reCAPTCHA

Gem Version

Author: Jason L Perry (http://ambethia.com)
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2007-2013 Jason L Perry
License: MIT
Info: https://github.com/ambethia/recaptcha
Bugs: https://github.com/ambethia/recaptcha/issues

This gem provides helper methods for the reCAPTCHA API. In your views you can use the recaptcha_tags method to embed the needed javascript, and you can validate in your controllers with verify_recaptcha or verify_recaptcha!, which raises an error on failure.

Obtaining a key

Go to the reCAPTCHA admin console to obtain a reCAPTCHA API key.

The reCAPTCHA type(s) that you choose for your key will determine which methods to use below.

reCAPTCHA type Methods to use Description
v3 recaptcha_v3 Verify requests with a score
v2 Checkbox
("I'm not a robot" Checkbox)
recaptcha_tags Validate requests with the "I'm not a robot" checkbox
v2 Invisible
(Invisible reCAPTCHA badge)
invisible_recaptcha_tags Validate requests in the background

Note: You can only use methods that match your key's type. You cannot use v2 methods with a v3 key or use recaptcha_tags with a v2 Invisible key, for example. Otherwise you will get an error like "Invalid key type" or "This site key is not enabled for the invisible captcha."

Note: Enter localhost or 127.0.0.1 as the domain if using in development with localhost:3000.

Rails Installation

gem "recaptcha"

You can keep keys out of the code base with environment variables or with Rails secrets.

In development, you can use the dotenv gem. (Make sure to add it above gem 'recaptcha'.)

See Alternative API key setup for more ways to configure or override keys. See also the Configuration documentation.

export RECAPTCHA_SITE_KEY   = '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAChqRbQZcn_yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy'
export RECAPTCHA_SECRET_KEY = '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAKN3DRm6VA_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'

Add recaptcha_tags to the forms you want to protect:

<%= form_for @foo do |f| %>
  # …
  <%= recaptcha_tags %>
  # …
<% end %>

Then, add verify_recaptcha logic to each form action that you've protected:

# app/controllers/users_controller.rb
@user = User.new(params[:user].permit(:name))
if verify_recaptcha(model: @user) && @user.save
  redirect_to @user
else
  render 'new'
end

Sinatra / Rack / Ruby installation

See sinatra demo for details.

  • add gem 'recaptcha' to Gemfile
  • set env variables
  • include Recaptcha::Adapters::ViewMethods where you need recaptcha_tags
  • include Recaptcha::Adapters::ControllerMethods where you need verify_recaptcha

reCAPTCHA v2 API and Usage

recaptcha_tags

Use this when your key's reCAPTCHA type is "v2 Checkbox".

The following options are available:

Option Description
:theme Specify the theme to be used per the API. Available options: dark and light. (default: light)
:ajax Render the dynamic AJAX captcha per the API. (default: false)
:site_key Override site API key from configuration
:error Override the error code returned from the reCAPTCHA API (default: nil)
:size Specify a size (default: nil)
:nonce Optional. Sets nonce attribute for script. Can be generated via SecureRandom.base64(32). (default: nil)
:id Specify an html id attribute (default: nil)
:callback Optional. Name of success callback function, executed when the user submits a successful response
:expired_callback Optional. Name of expiration callback function, executed when the reCAPTCHA response expires and the user needs to re-verify.
:error_callback Optional. Name of error callback function, executed when reCAPTCHA encounters an error (e.g. network connectivity)
:noscript Include <noscript> content (default: true)

JavaScript resource (api.js) parameters:

Option Description
:onload Optional. The name of your callback function to be executed once all the dependencies have loaded. (See explicit rendering)
:render Optional. Whether to render the widget explicitly. Defaults to onload, which will render the widget in the first g-recaptcha tag it finds. (See explicit rendering)
:hl Optional. Forces the widget to render in a specific language. Auto-detects the user's language if unspecified. (See language codes)
:script Alias for :external_script. If you do not need to add a script tag by helper you can set the option to false. It's necessary when you add a script tag manualy (default: true).
:external_script Set to false to avoid including a script tag for the external api.js resource. Useful when including multiple recaptcha_tags on the same page.
:script_async Set to false to load the external api.js resource synchronously. (default: true)
:script_defer Set to true to defer loading of external api.js until HTML documen has been parsed. (default: true)

Any unrecognized options will be added as attributes on the generated tag.

You can also override the html attributes for the sizes of the generated textarea and iframe elements, if CSS isn't your thing. Inspect the source of recaptcha_tags to see these options.

