knock

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Seamless JWT authentication for Rails API

Description

Knock is an authentication solution for Rails API-only application based on JSON Web Tokens.

What are JSON Web Tokens?

JWT

Why should I use this?

  • It's lightweight.
  • It's tailored for Rails API-only application.
  • It's stateless.
  • It works out of the box with Auth0.

Is this gem going to be maintained?

Yes.

Upcoming features & improvements

  • Easy way to authenticate multiple user types (User, Admin, ...)
  • Remove ActiveRecord dependency

Really want some feature? Don't hesitate to open an issue :)

Getting Started

Installation

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'knock'

And then execute:

$ bundle install

Finally, run the install generator:

$ rails generate knock:install

It will create the following initializer config/initializers/knock.rb. This file contains all the informations about the existing configuration options.

Requirements

Knock makes one assumption about your user model:

It must have an authenticate method, similar to the one added by has_secure_password.

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_secure_password
end

Using has_secure_password is recommended, but you don't have to as long as your user model implements an authenticate instance method with the same behavior.

Usage

Mount the Knock::Engine in your config/routes.rb

Rails.application.routes.draw do
  mount Knock::Engine => "/knock"

  # your routes ...
end

Then include the Knock::Authenticable module in your ApplicationController

class ApplicationController < ActionController::API
  include Knock::Authenticable
end

You can now protect your resources by adding the authenticate before_action to your controllers like this:

class MyResourcesController < ApplicationController
  before_action :authenticate

  def index
    # etc...
  end

  # etc...
end

If no valid token is passed with the request, Knock will respond with:

head :unauthorized

If you just want to read the current_user, without actually authenticating, you can also do that:

class CurrentUsersController < ApplicationController
  def show
    if current_user
      head :ok
    else
      head :not_found
    end
  end
end

Authenticating from a web or mobile application:

Example request to get a token from your API:

POST /knock/auth_token
{"auth": {"email": "foo@bar.com", "password": "secret"}}

Example response from the API:

201 Created
{"jwt": "eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9"}

To make an authenticated request to your API, you need to pass the token in the request header:

Authorization: Bearer eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9
GET /my_resources

NB: HTTPS should always be enabled when sending a password or token in your request.

Authenticated tests

To authenticate within your tests:

  1. Create a valid token
  2. Pass it in your request

e.g.

class MyResourcesControllerTest < ActionController::TestCase
  def authenticate
    token = Knock::AuthToken.new(payload: { sub: users(:one).id }).token
    request.env['HTTP_AUTHORIZATION'] = "Bearer #{token}"
  end

  setup do
    authenticate
  end

  it 'responds successfully' do
    get :index
    assert_response :success
  end
end

Algorithms

The JWT spec supports different kind of cryptographic signing algorithms. You can set token_signature_algorithm to use the one you want in the initializer or do nothing and use the default one (HS256).

You can specify any of the algorithms supported by the jwt gem.

If the algorithm you use requires a public key, you also need to set token_public_key in the initializer.

CORS

To enable cross-origin resource sharing, check out the rack-cors gem.

Related links

Contributing

  1. Fork it ( https://github.com/nsarno/knock/fork )
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request

License

MIT