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User Tracked Logging

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Identity Management

Permanent Login

Many web sites provide some kind of “remember me” feature which allows users to stay logged in after they closed and reopened browser. Usually, this is achieved by setting a permanent cookie, if requested on login.

TurboGears ships with an extensible identity and visit tracking framework which can be used to add such functionality to your application. This page explains how to do this in an example TurboGears application.

Creating a new project

In order to get started, create a new project named PermLogin with Identity and Visit enabled (see Getting Started With Identity) but don’t create the tables yet:

$ tg-admin quickstart --identity PermLogin

Updating the model

Now you need to customize the model class responsible for representing site visit in your application. We will add a new attribute to the permlogin.model.Visit class:

class Visit(SQLObject):
    """A visit to our site."""
    class sqlmeta:
        table = 'visit'

    visit_key = StringCol(length=40, alternateID=True,
    created = DateTimeCol(
    expiry = DateTimeCol()

    permanent = BoolCol(default=False) # new field

    ... # keep the rest of the class definition

We added the permanent boolean column which needs to be explicitly set to True if a permanent visit is desired. After that the database tables can be created:

$ tg-admin sql create

Updating the controller

At this point you need to add some logic for setting the newly added field. In our example we will be using the remember_me argument to instruct the login controller method that current visit is requested to be permanent:

def login(self, forward_url=None, previous_url=None,
          remember_me=None, *args, **kw):
    if (not identity.current.anonymous and identity.was_login_attempted()
            and not identity.get_identity_errors()):
        tg_visit = tg.visit.current()
        if remember_me == 'on' and tg_visit:
            visit = model.Visit.lookup_visit(tg_visit.key)
            if visit:
                visit.permanent = True
        raise redirect(tg.url(forward_url or previous_url or '/', kw))

     ... # keep the rest of the function definition

The above snippet assumes that you have added a checkbox input named remember_me on your login.kid template.

Next, you need to clear the permanent field on user logout:

def logout(self):
    tg_visit = tg.visit.current()
    if tg_visit:
        visit = model.Visit.lookup_visit(tg_visit.key)
        if visit:
            visit.permanent = False
    raise redirect('/')

Creating the Visit plugin

Now you need to create a Visit plugin which will be sending your permanent visit cookie. The Visit framework expects plugins to implement the record_visit(visit) method. The visit object passed to this method is stores the key which can be used to retrieve the persistent visit object from the database.

The plugin module (let’s call it permlogin.visit) shown bellow sends a permanent cookie using the settings from config if the visit is set permanent:

import turbogears as tg
import cherrypy as cp
import time

from permlogin import model

def load():

class PermanentLoginPlugin(object):
    def record_request(self, visit):
        model_visit = model.Visit.lookup_visit(visit.key)
        log.debug('model_visit: %s', model_visit)

        if not model_visit:
        if not model_visit.permanent:

        cookies = cp.response.simple_cookie
        cookie_name = tg.config.get('', 'tg-visit')
        max_age = int(tg.config.get('visit.timeout', '20')) * 60 or None
        if cookie_name in cookies:
            # use 'expires' because MSIE ignores 'max-age'
            cookies[cookie_name]['expires'] = time.strftime(
                 '%a, %d-%b-%Y %H:%M:%S GMT',
                 time.gmtime(time.time() + max_age))
            # 'max-age' takes precedence on standard conformant browsers
            # (this is better because there of no time sync issues here)
            cookies[cookie_name]['max-age'] = max_age


After you import the permlogin.visit module into your controller, the plugin will be loaded on application startup. Optionally, you can introduce a special config variable to enable or disable it.

Populating the database

Use tg-admin shell to create a new user as explained in Using the Shell. For example:

>>> user = User(user_name='guest',
... email_address='guest@localhost', display_name=None, password='')

Once this is done, you can start your application and try to login with the remember_me checkbox activated. If everything works fine you should see the tg-visit cookie in your browser with expiration time set (20 minutes by default).