enabling MKE audit logging using the API

  1. Download the MKE Client bundle from the command line.

  2. Retrieve JSON for current audit log configuration.

    export DOCKER_CERT_PATH=~/ucp-bundle-dir/
    curl --cert ${DOCKER_CERT_PATH}/cert.pem --key ${DOCKER_CERT_PATH}/key.pem --cacert ${DOCKER_CERT_PATH}/ca.pem -k -X GET https://ucp-domain/api/ucp/config/logging > auditlog.json
  3. Open auditlog.json to modify the ‘auditlevel’ field to metadata or request.

        "logLevel": "INFO",
        "auditLevel": "metadata",
        "supportDumpIncludeAuditLogs": false
  4. Send the JSON request for the auditlog config with the same API path but with the PUT method.

    curl --cert ${DOCKER_CERT_PATH}/cert.pem --key ${DOCKER_CERT_PATH}/key.pem --cacert ${DOCKER_CERT_PATH}/ca.pem -k -H "Content-Type: application/json" -X PUT --data $(cat auditlog.json) https://ucp-domain/api/ucp/config/logging

Enabling MKE audit logging using the configuration file

Enabling MKE audit logging via the MKE configuration file can be done before or after a MKE installation.

The section of the MKE configuration file that controls MKE auditing logging is:

  level = "metadata"
  support_dump_include_audit_logs = false

The supported variables for level are "", "metadata" or "request".


The support_dump_include_audit_logs flag specifies whether user identification information from the ucp-controller container logs is included in the support dump. To prevent this information from being sent with the support dump, make sure that support_dump_include_audit_logs is set to false. When disabled, the support dump collection tool filters out any lines from the ucp-controller container logs that contain the substring auditID. {: .important}

Accessing audit logs

The audit logs are exposed today through the ucp-controller logs. You can access these logs locally through the Docker CLI or through an external container logging solution, such as ELK.

Accessing audit logs using the Docker CLI

To access audit logs using the Docker CLI:

  1. Source a MKE Client Bundle

  2. Run docker logs to obtain audit logs. In the following example, we are tailing the command to show the last log entry.

$ docker logs ucp-controller --tail 1

Sample logs

Here is a sample audit log for a Kubernetes cluster.

{"audit"; {
      "metadata": {...},
      "level": "Metadata",
      "timestamp": "2018-08-07T22:10:35Z",
      "auditID": "7559d301-fa6b-4ad6-901c-b587fab75277",
      "stage": "RequestReceived",
      "requestURI": "/api/v1/namespaces/default/pods",
      "verb": "list",
      "user": {"username": "alice",...},
      "sourceIPs": [""],
      "requestReceivedTimestamp": "2018-08-07T22:10:35.428850Z"}}

Here is a sample audit log for a Swarm cluster.

{"audit"; {
      "metadata": {...},
      "level": "Metadata",
      "timestamp": "2018-08-07T22:10:35Z",
      "auditID": "7559d301-94e7-4ad6-901c-b587fab31512",
      "stage": "RequestReceived",
      "requestURI": "/v1.30/configs/create",
      "verb": "post",
      "user": {"username": "alice",...},
      "sourceIPs": [""],
      "requestReceivedTimestamp": "2018-08-07T22:10:35.428850Z"}}

API endpoints ignored

The following API endpoints are ignored since they are not considered security events and may create a large amount of log entries.

  • /_ping

  • /ca

  • /auth

  • /trustedregistryca

  • /kubeauth

  • /metrics

  • /info

  • /version*

  • /debug

  • /openid_keys

  • /apidocs

  • /kubernetesdocs

  • /manage

API endpoint information redacted

Information for the following API endpoints is redacted from the audit logs for security purposes:

  • /secrets/create (POST)

  • /secrets/{id}/update (POST)

  • /swarm/join (POST)

  • /swarm/update (POST) -/auth/login (POST)

  • Kubernetes secrete create/update endpoints