Note that you cannot submit/verify the same response token more than once or you will get a timeout-or-duplicate error code. If you need reset the captcha and generate a new response token, then you need to call grecaptcha.reset().

verify_recaptcha

This method returns true or false after processing the response token from the reCAPTCHA widget. This is usually called from your controller, as seen above.

Passing in the ActiveRecord object via model: object is optional. If you pass a model—and the captcha fails to verify—an error will be added to the object for you to use (available as object.errors).

Why isn't this a model validation? Because that violates MVC. You can use it like this, or how ever you like.

Some of the options available:

Option Description
:model Model to set errors.
:attribute Model attribute to receive errors. (default: :base)
:message Custom error message.
:secret_key Override the secret API key from the configuration.
:timeout The number of seconds to wait for reCAPTCHA servers before give up. (default: 3)
:response Custom response parameter. (default: params['g-recaptcha-response'])
:hostname Expected hostname or a callable that validates the hostname, see domain validation and hostname docs. (default: nil, but can be changed by setting config.hostname)
:env Current environment. The request to verify will be skipped if the environment is specified in configuration under skip_verify_env

invisible_recaptcha_tags

Use this when your key's reCAPTCHA type is "v2 Invisible".

For more information, refer to: Invisible reCAPTCHA.

This is similar to recaptcha_tags, with the following additional options that are only available on invisible_recaptcha_tags:

Option Description
:ui The type of UI to render for this "invisible" widget. (default: :button)
:button: Renders a <button type="submit"> tag with options[:text] as the button text.
:invisible: Renders a <div> tag.
:input: Renders a <input type="submit"> tag with options[:text] as the button text.
:text The text to show for the button. (default: "Submit")
:inline_script If you do not need this helper to add an inline script tag, you can set the option to false (default: true).

It also accepts most of the options that recaptcha_tags accepts, including the following:

Option Description
:site_key Override site API key from configuration
:nonce Optional. Sets nonce attribute for script tag. Can be generated via SecureRandom.base64(32). (default: nil)
:id Specify an html id attribute (default: nil)
:script Same as setting both :inline_script and :external_script. If you only need one or the other, use :inline_script and :external_script instead.
:callback Optional. Name of success callback function, executed when the user submits a successful response
:expired_callback Optional. Name of expiration callback function, executed when the reCAPTCHA response expires and the user needs to re-verify.
:error_callback Optional. Name of error callback function, executed when reCAPTCHA encounters an error (e.g. network connectivity)

JavaScript resource (api.js) parameters:

Option Description
:onload Optional. The name of your callback function to be executed once all the dependencies have loaded. (See explicit rendering)
:render Optional. Whether to render the widget explicitly. Defaults to onload, which will render the widget in the first g-recaptcha tag it finds. (See explicit rendering)
:hl Optional. Forces the widget to render in a specific language. Auto-detects the user's language if unspecified. (See language codes)
:external_script Set to false to avoid including a script tag for the external api.js resource. Useful when including multiple recaptcha_tags on the same page.
:script_async Set to false to load the external api.js resource synchronously. (default: true)
:script_defer Set to false to defer loading of external api.js until HTML documen has been parsed. (default: true)

With a single form on a page

  1. The invisible_recaptcha_tags generates a submit button for you.
<%= form_for @foo do |f| %>
  # ... other tags
  <%= invisible_recaptcha_tags text: 'Submit form' %>
<% end %>

Then, add verify_recaptcha to your controller as seen above.

With multiple forms on a page

  1. You will need a custom callback function, which is called after verification with Google's reCAPTCHA service. This callback function must submit the form. Optionally, invisible_recaptcha_tags currently implements a JS function called invisibleRecaptchaSubmit that is called when no callback is passed. Should you wish to override invisibleRecaptchaSubmit, you will need to use invisible_recaptcha_tags script: false, see lib/recaptcha/client_helper.rb for details.
  2. The invisible_recaptcha_tags generates a submit button for you.
<%= form_for @foo, html: {id: 'invisible-recaptcha-form'} do |f| %>
  # ... other tags
  <%= invisible_recaptcha_tags callback: 'submitInvisibleRecaptchaForm', text: 'Submit form' %>
<% end %>
// app/assets/javascripts/application.js
var submitInvisibleRecaptchaForm = function () {
  document.getElementById("invisible-recaptcha-form").submit();
};

Finally, add verify_recaptcha to your controller as seen above.

Programmatically invoke

  1. Specify ui option
<%= form_for @foo, html: {id: 'invisible-recaptcha-form'} do |f| %>
  # ... other tags
  <button type="button" id="submit-btn">
    Submit
  </button>
  <%= invisible_recaptcha_tags ui: :invisible, callback: 'submitInvisibleRecaptchaForm' %>
<% end %>
// app/assets/javascripts/application.js
document.getElementById('submit-btn').addEventListener('click', function (e) {
  // do some validation
  if(isValid) {
    // call reCAPTCHA check
    grecaptcha.execute();
  }
});

var submitInvisibleRecaptchaForm = function () {
  document.getElementById("invisible-recaptcha-form").submit();
};

reCAPTCHA v3 API and Usage

The main differences from v2 are:

  1. you must specify an action in both frontend and backend
  2. you can choose the minimum score required for you to consider the verification a success (consider the user a human and not a robot)
  3. reCAPTCHA v3 is invisible (except for the reCAPTCHA badge) and will never interrupt your users; you have to choose which scores are considered an acceptable risk, and choose what to do (require two-factor authentication, show a v3 challenge, etc.) if the score falls below the threshold you choose

For more information, refer to the v3 documentation.

Examples

With v3, you can let all users log in without any intervention at all if their score is above some threshold, and only show a v2 checkbox recaptcha challenge (fall back to v2) if it is below the threshold:

  …
  <% if @show_checkbox_recaptcha %>
    <%= recaptcha_tags %>
  <% else %>
    <%= recaptcha_v3(action: 'login') %>
  <% end %>
  …
# app/controllers/sessions_controller.rb
def create
  success = verify_recaptcha(action: 'login', minimum_score: 0.5)
  checkbox_success = verify_recaptcha unless success
  if success || checkbox_success
    # Perform action
  else
    if !success
      @show_checkbox_recaptcha = true
    end
    render 'new'
  end
end

(You can also find this example in the demo app.)

Another example:

<%= form_for @user do |f| %>
  …
  <%= recaptcha_v3(action: 'registration') %>
  …
<% end %>
# app/controllers/users_controller.rb
def create
  @user = User.new(params[:user].permit(:name))
  recaptcha_valid = verify_recaptcha(model: @user, action: 'registration')
  if recaptcha_valid
    if @user.save
      redirect_to @user
    else
      render 'new'
    end
  else
    # Score is below threshold, so user may be a bot. Show a challenge, require multi-factor
    # authentication, or do something else.
    render 'new'
  end
end

recaptcha_v3

Adds an inline script tag that calls grecaptcha.execute for the given site_key and action and calls the callback with the resulting response token. You need to verify this token with verify_recaptcha in your controller in order to get the score.

By default, this inserts a hidden <input type="hidden" class="g-recaptcha-response"> tag. The value of this input will automatically be set to the response token (by the default callback function). This lets you include recaptcha_v3 within a <form> tag and have it automatically submit the token as part of the form submission.

Note: reCAPTCHA actually already adds its own hidden tag, like <textarea id="g-recaptcha-response-100000" name="g-recaptcha-response" class="g-recaptcha-response">, immediately ater the reCAPTCHA badge in the bottom right of the page — but since it is not inside of any <form> element, and since it already passes the token to the callback, this hidden textarea isn't helpful to us.

If you need to submit the response token to the server in a different way than via a regular form submit, such as via Ajax or fetch, then you can either:

  1. just extract the token out of the hidden <input> or <textarea> (both of which will have a predictable name/id), like document.getElementById('g-recaptcha-response-my-action').value, or
  2. write and specify a custom callback function. You may also want to pass element: false if you don't have a use for the hidden input element.

Note that you cannot submit/verify the same response token more than once or you will get a timeout-or-duplicate error code. If you need reset the captcha and generate a new response token, then you need to call grecaptcha.execute(…) again. This helper provides a JavaScript method (for each action) named executeRecaptchaFor{action} to make this easier. That is the same method that is invoked immediately. It simply calls grecaptcha.execute again and then calls the callback function with the response token.

You will also get a timeout-or-duplicate error if too much time has passed between getting the response token and verifying it. This can easily happen with large forms that take the user a couple minutes to complete. Unlike v2, where you can use the expired-callback to be notified when the response expries, v3 appears to provide no such callback. See also 1 and 2.

To deal with this, it is recommended to call the "execute" in your form's submit handler (or immediately before sending to the server to verify if not using a form) rather than using the response token that gets generated when the page first loads. The executeRecaptchaFor{action} function mentioned above can be used if you want it to invoke a callback, or the executeRecaptchaFor{action}Async variant if you want a Promise that you can await. See demo/rails/app/views/v3_captchas/index.html.erb for an example of this.

This helper is similar to the recaptcha_tags/invisible_recaptcha_tags helpers but only accepts the following options:

Option Description
:site_key Override site API key
:action The name of the reCAPTCHA action. Actions may only contain alphanumeric characters and slashes, and must not be user-specific.
:nonce Optional. Sets nonce attribute for script. Can be generated via SecureRandom.base64(32). (default: nil)
:callback Name of callback function to call with the token. When element is :input, this defaults to a function named setInputWithRecaptchaResponseTokenFor#{sanitize_action(action)} that sets the value of the hidden input to the token.
:id Specify a unique id attribute for the <input> element if using element: :input. (default: "g-recaptcha-response-" + action)
:name Specify a unique name attribute for the <input> element if using element: :input. (default: g-recaptcha-response[action])
:script Same as setting both :inline_script and :external_script. (default: true).
:inline_script If true, adds an inline script tag that calls grecaptcha.execute for the given site_key and action and calls the callback with the resulting response token. Pass false if you want to handle calling grecaptcha.execute yourself. (default: true)
:element The element to render, if any (default: :input)
:input: Renders a hidden <input type="hidden"> tag. The value of this will be set to the response token by the default setInputWithRecaptchaResponseTokenFor{action} callback.
false: Doesn't render any tag. You'll have to add a custom callback that does something with the token.

JavaScript resource (api.js) parameters:

Option Description
:onload Optional. The name of your callback function to be executed once all the dependencies have loaded. (See explicit rendering)
:external_script Set to false to avoid including a script tag for the external api.js resource. Useful when including multiple recaptcha_tags on the same page.
:script_async Set to true to load the external api.js resource asynchronously. (default: false)
:script_defer Set to true to defer loading of external api.js until HTML documen has been parsed. (default: false)

If using element: :input, any unrecognized options will be added as attributes on the generated <input> element.

verify_recaptcha (use with v3)

This works the same as for v2, except that you may pass an action and minimum_score if you wish to validate that the action matches or that the score is above the given threshold, respectively.

result = verify_recaptcha(action: 'action/name')
Option Description
:action The name of the reCAPTCHA action that we are verifying. Set to false or nil to skip verifying that the action matches.
:minimum_score Provide a threshold to meet or exceed. Threshold should be a float between 0 and 1 which will be tested as score >= minimum_score. (Default: nil)

Multiple actions on the same page

According to https://developers.google.com/recaptcha/docs/v3#placement,

Note: You can execute reCAPTCHA as many times as you'd like with different actions on the same page.

You will need to verify each action individually with separate call to verify_recaptcha.

result_a = verify_recaptcha(action: 'a')
result_b = verify_recaptcha(action: 'b')

Because the response tokens for multiple actions may be submitted together in the same request, they are passed as a hash under params['g-recaptcha-response'] with the action as the key.

It is recommended to pass external_script: false on all but one of the calls to recaptcha since you only need to include the script tag once for a given site_key.

I18n support

reCAPTCHA supports the I18n gem (it comes with English translations) To override or add new languages, add to config/locales/*.yml

# config/locales/en.yml
en:
  recaptcha:
    errors:
      verification_failed: 'reCAPTCHA was incorrect, please try again.'
      recaptcha_unreachable: 'reCAPTCHA verification server error, please try again.'

Testing

By default, reCAPTCHA is skipped in "test" and "cucumber" env. To enable it during test:

Recaptcha.configuration.skip_verify_env.delete("test")

Alternative API key setup

Recaptcha.configure

# config/initializers/recaptcha.rb
Recaptcha.configure do |config|
  config.site_key  = '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAChqRbQZcn_yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy'
  config.secret_key = '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAKN3DRm6VA_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'
  # Uncomment the following line if you are using a proxy server:
  # config.proxy = 'http://myproxy.com.au:8080'
end

Recaptcha.with_configuration

For temporary overwrites (not thread safe).

Recaptcha.with_configuration(site_key: '12345') do
  # Do stuff with the overwritten site_key.
end

Per call

Pass in keys as options at runtime, for code base with multiple reCAPTCHA setups:

recaptcha_tags site_key: '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAChqRbQZcn_yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy'

# and

verify_recaptcha secret_key: '6Lc6BAAAAAAAAKN3DRm6VA_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'

Misc